Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Davy Jones (1945-2012)

The wee Monkee passed away today, aged 66, though eternally youthful. Their music and zany escapades are for sure a big part of growing up and maintaining a bright view of life.  Here he’s on his 60’s Honda CB450 ‘Black Bomber’.

February 28, 2012

The Wonderful World of Wilbur Pope

So what’s the long face for? A gal and Triumph and a sunny paddock… what more could a gee-gee ask for?

Interesting Fact (not that we don’t have enough here!): Alan Young who played Wilbur was born Angus Young in North Shields, Northumberland not too far from where I hail from. His journey to stardom in Hollywood was via Edinburgh and Canada. Mister Ed was a Palomino called Bamboo Harvester ~ who didn’t come from North East England… (the photo is NOT Mister Ed…   OR Wilbur!)

February 27, 2012

Here Comes the Sun

Another Geordie (not a Tynesider but a George!); this time George Harrison. Growing up in Liverpool he would go to the local races, here seen atop a Triumph at the Aintree Racetrack in 1955. So he was 12 at the time, just before he discovered the guitar and joining ‘The Quarrymen’…

This may even have been the poster for this particular race meet, Saturday April 30th being in 1955. Beautiful clean graphics with golden text in mid-century font on black background.


It seems ’55 was an important year for Aintree, it was here later that year Stirling Moss won his first Grand Prix driving the powerful Mercedes Benz W196 pipping ‘El Maestro’ Juan Manuel Fangio into 2nd. Exciting Stuff! I’ll bet George Harrison was there too!

February 26, 2012

Dog in a Chair

A simply drawn animated movie from 2009 based on J.R. Ackerly’s memoir from the fifties “My Dog Tulip”. Here is the author and narrator of the story driving Tulip, an alsatian, and his sister Nancy in his combination. Christopher Plummer narrates (he’s nominated for his supporting role as Hal, Ewan McGregor’s characters father in Beginners); Lynn Redgrave is the sister. (her last role before her death in 2009 – she was nominated for an Academy Award in ’66 for the title role of Georgy Girl)



February 25, 2012

And… the Oscar goes to…

Lisbeth Salander the hardened protagonist of the Stieg Larsson novel “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” played with surgical method by Mara Rooney (nominated for an Oscar for her role this year), is given a choice vehicle to scoot about on during her escapades in the movie of the same name. A sweet little black cafe racer number. 

The cafe’d Honda is a CL 350 (thanks Gogglesdown for clarification); a scrambler style moto from the late sixites -early-seventies. It’s distinctive high pipes a desired look by the kids of the day. For the movie it was given a nice rough cafe treatment, knobbly front tire for the cobbled streets of Stockholm, and slick rear boot for a speedy rort along the country roads. Ace bars, flat black trim finish the goth appearance fit for Lisbeth.

February 24, 2012

I’d like to thank…


Nominated for Best Actor, here’s wor Geordie Clooney enjoying his Bonnie.

February 23, 2012

Mag McQueen

This months edition of Motorcyclist was waiting for me in the mail slot… On the cover none other than Triumphs limited model run of their T100 McQueen special. Only 1100 of these will be built: resplendent in black trim wheels, olive drab tank and plush ‘ISDT ready’ single seat. Border fences to jump anyone?


February 22, 2012

Tic, tic, tic


The beat of a Triumph’s heart. Whilst taking off the timing cover I get to see the timing gear and oil pump. Mechanical Artistry.

February 21, 2012

raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…

Two-Wheeled fun: here’s the indominable Butch Cassidy tootlin’ around on an early ‘safety’. Bowler hat atop that smilin’ blue eyed outlaw. I know it ain’t a moto but what the heck! Sometimes all you can play is a real ‘Cool Hand’.

February 20, 2012

Robin Rides

Passing a dedicated owner of this late model Triumph Speedmaster, my father couldn’t help hi’self and ask to sit on it and pose. Looking the part in his leather jacket the ‘bee-loud’ colour scheme certainly looks spiffy. The owner continued his care and attention as Robin moved along. The owner should splash a puddle of oil on the ground under the bike for a little authentic brit-iron character!

February 19, 2012

Tango’d Triumph

The Bonnie is nearing springtime riding completion: tank installed, a bit o’ gasoline, kicked ‘er over and after a few coughs and splutters she roars to life. A little rough after a winter lay-up but a heartbeat nonetheless! Some fine tuning and engine tuning then the jobs a gud un… Only problem was over tightening a new oil pressure switch and cracked its threaded insert in the timing cover “damn, damn and blast it!”

February 18, 2012

When I grow up…

Plenty of toy AA combinations were available for the young lads wishing to enter vehicle recovery service. Here’s a selection of Dinky and Zebra. Varying degrees of detail, but nonetheless that doesn’t detract from playability.


February 17, 2012

Wooler High Street

An old postcard from sometime in the fifties of the small town of Wooler in North Northumberland. Here a idyllic quiet scene along the High Street. This is where I grew up and have fond memories of the beautiful countryside around and the muckle Cheviot Hills behind. Well, a lone ‘driver’ of what looks like an AA combination is tooling along in this image, and my family have a strong suspicion that this is my grandfather George Lawrie; he was an AA Patrolman during that time and was one of the only ones in that corner of the country.

February 16, 2012


Today we’ll go full size: here’s the actual Beeza AA combination also known as the ‘Road Service Outfit’ in gorgeous yellow. They’ll definitely see you coming along the road with this one!

These days the patrolmen tote around on easy riding motos such as the Honda Deauville, sweet 650cc V-twin, and the Burgman scooter, another 650cc ride. Jumper cables tucked in one of the panniers, no tonneau cover’d sidecar now. 


February 15, 2012

Automobile Association Combi

A tiny three wheeled combination in yellow and black. This midget amongst small things has been sitting waiting to be painted and assembled (all three pieces of it!) Well I finally got around to it with as delicate a hand as I could muster. This is of course a miniature of the AA’s BSA sidecar outfit used in the forties and fifties to aid broken down vehicles. Probably the very same model my Grandfather rode whilst an officer in the Association. Indeed it was his experience with traffic and vehicles that directed him to the Military Police in WWII.