ONE LOVE LOST, AND ONE LOVE FOUND.
Ian wrote in with a story of his bike. Not his current bike, but one that he owned some 45 years ago! And he said he'd been waiting that long for an opportunity to tell the story. It’s also a bit of a mystery, which some long-time residents of Newcastle in NSW might be able to help solve. So, here is his story. Watch for the clues. I am now 70. When I was 25 I owned the bike on the left which, as you'll probably recognise, is a Matchless G12 650. At that time it had a tired engine, so in my young enthusiasm I stripped and re built it in a shed at Ballina NSW. At the same time I was about to get engaged to my girl (now my wife of 45years). So off I went to Sydney for a ride and to buy an engagement ring. All went well until, on the return trip just south of Newcastle, a knock developed. By Newcastle I know it’s a big-end going. I find a motorcycle shop, near the main railway station (remember this clue!). The friendly owner lets me use his tools and the back lane. (Another clue: a motorcycle shop in the 1960s with a back lane). I strip the motor and find the big-end gone. Now, I am in flying boots and leather jacket, and have little money. (I’d just bought an engagement ring!). I walk the streets to find a set of slipper bearings, but no luck. They have to be ordered in. It’ll take a week. So here I am, hot, tired and dirty, engagement ring in my pocket, and just 20 quid left. What to do? The 20 will get me the train fare back to Lismore, then I can hitch the rest. Okay, put the motor in a box, and put the bike under the stairs in the motorcycle shop. (That’s another clue!). I’ll come back with my ute later. Okay, you guessed it, I got married, had 3 children etc, etc. And I never went back! So my question is, does anyone out there know what happened to my bike? Well, I suppose you could say that Ian made the right choice; I mean he could’ve pawned the ring to pay for the repairs, but that girl probably wouldn’t have been his wife now if he’d done that! Actually, the story reminds me of a joke about a guy who left his Honda at a bike shop and forgot it was there. Twenty years later he remembered the bike and went back to the shop; not expecting it to be there, but just out of curiosity. He walks in, asks for the service-manager and tells him about the bike he left there. He asks the service-manager if he remembers the bike. “Of course I remember it!” he replies. “It’ll be ready next Tuesday.” Okay Newcastle residents (and I know we have a couple who live in that area); any ideas? Let’s put the clues together. It was the mid 1960s, the bike shop was located near the main railway station with a laneway out the back, and stairs inside the shop. Wouldn’t it be a real hoot if we could track it down!
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