Swaps for a frame

    Just around the time that I got my first teaching post in Southport, I 'obtained' a Sun frame from my good friend Adrian Batty (He of the Mini fame)  It had been recently enamelled in a deep metallic blue and was complete with forks.  It was made from the then renowned 'Reynolds 531' tubing, which is probably a bit 'old hat' these days.  I started collecting other bits and pieces to build myself something for exploring the new area into which I had been catapulted - West Lancashire.  The father of one of my students ran a bike shop in Southport and he supplied all manner of bits and pieces at the right price, and even gave me a pair of lightly damaged wheels with large flange alloy hubs, which provided me with my first taste of the black art of wheel-building.  It gave me much needed cheap transport around this fascinating area in which we still live and it's quite amazing how much more I got to know about the various highways and byways than even some of the original 'Sandgrounders'.   I did many thousands of miles on this 'Bitsa' and sometime around the late 70's even managed a trip over the big hill to Hull, where I was born.  I think the total distance was around 160 miles which was done over two days, with a wonderful B and B at my friends in Huddersfield, Maurice and Monica.  This bike was eventually sold to a work colleague, Bob Askem who was head of the Motor Vehicle section at the College, in order to make way for the next acquisition, again from another lecturer, David Armes.  

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