Pete’s Prattle

One of the great joys of editing Old Bike Mart is receiving the many motorcycle club journals that are kindly sent to me each month. Those who edit and write for them are the unsung heroes of motorcycle journalism, providing countless brilliant historical and technical articles, riding memories and event reports – and the layout and quality seems to be improving all the time.

Of course some of the larger clubs are in a better financial position than others to offer bigger and perhaps glossier magazines to their members, but no matter which journal you put together, doing the best you can with what you’ve got is what it is really all about.

Don’t forget that Mortons Archive is always willing to help when it comes to finding that specific historic image you might be seeking, one case in point being when Anthony Shields, the editor of Cotton Pickins, the journal of the Cotton Owners’ & Enthusiasts’ Club, saw our November front page photo of a young lady serving herself from a shilling-in-the-slot petrol pump in Cheltenham in 1927.

He immediately recognised her motorcycle as either a side-valve, Blackburne-engined 350cc Model 7 or a 500cc Model 8 and wrote in to let us know.

One good turn deserves another, I say, and we were glad to send him a digital image of the photo to use in his own magazine.

Remember those Christmas annuals that we once looked forward to so eagerly? Peter Turnill, who edits the Velocette Owners’ Club’s wonderful journal Fishtail, decided that a great way to use up so many of the inevitably stored contributions from club members would be to make the December issue into a 160-page, perfect-bound ‘annual’.

When the number of pages in Fishtail increases over the standard size, as in the case of the two 100-pagers that are produced each year, the postage cost more than doubles, but Peter was delighted to discover that sending out this truly bumper issue wouldn’t cost a penny more than that!

As a former rider of both Velocette Venoms and a Cotton Telstar, I salute you both – and one idea I have for the new year is to focus on a club magazine each month in OBM.

Pete

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