Martin Spicer’s life with his BSA Golden Flash not only spans 55 years, but also involved it going halfway around the world with him…
My story starts in 1948 when I was born in South London. The year before, my mum and dad went on their honeymoon to Hastings riding their tandem bicycle, so when I arrived on the scene the family transport was expanded to a small aluminium sidecar attached to the tandem.
However, once my sister and brother joined the clan, dad bought his first car, a Phase 1 Standard Vanguard; this was followed by a Phase 2, next was a Ford Consul Classic 315, and then a Mk 3 Cortina.
In postwar England, living in council flats, we kids had some great play areas – like up and down the multi-storey flats, up on the roofs, and in the many bombed-out houses that were still around (no health and safety to worry about in those days).
I was always looking at ways to make extra pocket money. I used to go door-knocking and would ask for any old newspapers or lemonade bottles. Once I had my trolley full up it was off to the recycling shop (yes, even then) where I was given around three shillings. This then bought lemonade or Tizer, crisps and ice creams.
I next did paper rounds in the mornings and evenings, and I also did window cleaning. Once I had money I started buying plastic Airfix plane model kits – from the Second World War, of course. I then progressed to building balsa wood and paper planes, and then I became a diesel head, buying 1cc, 1.5cc, 2.5cc and two 3.5cc engines, which went into a variety of model boats that I made, of up to 40 inches in length.
I spent a number of years taking my boats up to Clapham Common boat pond. I had also paid £24 for a new 27-inch wheel, five-speed Dawes bicycle that gave me the freedom to go anywhere.
I also did a milk round, washed cars and, when I was 15, I worked on Saturdays with my uncle on his bread round. I also worked at the Herne Hill Sunblest bakery on Friday nights from 7pm till 7am.
Read more and view more images in the March 2019 issue of OBM – on sale now!
Enjoy more Old Bike Mart reading in the monthly paper. Click here to subscribe.