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back in the day, old family bikes

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back in the day, old family bikes

Postby mudplugger » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:24 pm

recently lost my dad and found this photo that I have never seen before. can anyone identify the bike please ? possibly the bsa M20

any other old photos of past bikes in the families

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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby nickguzzi » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:35 am

Certainly looks like an M20.
The one I had was a 1937, proper pre war model, so slightly different cosmetically. Most fun bike ever and by far the slowest bike I ever had.

In the display classifieds in the back of the Green 'un and Blue 'un, companies like Pride and Clarke and Gamages sold ex-WD M20's. The deal included a bike - often brand new, old stock. They also supplied a wooden packing crate which also held a spare engine. They threw in either a "storm coat" or ex- services great coat, motorcycle dispatch riders (DonR) boots - any form of helmet would have been exta, they may have thrown in an old beret if pressed. The cost was for an all inclusive £5 for the deal.
They were on offer well into the 60's. Or at least still being advertised as available.

I remember in the mid 50's, my uncle buying an ex-WD M20 to travel to wherever it was he worked. I don't think commuting as such had been invented yet.
He roared up outside our house dressed in "slacks" and a very floppy shirt. He collected my heavily pregnant aunt who had to sit side saddle on the foam pad, and zoomed off again.
All speed related adjectives have been adjusted for my pre motorised perceptions.

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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby mudplugger » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:58 am

nickguzzi wrote:Certainly looks like an M20.
The one I had was a 1937, proper pre war model, so slightly different cosmetically. Most fun bike ever and by far the slowest bike I ever had.

In the display classifieds in the back of the Green 'un and Blue 'un, companies like Pride and Clarke and Gamages sold ex-WD M20's. The deal included a bike - often brand new, old stock. They also supplied a wooden packing crate which also held a spare engine. They threw in either a "storm coat" or ex- services great coat, motorcycle dispatch riders (DonR) boots - any form of helmet would have been exta, they may have thrown in an old beret if pressed. The cost was for an all inclusive £5 for the deal.
They were on offer well into the 60's. Or at least still being advertised as available.

I remember in the mid 50's, my uncle buying an ex-WD M20 to travel to wherever it was he worked. I don't think commuting as such had been invented yet.
He roared up outside our house dressed in "slacks" and a very floppy shirt. He collected my heavily pregnant aunt who had to sit side saddle on the foam pad, and zoomed off again.
All speed related adjectives have been adjusted for my pre motorised perceptions.


all that for a fiver, if we only new then, I expect somewhere there are a few crates lost at the back of a warehouse.
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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby Rohan » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:39 pm

Most of those warehouses have been pretty thoroughly searched, repeatedly, by now !
Stories of new Spitfires in crates keep surfacing now and then also, but you never see them flying... !

Brand new (bike) parts in greasepaper still do turn up though, someone in Greece has been flogging off bulk stuff online just recently. 10 or 20 years ago most vendors had good stocks of such stuff, but it does seem to be drying up.

£5 for the whole deal does sound cheapish, I'll have to dredge up an old mag and check the prices...

Great pic of your dad - and sorry to hear.

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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby nickguzzi » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:45 am

Near where I grew up, there had been a shadow factory producing bits for Auster spotter planes. When it was shut down, the stuff they thought useless was bulldozed into a quarry. As a young kid, boxes and boxes of shiney nuts and bolts seemed unreal. Our dads still used jam jars full of old straightened nails and rusty screws in oxo tins. What is now called recycling.

Hope you find a decent reference to the Gamages/Pride and Clarke ads.

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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby Rohan » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:21 pm

Not BSA M20s, but Marble Arch Motor Supplies in 1949 still had ex-wd Enfields and Indians.
90 and 95 quid - which was still less than half the price of a new bike ?
Note that you could get a new unused ex-wd bike there for a bit more.

You can get an engine - lower down that page - for 9 quid ?

http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/OaQAAOSwK ... -l1600.jpg

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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby nickguzzi » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:08 pm

In 1949, everything was still on ration, personal vehicles were still very much a rarity. Move 10 years and the world has changed - the UK, or Great Britain as they more likely branded it then, was different too. The motorcycle bubble was about to burst as working people could start to think of having a car instead of a combo.

I wonder from your link, how much of the stuff was ex WD?
My home town had perhaps a dozen war surplus shops back when I was a wippersnapper, and still a few right into my 30's when the last I knew, and conveniently round the corner, closed when their lease ended.

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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby ando » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:03 am

Mudplugger
sorry to hear about your dad. But photos like that are precious.
I have a couple of family photos with old bikes and rider.

first is my father on a 49VH Ariel in the centre is a 50VH Ariel and on the right is a 48VH Ariel. photo taken 1950
Image


and this is my grandfather on his 29 Harley. photo taken 1935
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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby mudplugger » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:28 am

great photos ando, its good to see these old pics, and the stories about the old bikes and stuff being sold off. I wonder if the pictures we take today will be looked at in the same light as we do with these old ones. how much further on will the bikes be in another 70 or 80 years. has there ever been an Australian manufacturer in the biking world.
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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby Rohan » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:35 pm

mudplugger wrote:has there ever been an Australian manufacturer in the biking world.


A gent named Rob Saward has written a book on Australian made motorcycles - he has a list of about 600 makers !
And pics and details of many of them.

Although many of them used imported engines /gearboxes. You have to remember that tarrifs made this attrractive, wholly imported bikes attracted more tax. There was a huge industry in Melbourne prior to WW1 making bikes and bike parts, and they could supply kits for the village blacksmith to make up a bike for you anywhere in Australia.

You can still buy Harley clones here, using imported mechanicals.
By some standards they are a bike maker ?

This is one of the larger makers around WW1.
Heck of a price now, onceuponatime they were enthusiast only territory..
I'd be surprised if that was "the sole survivor" even for that year, they were fairly numerous,
and being a luxury model somewhat hoarded.
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18553/lot/112/

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Re: back in the day, old family bikes

Postby ando » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:26 am

Leon Mitchell has a web site featuring some early Australian built motorcycles. All Leon’s work features superb research and Leon has a reasonable collection of early bikes. Try this link for more information. http://earlymotor.com/
In particular look at his archive pages in Leon’s Vintage Motorcycle Page. Somewhere he has an article on riding his Bluebird through a lot of South Australia.
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