Further to Norm Cooper
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.