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Southend Water Company 20DC's

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  • Southend Water Company 20DC's

    Following on from the thread on YHJ745 there were actually fourteen 20DC's supplied to Southend Water Company via Peter Watkin in March & April 1961
    I have been in contact with John Taylor of Leigh on Sea who has the Southend record cards for the YHJ series this is the list with frame numbers etc where known:
    YHJ739 frame No 61/2820 250 engine untaxed for road V5c present
    YHJ740 unknown last known Essex 1977 no V5
    YHJ741 unknown on DVLA untaxed for road use with V5c
    YHJ742 unknown not on DVLA in London by 7/75
    YHJ743 frame No 61/2825 250cc 2T engine No 428D13501 fitted taxed till 4/18 V5c
    YHJ744 frame No 61/2829 eng No 251D8901 not on DVLA last known owner Sidney Delaune Leigh on Sea 1967 current owner unknown V5c
    YHJ745 frame No 61/2830 4T engine No 024F2057 fitted, for sale (3750) by Andy Tiernan 12/17 V5c last tax expired June 2010, Sold to a GRA member
    YHJ746 unknown not on DVLA in Hertfordshire by 12/71
    YHJ747 unknown not on DVLA still in Southend 1/74
    YHJ748 unknown not on DVLA still in Essex 8/73
    YHJ749 unknown not on DVLA still in Southend 2/72
    YHJ750 frame No 61/2837 eng 251D8913 last known owner G D Fisch, Searby cum Ownby Lincs 1967 current owner unknown not on DVLA
    YHJ751 unknown not on DVLA still in Essex 9/70
    YHJ752 unknown not on DVLA went from Essex 10/75

    So out of the 14 bikes only two are definitely known to survive, YHJ745 the one for sale by Andy Tiernan, and YHJ743 which is currently taxed till April 2018 but with MoT expired 7th July 2017. Further checks reveal it has also had an engine change, a 2T number 428D13501 (originally fitted to a James Super Swift). It has been with one owner since 1999 & covered only 1067 miles from then to last MoT. Interestingly a remark in the advisories for last MoT states Motorcycle in very good condition for age Is it owned by a GRA member? Unfortunatly the DVSA have stopped listing the MoT test station details on their web site so it cant be traced to an area.

    The last known locations are from Southend vehicle record cards held by John Taylor of Leigh on Sea. It would appear that many of the bikes stayed in the area after disposal by the water company, possibly sold off to employees.
    Unfortunately the majority of cards do not list the frame numbers, so they wont be of use as evidence of registration number should any of the bikes not currently on the DVSA computer surface.
    Last edited by John Wakefield; 29/12/2017, 12:17 PM. Reason: owner change YHJ745 recorded

  • #2
    A bit more news on the SWC bikes. I recently wrote a letter to the Southend Echo and had a reply today from a Mrs Woodley who's late husband rode one of the bikes. The company used to let the employees take the bikes home and she thinks she may have a pic of him on one of the bikes. She is going to look it out and if she has one get it scanned and send me a copy. Apparently the Greeves replaced some heavy weight BSA's. She says that there is unlikely to be any of the riders alive now, her husband would have been in his 90's. The bikes were used for meter reading and small maintenance jobs like repairing tap washers etc.

    And a batch or 24DB's the previous year
    I have since found out that there was a previous two batches of 10 (60/2550-9) and 5 (60/2565-9), 15 total 24DB roadsters supplied to Peter Watkin of Southend in January 1960. Two or these are in the ownership of GRA member Dick Dunkley, 60/2555 registered VHJ294 to Southend Water Company as first owner, the other being 60/2557, but no registration number, but looks to be in the VHJ2** series.
    60/2559 is VHJ299 and last known with Cheshunt Motorcycle Mart circa 3/70 not on DVLA but may be around
    So it looks as though SWC took the whole fifteen. They must have been very satisfied with them to put in another order for the fourteen 20DC's the following year.
    There are other bikes known out of these batches
    60/2551 now AFE774A now fitted with a 2T engine last with Peter Cuthbertson, France. Back in UK 9/20 re reg 696UYH
    60/2552 now PSY172 on eBay 3/15 Ashby Garage Leicester was VHJ302 (number now on a car)
    60/2553 now 627XUP seen Tadley 6/19 rebuilt as a cafe racer with 2T engine

    Registration number series is VHJ293 to 306, one missing but may be 292 or 307 or not registered by Watkin in Southend
    Last edited by John Wakefield; 30/09/2020, 11:49 PM. Reason: additional info on 60/2551 added


    • #3
      Pic of VHJ302 (PSY172)

      I have found this pic if what was VHJ302 (now PSY172) on Google, no info of date or place looks like its at a show. A previous owner John Morris of Leicestershire restored it, he owned it between Dec 1993 and March 2015 having bought it from a policeman. John exhibited it at Stafford circa 2000 so may be there. Probably the only one still in its original form although I dont think the tank would have been two tone paint originally.


      • #4
        Photo of a SWC 20DC (YHJ749)

        I have managed to obtain a pic of one of the Southend Water Company 20DC's
        This appears to be YHJ749 taken in 1962. The rider is Eric Woodley a SWC employee with his young son Philip sitting on the tank. I am very grateful to Eric's widow Barbara Woodley.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by John Wakefield; 25/01/2018, 04:14 PM.