The Courette was the name given to the Carlton ladies model. The name was introduced in 1955.
In the early days – 1937 – there were two ladies models in the touring range, the model L Ladies Light Roadster and the LS Ladies Sports Model (shown right). In addition, ladies versions of some of the sports range were also available.
After 1939 the touring range of Carltons was dropped and Carlton only offered ladies versions of the various styles of gents cycles.
The model below is a 1951 Flyer that belonged to Nancy O’Donovan, wife of Tony O’Donovan, part owner of Carlton. It has been restored using later components. The 1951 model below right shows the coachlining so typical of the period.
In 1955 the first Carlton Courette appeared in the catalogue, shown right. Courette versions of all the Carlton range were also available to order, matching the specifications of the equivalent gents model.
The Courette illustrated below is a 1956 Courette International, showing the elegant International lugwork.
The ladies models were available with dropped, flat or upturned bars.
In 1960 the Courette frame was changed to the ‘Continental’ style, later known as ‘Mixte’ style. This was described as using ‘twin lateral stays in construction, ideal for business and for touring and hostelling’.
The frame was constructed from Reynolds 531 and the specification included GB bars and stem, GB or Weinmann brakes, Williams C.34 chainset, Sturmey Archer hub, freewheel or Benelux derailleur.
Colour was to choice. Courette versions of all gents models were still available.
The Courette cost £26-14-8
In 1961 the Courette was offered in only one style. The colour schemes were:
Burgundy flam with Ice Blue contrasts (above).
Sapphire Blue with Pink contrasts (above right – click for more views).
Black with White contrasts
Ivory with Blue contrasts (top)
It was still made in Reynolds 531.
The Courette continued in this form until 1967 when it was dropped from the catalogue. In 1964 the Ivory colour was dropped and the specification no longer mentioned 531, so construction was probably in TI’s own Truwel 205 double butted tubing.
An anomaly is shown on the below. This is a 1965 Courette Catalina. Strangely it is not a Mixte frame, but a revival of the older style of ladies frame. Typically for the period, the seat stays wrap around the seat tube, which would indicate that it is not a reconditioned older frame.
It is also built with some unusual lugs. Click here for some more views.
It is fitted with a Weinmann centre pull front brake and a sidepull rear.
The Courette reappeared in 1975 similar in style to the 1966 models, see my example.
The image above is the 1977 style with the new logo with block letters introduced in that year. It was available in a powder blue finish and the main frames were once again made from Reynolds 531.
The final transformation came in 1979. Still Powder Blue but with new script logos, the Courette 10 was equipped with 10-speed Raleigh badged Suntour derailleurs. In this form it was made up to 1983, the later ones with 12 speeds, still with the option of dropped or flat handlebars.
By 1983 Production had transferred to Raleigh at Nottingham. The ladies Carlton on the right is the last of the line, a ladies Super Course, the Courette name had been dropped. Colour was Champagne with Coffee contrasts
Made from 531, with Bocama lugs and Vagner fork crown.