Rob Edwards’ – Bits n’ Bobs

More Bit’s n’ Bobs!1968 SSDT - Hutchinson

Rob Edwards (centre) with Brian Hutchinson (right) at the Scottish in 1968, showing what every discerning trials rider wore under their Barbour suit back then!

– I recently noticed a comment from a fellow Thornaby lad, Ian Instone. Ian remembers me as being a good friend to his late father in law Jack Russell.
Jack had a small Motor Cycle Shop in Thornaby, the like of which we will never see again.
He was a main agent for Villiers engine parts.
If it was a motorbike a lawnmower or concrete mixer or whatever Jack could fix it or supply the necessary spares.
I cycled past Jacks shop everyday on my way to Head Wrightsons where I was an apprentice.
We became great pals and the friendship lasted for years. Many people will remember seeing him around Thornaby on his motorbike and sidecar.
The sidecar had been removed and its chassis had been adapted to carry a motorcycle or anything that had been dumped that he could make a few shillings from.
My first bike was a 197cc Dot and I desperately wanted a longer throttle cable.When I turned the handlebars from lock to lock the engine revs went up and down, but finances couldn’t stretch to a longer cable.
One evening I was on my way home from work and I called in for a chat with Jack. He gave me a bag and when I looked inside,yes it was an extra long throttle cable.
“You can pay me for it when you have finished your apprenticeship”. – “Now in the meantime off you go and get some Trials won!”
Jack built a Motorcycle especially for speed events on Pendine Sands in Wales.
The cylinder liner was a piece of cast iron drainpipe that he machined to size in his lathe.
The bike was considered a bit of a joke but he set a time at Pendine sands that wasn’t beaten for years.
He was probably what we might call eccentric today and I am proud to say that we were friends.
Thanks to Ian for jogging my memory. – Rob

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