Where are you, Mary?

I wonder if you would kindly help, for one last time I promise, to track down Mrs Mary Smith.

Mary got in touch with us at West Sussex BSA Owners Club several years ago asking if we could possibly assist or indeed take on the restoration of her BSA Bantam. I went to her home in Selsey and from the back of her leaking garage pulled out her Bantam (registration number JPX 573D) which took some effort as the wheels at that stage didn’t rotate.

I trailered the bike to our next club meeting to see what might be done to the machine but my opinion, and that of our members, was that if a full restoration took place the bike would lose its history and revert to being ‘just’ another Bantam. Until Mary came to talk to us we hadn’t realised quite what she had achieved with this tiny machine as she had ridden around the world before the days of mobile phones and satellite navigation.

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Her efforts were evidenced by newspaper reports and some meticulously kept records of her travels during which she was married in Hong Kong, albeit subsequently divorced.

Having disappointed Mary by our reluctance to restore her machine we left matters in abeyance while she thought about what next but when we returned to her she had moved and her telephone number had changed.

Mary did say that she was moving to a flat in Gosport, although that was some years ago now. However I thought one last effort might be in order… who knows?

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Chairman West Sussex BSAOC

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Views in the February 2019 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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