A brief chat with… Ron Langston


An oft-used and overused term in motorcycle sport is ‘all-rounder.’ However, it does fit Ronald John Langston quite well – and in his case, it could be prefixed with ‘successful’ too.

Words: TIM BRITTON Photographs: TIM BRITTON AND MORTONS ARCHIVE

For someone so associated with Gloucestershire, it was a surprise to learn Ron Langston was born in Warwickshire.

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“But I’ve been in Gloucestershire for 80 years,” grins the former British sidecar trials champion.

We’re in his workshop where he is proudly showing off his latest creation, an Ariel Square Four in a swinging arm frame.

“Ariel never made a production swinging arm Square Four, there were a couple of prototypes, and it’s a great shame they never made it to the range, as they’re a lovely motorcycle to ride.”

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It was clear talking to him he is most happy when discussing the ins and outs of the work involved in creating rather special Squariels or resurrecting another classic, than his achievements in the sporting world.

Ron Langston hard at work, but clearly enjoying it, as he restores one of his favourite Ariel Square Fours.

In common with many of his generation, Mr Langston stresses the enjoyment he’s had from his motorcycling life and modestly plays down the successes, as he hustles the conversation on to other subjects.

These successes have come in a wide variety of motorcycle sport; trials riding – he was in the Ariel team with Miller and Blakeway – and multi British sidecar trials champion, then there’s scrambling, ISDT (gold medallist) and a bit of road racing too… but we had to pin him down and ask a few questions.

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Read more and view more images in the November 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!

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