End of the line for The White Helmets bike display team

In a supreme twist of irony, no sooner had Old Bike Mart published its feature about the Royal Corps of Signals’ White Helmets motorcycle display team, including an article first written by the editor way back in 1971, than we heard from former team member John Dunstan that 2017 will be the last year for the team.

Scenes like this will soon be just a memory as a huge crowd watches a White Helmets rider demonstrate a fire jump.

Costs are thought to be one of the main reasons for the devastating news, which was received by former team members on February 2, although with modern communications methods the idea of delivering dispatches by motorcycle is fast receding into history.

The White Helmets’ planned 90th anniversary reunion will still go ahead at Blandford, Dorset, from August 4-6.

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The team can trace its origins back to 1927, when the first public displays of joint precision horsemanship and motorcycle riding were given by instructors and students from the Signal Training Centre in Yorkshire.

John Dunstan was based at Catterick, north Yorkshire, when our editor was working for The Northern Echo in Darlington and, being a keen motorcyclist with a weekend column to write, was invited to spend a little time training with the team.

Read more News in the March issue of OBM – out now!

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