John Robertson (Milano)

Robertson/Paris Sport

647 Govan Road, Glasgow

John Robertson opened his Govan Road "Paris-Sport" shop in 1950 when he specialised in English-built racing cycles, offering famous names like Hetchins and Bates. However, he did make an exception for the French Mercier brand.with the famous pink livery. He was heavily influenced by all things continental and the Tour de France and stocked lots of French and Italian componentry.

In 1952, he began producing his own range of lightweight racing cycles under the Milano and later the Robertson marques having found out first hand from local racing stars the kind of racing machine most sought after.

He employed a framebuilder called Water Jackson who had learned how to braze frames in Belgium. The Milano, built with a continental flare, was an immediate hit with the local racing fraternity. Around 1000 were built, all from Reynolds 531 lightweight tubing.

The Robertson frame was an extra-special effort using very lightweight lugs. In all, it's believed that 200 or so were made.

Robertson's Govan Road operation was innovative in many ways and it success prompted the proprietor to sponsor his own road racing team.

From Jim Hay:

John Robertson started his cycling with the Glasgow Nightingale C.C. before "splitting" from the official side of cycle racing to join the the BLRC who as you know were the only group racing in the open roads at this time. At some point pre 1953 the Robertson C.C. was formed.

My personal info on Johnny Robertson was from 1952 onwards by which time John Kennedy of the V.C. Stella was building Milano frames for Robertson Cycles and was responsible for many of the features of the Milano's that appealed to the bike riders of the time, plus the cachet of the frame having been built by John Kennedy who was a bit of a star around this period.

John had been a frame builder with Rattray's before going for National Service. Shortly after this John Kennedy went to Belgium to take up a career as a Pro bike rider."