Recommended reads

Although some of us may be able to start getting out and about for a few rides, there’s no likelihood of big congregations or events anytime soon. To keep you entertained, here’s a bit more suggested reading.

The Scott Motorcycle

When I was at primary school, we were instructed to choose a book to read at home, with a parent – I chose Jeff Clew’s book about Scotts, subtitled The Yowling Two-stroke. Oh, how I’m sure my mother couldn’t wait for those evening reading sessions…


I’ve had cause to revisit the book several times of late – the feature on my dad’s Scott in the August issue, the tale in this number about Billy Moore, plus a few other bits and pieces – and have found myself once again getting drawn into ‘Scott world’ and, once again, rereading the book.

The book is a fairly straightforward account of the quirky Yorkshire company; genius designer and engineer Alfred Angas Scott and his forward-thinking motorcycles.

Scotts, especially before the First World War, were, really, in a class of their own, as witnessed by victories in the 1912 and 1913 Senior TTs, the second by virtue of Tim Wood; Tim not being short for Timothy but ‘Timber’ as that was the name given to Wood at Bradford technical college to distinguish him from his old boy brother, known as Splinters! I’ll always remember that detail.


Lots of the famous names of Scott feature in the book – Frank Applebee (1912 Senior TT winner), Frank Philipp, Harry Langman and the Langtons, Allan Jefferies, Clarrie Wood, Tommy Hatch, Frank Varey, Allan Jefferies, A E Reynolds, Noel Mavrogordato, Tom Ward… right through to Ossie Neal, Clive Waye and Chris Williams.

The Scott is unlike any other motorcycle; that much is true. Allan Jefferies – writing the foreword, in July 1974 – records: “For thousands of motorcyclists during 65 years there has been a kind of love/hate for this unique marque… One minute you could be gliding along in transcendental bliss and in a flash the two-speeder’s high gear chain would snap…”

And that, in a nutshell, is the world of Scotts. It attracts devotees like few other marques. The book gives an insight into this quirky, special, quite odd world. £25 on Amazon.


James Robinson.

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features at and in the November 2020 issue of The Classic Motorcycle – on sale now!


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