Motorcyling

After my motorcycling days were over the only time I returned to two wheels was during the war. Each of our five flights at the aerodrome had about 12 Tiger Moths all moored in blister hangers. These would only start if the carburettor was flooded until petrol dripped from the overflow pipe. It did not seem wrong to us to collect these drippings in an old cocoa tin for use in our motorcycles – until we were threatened with Court Martial if we continued to do so. The other custom was to empty the entire contents of the Tiger Moth’s 20 gallon petrol tank onto the grass if it crashed. This so annoyed me that I wrote to the Air Ministry about it. I don’t remember being thanked for my letter, but the practice was stopped – damaged petrol going to the transport MT in future. In the meantime Villiers had much improve their design and range of engines. They had gone over to flat-topped pistons which had improved engine balance and efficiency. Their 148cc engine now gave about 5hp with no cooling troubles. After the war I tested this little unit in a Bond minicar which I used for a time to travel to Tring where I had taken a job of music teacher. This leads to another facet of my life which I may cover if I do not run out of steam meanwhile.

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