Most of us can remember approximately when we bought a particular motorbike, although the memory tends to become vague after a while, and can be totally lost as the years roll on. But you might well be surprised to hear Ian Thorogood confidently say: “Oh yes, I bought it at 2.30pm on Saturday May 24, 1969.” But then again he might be in trouble if he forgot the date and time, because the transaction actually took place during his wedding! “We were lined up for the photographs,” he recalls, “when my cousin John, who was standing beside me as my best man, mentioned he was selling his Norton and we did the deal there and then!”
Many of us also forget exactly how much we paid for a bike, but Ian naturally remembers the 10-year-old Norton only cost the princely sum of £15. It was money well spent as it faithfully performed everyday work and leisure duties for the next six years, during which period the only problem was when the top of the piston bizarrely parted company with its skirt. No damage was done – a testimony to simple engines with plenty of clearance between the moving parts – and a new piston saw the Model 50 plodding away again.