Norris raises a very interesting point regarding the use of metallic self adhesive decals as fitted to French frames. All of these metallic decals were much much later than the period I was referring to at Ross Cycles of Balham. This would have been very early in 1960 before they went tits up. All of the French continental exotica especially the French stuff had beautiful metal head badges back then, too be honest Louisan Bobet C.35, Raphael Gemiani Model 102, Rapha-Gitane Model 102 and Heylett H-57 all looked identical it was only the headbadges, colour schemes and makers decals that separated them apart. In bare metal I am positive you could not differentiate between the respective marques. I am going to have to bow in deference to Norris superior knowledge as a shop keeper who was in the cycling game for donkey's years on this subject. Me, I am just a simple cyclist who was never much good at racing but just enjoyed good fellowship of the road and touring, but one thing that I am knowledgeable about is printing. This brings me to the next point, metallic foil printing as used in self adhesive decals was in its very infancy in the early 1960's and was prohibitively expensive, due to suitable inks not being easily available, drying, light fastness and rub resistant being some of the problems encountered early on. This type of foil printing never came into widespread use until the 1970's. This is also coincided with the various French marques going down market Bobet and Anquetil being just two examples to go cheap and fit metallic printed decals. Who in 1976 was going to buy a cheap Bobet? This crack cyclist recorded his earliest triumphs in 48 and his last in 59, the youngsters new to the game didn't know of him. Funnily about the same time there appeared the cheap Eddy Merckx Falcons which were also fitted with hideous stick on decals, although this is one marque that went decidedly up market as opposed to the two previously mentioned which ditched their wonderful headbadges. Mark Stevens also interestingly mentioned the fitting of block letter transfers to frames especially Gillotts and if they were connected to changes in R.T.T.C rules. I am positive this is not so and was just a typographical change in fashions. Holdsworths reintroduced block letter transfers to their Claud Butler range when they found out that Claud was once again making Butler's with this type of block letter decal fitted. Claud could not use his famous signature trademark as it had been sold to Holdsworths after the demise of his famous firm. It just so happened that script typefaces in the 60's were concided very passe and thirties looking, Gillott and Higgins soon followed suit and the familiar script signatures soon vanished. Yeah Norris is 100% correct about the metallic decals they are very later 70's but I was refering to a much earlier elegant period when to own one of these French fillies you had to be caked in dough! Sorry for not pointing out this obvious mistake but as they say in these parts if you never try anything and fail or venture an opinion and get it hopelessly wrong you are one boring bastard. Me I will try and help and have a crack at everything. Be lucky Mick.
Thats all for now. Keep those wheels spinning, in your memories if not still on the road. Be lucky Mick Butler Huntingdon UK.