Getting the wind up – with a bit of dry Cornish humour!

Colyn Thomas fondly remembers the comings and goings around an old Cornish garage beside the A38 where he and his motorcycling friends met up in the mid-1950s.

Remember the Good Old Days, with rickety old motorcycles and sidecars crammed with kids, shopping,
the dog and the wife’s handbag, and the wife perched behind the rider, skirt carefully pinned down between his buttocks and her groin?

I and several other motorcyclists used to meet up at Castle Garage (now Castle Motors on the A38 at Trebrown Bridge) in the mid-1950s, with Cass, the owner, who was himself a motorcyclist and two others, Alfie Wills and Dave Paul.

In this 1960s’ photo of Castle Garage, note Cass’s Ford Popular parked beneath the canopy. Behind the Pop and against the wall can be seen an oil cabinet with oil tins, pourers and bottles. Eventually, with power from the newly connected electricity supply the hand-operated petrol pumps were replaced by electric ones. One of the electrical poles can be seen in the background. Going up from the two white pillars, the poles that once supported the windmill generators can be seen.

At one time Cass used to ride a Gold Flash, and Alfie had a B34 Clubman’s Gold Star, but because it kicked back so much and hurt his leg, he bought a Villiers 3T-powered Panther. Dave had a BSA B31 and then a Road Rocket.

We also used to meet at the garage to run our East Cornwall motorcycle trials that took place on and around Mr Warrick’s farm at the back of Bernard Harding’s car/metal scrap yard.

Back then there was still no electrical power at the garage, so Cass made up two windmills, each connected to old car dynamos and regulators, to charge 12-volt batteries. Each windmill was situated at different ends of the fuel pump platform for ease of maintenance, but
later they were moved to the garage roof.

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