I love old bikes, but I wasn't there when they were made, I wasn't a worker in the factory and I don't remember them as a child. So my knowledge has to come from talking to folk and reading books - and I must trust them. Not being the most academic person, they must also be easy to understand.
BobHolliday's Norton story is just that. The timeline of the early days is great, once you can picture it in your own head, and this book just seems to talk in my language. That's the period Ihad trouble with; JL Norton dying early, constantly changing names of models, and too much of Norton's history is wrapped up around the racing that it's hard to work out how they stayed afloat which they didn't.
Having said that, it is also a timeline for changes to racing, and the TT in particular. While its importance came and went, the original reliability trial, keeping an eye on fuel used, would soon turn into a race, as it is today.
Speed tests, races and business ups and downs all add to Holliday's book, the easiest of the Norton histories to understand, if not the most in-depth.
Holliday was editor for The Motorcycleafter the war, so witnessed it first-hand. If you know your Nortons, then you may well already know a lot of this book. But if not, I've thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot. Second hand from r.s