Lazy Sunday: The Glory Days of British Motorcycling

If Triton’s, the 59 Club, the Ace Cafe and the allure of all that grainy, oily rock and roll sets your heart a-flutter, then this Lazy Sunday video is for you!

The BBC Timeshift series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Dealing with nostalgic, historical moments with a great touch of honesty, this episode narrated by John Hannah explores the British love of fast, daring and sometimes reckless motorbike riding.

Set during a period when home-grown machines were the envy of the world – from TE Lawrence in the 1920s, to the ‘ton up boys’ and rockers of the 1950s, motorbikes represented unparalleled style and excitement. It was a time when British riders indulged their passion for brands like Brough Superior, Norton and Triumph.

It wasn’t all thrills and spills – the motorbike played a key role during World War II and it was army surplus bikes that introduced many to the joy and freedom of motorcycling in the 50s, a period now regarded as a golden age.

But with its obsession with speed and the rocker lifestyle, it attracted more than its fair share of social disapproval and conflict.

Kick back with a cup of tea and a biscuit – you’re going to want to go out with your open-faced helmet and a pair of goggles by the time this is finished!

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