the solent city scooter club dave tooley mallory park 1970       

Tales of adventure, stupidness, teenage sex desires, friendships a great time was had by all and I remember it just                                  




Les Rafferty

by Marten Holdway


Les Rafferty the ace tuner of two stoke machines. He once told me that during his days in the RAF he used to race an Ariel Arrow round Castle Coombe, this must of been the time he learned his trade as a tuner. Les could transform a meek little Lambretta into a howling beast, which would leap away with alarming speed and many wheelies if you were not careful. In the  sixties he and Ned Newman started the Wildcat tuning side of the Motorcyle business in West Street Fareham.

Les Rafferty in the old shop

The old workshops were situated where the Fareham bypass is now, leading to the railway station, at the time I was employed by Rafferty's as a workshop receptionist and tea maker. Most every evening a few of us die hard racers would congregate at the workshop for a chat, and to watch the master at work, hoping that some of his skills would rub off. Les was always there grinding away in his little tuning area, the old workshop was a massive affair you could get about 50 bikes lined up in two rows in the place. Les was a great bloke, gruff on the outside, but he had a heart of gold and was really very helpful to us lads. It's shocking to think that he died so young only 45, at lot younger than I am now.

Les tried his hand at racing scooters, he had a nice GP125 he would race, he lent this bike to me once at Mallory when my 225 died.

At lydden hill  when he was riding sidecar passinger for Ginger George the steam (he used to keep steam traction engines) they had a nasty prang which put him in hospital. After that I believe June his wife ended his racing days.

Les developed the five port barrel and the use of dykes pistons for the Lambretta's also pluging crankshafts, a compression plate and electronic ignition all helped to keep the Wildcats at the cutting edge of scooter racing history.

Really we were so fortunate to be at the birth of Scooter Racing in the UK, and to spend time with one of the Greats in Scooter tuning. They were happy days we had no responsibilities and life was sweet.

Ned Newman and Les Rafferty



Solent City Scooter Club
The Clubs Formation
My First Scooter
The Weekly Meetings
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The Meeting Places of the Club
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Miss Solent City
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Members Tales Then and Now
Angela Twigg
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Keith Champion
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Colin Fry and Debbie
Dave Tooley
Trevor Aspden
Phil Blatch
Terry Langridge
Pete Boyle
John Searle and Jackie Catchpole
Pete Thomas
Marten Holdway
John Olde
Chris Bracey
Mick Platts (Digger)
Ken Jackson
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Articles on Scooter Racing
Scooter Racing
Crystal Palace
Mallory Park
Lydden Hill
Castle Combe
Black Death
Les Rafferty
Scooter Rallys
The Southend Scooter Rally 1970
The Isle of Wight Rally 1970
The Comax Rally
Other Tales to Tell
Tales from the River Bank
Suzuki Stinger
Speed Cop
Ned Newman
Taking the Mick
Memories from Daves garage
First Blood
Club Party
Martens Wildcat Gp225
Such a Teaser
Braggers and Bullshitters
End of an Era
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