What to say - old fart remembering.....

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What to say - old fart remembering.....

Post  OETKB on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:50 pm

It's interesting to see the past being dredged up. This month's Scootering has a very nice article about Mike Karslake's Lambretta "Rickshaw". There where two actually the covered version with cab and the scooter with a basket on back. Mike told me about the restoration of the cab version back in the early eighties. I had the privelidge of sitting in it at the Southend Rally one year.

How many of you knew that Mike was the owner of "Citizen Smith's" Lambretta?

OK - for you youngster's - Citizen "Wolfie" Smith was an early 80's social comedy starring a young Robert Lindsay as a revolutionary (Che Guevara type) decreeing "freedom for Tooting" (I think). Anyway he rode a Lambretta (I suppose an image of the ordinary).

But back to the Scootering article - how many of you know/realise that Josephine Karslake is/was Mrs. Jo Wood? Divorced now, of course but back in the early eighties the Rolling Stones - almost - played an undercover gig at the Southend Rally, as a favour to Mike. I was there, if only it hadn't fallen apart at the last moment. It still makes me tingle at the thought. We ended up with a Mod group called "The Leapers", after five minutes John Illing said to me "they should be called the Lepers".
Anyway, enough from me - Gordon - LCGB Treasurer 1979 - 1982.

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Re: What to say - old fart remembering.....

Post  daz.h on Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:00 pm

was it the tooting popular front?
"power to the people" Laughing
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Re: What to say - old fart remembering.....

Post  Staffy (Gareth) on Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:11 am

He had a Series one through most of the series and then a GP later. Your right Mike id have the Series 1 but not the GP.

Here is a video clip of Wolfie on the GP when they went to Italy and also some pictures of him and the Series 1 Smile

http://www.themodgeneration.com/video/for-andrew-harris-citizen










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Well I never....

Post  OETKB on Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:48 pm

I never saw all of the Citizen Smith series (probably like a lot of TV comedy it ran out of steam) and I lost interest, so the GP scenes are new to me. It certainy looks a bit ropey - a 150 no added dampers, the side panels look like add ons, it wouldn't suprise me if it was an Li with a GP headset. Tyres look like "tired" Dunlops (how well I remember them), and the engine doesn't sound right, no crispness, no snap to the exhaust. Just some poor mule being beaten to death. Robert Lindsay's co-star sank to the actors Graveyard of "Last of the Summer Wine", still it's a living of sorts.... Thanks for the clip, I enjoyed it. Next I must recount Mike Karslake's comments about the last Southend Rally under the revived LCGB. I need to check my dates - it was the August when Lord Mountbatten was assisinated by the IRA. It's called Synchronicity - unrelated, but connected events.

Regards, Gordon.

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Nope it is a GP

Post  Gordon on Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:00 am

Looking closer at Wolfie's scooter - it is a GP, it just looks like it had a hard life. Smile

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Re: What to say - old fart remembering.....

Post  Neil on Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:06 am

Gordon

Great to hear of your LCGB memories and also the Citizen Smith scooter. I remember watching Citizen Smith as a lad and clearly remember the Series 1 - didn't know that he had a GP in later episodes!

Rolling Stones at Southend (was that the 1979 rally?) - now that would have been a gig to see if it had happened!

Yes, power to the people!

Cheers
Neil

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Re: What to say - old fart remembering.....

Post  merton mick on Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:40 am

The GP was only used in the film that came later, when the boys go to Italy

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1979 and all that.

Post  Gordon. on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:17 pm

1979. Yes that puts things in place. Maureen and I had been married just under two years and the second Southend Rally had been organised by the new Northern LCGB committee. With hindsight Southend is a long way from our Widnes base and although Mike Karslake was pulling old strings , we really didn't have a clue.

The 1978 rally had gone off reasonably well, but I had been bollocked by my fellow LCGB committee members for staying in a hotel and not on the campsite. So 1979 we camped. Friday was OK but Saturday went tits up (read the account in the official LCGB website for details of the riot).

It probably wasn't much, but no-one seemed to know who had actually started it, a more startlingly there where people photographing the action (again no one knew who they were, and we asked questions the next day).

Later after things had quietened down we went back to our tent to (try and) sleep, but as Treasurer I had nearly £2,000 of entry money in my possesion, so the only way we felt we could keep it secure was by lying on it..... That would would have been OK, but a lot of the (younger) campers got pissed shouted a lot and then got frightened as a rumour spread that a gang of "Teds" where coming up from Southend with shotguns to "sort them".

It was probably at that point that I decided this this wasn't what "scootering" was about for me. I had a wife, job and new responsibilities, I began to realise that people would do just what the hell they liked and the 1950s camaraderie was long dead.

Bank Holiday was abandoned and as we gloomilly, but thankfully made our way home in our Mk2 Cortina, the news came on the radio that Lord Mountbatten had been assassinated by the IRA. It was a fitting counterpoint to the death of the Southend Rally.

To be continued.......

Gordon.
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Re: What to say - old fart remembering.....

Post  Neil on Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:39 am

Gordon

A great read, keep the memories coming! You must have plenty of tales to tell having been so closely involved with the LCGB during the late 1970's.

Did you have a Luna during those days that you still have?

Cheers
Neil

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More old fart remembering.... The Final Straw.

Post  Gordon on Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:17 pm

After Southend, we (the "new" LCGB Comittee) went home and licked our wounds. I seem to remember that it was a particularly subdued club meeting that followed the next week. I think we where all surprised by how badly things had (could) go wrong. I definitly remember the mood "as well that's it, the scooterist's can go to hell". So we cruised on with only a Jet Set to produce and then the AGM which had been arranged as usual at Nottingham University. The prize giving event was organised, but my new "accelerated" prize giving system proved a total cock up.

But that was later, the real frightener happened earlier when Mike Karslake, John Illing and I where chatting on the stage prior to the start of the AGM. Mike produced a flyer / newsletter / underground magazine that set out the way in which the Northern "people" (for want of a better word) where going to sort out the Southern "people" (repeat) at the Southend Rally.

Mike was aghast.. He had no idea that there was an underground culture operating in scootering, and neither did we (the LCGB).

But suddenly a lot of things fell into place - the photgraphers, the "unknown" people who seemed to be orgainising the riot, in fact the way that after Saturday everything just calmed down.

Later I realised that ther were many underground movements building at the time, football, the miners, Maggie Thatcher....

I had decided (almost) that I had enough of scooters, but finally, we the Widnes Saints organised a club ride out and having being appointed as "Tail End Charlie" it was my job to pick up stragglers and help them fix their bikes. This annoyed the hell out of me as so many of the younger lads had no idea how to maintain their Lambrettas and where completely unprepared for any journey. With hindsight I was the same, "But I Learned".

On that ride out we went through Frodsham, I think our destination was Chester, but as we left Frodsham we were attacked by some Motorcyclists, I was booted in the side panels with the intention of kicking me off the road, and at that moment I knew I had had enough. We, the Widnes Saints/LCGB, where supposed to be running a social event for young people, but to some it was a totally different thing, a gang war. After some milling about we set off home, I parked my Li150 hack in the garage and thought bitter thoughts.

Finally, several weeks later, after some pressure to keep the scooters in scootering (by this time almost everybody on the LCGB committee was driving cars) I used my Li150 to attend our regular Wednesday night meeting. When I came out of the meeting, somebody had stolen the battery, that was the final straw. I handed in my notice as Treasurer, quietly stopped going to the meetings and finally sold my last scooter (bizarrely to a lad whose mother had been a scooterist in the Liverpool Scooter Club).

That was that as far as I was concerened, but little did I know that Quadraphenia and the "New Mods/Scooterists" where only months away. I had turned away from all of it. A long pause ensues........

Gordon
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