On further research I found that Jack Walsh was a well known champion Australian sprint cyclist before WWII, who owned a popular bike shop in Punchbowl, a suburb of Sydney. He passed away at age 89 in 2010 according to newspaper reports online, having run his business for over 60 years.
As with other Australian bicycle companies I can find things about the people involved online, but never much about the bicycle models themselves. I honestly don’t know how much of this bike is original yet I would guess that the front wheel, frame and forks and front brake are original but the coaster brake rear wheel has been added later. Why? – because the frame has brazed on cable stays for front and rear derailleurs ! The curious thing is that the chainwheel is a single ring. Perhaps the bike was offered with 5 speeds and/or 10 speeds as an option or retrofit. I am interested to find out more and see whether other models are out there – perhaps on ebay.
I find the decals rather heavy handed and “bloke-y” for a step through “ladies” bike though – I wonder what the women cyclists out there think ? I’m not fussed about the metallic gold finish either but that’s only my fashion thing. There are signs that the bike once had mudguards, now sadly gone. There is significant surface rust but nothing deadly so far… it probably would be a nice ride if properly refurbished.
The bike appears to have been well made, fitted with quality components – here is a list of details so far, for reference :
Steel frame – size 18.5″ or 47cm from centre of BB to top of seat tube.
Hi Tensile 1021 decal on seat tube.
Leisure Cycles ( South Australia ) frame sticker as shown : Ricardo bikes had these stickers too…
Fork – Tange 4-D Made in Japan.
S/No on BB is L4M7772
Front wheel – Shimano quick release high flange hub, Araya rim – 27×1 & 1/4″ Japan
Rear wheel – Suntour coaster hub 22T w/splined sprocket (large cog added later?) and Ukairim? rim 27″
Crank axle – cottered Itazaki 27 Japan
Cranks – steel Sugino A-2 Japan, 44T chain wheel.
Seat post stamped “MORY”
Dia-compe alloy front brake and lever, stamped 07 83 inside – possibly date of manufacture
The rust on chain wheel and right crank was removed with a knife, wire brush and phosphoric acid rust converter. It’s important to remove any loose chrome also, as the rust beneath needs to be removed as well as the obvious surface rust. The chrome finish is now compromised and will need metal protection of some sort or it will quickly begin to rust again.