A Sense of Occasion

A Sense of Occasion CoverFirstly, this is not a scooter book. I think there is one mention of a Lambretta in it, so don’t buy it expecting a insight into scooter riding in the sixties. But, if you’re into the sixties, and the whole mod scene, this book is a must read. It’s the story… or several interlinked stories really… of some ordinary, working class girls growing up in Chelmsford, Essex, and how they make sense of the world.

The whole “mod thing” is not laboured… but is there as a constant backdrop, and it’s clearly how these girls define themselves. Being a mod is the most natural thing in the world. And it’s something that ‘society’ just doesn’t get. At one point, one of the key characters, Linda explains what it means to a confused German… “We’re working class. So people don’t think much about it, I mean except to say “They’re fighting again”. But the clothes are good.” The girls, for once, are the lead characters in these stories, and the male characters very much fall into supporting roles. A Sense of Occasion is a slim volume, but one I thoroughly enjoyed, because it’s beautifully written and because of it’s authenticity. The dialogue is believable and ‘real’, and really gets you into the head of the girls… and you really start to empathise with their lives. If you have an interest in the sixties and the mod scene, read it. You can grab it on Amazon, here.

Follow author Elizabeth Woodcraft (that’s her on the cover at a school fashion show in 1964) on Twitter here… and her blog is also a great read. A follow up collection of Chelmsford stories “Beyond the Beehive” is coming shortly.

Highland TV

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I was sent this fantastic pic last week, by Steve Mason.  Although I have been a fan of his music for a while now, (He was the lead singer and one of the founding embers of the Beta Band, more recently releasing musing as King Biscuit Time, Black Affair, and under his own name) for some reason I never had him down as a Lambrettista. In fact he’s been riding Lambrettas since 1987… his first being a “bucket” of a SX 150 he picked up for £175. We all know that £175 was a lot more in 1987, but you can’t help thinking “those we the days!”

If you want to catch Steve Mason live, At the Festival No. 6 in Portmerion, and then he’s at the Blackheath Festival.  After that he is DJing at The Social in Little Portland Street, London W1, on Saturday 13th September. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveMasonKBT or on his website.

In the meantime, here’s a track off his last Album, Monkey Minds In The Devils Time. http://youtu.be/2jvF2eIfk3c

Lambretta Helpline

I stumbled across a new website that just might get you out of a hole… Lambretta Helpline.com. It’s a subscription based service that will cost you £9.99 for three months membership. During that three months, you can ask a maximum of 25 questions, and get a direct, one-to-one answer from a Lambretta expert on any Lambretta maintenance, servicing fault finding, repairs or buying a Lambretta.Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 08.02.43

When I say Lambretta experts, the guys behind Lambretta Helpline have  been involved in the Lambretta industry for thirty years, restoring, customising and building Lambretta’s for clients worldwide. They’ve run a race team. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. So you know they knw what they’e talking about. You’ll get detailed explanations to your question asked, with pictures where available.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 08.03.15To be honest, I initially thought that the £9.99 fee was a bit steep. After all, most of us have a mate who can do a similar job. But, you can’t keep asking the same old people, feels like ‘taking the piss’ sometimes. If you are a member of the LCGB, their member forums are great for answering questions, but sometimes you can wait a while for a response and sometimes the answers assume a certain level of Lambretta nous, and you don’t want to look a total knob on the forum (not a problem for me, I’m sure that’s how I usually come across!). Then there’s always Stickys Manual

Anyways,  I initially thought that £9.99 was a bit steep, but then I thought about when I might use it. When I needed it. Before, or during tackling a job. Then I’d happily pay a tenner for helpful, one on one answers. Anyway, here’s the link again, if you feel they might help you out of a tricky spot.

Sign of the times…

NeonSign-2-18-8-2014I discovered some great Lambretta signage over on ebay, all of which would look wonderful on the wall of your garage, workshop, or even living room, depending on how accommodating your other half is to your Lambretta obsession. Cream of the crop, (I should really save this to last, but I don’t want you to miss it) is this beautiful neon sign… who wouldn’t wan this beauty? If you’ve seen the one at the Lambretta Museum in Weston, this is double of it. Here it is on eBayNeonSign-1-18-8-2014

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Then I found a couple of simpler, but still very desirable ( and a tad more affordable) lightbox signs…

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LightboxSign-18-8-2014  Here’s the link to the first one and Here’s the other

Finally, a very nice enamel repro dealer sign.
EnamelSign-18-8-2014 Here’s the eBay link to that one

Some Alpine riding with The Jetsons

Some great Austrian scenery on the way to EuroLambretta 2014 Davos, in Switzerland. Those roads look fantastic to ride on! Footage by, and of, The Jetsons Lambretta Club.

Fast ‘Hot Rod’ S1 on eBay

S1HotRod-14-8-2014I started noticing this look around  a few years ago… based on 50’s rodded cars (and bikes, I suppose) I think it works really well on older style Lambrettas. S1HotRod-1-14-8-2014

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This is no ordinary Series 1, I won’t go over the full specs, which are on eBay, but it’s got a RB250 lump in it, and most of the steel has been replaced by fibreglass. If it’s your cuppa… Here it is on eBay

New Diablo Mid-Range Tanks

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about JL Polishing, Johnny Lambrettista*, (the JL in JL Polishing, for those that are paying attention) go in touch with a bit of a scoop for the blog.10471026_10152650751774292_5415667203614761542_n 10313717_10152650751784292_5243989671284918759_n

As well as making bits of metal very shiny, Johnny is the now the fella behind the famous Diablo Tanks – THE best custom made long range fuel tanks for series 1, 2 and 3 lambretta’s on the market today. Diablo Tanks have established an unrivalled reputation over 10 years producing hundreds of tanks for touring scooters. Johnny took over the ownership and distribution of Diablo Tanks after the closure of Diablo Moto, and has maintained the design, construction and quality that mark them out.

Not prepared to rest on their laurels, Diablo are developing a new, mid-range tank, The “Rapido Midi”. Above are shots of one of the prototype Rapido Midi tanks in situ. Keeping the traditional Diablo features of the rolled edges, large cutouts (either left or right side) for all set ups, and Lambretta filler necks. Fixing brackets will be supplied with the tank. They will be ready for sale and on the Diablo Tanks website soon, but you read it here first. A price guide of £229 + postage.

*Still no relation 🙂

Shiny, shiny!

10447662_702494403150143_3186968119947901914_nEstablished about two years ago, JL Polishing offer a range of finishing for Lambretta components. They specialise in mirror finishing of alloy parts, are fast establishing a reputation for great quality work, and have gained clients far and wide.10372532_702494389816811_2922462348443999354_nIn fact, you’ve probably seen their work already… read the last three issues of Scootering? they’ve had a mention in all of them. The stunning Aston Martin themed SX? They polished the chaincase. The rather nice YPVS in the latest one? That’s their work too. 10443344_684169884991212_8463655855839633562_n524632_480631118669807_1376641703_nThere’s a lot of bits you can polish on a Lammie… from chaincase sides to carbs, from brake levers to the forks, I’d be surprised if there’s a part of a Lambretta that can be polished, that they haven’t.

JL Polishing are based in Hinckley, but  if you’re not local, you can post your components and they’ll get them back to you, securely and insured. Check out more of their stunning work on their Facebook page. They have recently moved into new premises, where they also offer servicing of scooters.

Their website is http://www.jlpolishing.co.uk/ or ring them on 07825 368630. Oh, and the name JL? well is short for Johnny Lambrettista… no relation! 🙂