Posted: Tuesday 02nd June 2020
I was aware of Bertrands (C Bertrand & Co) as they were local to me and had some years previously seen one of their pre-war tandems. A fellow VCC member very kindly tipped me off about a bicycle for sale which upon seeing I just had to have. It was a high quality early 50’s lightweight original with blue paint and had the most lovely head badge featuring a hand holding a hunting whip (they were near Tally Ho Corner in North Finchley hence the hunting connection).
I knew that one of London’s most respected frame builders HR Morris worked there starting in 1929 before moving to Bates Bros in 1938. According to Morris the framebuilder during this time was George Dean.
According to a 1929 CTC Gazette advertisement they has been trading since 1900 and at that time had three shops in North Finchley N12 (trivia postcode note, the London postcodes eg N , NW, E SE etc are alphabetical in numerical order ie N2 is East Finchley and the highest number N22 is Wood Green). The earliest reference to them I can find is a 1912 advertisement saying they had supplied a bike to the Queen of Italy.
The company was started by Charles Bertrand Barmore who ran it from 1900 until his death in 1937. In 1947 it was bought and run by Eddie Sage (later President of Finchley CTC) and his wife Winifred who ran it until the mid-50. I am not sure of the exact date but maybe about 56/7. According to a post on the CTC forum by his daughter by the mid 50’s trading in bicycles was becoming uneconomic and they moved into motorcycles and scooters before selling the shops.
and to Peter Jourdain for the images of the silver Bertrand (trike) above.