Memory Lane: When scooting around was fun

Lambretta scooters outside John Hall & Son, Devonshire Road , Blackpool in 1960
Lambretta scooters outside John Hall & Son, Devonshire Road , Blackpool in 1960
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LOOK at the chap with the L-plate as this cavalcade of scooterists makes its way along Devonshire Road from Bispham, through North Shore to Layton, in 1958.

He is Jim Thompson, of Coriander Close, Bispham, who contacted Memory Lane after a recent 50 Years Ago paragraph which proclaimed: “The Sporting Scooter Club of Blackpool reported that it had won a major award in every event in which members competed during 1961.”

More than 150 scooters took part in this parade which was part of the Blackpool Scooter Rally (1958)

More than 150 scooters took part in this parade which was part of the Blackpool Scooter Rally (1958)

Jim admits that he enjoyed “many wonderful carefree years” as a member of first the Blackpool Scooter Club and then the Sporting Scooter Club of Blackpool.

He suggested that if we searched the archives we might find an old black and white photograph of a 1958 rally and that, if we did, he was the rider behind the L plate. So here he is!

Jim says: “Looking through different clippings brought back many happy memories, indeed I had forgotten a few, but I did notice my wife’s maiden name, along with a few others, who met at the club and found romance.

“While we were at the premises behind the Red Lion Hotel, Bispham, we enjoyed social events, we organised outings, we went to rallies, had treasure hunts and scooter maintenance sessions. We entertained other scooter clubs from all over the country. There was always something going on and the premises became very popular. Thank you once again for bringing back so many fond memories.”

The small mention also caught the eye of another club member, Roy Haskett, who says: “As well as the general excitement of actually owning a scooter and taking part most weekends in rallies and trials all over the country, there was always your annual holidays on two wheels to look forward to.

“One such one in the summer of 1960, involved travelling more than 800 return miles, all the way through the West Country to Newquay and even as far as Land’s End.

“This was, indeed, a well-navigated excursion in the days prior to the motorway network opening up the country. It’s hard to imagine now that you could travel miles, two up, with all your camping gear and personal baggage, with just a 150cc two-stroke engine to keep you going. Without doubt, the highlight of the tour was strawberries and clotted cream, along with T-bone steak, which became our staple diet every night in Newquay’s own Sussex Grill.

“My profound thanks go to my two chums who invited me along, Michael (Butch) Telford, a clerk at the local Fylde Water Board offices in Sefton Street, and Dave Freeman, a bus conductor with Blackpool Council’s Transport Department. They had a 200cc Micoletta and a GS Vespa respectively. Many thanks indeed lads. Where are you now? Because I’m ready to sample those delicacies yet again,” says Roy.