Many of us still regard the sidecar outfits that were once so commonplace as ‘cheap family transport’, and that they certainly were – but Pete Kelly delves into the Mortons Archive to find a remarkable record of their early commercial use.
Anyone who saw the recent TV footage of the furious tropical storm that hit the Philippines will have spotted hordes of small motorcycles attached to home-made sidecars, using whatever materials had come to hand, as primary transport.
That remains the case in many small and relatively poor countries today – and that’s certainly the way it was in Britain from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1920s and beyond.
The precious images on these pages, some battered and bruised from more than a century lying in the box files of The Motor Cycle and Motor Cycling, tell an amazing story of enterprise and inventiveness in tough times, when sweeping chimneys, transporting farm animals to market and delivering milk, bread, ice-cream, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and poultry to customers’ doors were just a few of the commercial uses that relied on the humble motorcycle combination.
As the saying goes, one good picture is worth a thousand words – so let’s just let these wonderful pictures tell their own story.
View more images in the October 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!