The BSA Bantam: something worth crowing about

With a Silver City Airways Bristol Freighter in the background, Edward Marshall of Horsham sets off on a journey to Australia

When the internet was a far-distant dream (or nightmare, according to your point of view) and relatively few people had a telephone, the quickest way to send a message was by Post Office telegram.

The ideal machine for delivering these brief strips of messages, particularly in built-up areas, was the simple, light and reliable BSA Bantam, and over the years more than 4000 were delivered for this purpose.

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As they buzzed around our streets, the bright red machines became a much-treasured British institution – and it was on one of them, at the age of 15 and with total disregard for the law, that I rode a motorcycle by myself for the very first time.

The invitation came from a friend who’d just become a telegram boy, and the brief but exciting excursion ended ignominiously in a bed of nettles.

Read more in the March issue of OBM
 

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