John Rosamond at Birmingham & Wolves

John paid us a visit recently to present a talk about the Meriden Workers’ Co-op.  John started at Meriden as a welder just about the time of the introduction of the the new p39 oil in frame, and later returned to Meriden in 1977 and ended up as the the Chairman until the closure in 1983.

John’s book “Save the Triumph Bonneville” is about that time.  This  is a very detailed account of all that went on and is compiled from minutes of meetings and actual correspondence and not just vague memories.  If you have a strong interest of that piece of history, then this book is essential for your collection because these are the facts.


John Rosamond presenting his book to Alan at the 44 club



This was our stand at Stafford seen here with Dave, Jan and Ken.  The two bikes on the raised stands seemed to attract the most attention with some very detailed photographs taken.  They were a Tiger 100 and a Speed Twin.  Also on the stand was the winner of the Classic catagory being the Trophy 250.  This attracted the attention of the judges because of it being a restoration on a bike not seen so often.


This was 1st in Classic, belonging to Patrick Edgell.  It took three years to restore to the best available standard after being purchased as a “pile of bits”

Congratulations Patrick

Finally, who is the mystery guest?


Visiting Winstanstow


Alan, Gary,Tim,George and Jeff just waiting for any late arrivals before setting off for the Classic Bike Show at Winstanstow, with me and the Tiger behind the camera.  Despite looking fine in the photo, it was not long before some blustery showers caught us up, but as usual the show was generally well attended with as much interest on the car park as in the rather small hall.  In fact a good example of the customisers art, as seen in the car park, can be seen in the following picture

004    This bike was built and belongs to Dave Mead one of our members. Very nice

Chairman Ken on his travels

Aberfeldy 053

Ken seen here with Pete Elmore at the Malcolm Uphill pub/ restaurant in Caerphilly.

Malcolm Uphill came from Caerphilly and in 1969 won the Thruxton 500 with Percy Tait and was of course the first man to lap the TT course at 100mph on a production racer – the 650 Bonneville. There is now a plaque laid in Caerphilly in his honour




IMG_2169 IMG_2174 IMG_2188 IMG_2189 IMG_2190

The show ran from the 15th  – 17th November.  As usual organised by Allen Broad who had collected together 21 bikes for the stand from all decades ranging from Edwardian 3 horse power to the prestine, everyday bikes and specials.  Allen bought along his Hurricane seen in the photo.  The stand was manned by volunteers from various branches throughout the show including our own Bert as seen in the photos, there every day before the doors opened.  This year was a bit different as the bike show was within the car show with what seemed to be less bike organisations invited.   It did mean that a lot of car enthusiasts passing by (assisted by the vain attempts of the show organisers to segregate them as there were different ticket prices ) got to see the bikes and many fond memories were stirred.

A number of new members were recruited and much advise given to visitors to the stand often whilst they were perusing the merchandise on sale.  The organisers think that the previous format may have been better so we may be back to a separate and bigger bike show in an adjoining hall for 2014

words Alan Bromwich




Left to right   –  my own Tiger 800 road, Andrew’s Sprint RS, Dave’s Rocket 3, Tim’s Legend, Martin’s 3TA and Bert’s Tiger Cub.

The bikes on show represent what the club is all about now, ie Hinckleys, specials and Meridens.  This year to gain entrance we were not allowed to use the front gates but directed to an entrance to a field and asked to follow a muddy track, traders and rider exhibitors alike.  Some people were not happy about that.  One of us was then asked to push his bike across the hard standing area to the main hall.  Not good as it is too far to push a heavy bike.  There was a fair amount of interest in all of our machines with visitors asking all kinds of questions and as always it’s nice to bump into old friends and aquaintances.




Recommended read

TEST RIDER  –  by Julian Amos

This will interest anyone who wants to see how Triumphs are tested and developed prior to production.  Available from Amazon by download it is well worth a read.

Very highly recommended

Also from Julian’s own website at is a journal of his 6000 mile ride through Europe on a tiger 800 before the official launch.  A must for Tiger owners or indeed potential owners


Everyone knows a local hero, ours is Bert.  His name is Owen, why we call him Bert I have no idea, but we do.  He is held in the highest regard in our club.  He is the King of the Speed Twin.  Bert shows his bike locally and nationwide, but more importantly in our eyes, he rides it sometimes with our club and for longer runs with the VMCC.  He helps enormously in organising our shows and is always ready with any advice required, or indeed a sharp wit if you deserve it.


The man himself.

We had the usual get together last Tuesday and to mark Bert’s rather special birthday arranged a cake.  In he walks, takes it all in and says ” I’ve a confession to make – I’m only 79 (silence) until Thursday” – ripple of laughter.  That’s Bert.



Some of the rest of the crew with our mate Bert.

Take the lesson home friends – riding a bike keeps you young and healthy

Addition to the garage

For some time I’ve been thinking about buying a Meriden, but which one?  The best looking bike ever made(my opinion of course) was the 650 twin from the late 60’s.  Aquiring one however does need the immediate presence of a serious amount of wonga, or alternatively buying a pile of bits and then spending a serious amount of wonga.  So, I started liking the look of the 750s a bit more and the more I read about them the more likable they became.  Some say the larger engine vibrated more and some say it was made more flexable to make it more user friendly.  There are plenty of parts available if required and the prices of T140s are not yet at the 650 level, although there are some exceptions, the LE Royal Wedding for example.  So I started looking seriously.  Other advantages – left foot gear change and disc brakes – and didn’t the later ones have electric start?  I did read an old road test on an export T140v and the outcome was the best Bonnie to date.  My general plan was always to buy something in the condition that I want, and that was close to concours but not be frightened to use it.  Then I came across this.


A T140 ES of 1981 vintage, 6000 miles repainted and all cycle parts restored.  A bit of haggling and my garage is a bit smaller.

It is still 32 years old so a few checks were required.  The fresh oil is returning nicely and there are enough volts when running.  A check on all electrics revealed no front headlight.  So off with the front of the headlight shell which looked almost brand new and everything appeared fine including what lookes like new wiring.  Must be the switch then, which was original and that revealed some broken solder inside.  That was fixed after a few attempts.  Welcome to the world of classic biking.

I have to say I do not like kicking this beasty, the lecky start does work ( did I say the spragg had been replaced )  Early indications are that she is running a bit rich, although the spark plugs are not the recommended ones so those need changing.  So I think a bit of fiddling with the  Mk 2 amals.

I’ll keep you posted, Steve

Day out on the Tiger

I did say I would take the Tiger to the seaside, but instead I decided to do a couple of Welsh landmarks as I love riding in Wales.  Starting with a boring trip down the M54 and on to the Shrewsbury ring road which the Tiger made short work of I soon found my way to Devils Bridge and the Woodlands Tea shop for the first stop.  There were 3 customers in the tea room, three bikes outside – all three Hinckley Triumphs.  Would that have occurred say five years ago?  How the factory has progressed.  So, I set the sat nav to the place with the unpronounceable  name  and moved on.  Then set the sat nav for Rhayader and over the mountain road, single track in some places but real Tiger country.  After a short stop at Crossgates, I then started looking for the next Landmark, some Abbey or the remains off.  Then the sat nav took me back to Newtown via the shortest route, but not the quickest – about 20 miles of single track.  It was along here somewhere that  the RAF nearly knocked me off the bike with a jet fighter.  The noise had no build up as the plane came from the back.  Ah well, back home along the boring M54.  The Tiger managed 60 mpg on that trip, and I had a really good day out – that is what the landmarks are for.


clue not much standing- he's not joking

clue not much standing- he’s not joking