Archive for ‘Writing’

February 23, 2021

Cherry Red Tank

Hybrid

– What do you get if you cross a 500cc Triumph Twin engine with a Greeves frame? A Grumph. Like some character from a Maurice Sendak story; it may make an adventure out of a jaunt in the woods.

February 22, 2021

The Shropshire Star

Anyone for a game of footie?

By Toby Neal published June 2, 2020

“Top flight football is tiptoeing its way to a comeback as the nation eases its way out of the coronavirus restrictions. But if you want social distancing, at least by the length of the front forks, motorcycle footer has its health and safety attractions.

And another thing, Wolverhampton was rather good at it.

To get a flavour of what it was all about, let’s turn back the clock to April 1928, when the sport – then only around four years old – made its first appearance in the Newport district, with a motorcycle football match held at Lilleshall Hall between Wolverhampton and Coventry & Warwick.

Coventry & Warwick had never been beaten, and had won the Auto Cycle Union All England Cup for three years on the trot, as well as numerous other events.

Wolverhampton were rated as one of the most improved teams in the country, a young and skilful side who had been runners up in the ACU Cup in 1927.

Now, the rules.

“The game is played with six players a side, with only the goalkeeper and fullback keeping their positions. The remaining four players are intent on forcing the football through their opponents’ goal,” explained the Newport and Market Drayton Advertiser’s report of this crunch match.

“The skill with which the players control the ball while travelling at speed is truly remarkable. It is by no means a slow game. On the contrary, it is amazingly fast, and the skilled riders must at times have reached 40 miles an hour. The players not only used their feet, but also their heads when occasion demanded.”

In the first half Wolverhampton were the better team and deserved to go into the break 2-0 up. After the interval Coventry & Warwick pulled one back, and but for two fine saves by Barnard in the Wolverhampton goal would surely have gone in front.

Wolverhampton increased their lead, only for their opponents to pull one back a few minutes later.

The glorious final score: Wolverhampton 3, Coventry & Warwick 2. The invincible Coventry & Warwick had at last been toppled.

A few years ago we spoke to June Hussey of Wombourne, whose father Tommy Deadman helped pioneer the sport in Wolverhampton.

He founded Wolverhampton Motor Cycle Football Club – presumably the same side which played that match at Lilleshall – which played home games in Pinfold Lane, Penn.

The sport captured the public’s imagination, albeit for a fleeting time, and led to teams being set up across the country and the creation of a league.

With Tommy as captain, the Wolves team enjoyed a successful year in 1928, winning the Midland League Championship by beating Birmingham and competing in a nationwide competition equivalent to the FA Cup.

Wolves beat local rivals West Bromwich 10-1 in the first round and in the second round beat a team known as Douglas MC. Wolves got all the way to the final but lost to Coventry.

Born and bred in Wolverhampton, Tommy Deadman had already made quite a name for himself in the world of motorcycling, having taken part in the first ever dirt track racing at Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green Stadium in August 1928.

Motorcycle football was popular for a number of years but seems to have faded away around the time of the war, although the idea of playing football on a motorbike has popped up from time to time since.

January 5, 2021

Wilderness Cat

Stripes for the Open Road

– “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” – John Muir

November 25, 2020

Plato’s Cave

An Allegory…

A narrow profile of a Trials Tiger Cub with the sideways sunshine offering a shadow view of the bike itself.

October 20, 2020

Essex

“Call me Ishmael”

On this day 200 years ago the whaling ship Essex was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the middle of the South Pacific. This maritime story gave Herman Melville the idea for his classic novel Moby Dick. This 1928 Brought Superior SS100, also named Moby Dick recently sold for over £500,000. The name was given after Motor Cycling magazine tested it in 1931 and declared it “the fastest privately-owned machine in the world”.

October 13, 2020

Roadside Attraction

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost – 1874-1963

June 26, 2020

Waterfall

Girl on a Bike

Another motorcycle blogger is Vanessa Ruck who enjoys extolling the virtues of two-wheel travel. Particularly with an adventure bike such as the impeccable Tiger.

https://thegirlonabike.com/

June 19, 2020

A Foundling

The Bawdy Adventures Of Tom Jones

Madeline Smith & Nicky Henson taking a break from filming the 70’s comedic version of the 18th Century Henry Fielding classic novel. I don’t think the Norton motorcycle is period accurate…

June 11, 2020

Bike Shelf

For the reader rider. A motorcycle saddle and tank shelf system for your book perusing pleasure.

June 10, 2020

Seventeen Hundred Pages

Ten Years

– as GeordieBiker nears its 10 years I’ve been looking into a way of memorializing the over 3,300 posts that have accumulated over its lifetime. I had a PDF document prepared which contains all 1,707 pages of blog posts (to date). It’s nice to skim through and reminisce on past rides, or musings, or image finds.

May 7, 2020

Swifts scooter

Lilliputian

Gulliver holds a diminutive Honda C90 possibly used by one of the diminutive denizens of the scaled down island from his Travels. Unless it was his ride when amongst the giants of Brobdingnag…

April 14, 2020

Engine

The Tiger

My favorite poem? Possibly.
The Tiger by Nael age 6

He destroyed his cage
Yes
YES
The tiger is out

April 5, 2020

Reading

Tsundoku

It means buying books and letting them pile up unread. The word dates back to the very beginning of modern Japan, the Meiji era (1868-1912) and has its origins in a pun. Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読.

March 27, 2020

Live Deliberately

Goin’ off Grid.

This fella has the right idea: get the motorhome packed, hand a ‘sled on the back, and head into the back of beyond until this all blows over. As Thoreau said: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

February 18, 2020

Poetry in the Garage

Writings from the sharp end of a wrench

Just ordered this small book from Etsy of a collection of motorcycle inspired odes. It’ll make a change from the oily thumbed workshop manual…