Images courtesy of Kenneth Wilson

Isle of Man Scooter Holiday Week 1968

Written by Kenneth Wilson

My “S” type Lambretta arrived at Cheltenham railway station in the guards van, and was duly wheeled onto the platform by a young man from Arthur Francis of Watford.  It was Summer 1967.

It was incredibly beautiful.  An SX 200 modified to a 225 with 12-volt electrics a big bore exhaust and a few other mods that were available at the time. I was a member of the Blue Diamonds Scooter Club of Cheltenham and we were quite competitive, attending rallies and sporting trials. My early scootering had been done on a Triumph Tigress 250. My Dad bought it for me when I was 15 for £45 and we were robbed.  It took a year to restore it, but when finished it was perfect and a joy to ride. The drawbacks were that the brakes were not brilliant and it was a bit heavy.

It met its end while I was doing some trials practice. I had modified the induction system with an amal card, straight manifold and electric fuel pump, (off a Morris Minor). It caught fire and proceeded to pump the contents of the fuel tank onto the flames until it was completely destroyed.

The 1968 IOM Scooter Holiday Week was the first outing for the S type. It performed faultlessly. 
A Manx 400 Gold and a third in the Ramsey prom quarter mile sprint were my rewards.

I took it back to a 200 for the next year as the Special class I was in was a bit demanding. A Silver in the full day sporting trial was the best I could do. Needless to say beating the likes of the late and great Neville Frost and the Ronald brothers was never going to happen. I enjoyed some track events with it at Mallory Park and Brands Hatch before going down another class and buying a new 125 GP or DL, as they were known and tuning it myself.  It was almost as quick as the 225 and did me well for the next few years. I took it to the IOM in 1971, the last year I competed there.

When scootering started to die out I bought a car and that was me done with Scootering until last year when I bought a beautiful 150 Special. I meet with the lads and lassies from our locale and it is amazing how many scooters turn up for our weekly ride out.

I have bought a Vega recently and hope that I keep fit enough to enjoy many more years of scootering.