When 200 Lucky Strike would keep a bike secure!

It was a 12-day return voyage from Southampton to New York on Cunard’s RMS Queen Mary that started Geoffrey’s bike-storage adventures.

I used to be in the British Merchant Navy, and once, while I was on the Cunard liner Queen Mary, I forgot to arrange to get my BSA twin, PAA 515, put away for the trip, so I left it on the quay, under a crane at Southampton’s Ocean Terminal, and set off for the 12-day return voyage to New York. When I got back it was still there.

Others started to do the same and eventually we were told to find somewhere else to leave our bikes.

Article continues below...

Enjoy more Old Bike Mart reading in the monthly newspaper.
Click here to subscribe & save.

It was suggested that I see the shed foreman at Harland & Wolff, where my bike would be much safer, and this I did.

All I had to do was give him 200 Lucky Strike cigarettes, bought in New York for $1 (seven shillings in those days, or 75p today) and he’d keep an eye on it for me.

It wasn’t long before H&W had quite a few bikes kept at the cost of 200 Lucky Strike each, so the foreman was well and truly paid in American tobacco!

Article continues below...

Read more in December’s edition of OBM

Subscribe to Old Bike Mart Enjoy more Old Bike Mart reading in the monthly paper. Click here to subscribe.