An opportunity to meet and greet. We never organised a spin to celebrate JAWA day. Plus I feel that some of the new JAWA pilots might like the opportunity to rub shoulders and compare notes on their new steeds. If you would like to meet up I should be at the
1 o'clock on Sunday the 7th August.
I plan to ride from the Spawell Templeogue in Dublin. Leaving at 11 o'clock. I will be travelling through Blessington, Tullow. The slow route. If any riders are running in machines and would like company on the road the Snail's route and pace should be ideal for you.
Which ever route you take I hope that some of you will meet me. There is a large car park and restaurant. The map above shows the location, you can work out a route to suit your machine and location.
Bring a camera, I will include any photos supplied in the next Issue.
Hope to see some of you there.
Tedy, puvodne pro 650 classik ale na travelu vypadaji podstatne lepe! zmensena rozeta o 1 zoubek a leti to jak .....
Pavel in JAWA Ireland is keen not only to sell JAWA but to help them develop. He got these exhausts for the JAWA 650cc Classic, but decided they looked wrong so tried them on the JAWA 250cc Travel. Together with the smaller sprocket on the rear wheel they have inspired a new name.
I stepped outside the Tardis expecting to see my little white van outside. To my surprise it wasn’t there! In fact everything outside wasn’t there! It now all seemed different outside! It didn’t look like anywhere in Llangollen! Perhaps I came out of another door or something. I stepped further out. I appeared to be in some sort of alleyway. Was I now in Gloucester some time in the past? I pinched myself and it hurt! So surely I couldn’t be dreaming!
I thought ‘dream or no dream’ I was going to explore further. I closed the Tardis door, and removed the strange looking key. (I can’t be too critical here, as JAWA-CZ keys are one of the strangest ones in existence!) I put it safely in my jeans’ pocket. You know the one, that little extra small pocket, that is just handy for keeping the odd coin that you do not want to lose easily!
I stood there staring at the alleyway. It was a long time since I was in such a place (people in other areas like Cheshire usually refer to an alleyway as ‘the entry’). These alleyways allowed limited access to the rear of terraced houses for residents and utility vehicles such as dustbin wagons (ash carts?). I remember the street that I used to live in as a kid (St. Mark St.) did not have such a luxury. I clearly remember how I used to help my dad carry the dustbin (trashcan) through the house to put it out for the dustbin man every Thursday. This was before the days of the conception of black plastic bin bags or wheelie bins! The other problem with living in such a house, is that whenever I had to do any serious work on my motorbike, I had to manoeuvre it carefully and quite arduously through the house in order to get to the shed at the rear of the house. During my teenage years our corridor and kitchen saw through traffic to such things as Vespas, Bantams and Royal Enfields, not to mention my dad’s CZ 125 which needed a new piston after the autolube stopped working. Guess who was riding it at the time? Yes me!
I noticed that the alleyway that I was in was adorned with good old fashioned galvanised dustbins. Do you remember them? After years of use, they seem to end up so dented in the middle that you could only get half as much rubbish in them compared to when they were new. It was only logical to assume that it must be in fact ‘dustbin day’ in this part of town as one never leaves one’s dustbin out any other time. I found it amazing how one forgets such detail as time moves on like having your house number painted on the side of your dustbin with some leftover gloss paint. The incredible racket the bin men used to make as they came down the street emptying the bins as they carelessly dropped the lids on the floor resulting in tremendously loud clashing sounds. Cats would run up the nearest tree or post, whilst chemists did a roaring trade selling earplugs to shift workers!
As I emerged from the alleyway into the street. I was nearly rendered speechless at another amazing sight. The cars! I saw Singer Gazelles, Mk1, 2 & Mk3 Cortinas! Even an old ford Popular! I really must have arrived in 1972 and not at some vintage rally. After this brief dumbfound moment, I worked out that, I was in fact, in the High St. (Tredworth). I thought that I simply must check out the bike breakers which is only just down the road!
After a short but distracting walk (as I couldn’t help stop and stare at all the old vehicles in the street!) I eventually came to the breakers shop. It had a regular shop front. Above the window was a sign ‘The Stables Motorcycle Breakers’. Outside there were a few motorcycles, ranging from an almost new honda CB-750, a honda 72, an (old) ‘F’ reg. BSA Bantam, and an old James with a Villiers 197 engine.
I went inside. It was almost as I remember it as a lad. Virtually everything was in sight, from engines, forks, petrol tanks and seats. Behind the counter and on the rear shelves were new accessories and parts. Most parts had makeshift price tags on them. If you found a part that was not labelled, you just had to shout to the guy behind the counter ‘Oy mate how much is this gizmo ere?’ (A bit like a modern car boot sale really!) This is in stark contrast to the breaker’s yard of today where all you see is a wooden counter and guy who is really keen on playing ‘fetch and see’!
Once I had got fed up with eyeballing and trying from my childhood memory to recognise what machines some of the parts on the shelf were supposed to fit, I approached the counter and asked the bearded, long haired, tattooed guy wearing a Wrangler jacket with the sleeves cut off, “Have you got any JAWA or CZ stuff mate?” To my surprise he didn’t fall out of his seat laughing. I saw that he was not paying attention to my question, but was looking at me with his head crooked at a strange angle, and was trying to read the wording on my trainer top sleeve. He asked “What bike is an ‘adidas’ mate?” I forgot that such clothing styles were not around yet. To be contemporary I would have had to be wearing bell bottoms, flares or at least a Wrangler or Levi jacket, so I just told him it was a new style of clothing that was just catching on in America. Now that his curiosity was satisfied (or side stepped!) he replied to my original question, “There’s an old Jawa right at the back of the yard in the corner shed. Just go straight through if you want to have a look at it mate.”
I went into the back yard and worked my way through the remains of Bantams, C15s and honda benleys. I had to edge my way sideways carefully through the yard and into the shed, as I was in danger of being impaled by the countless pairs of handlebars that were sticking out of all the part broken bikes and frames. It was a bit like trying to manoeuvre through a herd of long horned steers!
I eventually got to the darkest and furthermost part of the shed. I was expecting to find perhaps at least an old 559 or 360 or, if I were really lucky, a 354 or even a CZ 450. To find a CZ instead of a Jawa has been a common occurrence since I have made a hobby of tracking down old Czech bikes, as most people in the biking world do not know a CZ from a JAWA!
To my surprise, not only did I find the ‘old Jawa’ to be a Jawa, but was in fact a very rare late 1950s 500cc OHC four stroke twin machine! Even more surprisingly it seemed virtually complete! All that I could see missing were the silencers. I would guess that someone had fitted them to a Bonnie or a chop. It was a bike that I just HAD to have! I frantically made my way back through the steel herd back into the shop. I tried my best to ask the guy in a disinterested tone, as to how much he wanted for ‘that heap’ in the corner. I have found that if you appear too eager, that your eagerness will be detected, and the price will rise accordingly. “Twenty quid mate” came the reply. I took a deep breath and tried to get a hold of myself as even though £20 would be a steal for me, I was nonetheless in the past where such a price was high and should be contested as a matter of course. I said that it was not worth it as the silencers were missing, and I had little chance of finding any replacement ones. Mr. Hairy said, “You can probably order new ones from Malcombe Davies’, in Barton Street, as he is a JAWA-CZ dealer. If you are not bothered about having the originals, then I could fix you up with some Goldie silencers for thirty bob each. I am sure that they will fit without too much messing.”
Shillings! How the memories came flooding back! I forgot that the seventies was a transitional period for a currency change from imperial to metric. Many people used the old terminology for years after the change over.
I told him that I would take it, but would contact the JAWA-CZ Owners Club for the silencers. I also asked when could he get it out. His reply was, “Just as soon as I see the colour of your money”! So out came my wallet (and a flock of moths)! Luckily I had a tenner and two fivers. I put the notes into his hand, expecting him to be pleased to conclude the deal so quickly. To my surprise, he started to look angry, and exclaimed “Look mister, when I said ‘the colour of your money’ I wasn’t being funny! I meant REAL money not this pretty coloured toy stuff!”
I realised, to my horror, what I had just done. Although I was in England with pounds Sterling in my wallet, it was absolutely worthless! Not only had the monetary system been changed from imperial to metric, but also the paper money had been changed many times over the years! I remember now, that each time we had a new note issued, we would say “Oh aren’t these new notes small! I don’t think I will ever get used to these!”. In fact we soon got used to them, and forgot the old ones. Years ago, the paper money wasn’t even coloured!
Now I found that I was in a real dilemma. I had found the bike of my dreams. Had a way (hopefully) of bringing it home, but no way of purchasing it! While I was struggling to find a solution Mr. Hairy started to serve another customer. I could see the customer hand over large GREEN pound notes, how large they looked! I frantically delved into my pockets to see what coinage I had. Amongst a few pound coins, 20p pieces I had three 50p coins. I soon regained my composure and replied “Sorry mate. I am from the Isle of Man. I forgot our money is different to yours! I haven’t had chance to change these notes. I can give you a thirty bob (£1.50) deposit if you like, while I go and get some English money in the bank”. “Sure pal” was the reply. He took the 50p coins with no bother as they were coins that he recognised. He made out a receipt in his carbon copy book and handed it to me. It read 30/- deposit for 1956 Jawa 500. £18 10s outstanding to pay. On collection by Mr. Adidas. I told him that I hoped to be back in a couple of hours. I left the shop clinging to my receipt, suddenly realising another dilemma. How on earth was I going to obtain nearly £20 of old money so that I could buy and collect that old Jawa?
I sat on the wall outside contemplating my problem. People walked past with fish & chips wrapped up in newspaper. Now I have seen scores of Sci-fi films where people hopped through dimensions and time barriers, but not one depicted the problem I had encountered! Even if I knew in advance that this freak of nature was going to happen to me, then what could I have brought with me to offer as currency? Gold bars would be ideal, but I certainly didn’t have any of those back at home! I checked the time on my wristwatch, and wondered how much time I had before the breaker closed for the day. Then I had a brilliant idea. I could pawn my watch. At last the light at the end of the tunnel was in sight!
As I walked along High Street, making my way to Barton Street, I began to wonder if my Turkish bought ‘genuine fake’ Rolex was worth anything in this time period! Luckily it was a self winder, which was now back in fashion in the 90s, as opposed to the now prolific quartz powered watches, that could be bought from the market for a £1 upwards. I would hate to imagine a watchmakers reaction to finding a miniature battery and electronic circuit inside a watch that he was evaluating. Watches in the 70’s, as far as I can remember, were in the red LED stage (especially after Roger Moore playing James Bond wore one in a bond film!).
The first three shops that I tried would not entertain me. I think that they were very suspicious of my watch as it seemed very ‘posh’ to most, and most certainly had the look of being a stolen watch. Finally I came to the Exchange & Mart shop. Interestingly, this shop was right next door to Malcombe Davies’! I did not have the time to spare to go in and enquire about old Jawa silencers. The Exchange & Mart was a shop renowned for buying and selling just anything second-hand, from bicycles to radiograms. Interestingly, even though there were three of these shops in Gloucester at one time, they bore no connection with the nationally distributed newspaper of the same name. The guy at the counter had a good look at my watch, then checked it against a list he had behind the counter (a stolen property list no doubt!) I felt sure that he was examining me more than the watch! He eventually said that he would give me 20 guineas for it. At first I did not remember how much a guinea was and only just stopped myself asking him “What on earth is a guinea?”. Now was 20 guineas worth more than £20 or less?. Struggling I remembered as a child I had a pet guinea pig. These I thought were called guinea pigs as they were SMALL pig like rodents, so was a guinea in currency also smaller than a pound? It all came back to me! A guinea was 21 shillings (£1.05p in new money!) so 20 guineas was in real terms £21! More than enough to enable me to purchase my dream bike!
Again the chap made out a carbon copy receipt, on which I had to sign it and insert my address and signature. Do you remember those old carbon copy books? If you inserted the carbon incorrectly, you ended up with a reverse copy of the bill on the rear of the receipt! At last I had four large blue fivers and two pink ten shilling notes in my sweaty little hand! I was off before he could change his mind!
As I walked back feeling pleased with myself, realised that I had cash to spare, so I decided to spoil myself and treat myself to some fish & chips wrapped up in newspaper. I even had change from ten shillings! (50p). As I approached the breakers shop, I noticed a Hillman Imp police ‘Panda’ car outside. It was the police force’s answer to making up for not having a bobby on every corner. Reduce the number of bobbies on the beat, give the remainder a set of wheels, and no one will notice the difference. (Pigs might fly!). They always used to pick dead cheap cars in those days like Imps and Vivas, re-spray them light blue and white, and stick a ‘POLICE’ sign on the doors, add a blue beacon to the roof and hey presto! Bobbies on wheels!
Why they were called ‘Panda Cars’ I still do not know, as Pandas as far as I can remember, were Black & White NOT light blue and white! I remembered the silly schoolyard jokes that used to fly around in those days such as:-“Why was the Policeman crying? Because he could not take his Panda to bed with him!”
With a smile on my face I entered the shop, only to find two very large policemen at the far counter questioning Mr. Hairy. I decided to wait patiently and cast my eyes for the last time, on the array of stock that adorned the shelves walls and floor. I had more than enough (contemporary) money in my pocket to purchase the old Jawa. I just hoped that he had found enough time to dig it out!
I couldn’t but help overhear as I was waiting, the policeman ask Mr. Hairy “Mr. Patel in the Post Office assures me that it was YOU who deposited these forged coins. Even we could not tell them from the real thing until we noticed that two of the 50p coins you banked had the year 1986 on them! So make it easy on yourself pal, and tell us how you made these coins!”. Mr. Hairy answered, “Look you rozzers, just because I am a ‘greaser’ and roll my own fags, it doesn’t mean that I am bent! I’ll tell you again, some guy wearing weird clothes came in and put a thirty Bob deposit on an old bike out the back”. “Can you prove that?” asked one of the policemen. “Sure I can” said Mr. Hairy. “I got a copy of the bill of sale here in my carbon copy book”. He got his little book out and said “Oh excrement! I must have got the carbon the wrong way around! I remember him clearly though. He had his name on his designer clothes. I am sure his name was Mr. Adidas!”. “A likely story!”, said the policeman. “You had better come down to the station to assist us with our enquires.”
Not knowing whether to get worried about Mr. Hairy being carted off to the police station and not being able to finalise my deal, or to smile at the thought of two big bobbies and Mr. Hairy being squeezed into a two door Hillman Imp, I suddenly felt very queasy, as I realised that they were in fact talking about ME! The last thing I wanted to happen to me is to end up in prison in the wrong time zone!
I just turned to make my way out of the doorway, when I heard Mr. Hairy shout out “There’s the guy there!” I tripped and stumbled on an old BSA gearbox as I made a hasty attempt to escape I stumbled out through the doorway into the street outside, and did my best to put as much distance between me and the shop, and the two large ensuing policemen. I legged it as fast as I could up the street. I chanced a glance over my shoulder to see one large policeman squeezing himself into the Panda car, while the other was running after me at a smart rate for such a big guy! I just hoped that I had enough breath and energy to get back to the Tardis in time.
It seemed an age before I got to the alleyway, which in real terms was only a 100yds or so away. As I turned into the alleyway I was confronted with the disgusting smell and sight of the rear end of a dustbin truck! Two binmen were busy emptying just as foul smelling dustbins into the back of it. I dodged past and hoped that I could squeeze between the narrow gap between the truck and alleyway walls. One of the binmen shouted “Whatz yur urry mate!” I managed to squeeze past this smelly giant, and could see the Tardis ahead, where the alleyway widened out. I ran so fast, that I could not stop myself when I got to the Tardis, and crashed straight into it, and bounced back off it in a daze. I forgot that I had carefully locked the door! I lay on the ground fumbling through my pockets trying desperately to find the key in time to avoid being ‘nicked’! From that unusual angle, I could see the two burly policemen having a hard time trying to squeeze past the dustbin wagon. The thought of those two pouncing on me, and apprehending me as a common criminal was a very frightening thought indeed! One policeman was free and heading my way when at last I had the key in my hand. I was shaking so much it was with great difficulty that I got the key into the lock and turned it! I rushed inside, slammed the door shut and leant against the door with all my weight, as I felt sure that two large policeman would surely breakdown the door easily. No sooner had I leant against it, there was a crash, followed by banging and shouting sounds. I was sure that, if the lock gave way, that the door would open under force, sweeping me aside like a rag doll then I would be well and truly ‘nicked’!
I could hear “OY mate open up!” repeated time and time again. I began to feel light-headed, followed by a sort of floating sensation, as if I were coming up from the depths of a deep swimming pool. Still the pounding continued, which progressively got louder and clearer. Then suddenly I found myself being dazzled by bright sunlight. I appeared to be not in the Tardis, but back in my little Manweb van! Silhouetted outside was a man rapping on my window, peering in, and exclaiming “Are you the man from the Electricity board? Are you going to sleep in there all day? I need the electricity fixing so that I can open up for the public! We open shortly! We are running out of time!”
As I woke to the stark reality of the real world I was almost disappointed that I came so close to obtaining my dream bike. My disappointment soon vanished when I remembered that I also came close to being locked up in a prison in the past for my efforts I wasn’t sure if I was disappointed or relieved! Nonetheless, this experience raised a few very interesting points. IF one could travel back in time to purchase an old relic, what would you use as currency? I don’t think there is any suitable answer. I suppose at the end of the day, there is no harm in dreaming about it!
In memory of John Pertwee 1916-1996
Saturday 25 July the snail and I were in Jawa Ireland seeing about getting the snail a Roar. So inspired by the 250 Vulcan I had to try it for myself. I will let you all know how I get on in the future. As luck would have it Ger was up from Waterford and Pat Gernon also turned up. We had a very entertaining morning. I thought you would like to see a pictures.
Many of our readers have a passion for what has up till now been alternative motorcycles. As you will notice from this video the alternative is getting more practical. With fuel prices going as they are this may be our future.
You know that someone has formed an attachment to a machine when they start to do little alterations, to suit their needs. This is as true of JAWA pilots as it is of Enfield and MZ. You have to admire the passion time and skill that has gone into the project.
I would love to have been able to visit the UK National Rally. This video showing the variety of bikes and good weather drives the nails in. I will have to make more of an effort and get there next year. Thanks for the video Mario.