In 1975 I purchased my very first motorcycle. It was a 1949 James Captain fitted with a Villiers 6E and three speed box.
With the exception of the frame most of the other components were in two tea chests. Many friends helped and we reassembled the bike, having sourced some missing parts, and got it back on the road. I considered getting it through the MOT a major victory!
It was a great experience and triggered a lifetime interest in motorcycles.
Roll on 41 years. I had now owned a number of machines including an early RD 125, Honda 400 four, a 1978 Triumph Tiger 750 – which I rode throughout Europe in the Summer of 1981- including a return leg from Vienna, a Triumph TR65 Thunderbird, a Yamaha XS1 and a Norton Navigator.
For a number of years I regularly used a truly professional motorcycle engineer in Devon who is now retired. In fact he had been a senior aircraft engineer at Filton in Bristol.
Languishing in his workshop for 20 years or so was an extremely tired and dishevelled Triumph TSS. It appeared to sit there month in, month out and year in and year out… I always expressed an interest in this machine.
Totally out of the blue I received a phone call from the engineer offering me first bid on the machine. I leapt at the opportunity and my bid was accepted.
A little later I was in regular contact with John Rosamond, Chairman of the Triumph Meriden Co-op, organising a talk and presentation about the Co-op years at Meriden for my local motorcycle club.
I remember telling John that I had purchased the TSS and had no idea who would be the most appropriate and experienced person to undertake a full rebuild and restoration of such a rare machine.
Within hours I received an e-mail from John Rosamond stating “I know exactly the man”.
His name was John Hallard.
John duly contacted me. He collected the machine and literally kept me updated almost day by day. Additionally he always sent a photographic record of precisely what was going on. This was not an easy project and I had to operate within a budget.
They honoured my budget and carried out the most incredible rebuild and recommission. Not only did he do that but he also was so understanding, displayed an amazing sense of humour and immense good will.
Needless to say the quality of work was absolutely second to none.
John, and indeed his father, worked at Meriden and this is so truly displayed by his dedication in getting the job right!
It is very simple: please do not think of going anywhere else – John Hallard is the engineer and man you need to speak to…