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18th January 2006


TP's Newsround, January 2006

What's been going on in classic biking of late? A RealClassic rider meets one of his heroes, the blower Triton is to go under the hammer, and after 51 years of building sidecars, Tom takes it a bit easier...

Across The Generations

RC Clubman, regular contributor and classic scrambles rider Michael Eustace couldn't resist sending us this pic of his recent visit to see Dave Bickers at his workshop near Ipswich. 'It was nice to finally meet the man I have been aspiring to emulate these last few years,' says Michael. The bike is Dave's Greeves Motocross Special -- not THE bike on which he won the 250cc European Scrambles championship in 1960, but one of very similar spec.

Dave Bickers and Michael Eustace in what looks like a RealShed.

It's a bit like the competition iron which Michael uses, too; 'The bike is very like the one I compete on in the Greeves Scrambles Series, except mine is a Greeves Hawkstone SCS with a cast iron Villiers 250cc barrel. Although Dave and I are two generations apart, it is good to see people of all ages enjoying the old British bikes!'

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Gents Outfit?

Fancy yourself as a gentleman racer? Pembrokeshire Classics might have just the bike (and sidecar) for you then - this championship winning Triumph outfit is up for sale at £5995. The 700cc pre-unit Triumph has been successfully campaigned over the years by Tim Miles and Mathew Francis, collecting several shelves' worth of silverware in the process. Many mods have been made to the bike over the seasons, including a 180-degree Norton crank, Thunder Engineering rods, beefed-up crankcases and strengthened barrels, bronze sculled head, 5-speed gearbox, interspan ignition, belt primary drive plus much, much more.

For six grand you'd think the passenger would at least get a seat...

RC Clubman Anthony Devall runs Pembrokeshire Classics and is just a tiny little bit excited by having the bike in stock. 'It is an absolute delight to have this machine in our stable, he enthused, 'although I doubt I'll personally be driving it at top speed in the near future!'

Classic Racing stuff on eBay.co.uk

If you - and a friend - want to go classic racing in 2006 then this could get you off to a flying start. See www.pembrokeshireclassics.com

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Blower Up For Grabs!

Long term RC readers will remember the fun Richard McCann had prepping his supercharged Triton in the workshop series which ran in the magazine last year. Or you might have seen - and heard - the Triton at the RealClassic Ride In to the London Motorcycle Museum last autumn.

Did you think it was an awesome beast? Well… how do you fancy owning it, then? The blower Triton will be going under the hammer at Bonhams auction at Stafford on April 23rd this year - and we can't wait to see what bids it attracts. There's info on all the lots for sale at www.bonhams.com/motorcycles or call 08700 273 616 to order a catalogue (normally £15)

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Ballymena Bonanaza

The winter Ballymena Autojumble, which was held in the Sentry Sports Hall, was the most successful and best-attended ever. Traders from all over the province were joined by mainland traders from Norfolk, London, Somerset, Yorkshire and Birmingham - while visitors came to the event from as far away as Wicklow, Galway and Donegal, much to the delight of the organisers.

David Patterson, temporarily blinded by dazzling smiles.

The primary reason for holding the autojumble was to raise money for charity, and £2840 was raised for Cancer Research. Congratulations to all involved, and especially organiser David Pattison (seen here presenting the cash to the Cancer Research representatives), who worked extremely hard to put the event together. The next Ballymena jumble will be on Saturday October 28th, in the same place, again in aid of cancer research. Call 02825 653260 for more info.

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Happy Retirement, Tom

Tom Davis of Castle Vale in Birmingham has retired after 51 years continuous service with Watsonian Squire, building sidecars for the firm. Now aged 66, Tom started working at Watsonian Sidecars in the Greet district of Birmingham when he was just 15 years old. After a general apprenticeship he worked in various departments before being in charge of sidecar spare parts.

Tom Davis with some Tunnock's Caramel Wafers. Mmmmmm.

When the company moved to Blockley in Gloucestershire Tom stayed on, making a daily round trip of 95 miles to fulfil his new role of factory supervisor.

Ok, he's in the sidecar. Now head straight over to the abandoned quarry and... [Snip. RM]In 1989 Watsonian merged with Squire sidecars, creating what is currently the Europe's biggest and longest established manufacturer of sidecars, with a history dating back to 1912.

Many famous people have sat in sidecars made by Tom, including the current Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, who rode around his constituency in one last July.

The directors and staff made a presentation to bid Tom farewell at the end of 2005 - we hope he's enjoying a little bit of spare time now, and getting some miles under his wheels for pleasure instead of business!

www.watsonian-squire.com for more sidecar info.


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