2 August 2013
I wondered if your knowledgeable staff or even more knowledgeable readers may be able to throw a little light on an intriguing piece I spotted in our local nostalgia publication The Bugle recently,

It was about motorcycle polo. Does anyone know anything about this sport?

In the same article, other trophies (all from the Wolverhampton Motor Cycle Club) are described and the names Geo Rowley, Tommy Deadman and Vic Brittain are mentioned and are instantly familiar – some of the others, less so!

I was a one-time member of the Wolverhampton Club, but not until 1950, when George Rowley was president.

Another question you may have the answer to and which has stumped everyone I have asked, is, why were 500cc car-racers able to purchase brand new Manx Nortons in the 1950s and 60s, when we were led to believe an annual production of only 50 or so machines would only be allocated to riders of international, or at least national reputation, with some top men having to wait in the queue?

I always understood that Joe Craig would not sell Manx Engines separately, so complete machines only were sold, which indirectly led to the growth in Featherbed Norton hybrids, as the car racers had no use for the frames, and were selling them off relatively cheaply. I myself remember being offered a brand new rolling chassis at a ridiculous price in the 1950s – unfortunately, I still couldn’t afford it!

So, the question is, how were non motorcycling names able to jump the queue, and create a shortage of equipment for genuine riders who were trying to bring success and publicity to Norton Motors? I’m sure someone out there has the definitive answer.

And finally, thanks to my daughter-in-law for my annual subscription/birthday gift!

Bob Bartlett, West Midlands

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