Fur­ther to Norm Cooper

Old Bike Australasia - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Gra­ham Good­win from Ep­ping was good enough to pro­vide some fur­ther en­light­en­ing in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing Norm Cooper who I wrote about in OBA 71. I quote “I can add some fur­ther back­ground on Norm Cooper. In my notes of a phone con­ver­sa­tion in 2003 with John Boyle of Mel­bourne, John re­calls that Norm worked at Syd­ney mo­tor­cy­cle deal­er­ship A.P. North as a mo­tor­cy­cle me­chanic. John was work­ing as a me­chanic at nearby P. & R. Wil­liams deal­er­ship in 1952-3 and so, knew Norm. John de­scribed Norm as an ex­cel­lent en­gi­neer of gen­tle and help­ful na­ture who al­ways had in­ter­est­ing cre­ations on the go.” As fur­ther tes­ta­ment to Norm’s engi­neer­ing skill, I have a let­ter he wrote in 1978 when he lived at Forster, NSW. In this let­ter to Ken Wat­son of Coota­mundra, NSW Norm de­scribes some de­tails about an English-made 1928 As­cot Pullin bike he once owned in the early 1950s, most of which Ken now had and was seek­ing in­for­ma­tion on how to re­store it. In his let­ter Norm says “The forks were a fail­ure as were all of those pressed metal types fit­ted to Royal En­fields and a cou­ple of other bikes. I’m the one that made the tele forks for it and the firm’s name was Palmer & Good­sell in Foveaux Street, Syd­ney, near the rail­way. I tried to use com­pressed air in them but the seal­ing wash­ers I could get af­ter the war were in­ad­e­quate, so I popped a pair of springs in and had no more trou­ble.” Norm went on to de­scribe how he fit­ted In­dian gear­box in­ter­nals to the bike by re­plac­ing the orig­i­nal ball races with acen­tric bushes. Gra­ham adds that other writ­ten ma­te­rial he has in­di­cates that Norm was the work­shop fore­man at Palmer & Good­sell for many years. The tele forks are very well made from com­monly avail­able ma­te­rial. There are no cast­ings, ev­ery­thing has been fab­ri­cated. The springs are flat wire and could be valve springs from a large diesel en­gine.

Water-cooled Ex­cel­sior Tal­is­man twin en­gine. An­other water-cooled Tri­umph en­gine.

Norm Cooper’s self-made forks.

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