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Rare and Historic Greeves Related Films From The British Pathe Archive.

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  • #16
    Hi Brian,

    I can shed a bit of light on Renee Bennett, her parents Wag and Diane Bennett had a motorcycle shop in Canning Town and a Gym in Forest Gate. Wag and Diane befriended Arnold Schwarzenegger when he lived in London in the sixties, before he left for the USA.

    Renee was married to Howard Powell and I believe it was his motorcycle shop she was looking into (the large HOWARD painted on the wall gives a clue!). That shop is still trading as Howard Powell Motorcycles.

    The area of the trial looks as though it might have been at Pirbright, but that is only a guess.

    I bought my first Greeves, a 1958 20SAS from Monty Banks Snr. at his tiny shop in Whitechapel, before he moved to Vallence Road (the opposite end to the Kray family). Those were the days when you also bought a silencer and a set of trials tyres to ride the bike in the winter. Three of us rode our Greeves from London to Liverpool across to the Isle of Man to watch the 1959 Manx Grand Prix. We all entered a Scramble in Douglas and finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th. The winner was a local lad by the name of Kelly. I think I came second but it may have been third. The prize money of 2 10s just about paid for a new rear wheel rim to replace the one I dented in the race!

    Brian Stonebridge was our idol and we were all shocked when we heard of his death. At the time of the memorial Scramble at Hawkstone Park, I was 'square-bashing' as a RAF National Serviceman in Bridgenorth, Shropshire. Our pay was about 1 a week so me and a couple of friends hitch-hiked to and from Hawkstone to spectate. It was great to see Dave Curtis on his Matchless and the works Gold Stars thundering around the circuit.

    Happy Days

    John
    John A - 268

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    • #17
      Hi John,

      Thank you so much for that marvellous post. Information like that is just priceless as far as I'm concerned, and it certainly adds a great deal to the enjoyment of watching those clips and having a bit more of the 'background', as you have so kindly provided.

      Wow! I had no idea about the 'Arnie' connection, although I knew he had spent time in the UK in his early days. Looks like we have friends in high places then! I bet he'd remember those days with great affection-wonder if he ever had a go on a Greeves....! As Peter Smith (Greevesnut) once said to me, the wonderful thing about Greeves is that just when you think you've 'got to the bottom of it', something like this comes up and the story goes off in yet another new direction! To me, it's all part of the 'magic' that surrounds these very special bikes, and the great affection in which they're held.

      It's nice to hear more about Rene and Howard, and amazing to hear that Howard's shop is still trading under his name after all these years! 'Modern' dealerships just aren't the same are they....no more grumpy old blokes called 'Alf', wearing an oily brown coat, roll-up dangling from his mouth, and able to recite every part number from memory....more's the pity.

      What a wonderful story too, about the time you and your mates rode your bikes to the Manx (and then RACED!) Yes indeed, things were very different back then, and although I'm sure to you it was 'just what we did' in those days, I wonder what the modern day 'weekend warriors' (who's bikes never even see rain...) would make of that!!!! I'll bet that was a memorable trip indeed, and it fills me with huge respect to think of you lads making that journey, and then only being bested in the race by the local talent-brilliant stuff John! Sounds like it would make a great peice for 'Leading Link', if you get a minute...(hint hint!) Happy days indeed, I'll bet!

      Being in attendance at the Brian Stonebridge Memorial meeting at Hawkstone must be a very special memory indeed John, albeit one tinged with sadness... He was indeed (and still is) a true legend, the likes of which we are unlikely to see again...My close friend David Stonebridge's father John (cousins) told us of the time when, as a young boy he was taken to Hawkstone Park to watch the scrambles. As a family member, John was invited to go into the pits (escorted, as it was back then) to meet Brian, but was just too shy, such was his stature at the time, and the awe in which he was held by everyone. He regrets it to this day...John was a Triumph man in his day, and David rides a Hinkley Triumph Trident 900 triple-we regularly get together for a blast on our roadbikes, but I'm determined to get him off-road on my TCS one day!

      Thank you once again for sharing your memories with us all John, it's just wonderful to hear them.

      Brian.
      Last edited by Brian Thompson; 15/05/2010, 01:20 PM.

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      • #18
        More British Pathe - try this.. DC Roadster

        Another British Pathe 'Greeves' gem to add to the list...

        Richard Wyler, Man from Interpol, 1961, Thruxton circuit 500mile race versus Ariel Arrows & other Brit machinery.
        As pictured on p117 in Greeves book.

        Is this the same bike (950UNO) that he and Joe Dunphy (171VEV) toured the continent on in 1961 ? ....Enjoy !

        Racing Film Star (1961.)
        http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=471

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        • #19
          Richard Wyler British Pathe film clip.

          What a fantastic find John, and well spotted indeed!

          According to the Carrick/Walker Greeves book, RW was partnered with Griff Jenkins for the '61 Thruxton race, but who knows on the bike...? What do you reckon chaps?

          Welcome aboard the forum John, and thanks for posting that great clip!!! I really enjoyed watching it!

          I'll copy the link for this clip and any future ones into the 'master list' in the original post so we can keep them all together.

          Brian.
          Last edited by Brian Thompson; 27/06/2010, 03:21 PM.

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          • #20
            950 uno & 171 vev

            Originally posted by john9700 View Post
            Another British Pathe 'Greeves' gem to add to the list...

            Richard Wyler, Man from Interpol, 1961, Thruxton circuit 500mile race versus Ariel Arrows & other Brit machinery.
            As pictured on p117 in Greeves book.

            Is this the same bike (950UNO) that he and Joe Dunphy (171VEV) toured the continent on in 1961 ? ....Enjoy !

            Racing Film Star (1961.)
            http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=471
            950 UNO Richard Wyler's 32DC is still around I am told owned by a guy called Dave Benson from London area (maybe a GRA member). According to DVLA 950 UNO is on SORN. Dunphy's 32DC 171 VEV does not appear to have been licenced since 1/2/90 but may be still in someones shed.
            I STAND CORRECTED ON THIS, IT IS JOE DUNPHY'S BIKE 171 VEV THAT IS OWNED BY DAVE BENSON
            Last edited by John Wakefield; 14/11/2013, 10:55 PM. Reason: Correction to registration number

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            • #21
              Many thanks John for your research.

              Dave is a past acquaintance of mine and marque specialist for Villiers Twins in the British Two Stroke Club. I lost touch some years ago now, however post this picture from the infamous Southend Show around 1990 with him aboard his recently acquired 171VEV.

              Dave was more of a Francis Barnett man but understood the Greeves to be of historic importance at the time, without knowing its true background - as it seemed an eclectic mix of DC and DD parts, wondering even if it could be a DD prototype.

              As far as I know he probably still has it, though 950UNO I'm sure I've spotted at Battlesbridge in more recent times - perhaps not actually owned by Dave.

              For the record, the other fine chap in the photo is Brian Boult another BTSC stalwart on his restored 20DC.

              Regards,
              John9700
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by john9700 View Post
                Many thanks John for your research.

                Dave is a past acquaintance of mine and marque specialist for Villiers Twins in the British Two Stroke Club. I lost touch some years ago now, however post this picture from the infamous Southend Show around 1990 with him aboard his recently acquired 171VEV.

                Dave was more of a Francis Barnett man but understood the Greeves to be of historic importance at the time, without knowing its true background - as it seemed an eclectic mix of DC and DD parts, wondering even if it could be a DD prototype.

                As far as I know he probably still has it, though 950UNO I'm sure I've spotted at Battlesbridge in more recent times - perhaps not actually owned by Dave.

                For the record, the other fine chap in the photo is Brian Boult another BTSC stalwart on his restored 20DC.

                Regards,
                John9700
                Hi John
                It does look to be 171 VEV that Dave has, the guy who told me said it was one of the bikes used by Wyler & Dunphy I guessed it might be 950 UNO as that has 'more recent activity' on DVLA. On second thoughts I am sure you are right as on checking futher, 950 UNO is owned by a GRA member Colin Dennison, he wrote a piece about it in LL 159
                Last edited by John Wakefield; 14/11/2013, 10:52 PM.

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                • #23
                  20dc - 386fyy

                  How very bizarre is this.. the Lord certainly moves in mysterious ways.. ages searching for this photo and no sooner had I posted it on the forum.. I spot one of the bikes (20DC single, to the left) to actually be FOR SALE on our favourite trading website.. weird or what ?
                  http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Greeves-ro...item1c38f2e25e

                  Regards,
                  John9700

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Update to 'viewing instructions' in post #1.

                    Getting back to the main topic of my thread, I've just updated the 'viewing instructions' in my first post due to a slight update on the British Pathe website. This will also serve to 'bump' this thread, in case newer members may not have come across it yet.

                    The excellent film that Brian Catt uploaded today in 'General Greeves Chat' covering the Griffon mounted Royal Artillery Display Team prompted me to have another look at this one, which is when I spotted the changes noted above and this update.

                    Brian.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hi Brian,
                      I am one of the "new" members to the forum that has not seen this before.
                      Now the good news is that I will really enjoy looking at these while the bad news is that my wife will moan about not talking to her etc etc and the rebuild will be put back again!!!!

                      Brilliant post.
                      Thank you

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Have you tried flowers mate....

                        Originally posted by griffon380 View Post
                        Hi Brian,
                        I am one of the "new" members to the forum that has not seen this before.
                        Now the good news is that I will really enjoy looking at these while the bad news is that my wife will moan about not talking to her etc etc and the rebuild will be put back again!!!!

                        Brilliant post.
                        Thank you
                        Nice one Craig, and thanks mate - glad I revised/bumped it now.

                        Hope yer dinner didn't end up 'in the dog' though bud.....

                        ...and give mine and Wendy's regards to young Spidey!

                        Brian.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by john9700 View Post
                          Many thanks John for your research.

                          Dave is a past acquaintance of mine and marque specialist for Villiers Twins in the British Two Stroke Club. I lost touch some years ago now, however post this picture from the infamous Southend Show around 1990 with him aboard his recently acquired 171VEV.

                          Dave was more of a Francis Barnett man but understood the Greeves to be of historic importance at the time, without knowing its true background - as it seemed an eclectic mix of DC and DD parts, wondering even if it could be a DD prototype.

                          As far as I know he probably still has it, though 950UNO I'm sure I've spotted at Battlesbridge in more recent times - perhaps not actually owned by Dave.

                          For the record, the other fine chap in the photo is Brian Boult another BTSC stalwart on his restored 20DC.

                          Regards,
                          John9700
                          Looks like 171VEV was sold by Dave Benson in June 2015 when it was sold at Brooklands auction for 4200 https://www.historics.co.uk/buying/a...rts-twin-32dc/

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