Saturday, 23 October 2010

Sergeant Wilson's motorbike (conclusion)...

Scene 3

(Walmington-on-sea High Street. Capt. Mainwaring is walking to work, and Jones is putting up the awning on his shop)

Cpl. Jones: “Morning Captain Mainwaring, lovely day again”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Good morning Jones, it is indeed a beautiful day! (looks up at sky) Bit noisy up there last night, I suppose The Hun has retreated with his tail between his legs as usual”!

Cpl. Jones: “Yes Sir, there’s also a couple of official looking lorries out in the forest. They seem to be searching for something”.

Capt. Mainwaring: “Well as long as they don’t interfere with our training, they can stay there as far as I’m concerned. Good to see the ordnance around though, it gives everyone comfort to see their island being defended”!

(Capt. Mainwaring walks on and disappears into the bank. Walker is approaching)

Pte. Walker: “Here, Jonesy, did you see that lorry parked up by the crossroads? I heard it was on the lookout for stolen army kit! Watch out for your van, they’ll take it if they see it”!

Cpl. Jones: (blowing his cheeks out)“They’ll not take my van, it’s a reserved vehicle that is”! (goes back into shop muttering to himself).

(Walker continues on down the street, and sees Sgt. Wilson approaching)

Sgt. Wilson: “Morning Joe, lovely day”!

Pte. Walker: “Morning – hey, (takes Wilson’s arm) if you’re in a spot of bother, I can get you a new motorbike, but it won’t be the same as your old one”!

Sgt. Wilson: “Well that’s very kind of you Joe; it really is a bit of a bind, having to walk everywhere”.

Pte. Walker: “Just leave it to me; I’ve got a few feelers out for you”!
(Walker and Wilson go their separate ways)

Scene 4

(An office in the Home Guard Command building in Eastbourne. The senior officers are all assembled)

Colonel Peat: “Now Chaps, we need to get to business! Any news from last night”?

Major Elbers: “Well, they certainly made a racket overhead, but as far as we can see, there was no real damage – apart from a couple of greenhouses on the estate being shattered”.

Colonel Peat: “Oh well, that’s what we have to expect, but at least we have a few tricks up our sleeve, eh Major”!

Major Elbers: (warily) “Ooooh – er - yes, definitely...”.

Colonel Peat: “Any news on the requisitioning programme, have we found any unattended vehicles”?

Major Elbers: “We’ve ended up with three Austin cars, a Riley bread van, several bicycles and a GPO motorbike”.

Colonel Peat: “A GPO motorbike! Damn Post Office loses everything these days”!

Major Elbers:”Well, they’re all impounded now, and going to Brighton tomorrow”!

Colonel Peat: “Good, well done Chaps, now, what’s next...”?

(scene fades).

Scene 5

(Private Walker is passing a shop at the bottom of the High Street. He does a double-take on realising that it has only just opened for business)

Pte. Walker: (enters shop with door bell clanking) “Morning! Anybody home”?

Shopkeeper (Mr. O’Blene): “Good morning Sir, and how can I help you”?

Pte. Walker: “This is all new isn’t it? Funny time to start a new business these days, there’s a war on y’ know”!

Mr. O’Blene: “Oh yes, and that’s why I’m opening here! I’ve got a shop in Eastbourne, and a workshop in Pevensey. I repair and sell bicycles”!

Pte. Walker: (holds out his hand to shake and introduces himself) “Joe Walker; I can get you most things you need round here, cycle lamp wicks, real leather saddles; got a nice line in rubber inner tubes; cost you a tanner each...”!

Mr. O’Blene: “ Always looking out for a bargain Joe, (shakes Joe’s hand) Friends call me Stan, I get most of my stuff from a bloke in Eastgate, but he’s finished up in Lewes Prison recently”!

Pte. Walker: “Pleased to meetcha Stan. Blimey, what did he do”?

Mr. O’Blene: “Oh, he came round the corner from the High Street too fast, and buried his car in the gates on the crossroads! He’s still sorting that one out I can tell you”!

Pte. Walker: “Ha ha! Do you – er - sell motorbikes as well”?

Stan O’Blene: “Oh yes, any make you like; Matchless, James, Velocette, you name it, I can get one”!

Pte. Walker: “Can you do a deal on a GPO BSA? I may need one”!

Stan O’Blene: “Ooooh, I’m afraid you’ve got me there Joe, they’re protected vehicles you know, most of them were snapped up by the requisition boys recently! The GPO’s going back to pedal cycles again! (rubs hands) I can do you a Brough Superior, got one out the back, but it’ll cost you”!

Pte. Walker: “Blimey, I’m not made of money, haven’t you got anything smaller for about five quid”?

Stan O’Blene: (sharp intake of breath) “Not a lot, but I’ll keep my eye out for you. Call by tomorrow and I may be able to help”!

Pte. Walker: “Certainly will! Can I interest you in some copies of ‘Tit Bits’? Unused”?

Stan O’Blene: (quickly) “I’ll take a dozen; leave them round the back...”! (looks out of window with glazed expression on face)

Scene 6

(The Drill Hall. The Platoon is standing at attention).

Sgt Wilson: “Platoon! Er, At – er - ease don’t you know, just relax a bit”!

Capt. Mainwaring: (fuming aside to Wilson)“Wilson, you’re giving orders, not just lining up a ‘rugger team’ before ‘prep’! (to platoon) Now listen men, I have to report to Area Command about Sergeant Wilson’s missing motorbike. Has anyone got any news"?

Cpl. Jones: “Permission to speak Sir”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Yes Jones, what is it”?

Cpl. Jones: “I’d like to be the first to report Sir”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Right Corporal, what have you got”?

Cpl. Jones: “I’ve heard absolutely no news at all Sir”!

Capt. Mainwaring: (exasperated) “Well why are you making a report then”?

Cpl. Jones: (smugly) “Walls have ears Sir! Careless talk costs lives”!

Capt. Mainwaring: (even more exasperated) “Yes I know all that Jones, but I’m asking you in confidence man! We’re a fighting force; welded to duty; united in defence! What can you report”!

Cpl. Jones: “Well Sir, nobody’s seen hide nor hair of Sergeant Wilson’s motorbike”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Is that it”! (turns to Wilson with despair written all over his face)

Cpl. Jones: “I have to report the truth Sir, if I said anything else, I’d be in trouble”!

Pte. Pike: “Mum says you’ve caused her an awful lot of bother, Uncle Arthur! She said you’re having your tea in the kitchen tomorrow”!

Pte Frazer: “Aye, that’s punishment enough these days”!

Pte Godfrey: “My sister Dolly likes to take tea in the summer house, it reminds her of her childhood! She met many a suitor there, and so did our ‘uncles’; most of them in fact”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Oh, this isn’t getting us anywhere! Wilson, have you heard anything at all”?

Sgt Wilson: “Not a dicky bird Sir, I really don’t know what to do next”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Not a ‘dicky bird’ Not a ‘dicky bird’! This is a serious matter of national importance Sergeant! We may all be arrested if we’re not careful”!

Pte. Walker: “I think I can help Captain Mainwaring”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “You Walker? What have you found out”?

Pte. Walker: “Well you know that new bicycle shop which has opened at the other end of the High Street; well, I met the new owner, Stan O’Blene, and he’s got something which may well suit Sergeant Wilson”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Oh, I’ve seen him; bit of a shady character that one; seems to be coughing all the time. Elizabeth went there to purchase a small nut and bolt for something, and he ended up selling her a new handlebar basket, three gallons of oil for a front lamp, and a footpump”!

Pte. Walker: “Sounds reasonable to me Sir”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Nooo, not really, she hasn’t got a bicycle”!

Pte Frazer: “Well I think I know what’s happened to the wretched thing”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “You Frazer! Well what have you heard”?

Pte Frazer: “Well..., the requisitioning brigade has been lurking around this week! The hearse had to be hidden round the back away from prying eyes! There was a casket on the rollers”!

Cpl. Jones: “You’re right Frazer! They eyed up my van on Tuesday, and it still had a load of sausages in the back"!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Well, what did you do Corporal”?

Cpl. Jones: “I sold them a pound each sir, and also got rid of a lot of chit’lings which don’t sell well Sir”!

Pte Godfrey: “My sister Dolly cooks chitterlings on a slow stove; they’re delicious with a little French mustard and some of her home-baked bread”!

Capt. Mainwaring: (exasperated) “Godfrey; Jones, that’s enough! Now Wilson, it seems to me that your motorbike has been requisitioned, and you’ll probably not see it again! I can’t say I blame them, you should have kept it out of sight..."!

Pte Pike: (interrupts)“ Mum said you should Uncle Arthur...”

Capt. Mainwaring: “...Quiet Pike! So, that’s probably the end of all this”!

Pte. Walker: (returning to his earlier statement) “I think I can get you another one though Sergeant. Stan O’Blene is making ordinary bikes work with alternative engines”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “What on earth are you talking about Walker! How does he do it”?

Pte. Walker: “Oh it’s quite simple Sir, he takes an ordinary bicycle, and fits a motor to the wheels”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “That’s a French idea isn’t it? Not sure I like the idea of their designs being used in England. They use them in places like Paris! Ooooh no, that sounds shady to me”!

Pte. Walker: “Well apparently, he’s invented a rechargeable motor which fits over the wheel, and drives the bike along”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Oh, this is preposterous! What do you mean by ‘rechargeable’ ? It’s a banking term! This man O’Blene isn’t the sort of person we want in Walmington, making – er - French things”!

Pte Pike: (giggling) “heugh heugh...”!

Capt. Mainwaring: (hopelessly) “Stupid boy”!

Pte. Walker: (continuing his piece) “Well anyway, you plug the connecting wire into the 15amp socket, and it makes the battery last for longer. You can then use it for a while, ride home, connect it to the mains and after a few hours, it’ll go for another few miles”!

Sgt Wilson: “Oh, you mean an electric device like the cars we used to have in Belgravia”!

Capt. Mainwaring: (mimicking Wilson) “’Belgravia’ – that snooty place! All money and no work! Doh, this is ridiculous! It sounds like something out of Jules Verne! I can’t see something like that ever working”!

Pte. Walker: “Well, he’s made several, and there’s an even bigger one with two motors! I can get it for you for five quid! No petrol coupons, dead easy to drive”!

Capt. Mainwaring: “Look Wilson, you’ll have to find out more about this in your own time, speak to Walker afterwards, we’ve got a war to run”!

Sgt Wilson: “Yes of course Sir, we’ll chat later Joe”.

(scene fades)

Scene 7

(In the High Street, outside Stan O’Blene’s shop. Walker and Wilson arrive at the same time)

Sgt Wilson: “So what is all this Joe? I’ve never met the man before”!

Pte. Walker: “Well he may look a bit funny, and have some mad ideas, but he’s only doing the best he can under the circumstances! I’m selling him some talc for punctures – pongs a bit, but it was old stock from Timothy Whites before the war”!

Sgt Wilson: “Well, we’d better see what he’s got then”!

(they enter shop and a bell clanks)

Stan O’Blene: “Morning Joe! Morning Sir, how can I help”?

Pte. Walker: “Morning Stan; I want you to meet the gentleman who wants a motorbike”! (aside and behind his hand – usual commission – 10%! Stan nods)

Sgt Wilson: “Good Lord, you’ve got some of the Sturmey-Archer gears from before the war! We all had bikes with those on the estate”!

Stan O’Blene: “The very items Sir! Brand new and wanting a good home”!

Pte. Walker: “Well, Sergeant Wilson wants something with an engine actually Stan, one of your electric bicycles should do the trick”!

Stan O’Blene: “Oh, you mean the O’Blene Flyer! Well I definitely can help you there! Come out the back”! (shuffles off wearing carpet slippers, coughing all the time, towards the back of the shop)

Scene 8

(the yard at the back of Stan O’Blene’s shop)

Pte. Walker: “Blimey, you’ve got enough stuff here Stan”!

Stan O’Blene: “Oh, this is only some of it, the main shop is in Eastbourne”! (pokes around in a box of bicycle pieces, finds an electric cable, coughs, peers at it closely and wanders across to an odd looking bicycle, leaning up against a wheelbarrow)

Sgt Wilson: “Good Lord! What on earth’s that”!

Stan O’Blene: (proudly, and puffing up his chest) “That Sir, is the prototype ‘O’Blene Flyer – Mark 1’! It has two engines, one for each wheel”!

Pte. Walker: “Blimey, it is something from outer space”!

Stan O’Blene: (slightly hurt) “Well I wouldn’t put it like that Joe, (hastily) it really does go well, and costs nothing to run”!

Sgt Wilson: “Well I think it’s a splendid machine Stan! Er, how much do you want for it”?

Pte. Walker: (hastily) “Stan said you could have it for five quid Sergeant”! (winks at Stan)

Stan O’Blene: “That’s about it Sir! And I’ll throw in a spare wire for the electricity charger”!

Sgt Wilson: “Can I have a go first”?

Stan O’Blene: “Well of course! Just pedal as normal, then pull that switch there, (points) and you’ll start the engine! Goes like a dream! Not up to your Vincent speeds, but at least it costs nothing to run”!

(Wilson pedals off, flicks the switch, and the bicycle starts up. He vanishes into the High Street in a cloud of dust)

Pte. Walker: “Another satisfied customer Stan! We could sell a lot of these, you and me! Now, what about an engine on a bath chair for Dolly Godfrey”?


lilith said...

Oh, will you look at that! Scrobbers you are a genius.

rvi said...

Scrobs: Those pics brought back a long forgotten memory. One of my teachers in the mid 1950s had one of those "motor over the front wheel" bicycle thingies. Happily they were soon superseded by Lambrettas and Vespas. I had to write out 100 lines after he overheard me say that he should get off and milk it!

Scrobs... said...

Lils, it takes a good woman to say that, and now a darkened room beckons!Thank you for the praise though!

Next stop the BBC, and lets hope they haven't seen my posts, moaning about them for the last few years!

Scrobs... said...

Reevers, we've got a memory lapse going on here, because we can't remember what the French ones were called!

Something like 'Cyclemaster' springs to mind, but these are actually designed by Sinclair Industries!

We had two of these motors years ago, because the hills to the pubs round here are too steep!

Electro-Kevin said...

I'm interested in those motors too actually.

The cost of petrol and all that ... and the bloody hills 'round 'ere !

Elby The Berserk said...

Not "Velocette", is it?

lilith said...

It is so elegant. I will take two!

rvi said...

Sorry Scrobs, I can't help with name.

At about the same time, Raleigh (as I recall) brought out something similar which looked like a prototype moped but with only one fixed gear. The bloke who lived in the flat below us had one. You just got on it and started pedalling and the motor kicked in and off you went. It had the usual rotating throttle control in the handlebar and to slow it down you had to close the throttle and then reverse pedal - ie press down with your heel as if you wanted to go backwards.

I remember all this because he let me have a go up and down the cul de sac we lived in. I was only about 13 at the time and it was my very first experience of a "motor cycle".

Blue Eyes said...


Scrobs... said...

They're Sinclair Zeta 3s Elecs! In a mad moment, we came into some dosh many years ago, and (pre JRT days), needed to get out and about more, but the hills are not that brilliant round here.

They don't actually do much more than help you along, but I can move around in the middle drive wheel, on the smaller rear cogs, and never have to change down for hils, so it must be doing something right!

The one on the back belongs to Mrs S and she has sworn never to use it again after trying to get to one of the aforesaid pubs all those years ago...

And she's much, much fitter than me too...

Scrobs... said...

Velocette's OK isn't it Elbers?

Or am I missing something here...

Scrobs... said...

Lils, please change your name to 'Daisy', and you're on!

Scrobs... said...

Reevers, I j-u-s-t remember something like that too!

Wasn't it cream and green?

Will have to Google for the next few hours or so...

Scrobs... said...

Thanks Blues, and I promise not to embarrass you by driving by your place on the day I mentioned on your blog...

Scrobs... said...

Reevers, they looked like this, the French ones that is...

rvi said...

Very pretty! The bike my teacher had had the motor fixed above the front wheel mudguard.

The one I rode ws much more like the red one (second pic) or the blue one (a bit further down) depicted here

rvi said...

PS: Forgot to add that the word you might be seeking is "Mobylette"

Scrobs... said...

I actually had a Mobylette Reevers, it was my first ever motorcycle, and cost £19 from Styles in Battle, Sussex!

I must have been just 16 yrs old, and it was forever coking up (the moped, not me, although at 16, all sorts of things happened at once) and I was forever stopping by the roadside to clean the spark plug!

It was almost the same as This one, and I'd go everywhere on it - even down to Hastings, where the Mods and Rockers were just beginning to grow up...

The first day I had it, I went over to see my Auntie Con in Battle, and the carburettor fell off, on a steep hill near Whatlington. It was the exact hill I'd been looking forward to riding up (unaided) for years...

Blue Eyes said...

Mr S, leave the bike in one of Boris' racks and join me for "one for the road"!

rvi said...

Sorry, linky no worky on my machiney...

Scrobs... said...

Sorry Reevers, brain-fart there...

Try this, but mine wasn't quite so old...

Here is one like I had...

Scrobs... said...

Blues, now that is a good idea!

I've just found that we have another meeting beforehand, which means that I need to stay reasonably coherent in the afternoon, which means that I can relax from 5.30pm...

Listen out for the sirens, and one of them will either be me, or one after me!

We will have that beer though, but can we wait until the 4Bs (Bastards Blair, Brown, Balls) economic disaster has passed over a bit?

I've got a lot of friends to make up to and you're now on the list! So is Pips as well, in fact, if we ever get out of all this, every-bloody-one will join in and to hell with the pension!

rvi said...

Link still no work. Must be my computer if it works for everybody else?

Elby The Berserk said...

Mobylette it is! Spot on RVI.

Scrobs - that's excellent. Can you take out Porsches from standing on it?

Scrobs... said...

No, its not your computer Reevers, I must have ballsed up the second link as well...

Just Google
and you'll see a pic of the model I had!

Scrobs... said...

Definetly Elbers!

The motors can kick in when your speed (pedalled) reaches 6mph. They then 'dip' down onto the tyre(s), and grip pretty well, except in the wet.

Beacause the batteries are quite old, the charge only lasts a short while, but they'll take the effort out of a few hills before they expire!

I'm now working on a version of cultivator to take the grind out of hoeing on the new allotlment.

That means that these little chaps will have to be taken off the bike, and subjected to yet another humiliating redesign.

If you Google 'Sinclair Zeta 3', you can see the full splendour of the kit! 'Redferret' has a great pic of it! The old blue ones apparently were even more useless...

And Porsches - er- no...

Scrobs... said...

Elbers; apols for typo...

For 'Definetly' read 'Certainly'...

I just hate these bloody glasses. I can't understand why the bifocal lenses are any better for being so small!

rvi said...

Thanks Scrobs. I bet you pulled a few birds with that set of wheels...

As for bifiocals - just dispense with them and get yourself some (slightly more expensive) multifocals (which these days go under all sorts of different trade names). I have been wearing them for years now and they really are effortless. The top half of the lens is for distance viewing eg road signs and bus numbers at 100yards etc and the lower half is for close up stuff - eg reading etc. Mrs rvi and I have both been wearing them for years and neither of us would ever revert to the older type. Any decent optician will supply a pair inside a week. They also come with automatic brightness adjustment (darkening and lightening as you go in and out of buildings).

umm.. wv = matinte (these are the latest French multifocals - or so I am led to believe..)

Scrobs... said...

We've been on varifocals for some thime now Reevers, if they're the ones you mean. It's just that because modern styles deem lenses to be about as big as a pinhead, there's a lot of frame/etc to get in the way, and Mrs S is forever laughing at me bumping into things...

And also tripping up as well!

rvi said...

Varificals is indeed one of the multiplicity of names for these lenses.

I agree modern very narrow styles do leave a bit to be desired. However, a simple request to my tame optician to make the lenses a bit larger always works for me as I usually opt for half frame styles. Might be worth asking next time you are in the shop. Better than tripping over the dog every 5 minutes.