1947 VH

Roy Davis
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1947 VH

Post by Roy Davis »

Hi all. I'm still the proud half owner of the VH 500 I was given in 1972. My brother Colin in Ross on Wye has taken care of the Ariel for the last 20 years or so, but now she has come back to Northamptonshire for another hoon with the boys here. Here is a photo(1972ish) taken when mum and dad we're out of the county and the bikes crept onto the lawn 😀 (dodged the dog lead on that particular occasion)
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Roy Davis
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by Roy Davis »

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Hi again. Here are a couple of photos. Log book showing the first owner who had a very large shoe factory in Countess road Northampton (Barkers She Factory). Plus the very resent Rose of the Shires run organised by the Sunbeam motorcycle club.
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Roger Gwynn
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by Roger Gwynn »

Nice bike and lovely to have the history, now recorded on the club's machine register. The only previous entry was a dating certificate that I did for you or your brother (no name recorded) in 1995.
Do you have any details of the rigid VB with dual seat? SHU 704?
Roger Gwynn, Membership Secretary, curator of the Machine Register and the works drawings. Director of Draganfly Motorcycles, Craven Equipment and Supreme Motorcycles mostly retired.
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by Julian Murphy »

Nice back story.

Photograph 3. Is that an Arrow engined Bantam, with fork leg bending disc brake?? :o
Paul Slootheer
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by Paul Slootheer »

Roger Gwynn wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 11:44 am Nice bike and lovely to have the history, now recorded on the club's machine register. The only previous entry was a dating certificate that I did for you or your brother (no name recorded) in 1995.
Do you have any details of the rigid VB with dual seat? SHU 704?
I would not be suprised if that VB dates back to 1955.
It seems to be fitted with that late petrol tank with the round Ariel badges…
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by will_curry »

According to my notes SHU is a Bristol registration from 1954.
Roy Davis
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by Roy Davis »

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Hi. Colin must have asked for the dating certificate back in 1995 and I'm sure it's always good to list these bikes on your register. The VB I obtained from my other brother when he lived in St Agnes in Cornwall and brought back to Northampton in a hire van appropriately named 'Dolphin Van Hire' 😄. As to who I sold it to I'm not sure. Let's hope it survives some where. I have three Bsa Bantams in not std trim, one being the fork flexing, twin carb Ariel Arrow engined bike. Another Bantam has a square four Ariel Arrow top end/RG500 engine and another with a similar configuration but with scooter top ends. Google 'Bsa Bantam RG500 ' at you peril. The VH came with a sprint tank from the first owner as he used to run it in Events such as the Castle Ashby sprint upto the big house. Cap in hand for us riff raff :)).
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by will_curry »

To call the two four-cylinder Bantams 'Marvels of Engineering' is not to understate their genesis.

As for the sound . . .
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Roger Gwynn
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by Roger Gwynn »

the VB isn't on the register, at least not under the registration number but many entries only have engine and frame numbers. We once discussed having a club motto, Lester Grant came up with 'We don't do normal' or 'non faciunt normalem'.
Roger Gwynn, Membership Secretary, curator of the Machine Register and the works drawings. Director of Draganfly Motorcycles, Craven Equipment and Supreme Motorcycles mostly retired.
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Re: 1947 VH

Post by Roy Davis »

Hi. The closest I've ever been to 'normal' was the Arrow engine in a Bantam. I put an Rg500 into a 250 Aprilia. 250 engine into a 125 Aprilia.
Anyway. Story goes, I was an apprentice mechanic at Westbridge motors, and one day a lad named Pete told me of a bike in a shed he had broken into, presumably with a mate or two. So, 6 months passed and I thought I would investigate said, rusty bike. I rang up the shoe factory and spoke to the switchboard operator and was put straight through to the boss (shed broken into department). On speaking with the owner, who of course asked a couple of awkward questions. I said something along the lines of, I spoke to a lad at a disco and he said etc etc. So I asked the owner of the bike can I buy it? I had no idea what I was asking to buy other, than it being an old rusty bike. Off we went to the shed and no, he did not lead me by my ear or even the scuff of my neck. So, we get to the bike and my eyes light up, as its not a small cc machine but a bigger machine. I asked can I buy it, Mr Barker asks me what am I going to with it, if he sells me said Ariel. The little squirt being me says' I'll get it on the road' and Mr B says it's too far gone. Anyway, he gives the boy with the blonde hair and blue eyes his 500 Ariel along with the old buff log book and sprint tank. Boy, lobs said goodies into his dad's Bedford Dormobile with compulsory rattling front bumper and drives off giggling.
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