Classic Camera: Up Helvellyn by motorcycle – September 1913


Raymond Drinkall on his Quadrant

Drinkall did it too, though he was behind collaborator W B Little, on a 3½hp Premier. The Motor Cycle’s credited correspondent George D Abraham (author of Motor Ways in Lakeland, The Complete Mountaineer, Mountain Adventures at Home and Abroad) said: "In the North motor mountaineering has become a craze.”

The intrepid duo’s effort wasn’t without drama, the most serious being when “… in leaping one of the turfy steps the crankcase had most unluckily alighted on a solid bit of rock and come off second best. A hole as big as half-a-crown proved to be the result, and a temporary repair with sticking plaster and string was the outcome of much ingenuity”.

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The ‘patching up’ held and allowed Drinkall to join his pal at the top. But there was more to it: “Drinkall was half an hour behind, but even this was an altogether unique performance, for the temporary repair of the crankcase had broken away and each charge of oil simply lubricated Helvellyn instead of the engine. Yet machine and man had come through scathless. Why that engine refused to seize must remain a mystery.” bike

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