Archive for July 28th, 2014

July 28, 2014

Romanes eunt domus…


On the Embankment steps just below Big Ben is the bronze statue of Boudica and her daughters in a chariot behind a rearing horse. That’s the front hoof we see in this BSA advert for the indomitable Spitfire. Queen Boudica (or Boadicea) was the mashalling force of an uprising against Roman occupation in 60ad. Despite her defeat she is passed down the ages as a hero queen. Revived in the Nineteenth Century it was Queen Victoria who took on a modern embodiment of the Iceni Celtic tribe leader – Victoria is a literal translation of Boudicea “Victorious”. Indeed the Roman name for the island colony, Britannia, took a new life during the Empires reign when the British Navy controlled the Seas. Inscribed on Thomas Thornycrofts statue’ plinth are words:
“Regions Caesar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway.”
By William Cowper 1784

The British motorcycle industry held much sway during its reign and thus BSA was at the head of the line in its day. And what now? Well the latest Triumphs surely give Ducati’s a run for their money… “Romani ite domus!” As Brian would daub a hundred times in giant red letters…