By: Web Editor
My best friend Graham Oughton, who sadly did not survive his teens, worked for a month or so at the well-known Waters ‘all brands’ (of fuel) service station on the old A1 at Hatfield. This must have been late in 1960. I very clearly recall him telling me about an extraordinary machine which pulled in for fuel one evening. It featured two Norton single-cylinder engines, side by side. The rider told Graham, in response to his animated questioning, that the performance was not much more than might be expected from a standard single, but this resonates with your article in respect of the builder’s possible reluctance to “let it rip”. I had thought that Graham told me the engines were Norton International items but after half a century, it is probably my recollection at fault. A pair of cammy motors might well have been a step too far for an engineer even of Bob’s calibre.
It is perhaps possible that Graham’s encounter was with a different machine but surely there can’t be two out there?
In his brief riding career, Graham had a 500cc Rudge Special, a Scott 600cc Clubman’s Special and a Brough Superior all-aluminium side valve, which came from Markhouse Motorcycles (East London?) for £45. While out on the Scott one evening, Graham stopped for some adjustments and a passing rider, Norton-mounted, stopped to ask if he needed assistance. They conversed for some minutes and the rider introduced himself as John White, saying: “I used to race.” This, of course, was the redoubtable ‘Crasher’ White and the meeting place was indeed Radlett, Herts, where Crasher lived.
Great memories, again evoked by the unfailing breadth of subject in your fine journal.
Charles Cleghorn, via email
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Current Issue: June 2016
Triumph T-Bird: TR6 Twin
1920s Sporting OHV Single: Rare new Hudson
Rich pedigree: Velocette racer on the road
Making dreams come true: Riding day at the National Motorcycle Museum
PLUS: Matchless pair of military singles; Barry Briggs interview; Cotton Blackburne; The Pioneer Run; Cult of the black leather jacket
• Next issue on sale: June 3, 2016