Malcolm Adams

Member Stories


Memories of a great bike

Late in 1950 I decided to change my trials bike, having seen a lovely Triumph which Eddy Oughton had just purchased. ( Father of Stuart). People said that they were no good at getting grip but I thought otherwise, having seen how people like Jim Alves got on. (Triumph works rider) So it was down to Bertie Jenkins shop in Lower Briggate and place the order. 1951 was the year when the barrel and head were made pressure die-cast which was a bit different to the previous sand cast ones. The bike arrived but I had to pay an extra 10 bob (50p) to have trials tyres fitted. As received it was a bit too high geared so a smaller engine sprocket was fitted. I can't remember which was the first trial I rode it in; it may have been the Ilkley Grand National. Some time that summer my wife and I were going on holiday to stay with friends at Farnborough in Hampshire but the week-end was the Clayton Trial so I sent my wife off on the train and I followed on the Sunday morning by riding down to Buxton, riding in the trial and then popping the lights back on and riding on to join her. At the end of the week I saw her on to the train, rode up to Leeds and got my Dads car out and met her at the station. It must have been before this that I rode in the Alan Trial and the plan was to borrow Bernard Beckwiths trailer so that I could pick up Ken Watling and his 500T Norton and we would proceed to Penrith in style. To get both bikes on the trailer we had to do a bit of juggling like removing wheels. All was going well up the A1 until shortly after Wetherby when I noticed smoke rising from the trailer, one of the tyres was on the point of blazing!  We pulled into a side road to take stock, left the car and trailer there, put the bobby dodgers on and rode the rest of the way. I remember it was jolly cold coming through Skipton at about midnight. In the autumn of 51 I got a job in Liverpool so before we had a flat it was commuting on a Monday morning and back on Friday evening and I did this through the winter. Saturday was spent preparing the bike for Sunday's trial then in the evening making it ready for the run to Liverpool. The Basic Memorial Trial was held in Clayton Woods in those days and attracted some of the big names in the Trials world. There was one section which defeated every rider until I came along I was the only clean that day (big head!) The commuting carried on until we got a flat and one trip home was a bit eventful, it had been snowing so I rang the RAC to check on the roads over the Pennines and they said the only road open was by Halifax. That was the way I went but I thought if I didn't have a trials bike I wouldn't have made it. In the paper the following morning the report said that Standedge was the only way over!! I eventually changed the Triumph for a trials Francis Barnett but that's another story.

Malcolm Adams

PS : Forgot to mention the bike was a TR5 Trophy