Friday, April 26, 2013

A VISIT TO VERRALLS


I don't often get the chance to stop in Verralls in Handcross, just south of London, but it's a venerable place with a great selection of older motorcycles, and a great pleasure to visit.  Ian Hatton, who took over the business when Brian Verrall died a few years ago, has been a pal since 1987, when he was a lowly mechanic on Brian's machines (and about 19 years old, while I was a lofty 25).  Ian liked my painted-up Velocette jacket, and I purchased an MZ 250 from his father, which I then rode to the Soviet border and back in a great loop around Western and Eastern Europe, a trip of many thousands of miles - all on back roads, with zero mechanical trouble.  That's another story, but we've since remained friends, and I've long been a fan of the business.  Ian has continued Brian's policy of looking after machines they've sold - if there's a problem, they'll deal with it, usually for free (unless you run the bike without oil).
Stop in sometime, and have a chat with Gordon Button while he serves tea.
1939 Coventry Eagle 148cc with pressed-steel frame
Greeves trial machine with aluminum I-Beam front downtube, leading link forks, and Villiers engine
BMW R60/2 and Steib S500 sidecar
BSA sidecar attached to a big BSA v-twin
BSA Bantam motor peeks between Post Office legshields
Gorgeous 1926 Rex-Acme with Blackburne external flywheel 350cc motor
The Rex-Acme was a fantastic little hot rod in the day, with a tireless engine and exceptional handling
Brough Superior SS80 JAP sidevalve powerplant - finned magnificence
This crusty Barbour waxed cotton Trailmaster jacket literally stands up on its own
Sunbeam Model 6 with 500cc sidevalve engine; a lovely machine to ride
Sightglass for the oil feed supply to the big end of the engine.  Note the Sunbeam's lovely enclosed 'Little Oil Bath' primary chaincase, which holds its grease well
An 'oily rag' original finish 1914 Douglas in rare grey paint
Ex-Post Office BSA Bantam in the window
Tools of the trade
Jon Dudley of 'The Automobile' chats with Ian Hatton


5 comments:

occhiolungo said...

Ian and Gordon are fine gentlemen, and an integral part of our hobby. I've had the pleasure of enjoying tea in the shop with them, and I still owe them both greatly for a favor given back in 2006 (and Ian's father too!).

occhiolungo said...

Ian and Gordon are fine gentlemen, and an integral part of our hobby. I've had the pleasure of enjoying tea in the shop with them, and I still owe them both greatly for a favor given back in 2006 (and Ian's father too!).

BMW HACKER said...

Thanks for sharing. some wonderful old iron!

William said...

Hi Paul,
I was sure you'd be at Stafford this weekend [27&28/April] and hoped to run into you. sadly, I'm not going, not too well.
This article is super and the shop is just MAGIC.. it's just like most bike shops used to be 50 years ago before chrome and glass took over, and personal service collapsed. The pursuit of money eh..?
Anyway, one thing..
that's some jacket you've got on.. is it what you chaps call plaid.?
And what tartan is it..? I think we should be told [as an interested Anglo/Scot.]
Regards
WF
CARLISLE UK

Anonymous said...

Interested in writing an article about legendary MZ ETS 250?
http://mz-forum.com/gallery/image.php?album_id=2468&image_id=17535

Best,
M.