Growing up in the 50s and 60s
To be young in the 50s and 60s - Personal Transport - From Wheelbarrows to Lambrettas
My Personal transport in the 50s/60s
From a Wheelbarrow to a Motor Scooter, an evolution!
It all began with a wheelbarrow in the early 50's (now I'm still using one in my 60's all be it for other reasons!!).
But, alas, it wouldn't get me to Chipstead School any quicker than walking. A push Scooter followed next, a fine specimen of one I recall; green in colour with larger wheels than the ones most other kids had.
I'm unsure where we obtained my first bicycle from. It was shiney black and had those solid brake systems rather than cable.
No gears of course, it was high tec when a three gear bike came out, nowadays it's twenty something.
My Aunt Lucy (not my real Aunt, but a big part of my early life) was to buy me my first full size bike for Christmas, about 1960; a BSA. I'd looked at the Raleighs, but the BSA had the nicer logo and had connections with the Army during WW2, so it seemed the better choice.
Not only did I get the bike, but it was accessorized with a mirror, speedometer (years ahead of it's time) and a mileometer as well. Three months later for my birthday, it was to be equiped with Dynamo Lights.
At 14, I was working for a Chemist in Riverhead delivering Medicines to people all over the place - A note to be made here is that I was 14 and had the keys to the Pharmacy - don't think that would happen nowadays!.
I had the option of a Newspaper round, but 6am didn't seem quite right for me.
At the weekends I'd be away to Brands Hatch or Biggin Hill, didn't pay of course. I knew all the woods around these places, just hid the bike somewhere and jumped the fence. Oh sweet youth of innocence !
By sheer chance, just after my 17th birthday, Mr.Tomlinson down the Lane (not this Lane), decided to sell his Motorbike and from my vast earnings working then as a Saturday Boy in the brand spanking new 1,000sq.ft Tesco's in Sevenoaks High Street, I managed to acquire £4 to buy it.
It was built the same year I was born, 1948. A BSA Bantam 125cc, painted in the famous green and showing proudly, the BSA logo on the petrol tank. Petrol was 20p per gallon !
It only had one seat and a luggage rack, but I would drive my mate George to West Kent College in Tunbridge Wells on it using a foam cushion tied to it.
The bike just kept going, but did need de-coking now and again. This highly skilled maintenance job was performed by taking the cylinder head off, scraping the top of the piston with a screwdriver, turning the bike upside down and brushing the gunge out.
Happy days on that bike, I sold it in 1966 for £6 - a huge £2 profit!
I then made a mistake and brought a Lambretta L1 Scooter. The Scooter itself was fine and got me about for 6 months.
I guess that nowadays, it's more Bicycle, then straight to Car, some even skipping the Bike for the teenage years due to 'cred'!
Growing up in
50s and 60s
50's & 60's In the Blog
1960's Year by Year
My bicycles did get better, but I haven't got a photo!