First Ariel, followed by more

As you still seem to be publishing photos in support of the ‘First Bikes’ theme, I now attach my own, a 350cc Ariel ‘sloper’ of about 1932 vintage with hand gear change and acquired on my 16th birthday in 1946, seen here with me wearing my Farnham Grammar school scarf!

I stuck with Ariels for several years, following up with a 1936 350 twin port Red Hunter and a later 350 NH. All great bikes, and all bought from Heath Bros Motorcycles at Farnham, sadly no longer there. 

I think Len Heath captained the British ISDT team about that time.

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But I wasn’t the only motorcyclist in the fifth form at Farnham Grammar that year in 1946. 

There was another – rather better known than me – and who later became Motorcycling magazine journalist, the late Bruce Main-Smith. It is a small world sometimes!

Jeff Barnard

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