After a long and complicated search to get in touch my old friend George Pooley, whose hand-built specials included a four-cylinder Trident called the Quadrant and a 1500cc Triumph six (two T160 triples joined together on a common crankcase to make a V6) we finally met up again – by chance and after 43 years – at the Newark autojumble on July 2.
We’d lost touch when George moved to Mansfield and I moved to Retford around 1974, but we used to go all over on my 175cc Honda, and after he’d bought a 1957 BSA A10 cafe racer before passing his test, he let me use it for as long as I wanted, or until he passed his test. How many other people would do that?
I insured it for three months for the princely sum of £3 third party only, and we split the road tax. I wonder if XAT 522 is still out there?
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One weekend we went up to South Shields and camped on the beach, leaving the bike and tent unsecured when we went into town, and nobody touched either… but who would dare to do that today?
The bike sprung an oil leak on the journey, and used almost as much oil as petrol. The dog clutch spring on the end of the crank (primary drive) broke, and we had to bolt it up solid.
For a long time I never realised just what a talented engineer George had become, and it was great to bump into him again.
Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Views in the August issue of OBM – available now!