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                                  




My First Scooter

by Dave Tooley


I’d been on at my Father for ages from the age of 14 to help me acquire some sort of 2 wheeled motorised transport to renovate for when I was 16, and it just so happened that the first bike he tracked down turned out to be a Scooter. If he had located for me a Motor Cycle instead, my life may well have evolved completely differently.

The bike he found was quite literally in kit form.  He spotted a local advertisement for a Lambretta Ld 125cc dating back to the 50’s that had been stripped down, and the owner had then just lost interest in rebuilding it. I got it for a song, just a few pounds I believe.(a weeks paper round money)

All I had to do was get it all home.  I think I collected most of the parts in a wheelbarrow.

It was in a terrible state, everything needed doing to it.  Just the sort of project that would keep me out of mischief for a year, and a damned good way of learning engineering at grass roots level.

My Dad made me strip that bike down to the last nut and bolt.  Then between us we painstakingly and meticulously rebuilt it, either renovating or replacing corroded parts as required.  Everything was hand painted, my Father did a coach building apprenticeship amongst others after the war, and he was a stickler for a primer, 2 undercoats and a finishing coat.  Rubbing down between each layer.  It is no exaggeration to say that it took a whole year to rebuild that bike.  But when it was finished she was like a show machine, absolutely gleaming in Polar White and Post Box Red.  My Father modified a chromed Burgess silencer with some flexible industrial exhaust pipe to fit on the machine, and it looked brilliant. We had even Stage 1 tuned the engine, and it went really well for a 125cc machine.

As Marten says, I wish to God I had kept that machine, would be worth a mint now.  I don’t even have a photographic reminder of her, after my whole fifteenth years work.

I was presented with an award at the end of 1969 for the best vintage bike in the club, a plaque I proudly displayed and still have now.  It was even reported in the Portsmouth Evening News, and I still have a copy of the cutting.


I couldn’t wait to get out on the open road and show off my rebuilt Lambretta, so I joined the Solent City Scooter Club shortly after my 16th birthday. 

I’d only been a member of the club for a few weeks when Marten Holdway showed up on his pristine Wildcat Dykes Lambretta Gp 225cc.  As I remember it, he caused quite a stir by turning up at the Connaught Hall in Gosport with his mate who was riding a motorbike. A single cylinder Ducati 250cc, I believe it was. Although Marten would probably remember better than I.

The reason for the agitation was in the late 60’s there was quite a bit of ‘aggro’ going on with the Mods (on Scooters)and Rockers (on Motorcycles) and you were obliged to either belong to one camp or the other. Though I always thought it was a silly idea, since I loved motorcycles as well, and frequently attended International Racing events.  Even being the chair monkey on a racing Norton Commando 750cc sidecar outfit myself at National events years later.

The Rockers (or Greasers, as they were affectionately called) used to hang out at the ‘Waite ‘a’ While’ café along Forton road, and God forbid any Scooterist who went past there and looked at them in a ‘funny’ way.

This created an atmosphere of fear and reprisal whenever a motorcyclist came within our midst.  A bit pathetic really looking back on it, but that’s how things were in that era.

What made the whole thing even more ridiculous was the proprietor of the Café in question, Mr Waite, lived next door to my parents house and was blissfully unaware of the animosity felt towards his establishment by anyone other than the Motorcycling fraternity.



Solent City Scooter Club
The Clubs Formation
My First Scooter
The Weekly Meetings
Trips to Stoney Cross
The Meeting Places of the Club
The Club Warehouse
The Thorngate Halls Disco
The Club Newsletter
Miss Solent City
Grumpy Old Man Blog have some fun
Scooter Picture Gallery
Contact Us
The Member List
Members Tales Then and Now
Angela Twigg
Dermot Omalley
David Seymour
John Coles Metalflake SX
Keith Champion
Muriel Rowe
Kenny Erridge
Mick Estlick
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
Colin Thompson
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
Other Websites of Interest



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