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I met my wife of 48 years when I was an Oldbury biker

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

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PICKING up on the article by Ray James in TheBugle (May 8 edition) I too was a biker back in the 1960s, and also rode a BSA.

My first motorbike was a BSA C15 250cc, reg. No 634 LHA which I bought for £90 in 1962, from a little bike shop just round the corner from where I lived in Oldbury.

The owner was Arthur Webb, who plied his trade on the corner of Bridge Street and the Birmingham Road in Oldbury; he used to cram about 20 bikes on the corner, and more inside his little showroom.

He had a brother Sam, who had a motor repair garage at the bottom of Bridge Street. (Did any of your readers have any dealings with either of them back in the 60s?).

I traded that bike in for a nearly new Royal Enfield 250cc Crusader Sports, reg. No 514 RHA. This was my pride and joy for about a year, then I moved up to the big league and traded that in for another BSA, which I saw on a display in the window of West Bromwich Motorcycle Mart in Bull Street West Bromwich.

It was a BSA A10 Super Rocket 43 bhp reg. No TCJ 843. It was all chrome and polished alloy, it was three years old, but it was immaculate. I had to have it. I went in to see the boss to see if I could part-exchange my present bike, he came outside to have a look, and I was very surprised when he said he would do me a straight swop. I had to pay off a little bit of finance still owing on the Enfield.

The following week I picked up the Rocket on my way home from work on Friday evening, I can't begin to tell you the great feeling as I roared away from the shop, the noise, the power.

I couldn't wait to pick up my girlfriend Sheila, now my wife of 48 years, and go to the Cave espresso coffee bar in Freeth Street, Oldbury, to show the new bike off to all my mates. The "Cave" was a favourite meeting place for bikers in the early 60s, and it was where I first met Sheila a few months earlier. I hadn't seen her in there before and will never forget our first meeting.

The juke box was playing Let's Dance by Chris Montez and she just walked over to me and said Pete do you want to dance? (That was a dare from her cousin who was there with her and knew me). The rest as they say is history.

We had many happy times on that bike and travelled many miles together. We frequented espresso bars in the area including El Toro, by Langley Baths, and the Spot, Blackheath. We also used to go in the Polar Bear cafe in Low Town Oldbury, opposite Sunshine corner. We used to spend a lot of time in Stourport, Bewdley, and Bridgnorth, with other bikers. I miss all that, the frothy coffee, the Pepsi Cola, the juke box and the good company. Happy days.

Pete Cole.

pacole1945@hotmail.co.uk

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