"The forerunner of the Rotrax Marque was founded in Southampton by Bill Harvell who incidentally took part in the 1932 LA Olympic Games winning a bronze medal in the cycling events. The business was eventually taken over in 1945 and expanded under the Rotrax name by Messrs Harris, Potterton and Robins with the aim to be probably the first to introduce the much more graceful and raking lines of the Continental machines rather than the old fashioned British “upright” bicycle of the times."
By 1950 Rotrax Ltd, had a skilled work of 20 able to produce light- weight road and track cycles to the standard demanded by the enthusiast. Production running at 40 per week for the lowest priced “Shirley” frame and distributed throughout the country by 500 cycle dealers"
"In 1952 Rotrax Ltd, reached its peak of prosperity, Rotrax bicycles were ridden to victory in many notable cycle races both road and track. By the late fifties though bicycle sales were too few to keep all the specialist frame builders in business. This also applied to the world famous Rotrax speedway motorcycle frames that were produced in quantities alongside the bicycle business.
By 1963 the business had been sold on to Messrs Kinchen, Compton & Noble and for a short period Witcomb Cycles of Kent had a licence to sell frames under the Rotrax name.