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Family-run company in South London which traded as a dealer in motorcycles,
spares and accessories.
They were based in Stockwell Road, which runs from Stockwell tube station south-east to Brixton in the SW9 area. As the company grew
during the 1960s, they took on many additional premises located in the same road. The company painted the whole front of these shops
with their trademark maroon-coloured paint. This created a surreal effect at street-level, which was exploited in a scene in the
Antonioni film Blowup, where David Hemmings was seen driving on the street, with showrooms on both sides of the road which stretched as
far as the eye could see. After the company ceased to trade on such a large scale locally, many of the shopfronts remained in
alternative ownership, sporting their maroon colours for years afterwards.
Their departments consisted of new and secondhand bikes showrooms; new
and secondhand spares - which also included ex-WD spares; a mail order
section; export and import department, as well as finance and insurance
Besides selling motorcycles, Pride and Clarke sold cars, sidecars, three-wheelers
and, of all things, sailing dinghies; plus clothing for motorcycling and
sailing. They had counters full of accessories for both two and four wheeled
The firm was famous for its special deals with manufacturers, so that they
were able to offer machines at very competitive prices. Before the Second World
War they were best known for the Red Panther, but also AJW
Post-war, many others followed including HMW.
In 1939 they added their own model, a lightweight called the Cub.
It was a neat and tidy machine with a 122cc Villiers
engine, three-speed gearbox built in-unit, a simple loop frame and blade
girder forks. 1939 was not an auspicious date to be launching a new marque.