How a bike appy be­came the MD

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

HIS is the in­spir­ing story of how a young school-leaver, with no aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions and low ex­pec­ta­tions, built a suc­cess­ful ca­reer based on an ap­pren­tice­ship with As­so­ci­ated Mo­tor Cy­cles Ltd, and even­tu­ally be­came man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of his com­pany.

Born in Lon­don in 1941, Bill Cakebread’s sole am­bi­tion was to work with mo­tor­cy­cles.

This en­thu­si­asm se­cured him an ap­pren­tice­ship with As­so­ci­ated Mo­tor Cy­cles Ltd.

The ex­cel­lence of the train­ing that was pro­vided by the com­pany en­abled Cakebread to achieve far more than he an­tic­i­pated.

The jour­ney through the fac­tory, start­ing with the lowli­est of du­ties in the ma­chine shops and end­ing as per­sonal as­sis­tant to the top mo­tor­cy­cle de­sign­ers of their time, is de­scribed in de­tail. It gives a rare in­sight into work­ing prac­tices within the dif­fer­ent de­part­ments and the char­ac­ters who were em­ployed.

Sup­ported by a host of pe­riod pho­to­graphs and rare doc­u­ments, the book pro­vides a unique record of work within the Bri­tish mo­tor­cy­cle in­dus­try in the fi­nal years of its de­cline into obliv­ion.

When the Bri­tish mo­tor­cy­cle in­dus­try col­lapsed, he joined Peter Berthon, fa­mous for his as­so­ci­a­tion with ERA and BRM rac­ing cars. Adapt­ing his ve­hi­cle en­gi­neer­ing knowl­edge to mo­bile cranes, Cakebread then be­came one of the coun­try’s lead­ing ex­perts in crane safety, and, as MD of his com­pany, was a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor of ar­ti­cles on the sub­ject. He also rep­re­sented the UK at in­ter­na­tional stan­dards meet­ings.

The e-book is cur­rently on sale at £14,99 (R296). Prices may vary be­tween ven­dors.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The in­spir­ing story of Bill Cakebread is on sale as an e-book.

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