Two wheels and an engine — 9 Comments

  1. Apart from getting mobile a year earlier, I never saw the attraction of motorbikes – any vehicle which wants to fall over if it stops seems to have a fundamental flaw.

    My starter-car was a 1958 Wolseley 1500, a wreck that I bought for £10, but I learnt/saved a fortune in car maintenance from making that into a goer.  In the 50+ years between then and now, driven everything from HGVs to a Rolls-Royce (similar really).  More than a million road-miles later, I still get a kick every time I drive anything with an even number of wheels greater than two.  It's called freedom.

    • If driving a car is like flying a Cessna then a motorbike is like flying a Tiger Moth [or compare a racing yacht to a cabin cruiser].  In a car you see and hear your journey but on a bike you feel it.

    • What excellent photos!

      I'm from Langport (in the middle of Somerset) and had never seen those before.

    • Some more photos [very small as they were taken on a small Kodak box camera].

      There was a side passageway which isn't shown in any of the photos.  The passage ended in a steep drop to a river.  The bike was parked across the drop and somehow didn't fall over.  It just acted as a dam and collected a mountain of mud and rocks.  It was a miracle it didn't wash into the river and a bigger miracle that it was effectively undamaged.

      • Dear Grandad

        Interesting story.

        You captured both the VX 4/90 (maybe) and the Lion Rock Snack Bar in one photo!

        Interesting that the Cheddar event was in July. I went down to sunny Guildford to study Business Studies after failing miserably at Engineering (Mum: why don't you do Business Studies instead of Engineering? Because Dad is an Engineer (obviously). Moral: always listen to your Mum.)

        Guildford had it's Great Flood the same year – 1968 – but in September. I arrived in 1972 after taking 3 years to fail a degree in Engineering and at the recommendation of a university friend who was teaching on the course. My interview with the Principal was approximately: He: You are grossly overqualified for this course. Would you like to do it? Me: Yes. He: OK, you're on. I travelled 234 miles* for that. Each way.

        St Nick's Church at the bottom of the High Street had the tide mark from the flood for years afterwards. It also had a plaque showing the High Water Mark. Then they cleaned the building, so it was lucky they had the plaque.

        St Nick's is bottom centre right.

        Hmmm. It's amazing what you find when you look, even if you aren't looking for it in particular:


        * By road. It's further by rail.


        • Floods like that are something you never forget.  I now feel utmost sympathy for anyone who suffers from flooding.  I know just how destructive it can be.

          Incidentally, I forgot to mention – that car that's submerged in the photograph belonged to Millard the manager of the complex.  The photo was taken the following day when the water had subsided a bit!  At the height of the flood it was completely submerged.

          • Dear Grandad

            P = half rho v squared* – p is pressure, rho is density, v is velocity. That's the pressure from flowing fluids. As v increases pressure goes up by the square. Double the velocity and pressure quadruples.

            Stay away from fast moving water. Add sand, gravel, small rocks, rocks, small boulders, boulders and cars and things only get worse. It is not uncommon to not find the body of anyone swept away by a raging torrent: there isn't anything to find.


            * three years not entirely wasted.

      • Dear Grandad

        Your photo referred to above is cheddar1; cheddar4 shows 2(!) vehicles in the entrance to the caves. The second vehicle is not obvious in the 9th photo from Looks to me that the bonnet of the second vehicle is just discernable beyond the bonnet of the first, between the photo booth and the windscreen. The 'parking' seems too cosy to be intentional.

        Three figures are reflected in the front passenger window – do you recognise Yourself?

        Streetview shows almost the same perspective as the old photo, which appears to have been taken from the small window above the 'toilets' sign or the entrance to the left in the building opposite.


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