Writing under the Radco pseudonym, every topic was covered by Frank in the series, from lathework to home painting and plating.
His wise words and straightforward advice were soon collated into what has become a standard reference work The Vintage Motorcyclists’ Workshop first published in 1986. Reprinted five times, copies of Frank’s bible for the amateur restorer now change hands for inflated sums.
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Frank also wrote technical articles for The Classic Motorcycle. In the 1990s his Autojumble Hunter series helped many a reader spot the bargains among the dross. Buying tools was a Farrington forte. “For motorcycle restoration work you can’t beat a good set of combination spanners,” he wrote. How true.
When Alan Whitehead held his first classic motorcycle show in 1980, Frank was the obvious choice to judge the concours – a role he immersed himself in for the next 25 years; from the early days at Manchester’s Belle Vue to the present world renowed event at the Stafford County Showground.
Frank owned and restored many vintage motorcycles but was best known for his 1926 Norton – TT Hughes sidecar outfit, campaigned at VMCC events in the late 1950s. A supportive vehicle licensing office manager allocated the outfit a distinctive – and what today would be an immensely valuable – registration mark, B 49. Over in the Island for the VMCC’s TT Rally, the Norton’s bottom end developed an ominous rattle. Frank recalled Francis Beart appearing from nowhere and diagnosing that the Norton’s drive side main bearing was about to fail. “No doubt about it, I hope it gets you home,” said the legendary Norton tuner, shaking Frank’s hand. It did.