Monday, 25 July 2011

FACTUAL REVIEW: British Motorcycles of the 1940's and 50's - Mick Walker

Release Date: 10/10/10


After VE Day in 1945 the British population returned enthusiastically to the road. But the cost and availability of both vehicles and fuel led to the post-war scene being dominated by motorcycles, most of them ex-military machines, eagerly snapped up for everyday use in an age when a family car remained just a dream for many. British industry, meanwhile, was exhorted to ‘export or die’, and until well into the 1950s the majority of new British bikes were sold abroad. During this period, the industry – the largest and most important in the world – continued to develop new and exciting machines. Mick Walker tells the story of the British post-war motorcycle during this golden age of the industry. With the help of archive photographs and advertising material this book conjures up a lost age of the British bike, of journeys to work by popping two-strokes, and trips to the seaside in the family motorcycle combination.


For years I’ve heard stories about my father’s motorcycling years especially tales about his Viper and the fun that he had on the roads of the 60’s. Yet not really knowing much about the British Motorcycle industry I wasn’t really that aware of how popular they either were or the sheer choice available. (Yes I was more than aware of the Norton series but that’s about it.)

In this book by Mick Walker you get to see the development of these classic machines as well as discover a whole lot more than many will be familiar with. All in this title is an ideal gift for people of a certain age to reminisce about these classic machines and I know my father will appreciate this as I saw him staring fondly at some of these classics at a Bike Show not that long ago. Just be aware that you may well lose the giftee for a few hours into their fond memories.

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