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14th January 2004


A Million Miles Ago by Neale Shilton

A Million Miles Ago by Neale ShiltonThis book is a great read. It is the memoirs of a long serving member of the Meriden staff.

Neale Shilton is the man who created the Triumph Saint and gave the Bonneville its name. This book traces his career from Rudge after he left school through to joining Triumph after the war. It was then that he went against the normal grain of salesmen and, instead of using a car for his rounds, which stretched from Peterborough to Lands End and Anglesey; he used the product he sold.

It is full of stories about characters he met in bike shops and of testing experimental parts, like the first sprung hub and the first 650cc top end, to talking with the great man himself, Edward Turner.

It later digresses to the creation of the Triumph Saint for the numerous police forces of Britain and overseas. Then he traces the end of Meriden at the hand of Government and union.

The Norton Interpol creation is then chronicled and finally his work at BMW.

The book reads like a veritable who's who of British motorcycling and is an engrossing read.

It's not widely available, but this copy came from the National Motorcycle Museum.

Paul Morgan

A Million Miles Ago by Neale Shilton

  • Haynes, ISBN 0 85429 313 2

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