▲ c1930 250cc Styl'son. They didn't make many, and the company didn't last all that long. But this diminutive French outfit has nevertheless left its mark—or is that marque?—on the pages of motorcycle history, and we felt the firm was worth a passing mention here on the hallowed pages of Sump. The motocyclette business was founded in 1926 in the central French commune of Chambon-Feugerolles. The firm, which was reconstituted once or thrice, based its product around bought-in components and engines from the likes of JAP, Rudge, Python. Blackburne, Staub, Moser, Burman, and AMAC. Engine capacities ranged from 250cc - 996cc. We hear that much of the company's woes were based around poor management and weak financing (probably largely due to the aforementioned management issues). It's not clear how many bikes were built, but we're probably looking at hundreds rather than thousands. That said, the build quality was high. By September 1937 it was all over, and the name all but quietly vanished. Nevertheless, Styl'son was a busy "player" for a while (with some racing successes), and the above 250cc SV single was a good looking mount that helped keep a country on the move during the inter-war years. Bonhams will be looking to flog this one at its Stafford sale in October this year (2022). The estimate is a conservative £2,000 - £2,600. There's no V5 present. All you have to do now is buy it and search for a picture of Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon or Jean-Paul Belmondo sat astride one and you might double your investment. Could happen. In theory...



September 2022  Classic bike news


Motorcycle news | Biking headlines | Latest motor bike stories | Press


Motorcycle news



One Liners

47 years "stuck behind a sofa"

Forshaw Speedway Collection to sell

Gaydon's dedicated Daytona show

Wot the uvver rags are saying—Honda customs

Frederick Howard Warr: 1929 - 2022

MAG slaps down the Essex coppers

Dennis Waterman: 1948 - 2022

H&H NMM July 2022 auction results

One liners-Indian Motorcycles Sheffield

No bikes at Brighton for 2022

Banbury Run 2022 photographs

Indian Motorcycles Centre London

Wot the uvver rags are saying

"Just for Kicks" anniversary
One liners - IOM TT

NMM Vintage scooters to auction

1919 sole surviving Neal Dalm to sell
UK expat licences in Spanish fiasco
NMM 2021/2022 Winter Raffle winner
John Bloor's fortunes see huge hike
Silverstone Devitt Festival sale

NMM Summer Raffle 2022

Wot the uvver rags are saying - Dick Shepherd

Kickback April 2022 results

Silverstone Auctions new classic sale

Bonhams Spring Sale 2022

2021 Triumph Trident on the way

How to write a great motorcycle for sale advert

100 years of Alvis exhibition

Allan Jefferies BMW prize draw offer

Kickback Show: entries sought

Calling all coffin dodgers...

One liners - Vic Eastwood

Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 "tin" sign

Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

Poet's Corner: 1959

One liners

Incoming: nuclear hype from BMW!!

Harrison OK-Supreme to auction

2019 Brighton Speed Trials date

February 2019 Classic Bike News

H&H upcoming auctions reminder

One liners

Peter Halsten Thorkelson: 1942 - 2019

Charterhouse February 2019 results

59 Club May ride-outs to St Paul's

Nippy Normans "handy" airline tool

One liners

New classic car metal garage signs

2019 Kickback Show seeks sponsors

Bauer print sales take another dive

Australian cops speed camera poser

One liners

Henry Cole wants your shed

London Classic Car Show 2019

Christopher Chope's FGM backlash

Albert Finney: 1936 - 2019

International Motobécane gathering

One liners

Charterhouse Auctions reminder

Bud Ekins' Husqvarna MX360 Viking

2019 Bristol Classic Show postponed


Henry Cole's Motorbike Show returns

Oxford Bradwell wax cotton jacket

Norton Commando Winter Raffle

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 details

80 years of AMC with Colin Seeley

One liners

A blue plaque for Rex McCandless

"Barn find" RE Constellation to sell

Kawasaki Zed series restoration manual

Bonhams Stafford Sale hits £3 million

Weise®  Boston Jeans tried & tested

One liners

Star attractions at Barber Sale

Andy Tiernan 2019 charity calendar

Zhongneng buys Moto Morini

Bonhams Autumn Stafford preview

Charles Geoffrey Hayes: 1942 - 2018

Mark Wilsmore's bikes to auction

2019 Street Twin & Scrambler boost

Two Wheeled Tuesdays invitation

Bonhams Alexandra Palace Sept Sale

NextBase 312GW dashcam tested

Charles Nicholas Hodges

Suzuki Motorcycles from Veloce

2019 BMW R1250GS & R1250RT
Dudley Sutton: 1933 - 2018 

Oxford Products Kickback Shirt

One liners

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport unveiled

Burton Leon Reynolds: 1936 - 2018

Comet Classics Open Day

H&H Auctions seeking consignments

One liners

Motus Motorcycles is bust


June 2018 Classic Bike News

One liners

Trump & Harley-Davidson toe to toe

"Governator's" Harley-Davidson sold

Car Builder Solutions recommended

Dirtquake VII 2018 at Arena Essex
One liners
Mecum Auctions at Monterey 2018
H&H NMM auction shapes up further
Chris Chope gets 'em in a twist
Daniel David Kirwan: 1950 - 2018
Reg Allen Motorcycles is closing
One liners
World Motorcycle Rally 2018
Glynn Edwards: 1931 - 2018
Den Hartogh Museum Sale
Grip-Tite Sockets, tried & tested
Donald Trump's US trade war starts


May 2018 Classic Bike News

The Daily Not News

IOM jaywalker in the hoosegow

Rare Norton Hi-Rider to auction

Clint Walker: 1927 - 2018

Ducati Museum Hailwood exhibition

Tougher protection for cops mooted

One liners

New London-Brighton Run route

April 2018 Classic Bike News

Bonhams Spring Stafford results

Royal Enfield Interceptor NMM raffle

60th International Motor Scooter Rally

New Honda "Monkey Bike" for 2018

Carole Nash's dangerous roads

An Austin Anthology from Veloce

Bonhams Stafford Sale reminder

One Liners

Bradford Dillman: 1930 - 2018

Stolen Vincent Comet & BSA Bantam
Spirit of '59 Triumph Bonnevilles
We've been adrift, but we're back in port

Autonomous Tesla claims a cyclist

Motor insurance premiums fall

March 2018 Classic Bike News

Watsonian's GP700 & Indian Chief

Bonhams Stafford Sale April 2018

One liners

We Ride London new demo date

Dee Atkinson & Harrison March Sale

Bull-it Men's SR6 Cargo trousers

Franklin's Indians: Veloce Reprint

One Liners

Kenneth Arthur Dodd: 1927 - 2018

Carole Nash Google Petition

New Musical Express is out of print

1954 500cc Triumph-Matchless chop

1,800 bike collection to be auctioned

Art Exhibition at Sammy Miller's

2018 Cardiff Classic Motorcycle Show

John Lennon's monkey bike: £57,500

One liners

This day in history

February 2018 Classic Bike News

Foscam Wireless Camera system

Pioneer Run eBook: now £2.99

Oxford Clamp On brake lever clip

One liners

2018 Curtiss Warhawk unveiled

Here's the latest bike scam attempt

George Beale appointed H&H director

Next Kickback Show 7-8th April 2018

"Alley Rat" - 2018 UK BOTK winner

One liners

Defeat the online scammers with Skype

Triumph Hurricane scammer alert

CCM Spitfire-based Bobber for 2018

Cafe Racer Dreams: 8 bikes stolen

Coys' Feb 2018 London Excel Auction

Thieves ransom Triumph Thunderbird

Harley-Davidson recalls 251,000 bikes

"Police biker" banker convicted

Bringsty Grand Prix Revival 2018

Two new Weise wax cotton jackets

Murderous solicitor is still on the books

£7k - £10k Triumph 'X-75 Hurricane'

Retro wireless GPS speedometer

"Anvil Motociclette...

2018 Triumph Speed Triples launched

Royal Enfield Flying Flea stolen

Brühl Twin Turbine Motorcycle Dryer

January 2018 Classic Bike News

Laser Power Bar Extension Wrench

One liners

Harley-Davidson quits Kansas City

Online traffic accident reporting plan

Silverstone Auctions February 2018

12th Annual Dania Beach Show

Black Lightning sells for $929,000

Online motorcycle scammer alert

One liners

AJS Tempest Scrambler for 2018

Charterhouse's February 2018 sale

Can anyone add info on this rider?

HJC FG-70s Aries Yellow helmet

One liners

Peter Wyngarde: 1927 (ish) - 2018

Death Machines of London - Airforce

Lancaster Insurance; reality check

One liners

"Fast" Eddie Clarke: 1950 - 2018

Bonhams' Las Vegas Sale reminder

Ban on credit/bank card charges

Sump news archive



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Tri-Supply has closed, permanently


Story snapshot:

1981 - 2022

Founder Oliver Barnes is retiring


Check the text on the image immediately above. It's pretty much all you need to know—but it's by no means the entire story. As with all (or at least most) business ventures, there are always tales within tales, commercial intrigues, trading highs & lows, and so on.


We can't tell you much more about the closure, except that it's connected to health issues, and it's not Sump's policy to delve too deeply into people's most personal lives. So we're accepting the news at face value—and with much regret. Tri-Supply's closure means that a wealth of knowledge is being dissipated.


Meanwhile, we're hoping that Oliver Barnes enjoys his retirement and looks back with fondness at what was a pretty significant commercial achievement that stayed the distance and kept a lot of folk mobile.


If you want to read a little more on Tri-Supply, some years back we created a small page. Just follow the link below.


Tri-Supply dealer feature


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Motorcycle Live 19th - 27th November 2022. £22 adult tickets (advanced)

Harry Dunn v Anne Sacoolas video-link trial. 27th October 2022. Old Bailey

2023 Tiernan calendar. £12 UK inc postage. Air ambulance benefits, note

Oxford Products donates two ex-NHS ambulances to Ukraine war effort

DVSA: disqualified MOT testers rise 2020 - 2022. Up 49% on 2018 - 2020


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47 years "stuck behind a sofa"


Story snapshot:

Ducati 999R to auction

Silverstone is the auctioneers


It's got just 47 miles on the clock and has been "stuck behind a sofa" in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. That's the story behind this 2006 Ducati 999R. If it isn't bad enough leaving a bike languishing in a living room for 16 years, this particular motorcycle was zipped up in soft bike cover where it couldn't be enjoyed, visually speaking.


No plinth. No spotlight. No nothing.


There ought to be a law against that kind of thing, but it's out of our hands. Regardless, the bike is going to be offered for sale on the 11th November 2022 at the NEC where Silverstone Auctions is expecting it to sell for £20,000 - £25,000. With 0 - 60mph in 3 seconds acceleration, and a top speed of 170mph, the bike is likely to be a fast seller (pun intended)—notwithstanding the huge waste of biking time being stuffed behind a sofa (if you want to look at it in that way). To paraphrase Matthew 8, verses 34 - 38: "For what shall it profit a man if he shall gaineth a lotta investment dosh, but loseth his own soul?" Know what we're getting at?


The auction will be held as part of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show which runs from 11th - 13th November 2022. But remember; the Duke goes under the hammer on the 11th. A V5C is present, and there are also old MOT certificates and various documentation. Additionally, we hear that the bike had a cam belt change and service in 2014.


Meanwhile, there's no word on whether or not the soft bike cover is part of the spoils.




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Forshaw Speedway Collection to sell


Story snapshot:

31 bikes to be auctioned

Bonhams will offer these machines at its autumn Stafford sale


After 25 or so years languishing in what is effectively a motorcycle mausoleum, the Forshaw Speedway Collection will go under the auctioneer's hammer on 15th & 16th October 2022.


So what is the Forshaw Collection? Well, it was founded by the late Richard Forshaw, an engineer and motoring enthusiast who was the son of Captain Ivan Forshaw (1911 - 2006); an ex-motorcycle racer who founded the well known Aston Martin specialist works operating out of Ferndown, Dorset.



The two lots anticipating the biggest money are a c1934 500cc OHV Crocker single (ex-Otto "Red" Rice) that's looking down the barrel of £100,000 - £150,000 ...



... and a c1927 350cc OHV Indian (also a single) looking at £90,000 - £130,000. Those numbers, of course, are the auction estimates.



Also on the sales platform are:


c.1930 Norton Speedway 490cc OHV Speedway, est: £14,000 – £18,000
c.1933 Martin-J.A.P. Special Speedway, est: £12,000 – £16,000
c.1930 Wallis-Blackburne 500cc Speedway, est: £10,000 – £15,000
c.1948 Langton-JAP 497cc OHV, est: £5,000 – £7,000
c.1965 Hagon-Cole 497cc JAP, est: £4,000 – £6,000
c.1977 Jawa-ERM 493cc DOHC, est: £3,000 – £5,000
c.1979 Rotrax-JAP 499cc DOHC Mark 2, est: £3,500 – £4,500


The collection, we're advised, includes various items of memorabilia and engines, etc. The total number of bikes is 31. The venue is the Bonhams Autumn Sale at Stafford.





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Gaydon's dedicated Daytona show


Story snapshot:

New exhibition focusses on the iconic raceway name

Event will run for at least six months


The British Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire has finally opened its umbrella wide enough to include motorcycles—at least as far as a dedicated exhibition is concerned. The new gathering of bikes is focussed squarely on the illustrious Daytona heritage which, when you think about it, has given more thrills to the biking world than, say, Bonneville ever did.


The Daytona International Speedway track in Florida, USA (as you might recall), has for 80 years been the home of the iconic "Daytona 200", a gruelling, hard-knocks, no-cissies-please combat arena more or less guaranteed to spill a lot of competition glory over the entrants. This was the place where, in 1966, Buddy Elmore famously trounced the 750cc Harley-Davidson hard cases by starting in lowly 46th place on a 500cc Triumph Tiger, and then powering home in first place. Following that, what the hell could Triumph (Meriden) do in celebration of that race-winning half-litre machine except hang the Daytona moniker on it?


Having therefore hammered the name Daytona firmly into the hearts and souls of red-blooded bikers worldwide, Hinckley Triumph has since been more than happy to pay homage/cash in on the heritage and has produced a range of mounts that have acquitted themselves most excellently on the streets and on the tracks.


Sixteen bikes from road and race will be under the spotlight, some of which are boasting provenance that visitors are invited to check out with due consideration.


We won't be attending this show.


Adult tickets are £14.50 in advance, or sixteen quid on the day. A family ticket is £40 advance, or £44 on the day. The exhibition, which opened in July this year (2022), will run through to 2023.




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August 2022





Romney Return [Romney Marsh Classic Motorcycle Bikejumble 11/9/22]

Bikes selling fastest in West Midlands

Peckham Scooter Service Centre closes [40 years in business]

Record breaking [Module 2] test numbers [67,511 Apr 2021/March 2022]


Rebels with a cause: Winners of Honda's custom competition announced

MotoFest returns! Coventry's brilliant weekend-long moto-festival is back

‘Smacks of the war on riders’ [plan to slash rural speed limits; 60 to 30mph]


Royal Enfield Scram 450 set to follow on from new 411

Is Vincent about to be revived by Indian giants Bajaj?

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 - Review (2022 – on)


Northamptonshire Police gain innovative new police bikes

New study confirms self-driving cars are not safe for bikers


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Frederick Howard Warr: 1929 - 2022


Story snapshot:

Harley-Davidson has lost one of its greatest lights

He was 93 years old


We were talking about Fred Warr recently, just the general kind of musings you engage in when discussing folk of a certain age who've pretty much dropped from sight—but not from memory. And now, with regret, we hear that long time Harley-Davidson man Fred died on 11th August 2022.


We knew him slightly. We used to visit his old shop just off the King's Road, Chelsea, London; a small premises in Waterford Road boasting no more than half a dozen bikes and littered with Harley-Davidson memorabilia. He was generally a busy man, always caught between jobs, but he was infinitely patient and willing to chat about all things H-D. And in that regard, as you might expect, he was a treasure trove of knowledge and insight.


He was born the youngest of three children to Captain Frederick James Warr and his wife, Margaret. His father was also a motorcycle dealer and operated a general repair shop. Fred naturally became involved in the business at grass roots level, and soon discovered a burgeoning passion for Milwaukee's most famous son.


Or daughter, if you prefer.


He left school at age 14, incidentally. His first job was as a messenger boy for Harrods. WW2 arrived at about that time, but he was too young to see active service. However, in 1947 he joined the Royal Air Force, two years ahead of UK National Service.



By 1949, with the hostilities out of the way, the business was in need of fresh impetus. Having been an official H-D dealership since the 1920s, it was perhaps natural that Warr's should take advantage of the surplus ex-WD WL750 V-twins then being demobbed. Suitable bikes were purchased, civilianised, and put on the market. Warr's Harley-Davidson soon developed something of a cult following.


But new motorcycles, due to post-war trading restrictions, weren't available. So, in the early 1950s, Fred junior travelled to the USA, redeveloped stronger bonds with H-D and began lobbying the British and American governments for special dispensation to trade in new bikes. The effort paid dividends, and in 1956 the first new Harley-Davidsons since the war arrived on British shores just in time for the swinging sixties. Both new and used machines were soon being bought and ridden by celebs, fashionistas, and plenty of other folk who could afford the asking price. They also became an increasingly familiar sight on the movie screens.


But the rockers of the era were less likely to be seen on American iron—not that Harley-Davidsons weren't considered attractive. It was more that they were just so expensive; almost double the price of the top of the range UK domestic motorcycles. Nevertheless, the cash till kept ringing, and as if to consolidate Warr's grip on the UK H-D scene, in 1960 Fred became the official UK concessionaire for the company. But it would be some time before the brand was exactly a household name on these shores. In fact, many bikers in the English shires, and further afield, had never even seen an H-D in the wild let alone ridden one.


Fred, who had been at the helm since the mid-1950s, had married Margaret Ann Humphries (aka Rita) in 1955. Two years later their first of five children was born. And throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the business generally grew and prospered (albeit through some lean times).



By 1986, at the relatively young age of 57, Fred semi-retired and began handing over the reigns to son, John—who still occupies the hottest seat in the business. Having relocated to a nearby new premises, Warr's Harley-Davidson is the premier dealership not only in the UK, but in Europe. The firm also occupies another Warr's dealership in Mottingham, South London.


Fred's son, William, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2003. And at about that time, Fred's health began to deteriorate. But he stayed involved in the business, albeit in a low-key way and was always on hand to offer help and information.


How will he be remembered? Well, as an affable man, 100% loyal to the H-D brand; as a trusted motorcycle dealer; as a skilled rider; as a good businessman; as a great Harley-Davidson mechanic; and as a much loved family man.


He was 93 years old.





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MAG slaps down the Essex coppers


Story snapshot:

Filtering in traffic is the thorny subject

MAG, unsurprisingly, offers a dodgy response


The Motorcycle Action Group has, it seems, managed to persuade the Essex Police to take down a highly controversial post on its website. The post, as you'll see below, is part of the Essex rozzers' Summer Road Safety campaign. It warns that smaller vehicles (i.e. bikes), when filtering between traffic lanes, might be largely invisible to stationary cars and lorries. The post then drives home the unequivocal message that "Filtering is dangerous."


That suggestion has, predictably, got MAG (and a lot of other motorcyclists) pretty aerated. Consequently, following numerous complaints, the outcry has pressured the cops into retracting the post.


All hail the power of direct action and activism, etc, never mind that the Essex Police (no friends of ours, note) are perfectly right. Filtering is dangerous. That's the long and short of it (or is that the left and right of it?). Filtering between lanes of traffic is dangerous. And this isn't the Essex Police talking, this is us with hundreds of thousands of miles of motorcycling in various parts of the world and with long experience of despatch riding, road-testing, commuting, joyriding and generally mucking around on two wheels. Filtering is dangerous, and denying it isn't going to help or convince anyone with even half a working brain that it's a safe practice.



All motoring and motorcycling is, after all, based upon predictable behaviour. You do what you do because you're trained and conditioned to expect certain causes and effects and responses. In other words, when everyone obeys the rules, the system works. Except that everyone obeys the rules only most of the time, and not all the time.


Therefore, if you weave or straight-line between queues of vehicles, sooner or later someone is going to abruptly switch lanes without indicating, or will suddenly open a door, or will eject an object of some kind, or will let the family Alsation rear up at the window and give you a fright, or will take umbrage at your greater mobility and get out and give you a thump—and any of this will possibly flip you off the bike and cause you some damage or hurt. Okay, at slower speeds it will probably result in not more than a tumble and a few aches and sprains. But at only slightly higher speeds it might result in a broken bone, or a whiplash injury, or worse.  Or you could end up hitting a stray pedestrian. Or animal.


How do we know? Because we've directly experienced all of this—and we've had our share of idiots on motorcycles too suddenly appear between cars or vans and run into us.


If you want to obviate the risk of getting hit, hurt or killed between lines of stationary or slow moving traffic, just don't do it. Alternately, weigh up the risks, as you best perceive them, listen to a range of advice, think about it for a bit, and then do what you have to do.


However, the Motorcycle Action Group, in telling all and sundry that filtering is safe, is actually doing some riders a huge disservice. Why? Because some riders genuinely don't have the skills to weave and lane-split. Their reaction times are slower than normal. Their peripheral vision is narrower. Their general observational skills are poorer. Their ability to predict and reason is less than ideal. Therefore, telling these guys (and gals) that filtering is inherently safe is itself dangerous.


And yes, you might (or might not) argue that anyone who doesn't have top notch riding skills shouldn't be on a bike in the first place. But that's another argument—and one that, if strictly applied via a more stringent test, would effectively exclude a huge part of the motorcycling community.


Better to simply accept that all motoring, and practically all human activity, carries danger with it. And once you accept that fact, you can then start apportioning the level of risk and respond accordingly.



Meanwhile, let's not forget that many of us, if not most of us, were largely attracted to motorcycling because of the attendant risk, hence the death and glory lifestyle, the skulls and the crossbones, the black leather, the high speed antics, the parading of our battle scars. And so on.


If MAG really wants to do biking a service, it needs to focus its attention on making car drivers and truck drivers more aware of the dangers inherent in their own modes of transport rather than try to maintain the perfidious pretence that biking, in any form, is safe. It's not. It's only a question of degrees of dangerous. And in that regard, motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike need to drive home the message to the police, the government, the do-gooders and all the other doctrinarians that personal safety for adults should always be a matter of free choice—provided that that choice doesn't impact others.


No pun intended.


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Dennis Waterman: 1948 - 2022


Story snapshot:

Co-star of The Sweeney and Minder has died

He was 74 years old


We're way behind with this small obit to British actor Dennis Waterman. He died in May this year (2022), but we've only just got around to writing a few words about his colourful and memorable life. Why? Because it's been a very busy year. It's as simple as that. We've been up to our ears in garage stuff and riding stuff and personal stuff. But we nevertheless want to mark his death, so stay with us if you're interested.


Best known for his TV roles in The Sweeney as Detective Sergeant George Carter, and as bodyguard/gofer Terry McCann in Minder, Dennis Waterman also found renewed fame as "ageing" criminal investigator Gerry Standing in the series New Tricks. But his acting career started way before all this in the movie Night Train For Inverness (1960). Easily recognisable, he was twelve years old and showed a lot of promise as a child actor, so much so that the following year he was picked to star in the Adelphi's Theatre production of The Music Man (which US actor Robert Preston, you might recall, made his own in the film of the same name).


If you were brought up on Richmal Crompton's Just William novels (and you might not want to admit to that), you'll perhaps remember Dennis Waterman as a 14 year old starring as (11 year old) William Brown in the BBC TV series about a precocious schoolboy and his unlikely adventures. The following year he took the lead role in Lionel Bart's Oliver!


By 1968, having consolidated his skills as an actor in numerous stage and movie productions, he took a major role in the now classic movie Up The Junction which also starred Suzy Kendall (with music by Manfred Mann, fact fiends).


Throughout the seventies Waterman was popping up in everything from Hammer (Horror) films to TV plays to Royal Shakespeare Company productions. He also found time to record the theme song to Minder; I Could Be So Good For You which did very well in the Australia pop charts and made number four. Beyond that, he recorded three albums and twelve singles (none of which will rattle Elvis's bones very much).


By the 1990s, having scored numerous parts in comedy and drama he was appearing in The Knock, a TV series about H.M Customs & Excise and their investigative shenanigans.



Whatever else you might think of Dennis Waterman, and there were one or two more controversial aspects to his life (which we're not going to dredge, largely because it's largely tittle-tattle, you'll perhaps agree that he was always a notable presence on the screen, a reliable performer, and he took professional chances in extending his versatility.


Dennis Waterman was born in Clapham, London. He came from a large, working class family and at an early age became interested in boxing and joined a local club. Boxing was a skill/talent that popped up repeatedly during Waterman's professional career helping to underscore his tough guy image.


He married four times and fathered two daughters (one of them actress Hannah Waterman who currently stars in the TV series EastEnders).



▲ Confession time. We remembered a Barbour advert from the 80s or 90s showing Dennis Waterman perched on a Hesketh V1000, but we couldn't find a good image. So we created one. It ain't great, but you gotta take what you can get in this world. Meanwhile, in case you were wondering, Waterman does have a fairly strong connection to motorcycles and scooters on and off screen. So he's "one of the tribe", etc. But does it matter? Not to us.



How people remember Dennis Waterman is likely to be greatly influenced by whatever generation they belonged to. But for us, the character of George Carter in The Sweeney is the high point—which isn't to say that his career went downhill from then onward (although you can look at it that way if you must). It's just that The Sweeney was so right for its time, and the interplay between John Thaw as Detective Inspector Jack Reagan was, and is, great TV perfectly produced and directed. Other parts Waterman played didn't quite have that Sweeney magic—not through any obvious fault of his. He was quite simply a great British actor who will be missed.


Dennis Waterman was 74


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July 2022



H&H NMM July 2022 auction results


Story snapshot:

86% sell-through rate

Vincents top the sales


H&H Classic Auctions is claiming a sell-through rate of 86% for its National Motorcycle Museum sale held on 20th July 2022 at Solihull, Birmingham. The top selling lot was the immediately above 1953 Vincent Black Shadow which returned £63,250. The bike, which was restored 12 years ago from "large lumps" and requires recommissioning, was one of three Vincents at the auction.


The other two Vincents were, respectively, a 1947 Series B Rapide which sold for £51,750 and another Black Shadow which sold for £41,400.



Of extra special interest was the immediately above 850cc five cylinder Kawasaki built by the inimitable motorcycle engineer Allen Millyard. Fabricated from two 500cc 1976 KH500 triples, Allen hacksawed the engine cases, waved a magic wand, and re-joined the cases with five inline cylinder bores instead of the usual three. The crank was suitably reconceived with a 1-5-2-4-3 firing interval. The gearbox shaft was also extended. The oiling arrangement was modified, and ... well, the whole thing was thrown back together.




Okay. Hardly. Allen created a motorcycle that Kawasaki itself would be hard to deny the manufacture of. And just to prove that it was no fluke, there are two others just like it motoring around somewhere on the planet.


Allen made the exhaust system, incidentally, by snipping steel and hammering the components around scaffold tubing (and probably whatever else came to hand). And if you known anything about Allen, a regular face on TV these days we note, you'll know that he does much of his work "by eye" whilst employing lots of feel. But given the visual and technical quality of his work, we're pretty sure that a vernier gauge and a micrometer was involved somewhere.


The bike—known as the KH-Five—finally sold for £47,150.



Another lot of interest was the immediately above 1941 Norton Big 4 which sold for £27,600. Fully restored with lavish attention given to period detail (including a gas mask and a rifle). Of the 100,000 or so Norton motorcycles sold to the military before and during WW2, 4,700 were Big 4s.

Overall, it certainly looks as if H&H did okay at this sale. There were no huge financial shocks, and classic bike prices appear to be reasonably steady. There were a lot of scooters, however, and we're not really au fait with scooter values. So we can't comment on that.


The next H&H motorcycle sale will be on Wednesday 7th December 2022. That will also be at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, Brum.




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No bikes at Brighton for 2022


Story snapshot:

Cancelled for a second year

Paint (again) seems to be the problem


There's no need for us to labour the entire story here. You can get most of that by following the link below. Suffice to say that the 2022 Brighton Speed Trials is off the menu as far as motorcycles are concerned. It's the second year running that this has happened.




Because, we're told, there's an ongoing concern about marking paint on the "track" (i.e. Madeira Drive) that, it's feared, will cause problems for speeding two wheelers transitioning from ordinary tarmac to paint to tarmac. Furthermore, it's whispered, the Brighton and Hove Council had promised to provide technical data regarding the paint to enable tests to be done, or questions to be resolved, or whatever.


But the data has not been forthcoming, so the organisers of the trials have canned the whole thing for another season. The cars will still be running, mind. So it's not a complete loss for "petrolheads". But the bikes are going nowhere.




The date was to be Saturday 3rd September 2022, incidentally; the day before the Brighton Burn Up.


The Brighton Speed Trials is considered by some to be the longest running motorsport event in the world (dating to 1905). True or false, it's not boding well for the future.


They say that there's no progress without friction. Well, this Brighton fiasco certainly seems to underline that assertion.


2021 Brighton Speed Trials: No bikes




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