Sometime last week the subject of STRATA accessories made by Harrys Skidmore of Oldham came up in the List's discussions.
If there is one product that epitomises the STRATA brand..and for which it will never be forgotten, it is the "South of France" handlebar bend.
This very shallow bend with very little forward reach but those memorable sloping sides was the "de rigueur" for all the roadmen aspiring to the "gen Continental " look for our machines. In those days you almost had to have a pair on your bike coupled up to a set of "ALP" or "CLB" brakes to enable you to join the British League of Racing Cyclists - Percy Stallard's break-away organisation. Add to this steering set-up a Super Champion "Osgear" derailleur,a cooton racing cap, a pair of those motoring-style goggles, and one of those fat oddly-treaded Wolber red tubs wrapped in a figure-of-eight around your shoulders..and you were allset to start the Brighto-to-Glasgow stage race.
In those days, at the end of the 40s, I rode a MERCIER "Francis Pelissier" bike equipped as described, with Simplex 52/49 double rings attached to pair of those DURAX cranks with the fluted edges . Sheer magic!
The South of France bars on Ebay appear to be in exceptionally good condition. These bars are rare..and much sought after.
ITEM No 200170123303
Norris Lockley..Settle UK