The fiercely independent motorcycle explorer was no stranger to long motorcycle trips, having, in 1935, ridden from London to Cape Town on Panther and sidecar, pulling a trailer. Accompanied by Florence Blenkiron, the journey is documented in a book, The Rugged Road.
She was one of only three ladies to earn a Brooklands Gold Star, riding a Francis Beart tuned 350cc ‘cammy’ Norton in 1939, then during the war served as a dispatch rider.
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After a spell working for Lagonda, she decided she needed a new adventure and set off for America in July 1947. Meeting her Norton there – it went by ship, she by air – she took just the bare essentials and spent the entire two and a half years ‘living off the back’ of her Norton.
On return, she rode her Inter – registration number HOF 260 – to Norton’s workshop and was presented with a new machine. Soon, bored of austere Britain, she returned to America, opening a motorcycle shop and then motorcycle training schools, on the back of her book, Easy Motorcycle Riding.
She wrote a further book (Motorcycling for Business and Pleasure) as well as The Rugged Road, but the memoirs of her ‘International’; trek were never written, She died on her 90th birthday, on April 30, 1998.