WAY WE WERE
Evocative pictorial memories of your bikes
‘WE’D MEET MOST NIGHTS AND TEAR AROUND THE TROWAY BENDS’
The three photographs you see here were taken in 1975 – in Troway, Derbyshire. We were all Sheffield and Chesterfield lads who would meet most nights and tear around the ‘Troway Bends’, although I’ve lost touch with most of them now. The picture at the pub (right) was taken at The Gate Inn at Troway, our meeting place. Yes, we’d have a pint and then tear off and race to the next pub – I shudder to think about it now. In that pic is ‘Big Steve’, Dib, Kenny Wright (who was later Jamie Toseland’s stepdad) and Martin. I could go on and on. I’m still biking and still taking photos.
These two photos are by way of continuing the entries about the infamous Bob ‘Thrasher’ Selfe of the Velocette Owners club. Attached is a mid-’70s picture of Bob trying the riding position on my ’67 Velo Thruxton in preparation for a top speed run. The picture is a bit blurred (luckily, I’m sure you’ll agree). Unlike my poor MAC, the Thruxton actually survived a few ‘road tests’ by Bob – but I decided to burn that seat shortly after this picture was taken! In his pursuit of speed, Bob later invested in a set of Lewis leathers, as can be seen in the other shot. Unfortunately, the budget didn’t stretch to a pair of boots! Bob’s thrashing wasn’t merely confined to bikes – his ultimate (and often attempted) ambition was to get his MKIII Ford Cortina up on two wheels on a local roundabout. FRANK THOMAS, BRENTWOOD
The photo below shows my parents, Dagny and Arne Hansen, leaving on their honeymoon in June 1948 from my grandparents’ farm in Mannerup, Denmark. The bike is a mystery. I do remember my father (now deceased) mentioned that he had borrowed the machine from a friend. It appears to be pre-war British and it shares a number of details with a 1931 Sunbeam 350cc, except the head doesn’t quite match, nor the pushrods, crankcase or petrol tank.
I have searched and also asked a number of classic bike enthusiasts in the US and in Denmark, but nobody has been able to identify the machine. Perhaps you have the answer?
Family lore is that, after a fuel stop in Jutland, my father accelerated rapidly away only to discover some distance down the road that his bride was no longer behind him, having flipped over backwards and off the machine. Fortunately, my mother was none the worse for wear, but the story has generated much hilarity in our family over the years. LARS HANSEN, LONE TREE, COLORADO, USA
Hi Lars, it’s a bit tricky with mum and dad and luggage covering everything up, but as you say it’s certainly not a Sunbeam. I’d suggest a New Hudson (probably 350cc, as the barrel looks quite small) dating from the late 1920s. The giveaway is the shape of the twin-port head and rocker box and the barely visible badge on the top of the magneto chain cover. The forks look like Druids, as fitted to late-’20s models – but the tank/gearchange looks unfamiliar and possibly continental, so I wonder if it may be from another make of machine, which is quite possible since the bike was far from home and already 20 years old. Cheers, Rick P
Just a few weeks ago, my mother surprised me with this beautiful photo of my late father and his friends. It seems that in 1956 my father Dirk Faas (left), with his mates Aart Hoogerwaard (centre) and Frans Tuynder (right) went for a holiday trip to the Eiffel in Germany; my father and Aart on their Jawas and Frans on his DKW. The photo is taken on top of the dyke in Moordrecht, near Gouda in the Netherlands, where all three lived (and my mother and I still live). The dyke is rather high, because it is only a few miles away from the official lowest point of the Netherlands which is 6.76 metres below sea level. HANS FAAS, NETHERLANDS
These photos show myself on my 1958 650 Road Rocket in 1969 and my son Donald on my 1958 Triton in 1974. I wrecked the BSA cycle parts in a road accident and later blew up the Triumph engine in a big way, but kept all the bits tucked away in the shed. When I retired last year aged 70, I decided to resurrect them, and the resulting NORBSA cafe racer is coming along nicely. GEORGE LOUDON, KINLOCHLEVEN, ARGYLL
This is my father-in-law Glascott Eyre Dawsongrove, proudly aboard his WD Royal Enfield 350. DG lived an incredible life, but sadly is no longer with us. He was interned by the Japanese in Hong Kong during WWII. After the war he attended Imperial College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge where the Royal Enfield was his transport for several years until polio ended his motorcycling days. DG’S daughter Louisa (my wife) carried on the motorcycling tradition here in Canada, with a 1970 Yamaha YL100 which she took on some epic 400-mile journeys. DG was a lifelong rebel, so was not perturbed when Louisa was evicted from her apartment for parking the motorcycle in her bedroom. BILL CHAPMAN, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
A fast bend, some two-stroke smoke and a couple of observers in period motorcycle clothing
A pint and on to the next pub. Things were different in the ’70s
Dagny and Arne, presumably before he flipped her off the back...
Above: Nice suit, Bob. Shame about the footwear
Left: Those of a sensitive nature, turn away now. Oh dear, too late...
Above: Looks like George could be the original hipster
Left: Donald on the ill-fated Triton, which is about to be reborn