Many, many years after his retirement as a police motorcyclist, Derek Hackett found that a neighbour at Leshahagow’s Auchlochan retirement village had also been a ‘biker’ in his day.
The fact that the neighbour, Bob Hill, had long ago developed a passion for motorcycles while serving in the RAF was discovered by Auchlochan’s chaplain Dave Hall, himself a former biker.
The chaplain decided to get the two together for a nostalgic chat about Derek’s beloved classic 1952 Norton ES2 500c motorbike, a legacy from a close friend he has lovingly cared for over many years.
As for Bob, he is also a staunch fan of the classic British motorcycle marque, having ridden a Norton 1948 Model 18 500c when doing his National Service in the air force.
He managed to acquire his faithful bike from the RAF on his return to civvy street.
As the duo swapped memories of their days in the saddle they were unexpectedly joined by yet another two-wheel enthusiast staying in the village in the form of Dr George Morris.
He is a former officer in the Royal Artillery, service which included a long spell with the Indian Mountain Artillery.
Amazingly, it turned out that he too had been a Norton owner!
The now-trio of ‘Nortonites’ chatted away happily about their days ‘in the saddle’ and in uniform.
Said Dave, the chaplain who organised the get-together of the veteran bikers: “Spending an afternoon with the bike brought back to mind some of the adventures these lads had enjoyed on two wheels; and their obvious joy in telling their tales had certainly not diminished with the years!
“When it was time to go, there were sincere thanks and farewells all round, and, passing the Norton for the last time I noticed a little puddle under the crankcase.
“A wee ‘tear’ of engine oil – shed for a bygone age perhaps – and the Best of British!”