THERE is one howl I must utter this month, which will not be restrained, and it is about the recent semi-arctic weather which afflicted the land with varying ferocity. No, I am not about to complain because my car was a/non-starter, nor yet because I executed some of the most gloriously uncontrollable skids I ever accomplished. These things were trifles to be expected during such atmospheric conditions. But what did, and still does, arouse my ire and causes the vials of my wrath to overflow, is the complete absence of any steps having been taken to minimise the dislocation of traffic consequent upon the deep snow.
In my part of the world, which is a village in Hertfordshire, not the slightest thing was done for days on end, either to clear away the snow from the roads, or even to clear a passage through the High Street of the village. This operation was left to the motorist himself, who was obliged to force a single-width track through the main street of the village, using his car as a snow-plough to the joy and gratification of all beholders, and doing work which Authority should have done for him.
The Authorities on this occasion, seem to have adopted the role of Persons of Entity, rather than an alive body, maintained by the public for the public weal and common good. To one who owns a car, contributes to the Road Fund and pays rates, the utter lack of any indication whatever of the existence of such Authority, reduces me to a state of frenzy, and the same tale of nothing attempted, nothing done, reaches me from all over the country.
I was in Coventry last week, and was pleasantly surprised to see that there is very great activity in the industry, surely the one booming industry in the country. All the factories are working on full time, and the majority on overtime. There seems every reason to except that my 1928 car, ordered at the Show, will be delivered next month. Is there ally other trade wherein one examines one’s intended purchase, orders it, and receives it three months later ? Iinagine entering Selfridges and being told that the piano on show can probably be delivered sometime in April! While on the road just leaving Coventry, I was overtaken by a vehicle with a strangely familiar exhaust note, and there swept past a four-seater Riley bearing trade plates. There was a long exhaust pipe and Official Receiver sweeping from a bonnet of American cloth, and projecting from under the radiator was a large cylinder, from which issued sounds indicative of
of blower. It looks as if Riley have something up their sleeves with a supercharger and six cylinders.
Lea-Francis is apparently to be among those present at the Track this coming season, as I hear they. have taken over Capt. Miller’s sheds—next door to the late Parry Thomas’s abode—and that R. M. V. Sutton is busying himself thereabouts with matters not unconnected with high speed motoring. My younger brother having departed for school, I have at last been able been able to sit down with the book which has engrossed him since Christmas. I refer, of course, to what must have been a best seller at Christmastide among boys—of all ages—The MotorCycle Book for Boys (Iliffe and Sons, Ltd. 6s. net.)
This annual represents enjoyment in excelsis for the young enthusiast, who, while having a certain knowledge of motor-cycles, is not deeply cognizant of technicalities. The book is produced and written by the staff of the Motor Cycle who have obviously revelled in their task. The articles are pleasantly written, with just the technical talk which the average boy can understand and enjoy, and the illustrations are of the first quality, whether in colour or half-tone. The photographs are excellent, and the drawings of Grimes, Gordon Crosby, and Radcliffe-Wilson, are splendid examples of their kind, although the overtaking rider in Grimes “A T.T. Duel on the Mountain” is a horrifying example of a Dreadful Menace.
The varied contents will appeal to all, from the article on the Motor-Cycle in the making, to ” Ixion’s ” splendidly overdrawn story, “The Fourth Man.” The double page in full colour of “Tanks of Modern MotorCycles,” must prove the scene of terrific differences of opinion regarding the handsomest tank, while Gordon Crosby’s drawing of events on a non-skid surface, should be framed.
Messrs. Iliffes are to be congratulated on a really excellent production, and altogether the Annual is the best of its kind I have ever seen ; I look forward to the next edition.
While on the subject of motor-cycles, I have heard strong rumours regarding the presence of push-rod Nortons in the Junior T.T. this year.
I also hear that the Velocette concern will make, more than ever this year, a determined effort to win the Junior Tourist Trophy race. There seems promise of a terrific struggle in the junior this year.