Editor’s Welcome

Firstly, an apology. Last month’s museum guide managed to relocate a number of museums, though of course they hadn’t actually been relocated, it’s just our amateur cartographers managed to muddle where each one should have been. Sorry for any confusion caused – and the guide is in again this month, on pages 74-75, with places back to where they should be.

Last month’s loosely themed ‘working motorcycles’ issue has brought lots of correspondence, reminiscing, points and themes for discussion.

Thank you to all who’ve contacted me and apologies if your letters have not appeared – our (mainly electronic) post bag is overflowing and we could’ve filled six pages with letters this issue, I’m quite sure. We’ll give over a bit more space next month, as there’s some great stuff that we’ve not been able to use as yet.

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Among the interesting points raised was my being taken to task – gently – about my assertion that motorcycling became a leisure activity in the 1960s.

What has been quite correctly pointed out was that it started out very much as such, with well-heeled gentlemen (and ladies) the earliest adopters of the new form of transport, simply as they were the ones who could afford it.

It was only after the First World War those of lesser financial advantage were able to – possibly – afford to enjoy mechanically powered transport.

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The world of 1919 must have been fascinating, as in so many ways it marks the start of the ‘modern’ world, certainly in a mechanised manner.

People who would have never, pre-1914, have left their villages let alone gone abroad now had, while they also had the opportunity to learn to drive – and ride motorcycles, things that for the most part were restricted to the so-called upper echelons of society. I’d argue that the idea ‘anyone’ could have a car or motorcycle started then.

So in that post-First World War marketplace, there was a raft of manufacturers, some that thrived, many that didn’t. Lots went down the conventional route (so you’d buy say a JAP engine, Albion gearbox, Druid forks etc) while some ploughed their own furrow. Which brings us on to Neracar, as featured on our YWA pages (86-87) this issue.

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That led me to dig through my photos at home, coming across this one (above) – my brother (think that was the last time he was pillion with me ‘riding’) and I on our dad’s friend Albert’s Neracar, 30-plus years ago.

I remember steering it round Albert’s garden, and ever since I’ve been a bit fascinated with them…
Anyway, enjoy the issue, and hope to see you at Stafford!

James Robinson
Editor

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