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General => Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion => Topic started by: Peterjmg on 15 May 2018 at 13:53

Title: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Peterjmg on 15 May 2018 at 13:53
Hi Dave, I've just found this forum after searching on and off for years looking for information on my Great-Great-Uncle (Stephen) Les Bailey. Our family folklore is that he was a motorcycle champion.

I haven't found any information on that aspect, but he's attributed to be the designer of the RA Douglas.

Great photo btw!

Peter.

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Dave on 16 May 2018 at 17:40
Hi Peter,

Thanks for your message and welcome to the Forum.
You will find Les Bailey's name mentioned many times throughout these pages - a search on 'Bailey' will give you a list of posts.
This post by Doug (https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2012.msg7337#msg7337) has some good photos.

Dave

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2007/Bashall/Bailey-1912-Brookland-1000.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2007/Bashall/Bailey-1912-French-Prix-a-1000.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2007/Bashall/1912-TT-Team-1000.jpg)
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 16 May 2018 at 17:50
Peter,

You might want to start a new topic on S.L. Bailey under the General Discussion board, rather than buried here under the model RA topic. I corresponded with Ian Bailey, SLB's son back in 2002. He could recall as a very young lad leaving the UK with his father and returning to Australia in 1924. He was able to provide some missing details about SLB after he left Douglas.

-Doug


Note: Topic has since been moved to the General Discussion board.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Peterjmg on 17 May 2018 at 01:14
Thanks Doug and Dave,

I am keen to get reading! I also sent a question to Doug about copying the photos. I see that none of them seem to be personal photos, i.e. they're from print publications, so I'm assuming it's ok to copy them, and will do so?

thanks, Peter.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 20 May 2018 at 06:14

I find myself 1600 km from home, in Northern New South Wales. Along the way we drove through the country town of Forbes, about 400 km (250 miles) west of Sydney.

I hadn't realised that Les Bailey had some history there, but the attached snippet from the Forbes Advocate in 1913 tells the story.

Is there a decent biography of Bailey in the books, the Con Rod, the New Con Rod, or the classic mags? He was a most interesting Australian.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 22 May 2018 at 07:31

"It is six years ago since Mr Bailey first came to Forbes, and he was known here as a crack bicycle rider."

The Forbes Advocate said it, 12 Feb 1913, so it must be true. Bailey arrived in Forbes in (early?) 1907, at which time Forbes would have had some lovely buildings and houses around the centre of town (many still standing), but could otherwise be described as "way out west" of Sydney. Not the outback, but not too far from it.

A crack cyclist? In Forbes perhaps, but in the big smoke of Sydney not so much. In late January 1906, a year before his move to Forbes, Les entered the "The Sydney Thousand" bike race along with 142 other "cracks" from around the country. One mile handicap, prizes totaling a thousand pounds.

The real cracks started on scratch; Les started 170 yards - almost a full one-tenth of a mile - in front, with 30-ish starters ahead to chase down and  110-ish behind planning to mow him down within the mile.

I bet it was around then he began thinking of a career as a racing motor cyclist!

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 23 May 2018 at 06:02
This was as summary I was putting together to make into a exhibit poster for one of the Australian Douglas Rallys, but it never got completed. I had been in contact with Ian Leslie Bailey, S.L. Bailey's son 2002-2006 who provided some of the details. Not only had he been collecting information both on his father's side of the family, but also his mother's. His mother was Cyril G. Pullen's sister. Ian mentioned he had about eleven folders worth of family history collected and was going to write up the family history, but I don;t think it ever got completed.

Stephen Leslie Bailey, 1889 – 1957

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-01.jpg)
Earliest known picture of S.L. Bailey.  (scan via Ian Leslie Bailey, S.L. Bailey’s son.)

The Motor Cycle, October 10, 1912, “Current Chat”. (photocopy I.L.B.)
£200 Challenge. Sponsored by F.S. Whitworth of the Colmore Department and G.H. Mansell of Singer and Co. LTD. Between S.L. Bailey on a 2-3/4hp Douglas and G.E.Stanley on a Singer, both record holders. Cylinder capacity limit 350cc.  Hill climb, five lap, and a ten lap race at Brooklands. Article continued on following page, not seen. Outcome not known. (Note from I.L.B., the two were great competitors and friends.)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-02.jpg)
Photo from frontis, “The Pictorial History of Motorcycling”, Tony Middlehurst. Captioned as taken at the 1912 Challenge Lap, Brooklands.


Special 2-3/4hp engine with modified valve gear that gave a power output of 8hp at 3,600rpm, with a free engine speed of nearly 5,000rpm. Announcement that several machines (the aforementioned?) would be entered for the 1912 junior TT. Riders, all listed as amateurs, were Les Bailey, James Stewart, Teddy Kickham, Jack Haslam, and Harry Bashall. From The Best Twin, “Les Bailey was a young Australian who had emigrated to Britain in search of work. Infatuated with motorcycles, he applied for a job with the Colmore Depot in Birmingham, where E.C. Paskell was quick to recognize his riding ability. He mentioned this during a visit to Bristol and Bailey gained a place as a ‘works’ rider.”

Bailey led at the end of the first lap, but by Ramsey gearbox trouble forced a retirement at the hairpin. Harry Bashall went on to win Douglas’ first TT victory. Les Bailey and Teddy Kickham, after a quick overhaul, used their mounts in the Senior race where despite the displacement disadvantage took fifteenth and seventeenth place respectively.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-03.jpg)
(1913 Douglas Catalog)

At the end of 1912, Les Bailey entered the Brooklands T.T. race, breaking the one hundred and fifty and the three hour records in the Junior event. Several days later, he then won a race at LeMans, with Teddy Kickham and Harry Bashall taking fourth and sixth places. Then Bailey took the flying kilometer record at Brookland, at 72.63mph on a 2-3/4hp. Granville Bradshaw, at Bailey’s request, made some of the special parts for the record breaking machine. It is said this work set Bradshaw on the road for development of a horizontally opposed that would become the ABC design. (“The Best Twin”) 


Douglas advert/announcement in the Motor Cycling, 31 December, 1912: Riding a 2-3/4hp Douglas [Bailey] broke the Mile and Kilometer 350cc records. 72.63 mph for the kilometer, 70.04 mph for the mile.

Summary of write up of record event in, Motor Cycling, 24 December, 1912.:
Geared 5:1, engine was running 4650 rpm for the event. Claimed 6700 rpm free maximum (on stand).

Left England ‘Friday last’ to return to Australia. Returning to AU with P. Weatherilt with several Douglases for the AU season. While in England, S.L.B. designed a 500cc horizontally opposed twin with steel cylinders and pistons, OHV, turning 4000 rpm and developing 17bhp. Taken up by a ‘very famous record breaking motorcyclist (un-named), probably to be manufactured commercially.’ Entire external surfaces of the crankcase are machined. Expected to reach AU mid February.

Note from I.L.B.: This was fifteen months prior to joining Douglas.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-04.jpg)
Captioned as first machine of 350cc to exceed 70mph (“Douglas” Peter Carrick) originally credited Motor Cycle Weekly. Same image, cropped, used in Douglas advert in 31st December 1912 issue of Motor Cycling).

Records in 1912 (1913 Douglas catalog)

•   June 1st- B.M.C.R.C. All Comers’ Hour Race at Brooklands. First, Total distance 56 miles, 755 yards. Gold Medal
•   July 1st- Senior Tourist Trophy Race, I.o.M. Gold Medal (What? He came in fifteenth.)
•   July 20th- B.M.C.R.C. Fifth members meeting at Brooklands. All Comers’ 5 Lap Handicap Race (about 14 miles). First.
•   July 20th- Junior five miles scratch race. Second.
•   July 20th- Test Hill Climb. First.
•   July 27th- R.A.C. Inter Club Meeting at Brooklands Short Distance Handicap. Third in heat, forth in final.
•   August 30th- Coventry M.C.C. Open Hill Climb at Woodway Hill, near Daventry. One  First, three thirds. Also winner of President’s Cup.
•   September 8th- Motorcycling International Cup Race at Le Mans, France. (246 miles) First.
•   September 14th- B.M.C.R.C. Junior Tourist Trophy Race at Brooklands, Twelfth Short Motorcycle Handicap. First
•   October 3rd- Mr. S.L. Bailey beat 5 Miles Record by 10 seconds at a speed of 61-81mph, Brooklands.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-05.jpg)
Bailey c1912 (1913 Douglas catalog)


(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-06.jpg)
Bailey winning the 1912 French Grand Prix. Averaged 47mph for five hours. (1913 Douglas catalog)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-07.jpg)
Possibly take on the grounds of “Woodlawns”, William Douglas’ residence on the Cowley Road. (1913 Douglas catalog)

Bailey returned to Australia in 1913, to help set up Douglas agencies (I.L.B.: and reestablish his motorcycle records.) He returned to the UK in 1914, entered in the I.o.M. Junior TT race, where he finished seventeenth. (“The Best Twin”)

During the Great War Bailey was involved in production at Douglas, though in what capacity and job title is not clear. 

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-08.jpg)
Douglas workshop, Brooklands. Bailey with a racing OHV model. Captioned 1919. (“The Best Twin”)

Date not specified, but in 1919 or 1920, Bailey became Works manager. A riding accident had ended his racing career. In conjunction with chief designer Walter Moore and a draughtsman named Curtis, set to work designing the first catalog OHV machines, the 3-1/2hp and 6hp Sports, which was revealed in a November 2, 1920 issue of Motor Cycling for the 1921 season. This was not much more than an adaptation of the previous two seasons racing models. (“The Best Twin”)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/Bailey-09.jpg)
Bailey as Works Manager. (“The Best Twin”)

After the Great War, Cyril G. Pullin participated in many events at Brookland, where he got to know Bailey. A friendship between Pullin’s sister Catharine (Kate) and Bailey led to their eventual marriage. Bailey lent Pullin a Douglas, which he then proceeded to rebalance to eliminate a high speed vibration. Bailey then asked Pullin to further develop the 3-1/2hp, setting up a shop at Brookland where he tuned the 3-1/2hp to be sold with a certified 100mph performance. (“The Best Twin”)

Models appeared to stagnate in 1922, but behind the scene Bailey was working on the now legendary RA models. In conjunction with Rex Judd, Jack Emerson, Pullin, and others it was got ready for the 1923 TT races. Manxman Tom Sheard won the 1923 Senior mounted on a RA in appalling conditions; however besides the hometown advantage Sheard had won the previous year’s Junior race on a AJS. (“The Best Twin”) Freddie Dixon won the 1923 I.o.M. sidecar race with an RA model and special banking sidecar chassis.

The success in 1923 was overshadowed by the death of Bailey’s good friend, Willie Douglas during TT week at the comparatively young age of forty-three. At the same time William Douglas, Willie’s father was having tax problems with the Inland Revenue from profits earned during the Great War. He took into confidence W. Millman, former school agent and unemployed political agent. Probably today he would be known as a lobbyist. Millman offered to intercede, which William accepted. After some initial success in negotiations he then offered a Millman a position on the board. The rapid, and hasty rise did not sit well with Bailey, and neither saw eye to eye. Bailey decided to leave Douglas and return to Australia. At his suggestion, Cyril Pullin then became Chief Designer and Works Superintendent. (“The Best Twin”)

Sailed from London to Sydney, Jan 16, 1925 aboard the “Maloja” operated by the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. Accompanied by his wife Kate and son and daughter Ian Leslie and Dinah Elizabeth (both 8 years of age).

Kate and the children later returned to the UK.

Operated the Maroubra Racing Track according to his son. Other internet sources state it was Penrith Speedway. I have not been able to independently associate Bailey with either. The track fell on hard times due to dwindling attendance and virtually wiped Bailey out financially (I.L.B.).
 
Setup a retail automotive and repair business in Sydney.

Passed away 1957



-Doug

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 25 May 2018 at 10:31

Thanks Doug - great, interesting information.

I can add some stuff, and correct a couple of small errors.

Let me start with the brilliant photo of young Les Bailey in 1910 mounted on his "1000 cc Temple Anzani". The bike is in fact the 5 hp Massey JAP that Bailey raced, mostly in Newcastle (where he lived and worked) and Sydney in 1910 and 1911. It's typical of an Australian-built machine of the period, using the 5 hp JAP twin, with atmospheric inlet valves, in Chater Lea cycle parts. I'm not sure of the capacity of this engine, but probably 600 cc or there-abouts.

The "Massey" brand originated with the Canada Cycle and Motor Co (CCMC) who marketed Massey-Harris bicycles worldwide. In Australia CCMC built and marketed motorcycles under the Massey brand. During 1910 and 1911 Bailey worked at the CCMC branch at 21 Hunter St, West Newcastle.

We can date the photo, because it appeared in the Sydney paper Referee, 30 March 1910, the week after Bailey "a young Newcastle rider" became the  "five miles champion of N. S. Wales". The bike was fairly new, having had only one previous outing. It could have been built by Bailey at his work place, or built for him, or acquired elsewhere as this type of engine/frame combo would have been current 1908-09-10.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Paul Coney on 11 Oct 2018 at 20:13
Hi
I recently inherited this gold medal presented to S.L.Bailey for winning the “Allcomers handicap” race at Brooklands on July 20th 1912.
It was left to me by my grandfather who got it from his father, my great grandfather. He was into his bike racing when he was young, thats all I know of the history behind it I’m afraid. No idea how he ended up owning it.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 11 Oct 2018 at 23:01

Fabulous trophy Paul. Your great grandfather's name was...?

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 11 Oct 2018 at 23:16

Here's the description of the race. There was also a photo in the Motor Cycle report - the same one posted higher up this thread with the caption "Photo from frontis, “The Pictorial History of Motorcycling”, Tony Middlehurst. Captioned as taken at the 1912 Challenge Lap, Brooklands." The bike was a very quick little 350 side valve Douglas.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Paul Coney on 14 Oct 2018 at 13:34
His name was William John Webb (Bill). I’ve just discovered he worked at the Douglas factory in Kingswood for a while when he was a teenager. Apparently he was a pipe-bender there, maybe something to do with the frame building, I’m not sure.
I’m guessing Les Bailey must have known him and gave him this medal at some point?? Perhaps he had something to do with the building of the bike he won the race on... who knows???
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 15 Oct 2018 at 11:20
Interesting Paul. I don't know of Bill Webb, but perhaps we will come across him.

1912 was a year of extraordinary progress for Douglas and Bailey. By December Bailey had arranged for Granville Bradshaw to build steel cylinders, conrods and overhead-valve cylinders for his racing Douglas, and this allowed him to set high speed 350cc records at Brooklands: nearly 73 mph for the flying kilometre, eclipsing the old record by a full 5 mph. The 1912 ohv 350 was said to rev to 6500 rpm.

For this development we should perhaps thank George Stanley and his team at Singer. Over the summer of 1912 there was constant chatter in the motorcycle press about a match race at Brooklands between Stanley on the Singer and Bailey on the Douglas. This head-to-head race didn't eventuate, in part because Stanley was about to unveil his new 350 ohv Singer - his previous mount being sv. No doubt Bailey was keen not to be left behind in the transition to valves upstairs.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 16 Oct 2018 at 11:18

Bailey's 1914 Brooklands machine was similar, but the heads were obviously different. The late 1912 engine had the inlet manifolds entering vertically; by 1914 the entry was angled.

Bailey shattered 350cc sidecar records on this machine - perhaps this was not a very competitive class!

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 16 Oct 2018 at 21:36
In Doug's summary higher in the thread, there's a photo of SLB on the 1912 side-valve racer (Captioned as first machine of 350cc to exceed 70mph (“Douglas” Peter Carrick) originally credited Motor Cycle Weekly. Same image, cropped, used in Douglas advert in 31st December 1912 issue of Motor Cycling).

Did the side-valve exceed 70 mph in 1912? I suspect not - I think it was the first of the OHV racers, with sporty parts courtesy of Granville Bradshaw at ABC.

Pre-war, SLB was a rider with Douglas, but presumably he contributed to the development of the racing motorcycles. Postwar his role in design and development was very clear, and if the patent record is to be believed he was responsible for many/most of the Douglas racing developments up to 1924. Almost every part of the RA, as well as the S1 disc brake, various clutches, welded frames and so on.

A mystery however is the 4-valve-per-cylinder OHV motor that appeared at Brooklands in 1919. The cylinders were one-piece and were said to be aluminium. One of the Bailey patents describes aluminium castings shrunk onto steel/iron skeletons, so maybe this was part of the design of this motor?

The frame in which this motor appear is a precursor to the S1 (or a development from the 1914 3 1/2/4 hp model), with splayed down tubes but a single tube cradling for the motor. So far as I can see, all pre-war racers used the single-down-tube frame.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 22 Oct 2018 at 04:58
So far as I can see, all pre-war racers used the single-down-tube frame.
Wrong on that one: at least some of the 1914 TT bikes (12 in the Junior and 2 in the Senior) used the splayed-front-down-tube frame. Here's W. Thornhill's Junior entry (the "Thornton" label is an error). He, Bailey, and many of the other Douglas riders failed to finish.
An interesting feature of the 1914 TT bikes was the twin hand oil pumps, perhaps one for the front and one for the rear cylinders? Cyril Pullin's 1914 Senior-winning Rudge had a foot pedal to operate the oil pump so he didn't have to take his hand off the bars. Instead, the Douglas riders had two pumps on the tank to fiddle with.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Ian on 22 Oct 2018 at 22:43
Leon, I assume the two hand pumps were spring loaded like normal Douglas ones though so maybe not too distracting ? On the Rudge each pump of the foot is just a squirt of oil - my TT replica has that and it’s really good system.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 23 Oct 2018 at 21:36
Hi Ian. Yep I reckon anything to keep your hands on the bars longer on the TT course would be a good thing. Pullin's winning speed on the Rudge in 1914 was just a tick under 50 mph, with 80 mph on the flat. On unpaved roads! Hang on tight I reckon.

I've been away from home, but last night I was able to go to my books to look at stuff about these early ohv Douglas racers. It's the usual slightly-mixed-up story.

What seems certain is that the first ohv Douglas was the bike on which Les Bailey set records at Brooklands in December 1912, as outlined above. The spec of this engine is slightly less certain, as is the role that SLB played in its development.  Certainly Granville Bradshaw (of ABC fame) played a role.

In Peter Hartley's 1973 book "Bikes at Brooklands in the Pioneer Years" he gives the Bailey bike a three-throw crank and three con rods. (Think about it: one ordinary piston and rod, one piston with two parallel rods straddling this, all very symmetric...) However I'm not sure about this. Bradshaw did build an ABC racing/aero engine to this pattern, but there's nothing in the contemporary descriptions I can find of the Bailey engine to suggest such a radical crank and rod design. Certainly it did have turned steel cylinders, one-ring cast iron pistons, and overhead valves.

Does anyone know more? Any good photos? Has anything been written?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 24 Oct 2018 at 03:29
Leon,

Presumably you are referencing this account in the December 24, 1912 "Motor Cycling"?

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/TMC24Dec12.jpg)

The three-throw crank is mentioned for the 350cc engine. A subsequent 500cc ohv engine is also mentioned. The article does not say if the 350cc was a side-valve or ohv, but Barry M. Jones in his book "Granville Bradshaw, a Flawed Genius?" (Panther Publishing, 2008, ISBN  9780956497574) gives the 350 as ohv. He also credits the three throw crank as being the precursor to the initial fore-aft ABC using the same arrangement. No mention of the 500cc engine is made, and perhaps some of the details for that are being confused with the specifications for the 350, or perhaps Bradshaw had minimal or no involvement with the 500.

Jones does give much more detail about the attempt, that gives credibility to the record being bonafide, even if the exact valve configuration may remain in doubt. I quote from his book, with additional endnotes () gleened from the preceding paragraph:

Quote
"He toyed with a new Douglas horizontal twin to replace the Triumph(1) and soon became acquainted with S.L. (Les) Bailey, the Australian rider, driver and flyer who was the Douglas works rider. They soon became close friends and Bradshaw made several modifications for him in November 1912 creating, in effect, his first ABC horizontal-twin  (60.9mm x 60mm) which developed 13hp at 5,000 rpm. This improved engine included new machined steel barrels, an overhead valve gear and cylinder head modeled on his aero-engine practice. It has steel conrods, one of which was in a y-from off a three throw crankshaft. On December 17th, 1912 Bailey attempted the Class B (under 350cc) flying mile and kilometer records, but the compression ratio was too high for the fuel, so it was back to Bradshaw's works (2) for compression plates to be inserted to reduce it to 6.0:1. He then took the kilometer record at 72.63mph beating that set on a Martin-JAP motorcycle. This followed by the mile, reaching 70.04mph but still with plenty of revs left before he ran out of track! On his second attempt, the carburettor worked loose and on the third an final attempt, a spark plug disintegrated ending his hopes. This unique Douglas-ABS hybrid was never raced again as Bailey left for Australia, though he returned in 1914."

(1) Bradshaw's daily commuter, a 500cc Triumph. Written off in a crash with a landing aeroplane at Brooklands! 
(2) Bradshaw had the only fully equipped workshop on site at Brooklands, according to Jones.

A short way further on Jones writes:

Quote
"Inspired by Bailey's success with the modified engine, Bradshaw designed and built his first ABC motorcycle engine in the winter of 1912/13, primarily as a replacement engine for those existing motorcycle engines fitted in the fore and aft, Douglas fashion, though this was itself developed from J F Barter's 'Fee' of 1905. Bradshaw's new engine was 492cc, 3-1/2hp horizontally opposed 'square' twin (69 x 68mm). Lubrication was by splash system; the engine weighed barely 40lbs."

One wonders if this was the 500cc 'Bailey was developing'? Perhaps if his part was so minor as to just be the inspiration for the new engine (based on his requested alterations and subsequent success with the 350cc), it explains why he so readily abandoned his 'baby' and returned to Australia. Granted oceanic bookings were made well in advance and not something to be postponed, but Bailey seems to have had no further dealings with the 500. So perhaps he was just a consultant and test rider until his departure.

Though departing from the Bailey connection, just a little more on the fascinating comment about the engine being a replacement for Douglas engines from Jones:

Quote
"The new ABC motorcycle engine was revealed to the public in April 1913 and was fitted into a Zenith frame which Freddie Barnes then raced on the Brooklands track. Improvements rapidly followed,starting with pressure-feed oil lubrication system and in May 1913, a modified valve gear.

Due to complications in modifying other maker's frames to accept the fore and aft ABC engines. Bradshaw got both Earnest Humphries at OK Supreme and the Collier brothers at H Collier & Sons ('Matchless') to build special frames for him into which the new engine could be fitted. By June 1913 the ABC engine had reached production status and was soon selling to private owners of Douglas, Edmund, matchless, Zenith and PV (Perry Vale) machines. One such PV was entered in the 1913 London Exeter MCC trial and gained a Gold Award for completing the grueling course."

Certainly some further avenues of investigation there! Not knowing ABC all that well, I thought the initial fore-aft motorcycles were 100% ABC, but it seems at first they were just selling engines. The story does not end there, but SLB is no longer a part of it, so I will start a new topic for the ABC-Douglas connection here:

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7210.msg27377#msg27377

-Doug

[Add link to new post. 23Oct18. -Doug]

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 24 Oct 2018 at 04:07
Leon,

Further to Doug's comments here is some information in The Motor Cycle December 26 1912

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 24 Oct 2018 at 04:13
and more in the same issue.....
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 24 Oct 2018 at 07:54
Leon and Doug,

I'm not sure what sparked this reply by Granville Bradshaw in Motor Sport Feb. 1961 but he does say mention the 1912 Les Bailey 350cc OHV engine;

"...We then asked Farnborough if we could try our engine in one of their 'planes but they refused (in writing) on the grounds that " The War Department informs us that there is no military value in the aeroplane." We had taken the only brick-built factory on Brooklands and purchased a few machine tools but we were virtually out of business except for assistance to the many owners of racing cars and motorcycles, who were always wanting pistons eased or cams altered—and I was always keen to help them get records. S. L. Bailey with his Douglas wanted more power, so I designed and made him two new cylinders machined from a steel bar and with overhead valves. He obtained his records immediately. And, with little hope for any aeroplane engine business, I designed a flat-twin A.B.C. motorcycle engine.

I quote from the motor Press at the time: " How many people realise that a 350-c.c. A.B.C. with steel cylinders did 72.6 miles per hour over the flying kilometre in 1912—a record, And, later, " A 500-c.c. A.B.C. was the first machine to put the flying kilo. over the 80 mark." Later still, " A 400-c.c. A.B.C. took the much-coveted hour record in the 500-c.c. class on more than one occasion."

These were all " one-off '' engines, built at a cost that must have been infinitesimal compared with present-day motorcycle racing engines. And in those days there were many more firms in the motorcycle racing game than there are today....."

the full article can be read here;

https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/february-1961/25/granville-bradshaw-replies-his-critics

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 29 Oct 2018 at 10:20

Thanks Doug and Ian.

There is quite a lot to the story of Bailey and the first Douglas OHV. Certainly none of the four Douglas history books get the story right: all overlook Bailey's first OHV on which he set records in December 1912. In The Best Twin, the photo of "the very first ohv-engined model" Douglas is in fact the late 1913 bike, and the "ohv engine designed with the 1913 racing season in mind" is (I think at the moment) the post-war 4-valve-per-cylinder engine. (Of course the SLB 1912 ohv might be construed as a "Bailey-Bradshaw Special - but there was no doubt Douglas claimed the 70+ mph records for their own!)

I think a Bailey/Douglas chronology is falling into place. The early parts is something like this:

1911 Feb 11, SLB racing in Sydney for the Newcastle MCC

mid-1911 (sometime!) SLB travels to England

1912 May 11, SLB racing a 2 3/4 TT Humber in Birmingham

1912 July 20, SLB racing a 2 3/4 side-valve Douglas at Brooklands (see higher in this thread)

1912 December "last week" (on 5th), SLB testing 2 3/4 OHV Douglas at Brooklands (with Granville Bradshaw parts)

1912 December 16, SLB due to leave for Australia

1912 December 17, SLB record setting at Brooklands on the OHV 350 (so departure delayed). Leaves immediately for Australia.

1913 Febrary 12, SLB in Forbes NSW, returning to Sydney to attempt records. Plans to return to England "for the opening of the racing season"

1913 May 13, SLB record breaking on 2 3/4 Douglas in Melbourne: one hour record

1913 June, SLB record breaking in Brisbane

1913 July 25, SLB leaves Sydney on S.S. Sonoma to UK via USA

1913 September 11, SLB back in England, quite badly injured in motorcycle accident (on the road, I think)

1913 October 11, "New" OHV Douglas entered for BMCRC meeting at Brooklands, ridden by Alfie Alexander.

1914 February 28, Track tests of "new" ohv Douglas, F. G. Ball riding, SLB on crutches and timekeeping.

1914 March 28, SLB racing OHV Douglas at BMCRC meeting at Brooklands - this bike has the "new" Douglas engine, but in single down-tube frame.

That takes us up to the beginning of the war.

But back to the early days... What were Bailey's plans as he left for Australia after the Brooklands records in Dec 1912? I'm 90% certain he travelled as a member of the Douglas staff. (Did he join from Humber, with Walter Moore, after the 1912 TT?) He certainly did a lot of work setting up agencies for Douglas in Australia.

My theory is that he left Douglas with the job - perhaps with more input from Bradshaw, certainly Walter Moore - to build a new Douglas racer, with a view to returning to the UK for the 1913 racing season. However things didn't go to plan and the new OHV Douglas was not ready for the TT, so Bailey stayed on in Australia, racing and spruiking Douglases, and setting up agencies. Just before leaving Australia to return to England in July 1913, SLB told the Sunday Times (Sydney):

"I have had a highly successful time in Australia, both from a business and sporting standpoint, and, needless to say, have thoroughly enjoyed my brief visit to my native land. It has, of course, been a pretty strenuous time, for I have been here, there and everywhere during my flying trip, and have had to crowd record breaking rides on poor tracks, a road race, and couple of hill climbs, and similar competitions, and seeing as much of my own people as I could into the intervals of organising agencies for my firm in England, visiting Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Brisbane."

"What are your intentions regarding your coming visit to England?"

"Well, one thing which is taking me back again is to pay more attention to my steel cylinder engine. Although with my own I did so well, the subsequent machines were hardly so successful, for riders could get no more than 45 miles an hour out of them. I am convinced, however, that it is only in matters of detail that they are at fault, and when I get back, I expect to get 80 miles an hour at Brooklands with my own little 2 3/4 h.p. steel cylinder Douglas."

Someone at Douglas was (unsuccessfully) building new racing engines while SLB was in Australia. No doubt the plan in July 1913 was for SLB to return to England, fix the new bikes, and go record breaking at Brooklands in the final months of 1913. Unfortunately he had a nasty accident immediately after arrival in the UK in Sept 1913 and testing had to be left to others (Alexander and Ball).

Interesting. Can anyone link Bailey to Walter Moore before Douglas? Were they working together on racing bikes - or maybe the Moore 3-speed gearbox - at Humber in 1911-1912?

Cheers

Leon




Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 29 Oct 2018 at 10:23
Here's the insides of the first ABC OHV motor, and described in the press in late 1912. Note the three con rods.

It seems likely that the 1912 DOuglas OHV motor also had a three-throw crank.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 29 Oct 2018 at 22:06
One wonders if this was the 500cc 'Bailey was developing'?

Hi Doug,

Thanks for posting the Motor Cycling article (24 Dec 1912). I hadn't seen this before - my info coming from the rival magazine Motor Cycle.

Motor Cycling says:

"During his visit to England Bailey has employed his spare time in having built a very remarkable 500 cc horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine with steel pistons and cylinders, and overhead mechanically operated overhead valves... It has been taken up by a very famous record-breaking motor-cyclist, and will probably be manufactured commercially. The design, Bailey informed us, is clean and simple, the whole of the external part of the crank-case being machined."

If we were to remove the words "in having built" and replace them with "in helping out with" I think we get a very good description of the 500cc ABC as discussed elsewhere. The Motor Sport article posted by Ian highlights that Bradshaw had a marvelous workshop at Brooklands, but with little to do but develop new motorcycle/aeroplane engines.

The "record breaking motor-cyclist" would be Jack Emerson, who was one of the Nortons "cracks" in 1912, who moved over to ABC and was the first to set records at 80+ mph on a 500, on 13 Jan 1914.

The ABC did move into commercial manufacture.

The machining of the external case was probably an aircraft thing, were weight was critical.

I've not read elsewhere that Les Bailey contributed to design or development of the ABC, so I suspect the Motor Cycling reporter was a little inaccurate is his description of SLB's role in the 500.

Speaking of not believing everything we read, we should also not believe everything we see. Have you noticed that photo of Bailey on his OHV Douglas the 24/12/1912 Motor Cycling article (better copy attached) shows a different engine to that in the photo that accompanies the 26/12/1912 Motor Cycle article? The Motor Cycle bike - as noted before - has vertical inlet and exhaust manifolds, whereas the Motor Cycling bike has angled inlets (at least). Both motors appear to have machined cylinders (with fins perpendicular to the bores).

I fancy the Motor Cycling photo shows the actual bike.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 31 Oct 2018 at 22:39

From the above, there were at least two iterations of the OHV Douglas by the time Les Bailey left for his trip to Australia in late December 1912.  The 24/12/1912 Motor Cycling photo shows angled manifolds for inlet/exhaust, but from what I can see in the photo this cylinder/head configuration is different from the "1914 TT" ohv motor.

Here's a photo of F. G. Ball testing the 1914 TT model at Brooklands in February 1914. Note the distinctive large-diameter exhaust exiting the front head forward and to the left side of the machine. SLB was on crutches but armed with the stopwatch.

This is likely the machine that was developed at Douglas while SLB was in Australia Dec-1912 to Aug-1913, about which SLB said to an Australian journalist in July 1913 "riders could get no more than 45 miles an hour out of them".

The frame on this bike has twin front down tubes and a single rail under the engine. I say "TT model" because of the short wheelbase and spring front fork. Bailey's 1914 Brooklands racer (see higher up in the thread) used the same type of motor, housed in a single-down-tube long-wheelbase frame with rigid fork.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 01 Nov 2018 at 06:23
Great Research Leon,

I was just starting to think this was all getting complicated and there was the need for some sort of timeline of Les's activities and you started one!  :D

You have posed lots of questions and here is hopefully a small start in answering one of them;

  - "When did bailey arrive in UK for the first time?"

 Looks like it is 2nd September 1911 on the Otway, arriving in London. He lists his occupation as "Motorist" and travelled 3rd class.

I thank my sister for finding this information for me some item ago when I did a little bit of research into S.L. Bailey (...when I seemed to have more spare time than I do now....).

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 01 Nov 2018 at 06:44
It appears Bailey returned to Australia with Zenith exponent Percy Weatherilt on December 19th 1912. Some details of Percy "Buck" Weatherilt's exploits are described here;

https://aussiesappers.wordpress.com/the-men-2/172-weatherilt-percy-buck/

Included in the text is this interesting comment;

"....Bailey had just broken the speed record on a Douglas Motorcycle, at over 70 mph , a feat thought impossible. The two men Bailey and Percy Buck Weatherilt had become close friends and left England together to race motorcycles in Australia bringing with them the new Douglas motorcycles that had captured the imagination of riders all over the world....."


-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 01 Nov 2018 at 07:09
Weatherilt's first hillclimb ride in Sydney is described in the Sunday Times 13th July 1913 - with a demonstration ride by Bailey.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 01 Nov 2018 at 07:16
Thanks Ian: nice to nail the date of SLB's first arrival in London to 2 Sept 1911.

SLB's recollections of dates are just a little fuzzy, as he told the Australian press in Feb 1913: "It is about 18 months since I went away," he said, "being determined to acquire the best experience I could of motor-cycling in what seemed to be the best place to do so — England. I went first to the Humber Company of Coventry, and spent a few months there, but afterwards joined the staff of Douglas Bros., with whom I have been ever since."

The Aston race victories - Humber mounted - were in May 1912, so presumably SLB joined Douglas shortly after that. Certainly before July 1912 when he was racing a Douglas at Brooklands.

By the way, although Weatherlit was known for racing Zeniths, it was made clear in the press that he was to ride a Douglas in Australia. We've talked elsewhere on the forum about Australian rider Meller and his success on Douglases in this period. It seems likely his bike was one of the three that came out with Bailey and Weatherilt. The bikes were side valve 2 3/4s.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 01 Nov 2018 at 11:47
I think we can list Saturday June 1, 1912 as the date of Bailey's first outing on a racing Douglas, when he rode in the All Comers' One Hour Race at the 4th BMCRC Meeting at Brooklands. According to the Motor Cycle on 6 June 1912:

"Bailey, who made a fine showing on the Douglas, is an Australian, who has been only six months in England. He rode W. Douglas's competition machine, whose engine buzzed like that of an aeroplane the whole time and never faltered once."

Bailey covered nearly 56 1/2 miles in the hour (try this on your TS sometime) and was beaten home by only G. E. Stanley on the 499cc Singer (arguably the best-performing 500 of the era at Brooklands), who covered just under 61 miles.

In the same issue, Bailey was listed as an entrant for the 1912 Junior TT on a Humber. A week later, it was announced he would be riding a 350 Douglas not only in the Junior, but in the Senior as well. In the lead up to the TT, the Motor Cycle reported:

"...Kickham and Bailey have actually had the impudence to challenge the big machines in the Senior event. There is a tone of healthy confidence about this policy, and the Australian, Bailey, is undoubtedly a terror."

A terror eh!? Let's call him a Douglas man from 1 June 1912.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 01 Nov 2018 at 23:52
Leon,
Looks like Les might have been with the Colmore Motor Cycle Depot. at Birmingham between his tenure with Humber and Douglas as they appear to be the entrant for his early forays on a Douglas. When he returned to Australia in the mid 1920's and in the process of re-establishing himself into the Australian scene, the press printed this (self-promotion related?) bio. of his successes and ventures so far, including SLB's short stint with Colmore Depot before joining Douglas.

-ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 02 Nov 2018 at 06:53
Hi Ian,

Yes both Kickham and Bailey were linked to Colmore, but since both were based in Bristol at the time I'd say their relationship to Colmore was "nominal".

My major interest in Bailey is trying to understand his role in designing and developing racing motorcycles for Douglas. So far I can come up with no real evidence that, pre WW1, he designed the racing engines, although it seems likely that he was the key to developing them into competitive race machinery.

I guess we should credit Walter Moore with the design of the 1914 TT Douglases? Particularly since SLB was absent from the country in the 9 months during which they were built...

Here's Elwell on his 1914 Junior Douglas. A very handsome machine.

I believe that the two Douglases entered in the 1914 Senior TT were "standard" 3 1/2 h.p. side-valve models. Can anyone confirm?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 02 Nov 2018 at 22:40
I guess we should credit Walter Moore with the design of the 1914 TT Douglases? Particularly since SLB was absent from the country in the 9 months during which they were built...

No, not Walter Moore either - re-reading I see he came over to Douglas after the 1913 TT (not 1912 as I was thinking), and by then the "new" OHV Douglas would have been either built or well underway. Mmm...

Clew (and his many followers) has the first outing of the "new" ohv Douglas at the Weston-super-Mare speed trials in October 1913, in the hands of Alfie Alexander. Possible - SLB was probably still recovering from his September crash - by funny that The Motor Cycle report of this event makes no mention of such an interesting bike taking part.

The speed trials at Weston-super-Mare were on the beach, only 20 miles from Bristol, so were a "home event" for the Bristol MCC and Douglas.

In my edition of The Best Twin, figure 14 is "The very first ohv-engined model, as ridden by Alfie Alexander at Weston-super-mare." Of course the bike in the photo (below) is not "the very first ohv", and the venue of the photo looks to be a race track of some kind, not the beach.

What colour is the bike? Red? It's said that Bolton's 1914 Junior TT bike was red, although it also had twin carburettors and other unusual features.

And the unusual number plate? Was AE-P2 a Douglas trade plate? Or?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 03 Nov 2018 at 10:08
Thanks to Howard who sent me a one-page article in Motor Cycling, 7 April 1914, describing the ohv racing Douglases.

The drawings in the article show a couple of variants of the ohv layout.

The carburettor shown is the two-barrel item used by BSA in the period, with an adjustable main jet.

S.L. Bailey was said to be "busy preparing the machines for the Tourist Trophy races".

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 03 Nov 2018 at 22:38
Fantastic pictures Howard and Leon!

In The Motor Cycle 9th October in the report on the speed trials at Weston-Super-Mare there is a grainy picture of Alexander on his 2 3/4hp Douglas. It does not look like the OHV machine to me, but given the quality of the picture it is hard to tell. It is possible that Alexander had more than one machine at the speed trials but as you say Leon, you would think the press would have commented on such a machine. Those long exhaust pipes look more side valve Douglas than OHV? The first report I have found so far that specifically links Alexander to an OHV Douglas is in The Motor Cycle Oct. 23rd where he rode it at Brooklands. There is also a grainy picture of the OHV Douglas at this meet.

The picture that Leon posted earlier of Alexander on the OHV machine looks like it might be taken at Douglas factory at Kingswood near their sports ground?? Just a long shot but there does appear to be factory buildings in the distance that are similar to the ones at Kingswood?
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 05 Nov 2018 at 20:20

Thanks Ian.

The 23 Oct reference to Alexander at Brooklands was the earliest reference I could confirm for the "new ohv Douglas", so this is the one I put in my Bailey chronology. But, as usual, if we persevere we get a little closer to the "facts"!

Although the Motor Cycle report of the Weston-super-Mare speed trials doesn't describe Alexander's ohv Douglas, it can just be made out in the grainy photos. One of the features was a very small rear belt rim - the side-valve rim, even for racing, was much larger.

But over at Motor Cycling, 7th Oct 1913, they make a big fuss over Alexander's beach racer. Yes, it was ohv. But in a HUGE surprise, the motor looks different from both Bailey's 1912 Douglas/Bradshaw racer and the later 1914 TT bikes.

Both exhausts exit on the right side of the machine (so yet another variation on the cylinder heads), but it's the timing chest that is the big surprise. Most of the early ohv racers look to have timing chests based on the side valve, but on the Alexander Weston-super-Mare bike the push rods are very close together, and there is a boss on the timing cover that is certainly well to the rear of the centreline, unlike the usual timing chest where the bosses are on the centreline.

Was this engine the one developed while Bailey was in Australia? The one Bailey said would only do 45 mph?

The Motor Cycling photo comes from Howard's Flickr account  https://www.flickr.com/photos/flattank_motorcycles/9317143109/ Thanks to Howard for confirming the date as 7 October 1913.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 05 Nov 2018 at 20:38
The Weston-super-Mare report, from Motor Cycling 7 Oct 1913:

"A very interesting machine was the new 2 3/4 h.p. overhead-valve Douglas racer, which was ridden by A. Alexander. The inlet and exhaust pipes are of very large diameter, the valves themselves being carried in the heads. It will be remembered that we gave particulars in July last. The valves are operated by neat adjustable tappets, the upper ends of which fit into cupped rocker arms. The crankcase release lubricates the overhead valve gear by blowing on to it. Lubrication is by drip feed to both cylinder walls. The radiating flanges are very deep and the frame is slightly longer than the standard 2 3/4 h.p. models. The machine did very well in its first heats, but the gear could not be changed in the final, and in the end a broken chain put Alexander out of the running."
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 05 Nov 2018 at 21:04
Three overhead-valve variants pre WW1. Bailey's December 1912, Alexander's October 1913 and one of the 1914 TT bikes from April 1914.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 07 Nov 2018 at 03:21

As I mentioned earlier, arguably the most interesting of the early OHV Douglas racers was the four-valve-per-aluminium-cylinder machine that appeared at the Weston-super-Mare in September 1919. The Motor Cycle, 4 September 1919, described it thus:

"A new racing Douglas, with F. G. Ball as the rider, had an engine with aluminium cylinders and four valves in each head - two inlet and two exhaust - each pair being operated by a single overhead rocker and oblique tappet rod from the timing case. The machine had evidently not been tuned to its fullest pitch, according to the results gained in the events."

Les Bailey rode a 1914-TT-style machine at this event, and defeated Ball in all events. The eight-valve machine was short-lived, perhaps because of its rather "veteran" cylinder/head design, where the ports were cast integral with the aluminium cylinder and the valves (presumably) dropped in from the top together with their seats and springs. The seal between the parts must have been difficult with the different expansion between the aluminium and iron/steel.

There is a photo of the eight-valve engine in Clew (incorrectly dated as 1913 in my 1st edition), but I can find no description of it in the various Douglas books I have. Is the Clew photo period, or did the engine survive? Indeed have any of these early OHV Douglas engines survived?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 07 Nov 2018 at 05:04
Leon,
Well I was wrong with the identification of Alexander’s OHV Douglas at the 1913 Weston-super-Mare speed trials – it was indeed the first outing of the Douglas factory version of an  OHV 2 3/4HP (as opposed to the Bailey / Bradshaw version) – I guess the moral is don’t believe what you (don’t) read in the press! Great research Leon, but I still wonder why it wasn’t reported in The Motor Cycle ?

here is another picture of the event;

“4th October 1913: At the Bristol Motorcycle Club Speed Trials at Weston-super-Mare, A H Alexander, riding a Douglas, gets off to a fine start in the first heat of the first event”

https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/at-the-bristol-motorcycle-club-speed-trials-at-weston-super-news-photo/3308629


Of course Getty images have managed to put their watermark right where we want to look and the price of the image is way out of my range….

(Apologies for the next two picture from the same source, as I’m a little off topic. They are not of OHV bikes nor about Les Bailey but might be of interest to Douglas enthusiasts;
“4th October 1913: H Douglas at the wheel of the new Douglas Cycle Car, at the Bristol Motor Car Club speed trials, Weston-Super-Mare.”

https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/douglas-at-the-wheel-of-the-new-douglas-cycle-car-at-the-news-photo/3252808

“4th October 1913: W Douglas at the wheel of the new Douglas cycle car, at the Bristol Motor Car Club speed trials, Western Super Mare.”

https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/douglas-at-the-wheel-of-the-new-douglas-cycle-car-at-the-news-photo/3252863
)
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 07 Nov 2018 at 05:12
 Here are a couple of pictures of Bailey and Equipe Douglas at Le Man's in 1912 before his OHV forays with Bradshaw. These are from the French Gallica website

"7-9-12, Le Mans, coupe internationale des motocyclettes, equipe Douglas"

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b69212680 (https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b69212680)

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6921260p (https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6921260p)



[Update links. 11Nov18, Doug, Site Moderator]
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 07 Nov 2018 at 05:22
This post maybe jumping ahead a little from Leon's thread and maybe slightly off topic - (Sorry Leon...) ..but also on the Gallica website are a few nice pictures of Douglas OHV racing machines that partly catalogues their development over the period 1920 to 1925. As the original post by Peter was asking for information regarding Bailey's involvement with the development of the RA these may at least show some of the incremental development of the racing OHV models up to the time Bailey returned to Australia for good.

1920
Kickham:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530516117

Alexander:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9034111h
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53051625f
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9034137r

Isodi:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530515915


Alexander, Isodi, Kickham:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53051634d

1921
Emmerson:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530680537
Millaud:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530640850
Kickham:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53068052s
Harveyson:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53068051b
Dixon:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53068056k
Alexander:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53068059x

1922
Pullin:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53094050f
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53094447p

1923
Alec Bennett:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53110056j
Jim Whalley:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53110047k
Whalley, Dixon, Anstice, Bennett:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b531100983

1924
Judd:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53132842p

1925
Anstice:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53150973p
Barker:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b531509833
Whalley:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b531509996
Kuhn:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53150971s
Dixon:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b531510581
Hatton:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b531509816

-Ian



[Update links. 11Nov18, Doug, Site Moderator]
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 07 Nov 2018 at 22:57
Thanks Doug for fixing up my dud links where i cut and pasted them incorrectly :-)

cheers

ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 09 Nov 2018 at 00:32

You've got to love Gallica! (My favourite items are the photos taken by Jules Beau https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Jules_Beau?uselang=en )

Plenty of lovely detail of the "Sports Model" Douglas, but let me step back a year to 1919 and have a look at where the sports model came from. Bailey was there, but as usual (so far) I'm not sure of the role he played.

As we've detailed there were new OHV racing Douglases in 1912, 1913, 1914 and 1919, all quite different. Bailey was involved with all of them. A surprise then to find yet another OHV design for 1920. This was "more or less" the Sports Model (announced in October 1920), but the earlier racing models first appeared at Brooklands in May in the lead up to the TT in June 1920.

The early versions had belt final drive, front brake acting on the wheel rim, rear wheel brake on the belt rim. Engine-wise, the aluminium rocker oil boxes were to come later. There were a number of variants of the frame, but they all had twin rails underneath the engine, and the seat tube split to either side of the rear cylinder. The mounting for the rear axle had a number of styles, as did the twin seat tubes.

Here's Alexander's 1920 TT bike. In the race he had repeated belt trouble, so it's hardly surprising that when Bailey went out record-breaking at Brooklands in August 1920 his bike had chain final drive.

And what of Bailey's rear brake? Look like a precursor to the S1/RA "discs" that were to follow. Bailey filed a patent for the S1-style disc in 1921.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 09 Nov 2018 at 00:54
Adding in some war-time and post-war detail:

1911 Feb 11, SLB racing in Sydney for the Newcastle MCC

1911 Spetember 2 SLB, "motorist", arrrives in London on the Otway, 3rd class

1912 May 11, SLB racing a 2 3/4 TT Humber in Birmingham

1912 June 1, SLB rides W. Douglas's competition machine at Brooklands in All Comers' One Hour Race: 56 miles, 755 yards

1912 Bailey rides a Douglas in the TT.

1912 July 20, SLB racing a 2 3/4 side-valve Douglas at Brooklands (see higher in this thread)

1912 December "last week" (on 5th), SLB testing 2 3/4 OHV Douglas at Brooklands (with Granville Bradshaw parts)

1912 December 16, SLB due to leave for Australia

1912 December 17, SLB record setting at Brooklands on the OHV 350 (so departure delayed).

1912 December 19, leaves for Australia with Weatherilt.

1913 February 12, SLB in Forbes NSW, returning to Sydney to attempt records. Plans to return to England "for the opening of the racing season"

1913 May 13, SLB record breaking on 2 3/4 Douglas in Melbourne: one hour record

1913 June, SLB record breaking in Brisbane

1913 July 25, SLB leaves Sydney on S.S. Sonoma to UK via USA

1913 September 11, SLB back in England, quite badly injured in motorcycle accident (on the road, I think)

1913 October 4, Debut of "new" (narrow pushrod) OHV Douglas at Weston-super-Mare, Alexander riding

1913 October 11, "New" OHV Douglas entered for BMCRC meeting at Brooklands, ridden by Alfie Alexander.

1914 February 28, Track tests of "new" ohv Douglas (1914 TT model), F. G. Ball riding, SLB on crutches and timekeeping.

1914 March 28, SLB racing OHV Douglas at BMCRC meeting at Brooklands - 1914-TT-style Douglas engine, but in single down-tube frame

1914 September 22, SLB sets Class F (350 sidecar) records at Brooklands

1915 December 15, SLB "now holding an important position with Messrs. Douglas Bros." marries Cyril Pullin's sister

1917 May 3, SLB "Douglas", "well-known motorcyclist", attends Cyril Pullin's wedding

1917 September 20, SLB conducts a tour of the Douglas Works for "The Motor Cycle". Hints, but "not at liberty to divulge details"

1918 April 4, SLB and W.W. Douglas return from France, promoting 4hp Douglas for French army

1919 May 8, SLB injures hand in car accident in Bath at Easter

1919 August 29, Weston-super-Mare: F.G. Ball debuts 8-valve aluminium-cylinder Douglas racer - beaten by SLB on 1914-TT-style machine

1920 May 28, Tudor Thompson at Brooklands on 350 Douglas (presumably with "Sports" style motor)

1920 June, Douglas TT machines have "Sports" style motor with belt drive; brakes on rim at front, on belt rim at rear

1920 August 17 SLB beats flying-5-mile record at 66.18 mph: "Sports" type motor, chain drive, with precursor to RA/S1 disc brake at rear

1920 August 21, SLB sails for Australia with "a new 2 3/4 h.p. chain driven model"

1920 October 15, Back in Sydney for "thee-weeks' trip"

1920 October 28, Sports Model announced in The Motor Cycle with SLB-designed disc front brake

1921 January 13, SLB "on his way back from the Antipodes"

1921 July 20, SLB applies for disc brake patent (granted as GB187687, 1922)
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 09 Nov 2018 at 01:41
Here is another shot of Bailey's OHV racing machine AD5724 (see picture from Clew's "The Best twin" in Doug's post above) at Brooklands circa 1919 with possibly his wife Kate astride it?


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Photo-A135-Female-competitor-Douglas-motorcycle-scratch-race-Brooklands-1920/123467406123?hash=item1cbf3b1b2b:g:WnoAAOSwiBJaPW4I:rk:1:pf:0
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 09 Nov 2018 at 02:00

Douglas workshop, Brooklands. Bailey with a racing OHV model. Captioned 1919. (“The Best Twin”)

Date not specified, but in 1919 or 1920, Bailey became Works manager. A riding accident had ended his racing career. In conjunction with chief designer Walter Moore and a draughtsman named Curtis, set to work designing the first catalog OHV machines, the 3-1/2hp and 6hp Sports, which was revealed in a November 2, 1920 issue of Motor Cycling for the 1921 season. This was not much more than an adaptation of the previous two seasons racing models. (“The Best Twin”)


Hi Ian,

Attractive photo, but certainly not 1919, despite what Clew might say. Given chain drive, oil boxes on the rockers, and dummy-rim-brake on the front wheel, I'd date the photo to July-Sept 1920 at Brooklands, where they held ""TT style" events for bikes in road trim.

For the record, Bailey's racing career did not end in 1920 (although he wound back, he raced at Brooklands as late as November 1921), and the Sports Models had nothing in common with the machines raced in 1919. In fact the development from "works racer" to production models seems to have occurred ove a period of less than six months.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 09 Nov 2018 at 02:08
As Leon states above Les departed UK on 21st August 1920 with his wife and young daughter but he returned alone on the Orvieto which arrived in London on 5th Feb 1921 without him, as he disembarked at Toulon. His occupation is listed as Works Manager. Kate and Dinah returned via Canada after their stay in Australia. Thanks again to my sister for finding this information - she is much better at genealogical research than I am!
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 09 Nov 2018 at 02:14
Junior Open Motor Cycle Handicap at Brooklands, 14 August 1920

"The event was very well supported, and of the machines which were present at the start, the most interesting and novel was S. L. Bailey's Douglas, which he has entered for the Grand Prix race at Le Mans on August 28th. It was in full touring trim, and had a ribbed aluminium casing containing oil to lubricate the overhead valve rockers, and a front rim brake."

If the photo of the lovely lady on the Douglas is British, I'd guess Brooklands 14 August 1920, or if French, the Grand Prix race at Le Mans on 28 August 1920.

A popular route to Australia was overland through France to Marsailles, then pick up the steamer through the Suez.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 09 Nov 2018 at 02:26
Yes I agree Leon, The bike in the picture appears to be from a later period than stated in Clew's book, I had not manged to look up a more accurate date so put "circa" on the date :-)  (Lunch times at work are way too short!). I have  also found it difficult to find evidence of Bailey's actual input into the earlier Douglas OHV designs and as a result started looking at Walter Moore's work at Douglas for clues. I have not found much so far but did find the starting point that precipitated his being employed by them - the 3 speed gearbox patent.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 12 Nov 2018 at 11:26

The Grand Prix at Le Mans on 28 August 1920 was written up in the Motor Cycle on 2 September. Bailey was not there. There were three Douglases entered, in the hands of Alexander, Kickham and Doisi. (Was Doisi riding the bike that Bailey would have been riding were he not on the boat on his way to Australia?) Alexander was extremely fast: a nail in his tyre delayed his start by about three minutes, but he was leading after two 10-mile laps. After 16 laps his lead was 20 minutes! Alas he stripped second gear "probably owing to the fact that these machines have no clutch", and when he stalled at one of the hairpins and accepted a push to get going again, he was disqualified.

No clutch eh? Interesting. If you have a look at the photos of the event on Gallica (the National Library of France website), for example Kickham on his bike https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530516117 , you can see that these machines had a Bailey-designed shock absorber built into the flywheel, but no clutch on either the flywheel or the gearbox. Bailey signed the patent application for the shock absorber on 21 August 1920, the day he sailed for Australia.

Did these bike have a sump under the engine? If not a sump, then what?

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 12 Nov 2018 at 11:34

Here's the drawing from Bailey's transmission shock absorber patent, GB172093, granted in November 1921. From the outside, the flywheel looks to house a clutch, but doesn't.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 12 Nov 2018 at 20:26
Did these bike have a sump under the engine? If not a sump, then what?

The rider's shoe, behind the gear-change mechanism!

The alloy wick lubricators on the rocker spindles were also a Bailey design. The patent was GB187502 issued in 1922.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 13 Nov 2018 at 03:40
Great work Leon!

I have been re-reading The Best Twin and came across a list of patents in Appendix 1 (pg 229 - 238 in ed. 2). There appear to be 49 (?) that Bailey's name are on and a lot are related to the RA model.

As we know through the threads on this forum and NCR, Doug has done an amazing amount of research in this area and noted to me in a PM that Bailey's first patent with Douglas was lodged on 13th May 1918 with W. Douglas, no. GB 126161 and that Bailey even neglected to put Douglas Motor's as an applicant on some of the later ones! Bailey was quite prolific until he left for Australia on 16th Jan 1925 with Catherine, Dinah and Ian, (his occupation simply listed as "Engineer") , His last patent with Douglas appears to have been lodged 24th September 1924 relating to RA pistons.

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 13 Nov 2018 at 23:20
Here is a chronological list of patents I found on Espacenet  for Stephen Leslie Bailey (and others). This includes some German, French and US patents so the list is longer than that shown in The Best Twin. Hopefully i have captured them all against date of application correctly. Please let me know if you find any errors and omissions and I will edit the list.

Date of             Title                                                                                  Publication         Publication
Application                                                                                             number                date

13-May-18   Improvements in the Manufacture of Motor-cycle Frames.   GB126161 (A)   8/05/1919
22-May-18   Improvements in or relating to Power-transmission Clutches.   GB127099 (A)   22/05/1919
13-Jul-18           Improvements in or relating to Cooling Devices for the
                        Pistons of Internal-combustion Engines.                           GB127757 (A)   12/06/1919
13-Jul-18           Improvements in or relating to Valve-operating Mechanism
                        for Internal-combustion Engines and the like.                   GB127146 (A)   29/05/1919
13-Jul-18           Improvements in or relating to Sight-feed Lubricators.           GB129785 (A)   14/07/1919
4-Mar-19           Power-transmission clutch                                                   US1371542 (A)   15/03/1921
26-Mar-19           Improvements in and connected with the lubrication of
                        pistons                                                                           GB138478 (A)   12/02/1920
22-May-19   Schmierung fuer Kolbenbolzen                                           DE334127 (C)   10/03/1921
12-May-19   Valve-operating mechanism for internal-combustion engines   US1399941 (A)   13/12/1921
12-May-19   Sight-feed lubricator                                                           US1346942 (A)   20/07/1920
27-Mar-20           Improvements in or relating to lubricating pumps for
                        internal combustion engines                                           GB160364 (A)   24/03/1921
29-Mar-20     Improvements in or relating to lubrication indicators and
                        regulators for internal combustion engines                           GB160365 (A)   24/03/1921
2-Jun-20           Lubrication of pistons                                                           US1437585 (A)   5/12/1922
23-Aug-20           Improvements in or relating to power-transmission clutches   GB170729 (A)   3/11/1921
23-Aug-20           Improvements in or relating to valve controlling and
                        operating mechanism for internal combustion engines           GB173016 (A)   23/12/1921
26-Aug-20           Improvements in or relating to the lubricating of the valve
                        mechanism of internal combustion engines                           GB173270 (A)   28/12/1921
26-Aug-20         Improvements in or relating to cycles and the like           GB173269 (A)   28/12/1921
26-Aug-20      Improvements in or relating to the cylinders of internal
                        combustion engines                                                           GB174968 (A)   26/01/1922
26-Aug-20           Improvements in or relating to internal combustion engines   GB172093 (A)   28/11/1921
17-Jun-21           Improvements in pistons for internal-combustion engines   GB187281 (A)   17/10/1922
20-Jul-21           Improvements in or relating to brakes for cycles and like
                        vehicles                                                                           GB187687 (A)   20/10/1922
11-Nov-21           Improvements in fastening and coupling dynamo-electric
                        machines to internal combustion engines                           GB196010 (A)   11/04/1923
16-Nov-21           Improvements in saddles for use on motor cycles and the
                        like                                                                                   GB192219 (A)   1/02/1923
19-Nov-21           Improved means for clamping or anchoring single or
                        multiple strand cables                                                           GB193923 (A)   8/03/1923
10-Dec-21      Improvements in or relating to the lubrication of the valve
                        mechanism of internal combustion engines                           GB187502 (A)   26/10/1922
24-Jun-22           Improvements in the induction systems of internal
                        combustion engines                                                           GB201715 (A)   9/08/1923
8-Jul-22           Improvements in pillion seats for use on cycles, motor
                        cycles or the like vehicles                                                   GB203126 (A)   6/09/1923
8-Jul-22           Kolben, insbesondere fuer Motoren mit innerer Verbrennung   DE390053 (C)   16/02/1924
18-Sep-22           Perfectionnements apportés aux pistons pour moteurs
                        à combustion interne                                                   FR556216 (A)   13/07/1923
19-Sep-22           Saddle                                                                           US1502975 (A)   29/07/1924
19-Oct-22           Improvements in friction transmission clutches                   GB205680 (A)   25/10/1923
7-Dec-22           Improvements in the construction and mounting of valve
                        stem guides                                                                   GB210235 (A)   31/01/1924
16-Mar-23           Improvements in change speed gear operating mechanism   GB213107 (A)   27/03/1924
16-Mar-23           Improvements in shackles preferably for use with spring
                        forks for cycles and the like                                                   GB207744 (A)   6/12/1923
16-Mar-23           Improvements in filler caps for liquid containers and the like   GB209641 (A)   17/01/1924
16-Mar-23     Improvements in motor cycles                                           GB211023 (A)   14/02/1924
17-Mar-23           Improvements in and relating to the steering columns of
                        motor cycles or like vehicles                                           GB216259 (A)   29/05/1924
17-Mar-23           Improvements in shock absorbing devices                           GB216258 (A)   29/05/1924
17-Mar-23           Improvements in shock absorbing mechanism                   GB209643 (A)   17/01/1924
17-Mar-23           Improvements in actuating mechanism for change speed
                        gears                                                                           GB209336 (A)   10/01/1924
17-Mar-23      Improvements in crankcases for flat twin-cylinder internal
                        combustion engines                                                           GB212425 (A)   13/03/1924
17-Mar-23           Improvements in gear boxes for change speed gear
                        mechanism                                                                   GB211024 (A)   14/02/1924
26-Mar-23           Improvements in or relating to brake mechanism                   GB217994 (A)   26/06/1924
27-Mar-23           Improvements in saddles for use on cycles, motor cycles
                        and the like                                                                   GB205025 (A)   11/10/1923
11-May-23   Improvements relating to the pistons of internal combustion
                        engines and the like                                                           GB215957 (A)   22/05/1924
11-May-23   Improvements in knee grips for use on motor-cycles           GB201117 (A)   26/07/1923
22-May-23   Improvements in fuel tanks for use on motor vehicles           GB202931 (A)   30/08/1923
5-Jun-23           Improvements in sidecars for use with motor cycles           GB217754 (A)   26/06/1924
30-Jan-24           Improvements in the construction and mounting of valve
                        stem guides                                                                   GB229838 (A)   5/03/1925
16-Jun-24           Improvements in oil pumps                                                   GB234299 (A)   28/05/1925
24-Sep-24           Improvements in pistons for fluid pressure engines           GB244829 (A)   24/12/1925
13-Oct-24           Improvements in transmission shock absorbers                   GB242413 (A)   12/11/1925
13-Oct-24           Improvements in chain guards for motor cycles                   GB242054 (A)   5/11/1925
25-Oct-24           Improvements in or relating to mechanical starting devices
                        for internal combustion engines                                           GB244559 (A)   24/12/1925
25-Oct-24           Improvements in internal combustion engines                   GB244558 (A)   24/12/1925
25-Oct-24           Improvements in or relating to motor cycle saddles           GB241714 (A)   29/10/1925
25-Oct-24           Improvements in stationary internal combustion engines   GB240662 (A)   8/10/1925
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 14 Nov 2018 at 05:35
Hi Ian,

Yes there is a gaggle of SLB patents.

One thing I've found interesting is that there are quite a number of "Sports Model" patents (several of them filed on the day SLB left for Australia in August 1920). The cush drive in the flywheels of the 1920 race bikes, the box rocker shaft oilers (I note an earlier patent than the one above - that didn't mention wicks - dated 21 Aug 1920), clutch, front disc brake, combined rear brake and cush drive, and so on. Based on the patent record, you'd have to go with "Bailey designed the Sports Model" or at least "most of the innovations on the Sports Model were Bailey designs".

Here's one of the "August 21" patents that didn't make it to the production models. It was was for an aluminium cylinder head, made by inserting a pre-made iron skeleton (for the "skull", valve seats, spark plug boss and optionally the rocker stanchions) into the pattern and casting aluminium fins etc. around it. (I think Doug once told us that this is how DT heads are made, albeit not using aluminium?)

Anyway, this appeared in The Motor Cycle 22 July 1920:
"There were two interesting Douglases entered for the Class C ten miles scratch race [at Brooklands] for motor bicycles up to 500 c.c., both of them had overhead inlet [sic] valves. Of these, Bailey's mount had cast iron cylinder heads, while Thorpe's engine had aluminium cylinder heads."

A cunning plan, but I don't know how many Douglas racers went on to use aluminium heads?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 19 Nov 2018 at 20:50

Was Les Bailey known as "Bill" around the Douglas factory?

Writing in "Racing Reminiscences" about the 1923 sidecar TT and the rapid build of the famous banking sidecar, Fred Dixon refers to SLB as "Bill Bailey", no doubt a reference to the famous song "Won't you come home Bill Bailey?"

It's not a typo, because the index entry that points to the page is for "Bailey, S.L.", and editor Geoff Davison was a contemporary of Dixon, Bailey et al. so would have been in on the joke.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 20 Nov 2018 at 20:51
A cunning plan, but I don't know how many Douglas racers went on to use aluminium heads?

The 1921 TT Douglases used the Bailey aluminium cylinder head, and an oil sump. Not as elegant as the RA sump, but a sump none-the-less. (Well, technically an oil tank under the motor, rather than a true sump.)

I hadn't realised that the 1921 TT bikes also used a four-speed gearbox, changed with a gate.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 22 Nov 2018 at 08:39

There were lots of "RA" features that appeared during the development of the Sports models - particularly the racing versions. The "RA" tank fillers (a Bailey design) appeared on the 1921 TT bikes, and at Brooklands in 1922, Eve's Sports model had twin carburettors and an airbox, predating the 1923 RA design.

I had thought that Freddy Dixon was involved in developing twin carburettors and airboxes for Douglas racers, as his Brooklands v-twin Harley Davidson was so equipped, but 1922 was before Dixon's influence at Douglas?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 25 Nov 2018 at 00:13

Les Bailey and the boys at the 1921 TT. The reserve bike on the right, with the racing number A, appears to be a three speeder, with the vertical gear change rod and tram handle on the top bar. Other variations in the mix of centre and rear-axle stands.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 25 Nov 2018 at 00:26

Emerson's Douglas for the 1921 Senior TT, PB 4337, is not one of the four bikes in the photo above. No four-speed gearbox, no sump. Of course it could have been a practice bike. The photo comes from the Keig Collection.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 25 Nov 2018 at 04:12
The Motor Cycle, 9 June 1921:
"T.T. Douglas mounts will have a four-speed gear box for the race though much of the practice work has been carried out with the three-speed box. The new change speed lever works in a gate bolted to the timing gear cover..."

So the photo of Emerson above shows PB 4337 in "practice trim" at the 1921 TT, with the 3 speed gear box. One of the Gallica photos ( https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530680537 see page 1 of this thread) shows Emerson on PB 4337 in Le Mans, France, on 22 July 1921 (just a few weeks after the TT), and in this photo the bike is wearing its four-speed gearbox and gate change. In the close-up you can see the horizontal gate to the rear of the magneto (just "touching" Emerson's sporty socks), and the lever with its ball just under the tank rail.

Perhaps we'd see the sump if the photo was from the other side?

I wonder if the team changed the spec of the bike, or just switched the number plates to the "real" racer? I suspect the latter.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 25 Nov 2018 at 13:39
By the time Emerson reached LeMans, PB 4337 (if it is the same machine) had also acquired drop handlebars. Let us hope he had changed his socks as well!

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 26 Nov 2018 at 10:54

But they're very nice socks!

I'm not sure what was going on in 1922. Perhaps the effort of getting Pullin exceed 100mph at Brooklands (March 1922) consumed all of the racing budget because there was no Douglas Motors Ltd entry at the 1922 TT in June; no Douglas team. The small number of Douglases that competed were private entries. Believe it or not, Alfie Alexander rode the same bike that he had ridden in the GP in France in 1920 (see the Gallica photos), complete with rim front brake, visible in the attached photo taken during the Senior TT. I suppose he owned it himself? Alfie was one of the twin carburettor brigade, using twin B&Bs in practice, and apparently twin AMACs in the race. Carburetion and handling were common problems amongst the Douglas brigade, perhaps because of the concentration of effort at Brooklands. According to the Motor CYcle, "Misfiring appeared to be the bane of Pullin's existence; the raw morning air apparently did not suit the constitution of the Douglas machines, and the flaming blow-back through their carburetters was a sight to behold."

Poor old Cyril even got a bad deal from the press: he was announced as third place getter in the Junior race, but the following week they had to apologise and admit that his engine expired on the last lap, while lying third.

Leon

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 26 Nov 2018 at 16:54
According to Jeff Clew in "The Best Twin" Freddie Dixon joined Cyril Pullin at Hanham Road in 1925 to assist with the racing models. Pullin was responsible for engine development and Dixion the chassis. Rex Judd was involved with testing. So too late for the 3-1/2hp Sports based models or even the RA. Earlier in the book Clew mentions Dixon becoming more closely associated with the factory in 1924, though not specified in what role or capacity.

As for why no entry in the 1922 TT, I don't know. The previous year had been plagued with temperamental mounts but you would think with a year to sort out the problems they would have had another go. It might be that work was already starting on the successor RA, but again why not run refined versions of last year's models in the interim? Walter Moore did leave Douglas for ABC in 1922 (not sure what month), so they might have lost their key developmental guru for assembling a Works entry. The clash between Bailey and W.H.E. Millman was still a year or two off, so I don't think that was a factor.

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 26 Nov 2018 at 21:07
It's a big topic! I reckon there could be a book in "Douglas racers in 1922", and I think it would show that Douglas had the fastest motorcycles on the planet, but they were struggling to get them to (a) accelerate and (b) steer.

Pullin (said to be "Engineer, Brooklands" in 1922, rather than a Douglas employee) set amazing records during the year, but in the solo classes where he held flying start records (e.g. on a 350 at just a tick under 95 mph) other makes held the standing start records. During the year, there are references to Douglas racers using (at least) AMAC, B&B, Wex, and Cox Atmos carburettors, as well as various extra air devices. The bikes went well on full throttle, but not across the range. I think they stayed away from the TT because Douglases popping and farting their way around the low speed corners on the Isle of Man would have been an embarrassment, even if they did go like stink on the fast parts of the circuit.

Douglas advertising focussed almost entirely on speed records at Brooklands and elsewhere. Bailey's RA was a brilliant solution to the 1922 "woes"?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 27 Nov 2018 at 07:01

Here's the twin-carb setup as at July 1922. Desperate. The large diameter tube on top of the air box couples to a fitting on the petrol filler cap - see Eve's bike (which does without the handlebar-controlled-variable-main-jets) above.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 27 Nov 2018 at 21:03
For the record, Bailey's racing career did not end in 1920 (although he wound back, he raced at Brooklands as late as November 1921)...

SLB was still racing (occasionally) during 1922, notably at the "Royal" race meeting at Brooklands in May. There were a number of Douglas racers on the track, with Emerson and Bailey finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 1000cc Solo Handicap. Emerson's bike for the event had only one carburettor, Bailey's likely had two. Was this the point at which it was decided that a TT entry would have been futile?

By the way, HRH the Duke of York was a competitor in one of the three motorcycle events, on his Sports Douglas of course.

Bailey was also out in July 1922 at the East South Wales Open Hill Climb. Clearly he liked to be "hands on" with the race bikes.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 28 Nov 2018 at 20:48
I mentioned above that Cyril Pullin (1914 Senior TT winner and SLB's brother-in-law) was extremely successful at Brooklands in 1922. Arguably the greatest achievement was being the first rider to be officially timed at over 100 mph on a 500cc  motorcycle.

The famous machine was a Sports Model Douglas, more or less.

Of course Douglas Motors wanted the buying public to think that the bike was "standard", and if we look at the photo of "Cyril Pullin's 100 m.p.h. Douglas" in The Best Twin we'd have to agree.

But the photo published in the Motor Cycle 30 March 1922, a few days after the event, tells a different story - particularly in the carburettor department. Twin carbs and air box is the more likely set-up for the 100 mph bike.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 29 Nov 2018 at 20:08
One of numerous examples in the motorcycle record breaking annals of that which was publicized and that which actually claimed the record were not exactly the same machine!

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 29 Nov 2018 at 23:06
Yes indeed! If we were to believe the Douglas advertising, Pullin was flying around Brooklands on "standard production models"! See the advert below from December 1921.

Nothing could be further from the truth. By the end of 1921 Pullin had twin carburettors and an airbox on his Douglases. Here's a summary of Pullin and Douglas, sourced from period literature:

Pullin's first outing on a Douglas at Brooklands was at the Ealing and District MCC First Annual Race Meeting in July 1921. A week later he was back at Brooklands for the S.E. Centre  (A.C.U.) Speed Trials. "Practice" out of the way, he joined the big boys at a BMCRC Meeting the following week, when he gave notice by finishing second to Victor Horsman (Norton) in the three-lap scratch race.

By October he was seriously into the Brooklands game, having fitted "an ingeniously balanced air intake to his sports model Douglas".  Bailey and Emerson were also there on their Douglases, with Emerson taking the 500cc Solo Chamionship by some 500 yards from Pullin. Pullin then attached the sidecar to follow O'Donovan home in the 600cc Sidecar Championship.

The balanced air intake was described in more detail in the report of the November BMCRC Brooklands meeting: "A revival of an old idea was to be seen on Pullin's two Douglases [a 500 and a 750?] and Stewart's Trump. It originated in the old Gillet-Lehmann carburetter, and consists of connecting the carburetter air inlet to the float chamber or the tank, or to both, so that a pressure feed is obtained to a certain extent... Pullin's Douglas had a large pressure box fitted round the air inlets of his two carburetters. During the start Pullin got away rather badly..." 

I think it was probably Pullin (working at Brooklands, probably under some agreement with Douglas/Bailey) who developed the twin-carb-and-air-box for Douglas, and in the "Pullin got away rather badly" comment we see the trouble he was having getting proper carburation across the range.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 30 Nov 2018 at 22:25
A couple of comments re the Pullin 100mph Douglas:

No gear change lever is evident. It's likely that there were no gears in the gearbox, just the mainshaft acting as a countershaft. I've not read anything to confirm this for Pullin's DOuglas, but around the same time the chain-drive Brooklands Nortons had this approach.

Note the steel horseshoe that braces the top of the crankcase to the tank rail of the frame - standard fare for the "works" Sports Douglases and seen in close-up in photos earlier in the thread.


In The Best Twin, in my 1st edition at least, Clew says that Pullin was engaged to deliver Sports Models with a 100 mph guarantee. This is repeated in other Douglas books. 80 mph seems much more likely?

I like the comment "Mr Pullin's retaining fee is exceptionally high"!

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 30 Nov 2018 at 22:48
Perhaps we'd see the sump if the photo was from the other side?

At the same meeting (GP de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France, July 1921) Freddie Dixon (in his first race on a Douglas?) supplied the perfect view: from underneath! https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530680821

No sump there, but surprisingly there is a clutch.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 30 Nov 2018 at 22:49

More evidence to support my theory that the post-1921-TT development program resulted in extremely fast but difficult-to-ride twin-carb Douglases.

Only days after the 100 mph record at Brooklands, and reported in the same issue of the Motor Cycle (30 March 1922), Pullin was at the Essex M.C. Hill Climb at the famed Kop Hill.

"C. G. Pullin, fresh from his 100 m.p.h. efforts on Brooklands, was competing, but but his Douglas was firing irregularly, and in consequence he did not come into great prominence."

Less that 2 months before the 1922 TT, time was running out fast. Too late for a proper entry for the TT, so keep winning races and setting records at Brooklands, and get things sorted out for the 1923 TT. Which they did.

Leon

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 02 Dec 2018 at 08:05
In a thread about Les Bailey, I'm going to include a photo of this 1923 348cc Douglas as, of all the overhead-valve Douglases built between 1912 and 1923, this is possibly the one with least input from SLB.

The photo comes from Joseph Bayley's book The Vintage Years at Brooklands, and shows Rex Judd on a bike that was "reputed to have been designed by Cyril Pullin" after winning a 350cc race at Brooklands on 7 April 1923 at 80.2 mph. Judd rode the bike on its debut at Kop Hill on 24 March 1923.

The frame is interesting - somewhat RA-ish, with what looks like twin rails underneath the tank. Pullin's "sports" engine with twin carbs, handle-bar controlled variable main jets, gearbox under the rear cylinder. Very nice.

The RA was only a couple of months away, and it was good enough to win the 1923 Senior and Sidecar TTs with just a pair of fixed-jet AMAC 15TT23 carbs, with none of Pullin's external "balancing" pumbing. (The lids on the aluminium 15TT23 fuel bowls came with a vent fitting, but I've never seen it connected to anything on an RA?)

If the DW was Bailey's version of Pullin's EW https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=144 , is this bike Pullin's version of Bailey's RA? He must have known that the RA was under construction down at Bristol?

Pullin's sports-model-racers were still being used as speed machines in 1924.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 03 Dec 2018 at 20:31
Here's Bailey's 1923 RA frame for comparison with the Pullin-designed machine. Quite similar, but the RA engine has a much wider footprint than the Sports engine so the lower frame rails are wider apart on the RA. The major difference with the Pullin frame is the dual rails under the petrol tank. Check the junk pile down the back for unusual Douglas frames!

Douglas produced a comprehensive booklet aimed at RA riders entered for the 1923 TT. The booklet lists TWENTY patents and patent applications that cover the RA design, and all of them are in Bailey's name. About the only part of the RA that was not new was the cylinders and heads, which were more-or-less identical to those on the sports model. Since SLB was involved in this design in 1920, it's fair to describe the RA as completely designed by Bailey.

The only innovation on the RA that is not "completely Bailey" is the twin carburettor and air box, which had been developed by Pullin at Brooklands over the previous 18 months. However the Bailey/AMAC setup was considerably cleaner than the Pullin design, and did away with the complexity of the pressure balancing plumbing that Pullin was clearly wedded to. Of course the production RA did away with the variable main jet favoured by Pullin.

Even the "RA" (Research Association) brakes fitted to the RA were covered by a Bailey patent, and were neater and more efficient than the original design.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 03 Dec 2018 at 20:35
Stephen Leslie Bailey's "RA" Douglas, from the 1924 catalogue.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 04 Dec 2018 at 02:16
Excellent research Leon. Here we have where all the work by Bailey and others paid off - Tom Sheard's RA IOM TT 1923 winner.

(picture from IOM museum www.imuseum.im)

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 04 Dec 2018 at 21:33
Ain't it pretty? All of the subsequent Douglas road racers - up to the 1932 TT entries - developed in a fairly linear way from the RA.

Here's my scribble chronology of S. L. Bailey as it stands at the moment:

1906 January 31, SLB nominates for the Sydney 1000 bicycle race

1909 October 28, SLB wins heat of 3-miles motor cycle race in Sydney on a Triumph

1910 February 26, SLB working for Canada Cycle & Motor Co., Ltd., Newcastle, racing (British) Excelsior

1910 March 24, SLB wins 5-miles Championship of NSW on his 5-hp Massey JAP

1910 August 24, SLB attempts records on Massey JAP and LMC motorcycles

1911 Feb 11, SLB racing in Sydney for the Newcastle MCC on Massey JAP

1911 September 2, SLB, "motorist", arrrives in London on the Otway, 3rd class

1912 May 11, SLB racing a 2 3/4 TT Humber in Birmingham

1912 June 1, SLB rides W. Douglas's competition machine at Brooklands in All Comers' One Hour Race: 56 miles, 755 yards

1912 Bailey rides a Douglas in the TT

1912 July 20, SLB racing a 2 3/4 side-valve Douglas at Brooklands (see higher in this thread)

1912 December "last week" (on 5th), SLB testing 2 3/4 OHV Douglas at Brooklands (with Granville Bradshaw parts)

1912 December 16, SLB due to leave for Australia

1912 December 17, SLB record setting at Brooklands on the OHV 350 (so departure delayed).

1912 December 19, leaves for Australia with Weatherilt.

1913 February 12, SLB in Forbes NSW, returning to Sydney to attempt records. Plans to return to England "for the opening of the racing season"

1913 May 13, SLB record breaking on 2 3/4 Douglas in Melbourne: one hour record

1913 June, SLB record breaking in Brisbane

1913 July 25, SLB leaves Sydney on S.S. Sonoma to UK via USA

1913 September 11, SLB back in England, quite badly injured in motorcycle accident (on the road, I think)

1913 October 4, Debut of "new" (narrow pushrod) OHV Douglas at Weston-super-Mare, Alexander riding

1913 October 11, "New" OHV Douglas entered for BMCRC meeting at Brooklands, ridden by Alfie Alexander.

1914 February 28, Track tests of "new" ohv Douglas (1914 TT model), F. G. Ball riding, SLB on crutches and timekeeping.

1914 March 28, SLB racing OHV Douglas at BMCRC meeting at Brooklands - 1914-TT-style Douglas engine, but in single down-tube frame

1914 September 22, SLB sets Class F (350 sidecar) records at Brooklands

1915 December 15, SLB "now holding an important position with Messrs. Douglas Bros." marries Cyril Pullin's sister

1917 May 3, SLB "Douglas", "well-known motorcyclist", attends Cyril Pullin's wedding

1917 September 20, SLB conducts a tour of the Douglas Works for "The Motor Cycle". Hints, but "not at liberty to divulge details"

1918 April 4, SLB and W.W. Douglas return from France, promoting 4hp Douglas for French army

1919 May 8, SLB injures hand in car accident in Bath at Easter

1919 August 29, Weston-super-Mare: F.G. Ball debuts 8-valve aluminium-cylinder Douglas racer - beaten by SLB on 1914-TT-style machine

1920 May 28, Tudor Thompson at Brooklands on 350 Douglas (presumably with "Sports" style motor)

1920 June, Douglas TT machines have "Sports" style motor with belt drive; brakes on rim at front, on belt rim at rear

1920 August 17, SLB beats flying-5-mile record at 66.18 mph: "Sports" type motor, chain drive, with precursor to RA/S1 disc brake at rear

1920 August 21, SLB sails for Australia with "a new 2 3/4 h.p. chain driven model"

1920 October 15, Back in Sydney for "thee-weeks' trip"

1920 October 28, Sports Model announced in The Motor Cycle with SLB-designed disc front brake etc.

1921 January 13, SLB "on his way back from the Antipodes"

1921 July 20, SLB applies for disc brake patent (granted as GB187687, 1922)

1922 March 23, C. G. Pullin exceeds 100 mph on 494cc Douglas

1922 May 19, Possibly SLB's last competitive race at Brooklands

1923 May 30, First public photos of SLB's masterpiece, the RA Douglas

1925 February 27, SLB arrives back in Sydney for "well-earned break"

In Australia 1925-1929:

Douglas Motors Ltd. factory representative for Australasia

Chairman of Directors, Penrith Speedway, Ltd.

Factory representative, Coventry Chains

Factory representative, AMAC carburettors

Vice President, Western Suburbs Motor Cycle Club

Vice President, Douglas Motor Cycle Club

Director, Missendon Road Motor Body Works, Ltd.

Director, Australasian Motor Investment & Finance Co. Ltd.

Director, Maroubra Speedway, Ltd.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 04 Dec 2018 at 22:41
From the Australia Birth Index;

1888 July 15 Burrowa, NSW, Stephen L Bailey born to George and Elizabeth Bailey



(BTW Burrowa is now known as Boorowa

http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/boorowa-nsw )

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 04 Dec 2018 at 22:52
Leon,

Les's probate notice could sadly be the other bookend to your chronology?

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 05 Dec 2018 at 00:20
It appears that G. Bailey and Son were in Burrowa Street in Young at least as early as 1901. It later became G.Bailey & Sons. Albert Bailey was one of the son's. Is the Leslie referred to in this court case, reported in the Young Chronicle 11 April 1906,  S.L. Bailey? If so then was Les living in Sydney in 1906?
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 05 Dec 2018 at 21:12
Wow - that's so interesting! A family connection to "the trade" goes a long way to explaining some things I haven't pursued yet.

An article that appeared in various Australian papers in October 1920, when Bailey was visiting, says in part:

"Les Bailey was only a youth when he left Australia's shores. In his very early dayshe rode a cycle and promoted races in the country. Bob SPears, now the world's champion cyclist, rode his first race at a meeting promoted by Bailey, at Tingha, a mining town, while, earlier than this, 1906 to be exact, he promoted the first road race which Reg McNamara, now one of the best riders in the world, contested."

I got as far as locating Tingha on the map, and pondering how an 18-year-old could promote a cycling event. But an 18-year-old with a father and brother in the trade is a different matter.

Anyway, here's Les in his role as Douglas factory representative in Australasia. If newspaper reports are to be believed, Bailey was responsible for landing the TT Douglas, putting it in the hands of Conoulty, and even tuning it after initial trials were disappointing.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 06 Dec 2018 at 05:25
Leon,

Yes i think some of the details of SLB's life prior to him going to the UK are starting to fall into place a little. 1905-1906 appears to be a tumultuous time in the Bailey household. Starting with the fire in 1905,referred to above in Albert's court statement, which appears to have caused considerable damage to the premises and stock of G. Bailey and Son's in Young. reported in the Young Chronicle 28th June 1905.

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 06 Dec 2018 at 05:36
The business "G.Bailey and Son" was then sold to Bennett and Barkell as reported in the Young Chronicle on 9th August 1905 and George decided to sell up everything and move on, indicating he was possibly moving to New Zealand. His property and chattels were auctioned in September 1905. This may have been the reason Les was away from the district by 1906?.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 08 Dec 2018 at 04:05
How much of Pullin's "balanced induction system" made it to the RA?

Interesting question. I think the answer is "some, but not all".

I mentioned above that the AMAC 15TT23 carburettors - very special and no doubt made specifically for the new Douglas racers - came with a fitting on the lid of the fuel bowl to allow for an air pipe for this purpose. At the time the carbs were ordered the idea was still in mind.

In the lead up to the 1923 TT, the Motor Cycle observed: "Contrary to common opinion, there is no pressure balancing on the induction system, but the carburetters (there are two per machine) take air from a box fitted upon the timing cover. This box has its orifice facing to the rear, and it also is provided with a baffle in the centre, which shields and separates the two intakes. Passing through the intake box are two cross-shafts or spindles, rotated by Bowden wire and short links".

Yet on the opposite page the line drawing shows a short (air) pipe from the fuel chamber lid disappearing into the air box.

My air box has the holes for these pipes.

So it looks like some of the Pullin system survived into Bailey's RA, balancing the air pressure in the air box to that in the fuel bowls. However I don't think the RA went the whole way and balanced the air-box pressure with the air above the petrol in the tank.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 08 Dec 2018 at 06:54
Leon,

The subsequent 1925 Works and 1926 catalog I.o.M./TT models continued on with the small tubes venting the float bowls to the airbox, as shown in the RA illustration.

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 08 Dec 2018 at 07:02
Hi Doug,

They're pretty weird little things - because the length and shape of the tube depends on where the fitting ends up when the fuel bowl lid is done up tight. I assume they were just copper tubes?

Was there originally a little (rubber?) cover over the tickler? In principal it should be air tight if the balancing thing is to work.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: eddie on 08 Dec 2018 at 13:43
Leon,
          Are you sure the tubes are there to balance the air pressures - with the large intake to the airbox, there is unlikely to be much depression within the box. I think it is more likely to be a means of venting the tops of the float chambers without increasing the chance of water ingress during a wet race.

  Regards,
                Eddie.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 08 Dec 2018 at 13:47
Leon,

Yes, copper tube and brass fittings, nickel plated.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/1925_Douglas_IoM_model_engine_detail.jpg)

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 08 Dec 2018 at 14:17
Eddie,

There were much simpler ways to create a water-proof vent the float bowls; so I think something more must have been the intent. Period accounts do clearly mention a 'pressure balanced' system. Whether it actually worked or not is an entirely different matter! :)

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 08 Dec 2018 at 23:37

I agree Eddie, it's a bit of a stretch that the pressure in the air box would be much less than one atmosphere. I think Doug's comment is right on the ball: it's a pressure balancing feature but whether it's worthwhile...

The plan is clear. Carburettors of the period were designed to have the fuel level held constant (by the float) just below the jet (or vapourising holes in the case of the 15TT23). In theory, with the engine accelerating the pressure in the air box - and hence the mouth of the carburettor - is less than 1 atm, so the fuel will rise in the jet for TWO reasons: (1) the usual venturi effect and (2) because the air pressure above the fuel in the float bowl is greater than the air pressure in the carburettor. Both effects richen the mixture, but advocates of "pressure balancing" would like to remove effect (2).

I guess one of the problems that Pullin had with his twin-carb bikes in 1921-1922 was too-rich mixture when accelerating, so he developed his over-complicated system of pressure-balancing + handlebar-controlled-variable-main-jet. A couple of years later tuners would be dealing with the problem by raising or lowering the needle (the AMAC of the day didn't have one) or varying the cutaway in the throttle slide.

These were still pioneering days in some ways.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 08 Dec 2018 at 23:55
Hi Doug,

Thanks for the photo of the little "balance tube" on the TT. If you look really hard it can also be seen on Sheard's 1923 TT winner - see below.

For the balancing to work, the top of the fuel bowl has to be sealed (other than the connection inside the air box). The ticklers on the 15TT23 AMAC carbs on the RA have a threaded part that projects up around the outside of the tickler itself, which is almost a wire. I'm 99% certain there were rubber caps that "screwed" on to the fitting, over the top of the tickler, to seal the fuel bowl top, but still allow the tickler to be depressed. Hard to get a photo that shows this, but the two line drawings attacked - of Pullin's Brooklands setup, and the RA - both show a cap over the tickler.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 09 Dec 2018 at 02:45
Just looking at SLB's patent GB201715 lodged June 22 1922. The pressure balancing of the carburettors would make a lot more sense if you were going to supercharge the engine.......
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 09 Dec 2018 at 04:13
You'd think that GB201715, in which the crankcase acts as a supercharger, was just a bit of imaginative fluff from Bailey's overactive mind.

By then, what is the beast that Judd was riding as Arpajon, France in July 1924??

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 09 Dec 2018 at 09:54
And speaking of 1924...

1924 is a "missing year" in the Bailey chronology. If "The Best Twin" were to be believed, S. L. Bailey left Douglas late in 1923, replaced by his friend and brother-in-law Cyril Pullin.

But I don't think this is correct.

There is lots of evidence that SLB continued on at Douglas through all/most of 1924 - likely in the top job - during which time he continued to innovate and patent his ideas. His last batch of Douglas-related patents were filed late in October 1924, and he was back living in Sydney when they were accepted during 1925. A number of these patents covered OB development, so it's fair to acknowledge SLB's contribution to OB design and development.

Bailey had a gala send-off by the Douglas Club in December 1924 hosted by club president John Douglas, at Kingswood. The event was reported in Motor Cycling 17 Dec 1924. SLB was presented with "a magnificent gold watch and an autographed album" as mementos of his time at Douglas Motors. In response he spoke in glowing terms of his time at Douglas and the prospects in Australia "to which  country [he] departs early in January as the representative of Douglas Motors Ltd."

The day before his departure for Australia on 16 January 1925, the Motor Cycle published a full-page article by Bailey, entitled "FIFTEEN YEARS' ENDEAVOUR - A Pioneer Describes his Efforts to Interest British Manufacturers in Overseas Trade". To give an idea of the tone of the article, it begins"Fifteen summers have passed since I first landed on on old Albion's shores" and finishes "You have treated me wonderfully, but Australia is calling, the stars are blinking in a blue sky under the Southern Cross, and I am going home. Au revoir!" with a facsimile signature S. L. Bailey.

Anyway, I make the point that it seems that SLB was running Douglas through 1924. During 1924, Cyril Pullin and Rex Judd were developing racers and attempting records at Brooklands, Arpajon and elsewhere, I suppose on the Douglas payroll? One marker of Pullin taking up his leading role as designer at Kingswood early in 1925 was the beginning, in February 1925, of a prodigious program of patents filed by Pullin and Douglas Motors Ltd, in much the same way as Bailey did when he was in the role.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 10 Dec 2018 at 20:48

A couple of posts back there is a newspaper photo of Les Bailey and Billy Conoulty with a TT Douglas in Australia in July 1926. The caption credits Bailey as the "designer". Sort of true, because the IOM TT Douglas that first appeared at the TT in 1925 was a development of the Bailey's RA, but let's credit Cyril Pullin for the improvements.

Here's Rex Judd at Brooklands in March 1925, just a couple of months after the handover from Bailey to Pullin. The bike represents the transition from Bailey's RA (confusingly often called the IOM TT model in the day) to Pullin's IOM TT. Bailey is still there with the RA-style  frame and single-spring fork, but incorporating the OB gearbox with its frame mounting lug and frame-mounted gear change. Peer hard and you can see the RA brake on the far side at the rear, and an RA-pattern sump. The motor has evolved to something like the TT, with a mechanical oil pump under the air box and an oil pressure gauge on top of the large air box.

Judd won two races on the day, the fastest at 86 mph. Allowing for the standing start, the bike must have been good for a lap of Brooklands at 90-ish mph in 1925.

Bailey's classic RA design lived on in all the racing Douglases, through to the final works bikes in 1932.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 11 Dec 2018 at 02:01
Hi Leon,

If you wanted to become a speedway racer in the Antipodes in the late 20's and you could not get hold of,or afford a pukka DT you could use an OB and make yourself a Rex Judd "replica"!  :D...probably partially explains the scarcity of OB's and OC's these days! These pictures are from Kilbirnie stadium Wellington  1930.

https://natlib.govt.nz/items?i%5Bsubject%5D%5B%5D=Kilbirnie&i%5Bsubject%5D%5B%5D=Speedway+motorcycle+racing


Cheers

Ian

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 11 Dec 2018 at 21:09
I prefer "look-alike" - "replica" sounds a bit too official. Interesting that the guy in the middle photo has cut down a full-electric OC - surely it deserved better.

By the TT in June 1925 Pullin's upgrade to the Bailey RA was complete.

Leon

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 11 Dec 2018 at 21:14
Les's waistcoat buttons hint at why others were doing the riding in 1923.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 12 Dec 2018 at 02:11
SLB's "middle aged spread" can also be seen in this 1921 picture of him with the Douglas racing car at Brooklands!

https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/douglas-racing-car-of-sl-bailey-at-the-jcc-200-mile-race-news-photo/624163318

Some details of the OHV engine can just be seen.

The frame of Lounde's bike posted above appears to be OB rather than OC given the front and rear brake shoe lever mounting lug locations? Rear wheel is obviously not OB, engine could be either OB or OC. Either way - as Leon said above -it deserved better!

well done Leon on getting to the 100th reply of this thread with the word "century" in the advert you posted!.



Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 13 Dec 2018 at 00:37
All three bikes pictured at Wellington Speedway are (or started out as) OB models. The OC would have the rear axle lugs casting like the DT/SW and TT/IoM models had. OB had the simple plate lug like the RA.

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Dec 2018 at 07:29
Doug, Thanks for the clarification on the OB/OC rear axle lugs. that confirms all 3 bikes to have started life as OB's

 I have just come across this interesting British Pathe film on the1923 IOM Senior TT. Great footage of RA's, the atrocious weather, Sheard finishing and  we catch a very short glimpse of Les Bailey moving towards the camera and out of shot at about 1:23 and then another with him congratulating Tom Sheard for the win.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GJQuuJc9-o


cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Dec 2018 at 07:39
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yweuYd-auZk
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 08 Jan 2019 at 01:22
From the video of the 1923 TT win, there appears to be some poignancy in Les putting his hat across his chest rather that waving it in the air triumphantly for Tom Sheard, possibly because the day before (Thursday 14th June 1923) was the funeral of William Wilson Douglas? (reported in the Western Daily Press, Bristol 15 June 1923). He had passed away on Sunday 10th June 1923.

This, along with the death of Veasey on a Douglas during the senior TT, would definitely have put a damper on what otherwise would have been a huge celebration after all the efforts in getting the Douglas Factory Team ready for the TT (this information being presented by Clew in The Best Twin).

Unfortunately more bad news was to come. The following day, Saturday 17th June 1923, Miss Helen Douglas, daughter of John Douglas was tragically run over  by a taxi cab while crossing a road at Weston Super Mare on the first day of a holiday and died later in hospital – this was reported in the Western Daily Press on Sunday 17th June 1923.

This must have been an incredibly upsetting time for the Douglas family having a double bereavement in such a short space of time. Helen’s funeral was on Friday 22nd June 1923 with many shocked mourners in attendance including S.L. Bailey. Maybe no wonder we don’t see much of what Les was doing after this time - until he leaves for Australia - given the extremely sad occasion(s) and given he would have been busy with new models, Olympia Show (in October) and maybe also managing the  transition for Pullin to take over his role at Douglas?

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 23 Jan 2019 at 02:27
I have been looking into what SLB was up to during WW 1. Information has been hard to come by for that period but I have found a few items. Just before the start of the war we have Les being caught for speeding at Kingston Hill. The speed limit in that area those days was probably 30 MPH and going by newspaper reports of the day was regularly enforced in the UK, in particular when WW1 started. Les was fined what would amount to over 200 Pounds in today's money for exceeding the speed limit by 3/4 MPH!

"The Hut" in Weybridge appears to have been a "Tea Garden"  and a B&B. It is not far from Brooklands, so was probably where Les stayed when attending racing and testing there?

-Ian

Clarification added 5/11/2019 - Information has been passed to me, that the speed limit on Kingston Hill may have been 20MPH in 1914 - When I posted this item, I had looked into what the speed limit at that time might have been and came to the conclusion it was 30MPH. Hence I thought that Les was only a little over the speed limit. It may be that he was actually exceeding the limit by quite an amount and if so he was a bad boy and I don't feel sorry for him!. The fine is probably roughly comparable to what a speeding fine today would be for a similar offence.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 23 Jan 2019 at 02:41
In January 1915 Les was in Liverpool trying to expedite the release of a shipment of American made magnetos - maybe Splitdorf Dixie? - as the Bosch ZA2's were no longer available - for obvious reasons!. I have seen a picture (In the Classic Motor Cycle magazine) of lines and lines of 1914 Dougies at the factory awaiting magneto's so they could be completed and sent out for the war effort. I think that picture was from 1915......

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 23 Jan 2019 at 07:04
During 1915 there were industrial disputes at Douglas Bros' mainly over pay conditions and many employees walked off the job. On 3rd May 1915. SLB attended an industrial meeting of 800 men at Kingsley Hall who had downed tools and was reported in the Western Daily Press on 5th;

"...Mr BAILEY (a cycle racer) said they were just as much working for the war as the men the trenches. Personally he thought they should have formed their union without "downing tools." (Dissent.) Personally he would have preferred to have seen them form their union without ceasing work. The War Office had told them they wanted 250 machines week from Douglas's, but in order to do so they would need night shifts. . Enrolment of members in the union followed, during which audience sang " Tipperary" and other songs. ....."



 SLB also spoke at the Douglas works, doing his part for industrial relations as reported in the Western Daily Press, Bristol May 8 1915;

"THE DISPUTE AT KINGSWOOD. WILLIAM DOUGLAS & HIS MEN. Yesterday, Messrs Douglas Bros.' employees, numbering 458. who are still at work, assembled in the dining hall adjoining the works, and heard what Mr W. Douglas had to say on the present crisis. Mr W. Douglas, who spoke on the war crisis, said he did not think it was an occasion for anyone to think of money-making before duty. He added: I have been quite satisfied to supply goods to the War Office and the Government, not only the old price charged before the war, but even at reduced prices. A good many people are under the impression, that have received enhanced prices, owing to the demand, but this is not the case. To show my appreciation in practical manner of the men who have stood me, they shall receive an advance of per cent wages each week, every man and boy on the place. (Applause.) In addition to this, I am going to give you another 5 per cent., which will be added to a card given each one for the purpose every week; but this you will draw at the end of the war, or. if the war is not over by Christmas, 1915, we will make the first payment on the Christmas. (Applause.) I know it is necessary you should have some increase, on account of the, increased cost food and provisions of all kinds. Speaking to the workers subsequently, Mr S. L. Bailey said the bonus being given by Douglas did not come from the Government, it was from his own pocket. After alluding to the fact that the works had been kept open for the sake of the men in the early days of the war, and machines were accumulated without any prospect of their sale, he said had been a slice of luck that they were able to sell the machines to the Government. He added: There are quite a number of pals having a rest, who went out on Monday, and are not coming back until they are tired having a rest. Now, on Monday morning Mr Douglas walked through the works, and not a single complaint was made to him, neither did a single man speak to him. and no mention was made that the men required anything fresh. He walked down the road the works the men were leaving for their lunch-time. and not a single man complained. However, the men did not return after lunch. In future, that there will be no excuse for complaints, we are having a suggestion box. That box will be the means of direct communication between " man" and " master.' It will there for you workmen to put any complaints or suggestions, except, of course, trivial things, as we do not want the box abused. Another thing I want to mention. You may have pals relations who think the works are closed to them. Now. if you see any them will you tell them the works are open, and always will open, for the men to return either individually collectively, and they will not victimised in any way. They can return singly in a body, whichever they like. (Applause.) Not a single man will be victimised in any way. Mr Bailey added that all the workmen were to have badges shortly "

It is interesting the statement by Bailey which seems to imply that without sales to the government for the war effort Douglas might have been struggling to sell motorcycles!

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 25 Jan 2019 at 06:01
The strike was over fairly shortly afterwards with most men returning to work with a 10% pay rise. I am still trying to find out the significance of the badges that they were issued with.

On the 29th May 1916 the Bristol Western daily Press reported that there was a Quarterly meeting of The "Douglas" Soldiers fund and that the chair was held by Bailey, who remarked after reading the balance sheet that the results disclosed were "surprisingly satisfactory"! The fund had been started by a Mr. Hodges who was a workman at Douglas Bros. and the primary aim of the fund was to regularly forward parcels of smokes, groceries, comforts etc. to their "late" fellow workmen who were new to active service. By that date 734 parcels to 104 soldiers had been dispatched. 8 soldiers on leave and 5 patient inmates in military hospitals had received monetary assistance in lieu of parcels. Bailey suggested that as well as dispatching parcels the fund could also offer a little relief to the wives of the soldiers.

On Feb 7 1917 The Western Daily Press reported that Wounded soldiers were entertained at the dining hall at Douglas's and later that year on 2nd November it was reported that Bailey attended court in a hearing relating to a theft from the factory. interestingly it refers to his position with the company as being the manager of the munition department.

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 29 Jan 2019 at 07:03
Just jumping forward for a moment to 1920 as I have found a possible link to William John Webb that was mentioned in posts #11 and #12 on this thread by Paul and Leon in regards to SLB's B.M.C.R.C. medal for the 1912 All Comers Handicap.

The funeral of a William Webb was reported in the Bristol Western Daily Press 4 March 1920, he was the licencee of the Kingswood Hotel and was 52. This would probably make him to old to be the William Webb whom Paul refers to, but he had a son who is also named William and could possibly be the recipient of Les's medal.


"FUNERAL OF MR WEBB, KINGSWOOD.

The funeral yesterday Mr Win. Webb (52), licensee of Kingswood Hotel, who died on Saturday as the result a motor cycle accident, at Holy Trinity Church, Kingswood, was largely attended. The chief mourners were Mrs Webb (widow), Wm. Webb (son), Mrs Hunt (Redditch), and Mrs Edkins .(Studley, Warwick). There were also present:—Messrs W. Douglas, W. W. Douglas, S. L. Bailey, Gwynne Parry and Geo. Bayley; Messrs Burnham (chairman), S. Fox and P. R. Betty, Kingswood Urban District Council; Messrs P. McWhirter. S. Britton, W. Golding, E. Greenland (Bradford-on-Avon) and McCrae, representing the licensed victuallers; Messrs Arnold Matthews. S. Fox, E. R. Candy, John Mortimer, Issac Bryant and F. W. Higgins representing Kingswood Horse Show; Messrs W. Douglas, W. W. Douglas. S. L. Bailey, W. B. Cox, G. Allan, and H. Harris, the Douglas Club; Messrs T. Mackay and W. Bryant, Douglas Anglers' Club. There were also present:—Messrs W. C. Stone, W. Bryant, A. G. Davies, H. Howes, W. Joines, F. Smith, J. Frv, W. E. Phipps. T. Evans, E. Joy, E. Morris, W. H. Morris, G. Blann. A. Short, A. G. Davies, Mr and Mrs Squires (Fishponds), Mrs Stevens (Brislington), Inspector Goulder, G. Olds, Geo. Randall. C. Manning, F. Pratten. Richardson, T. Evans, W. B. Cox, T. Mr and Miss Evans (Trowbridge), E. Harris, and Baker. The Vicar Kingswood (Canon Dandy) officiated. There were wreaths from Mrs Webb, a iarge cross from deceased's smoke room friends. friends at Studley, Warwickshire, Mr and Mrs Fred Iles, Mr and Mrs Coleman, Mr and Mrs McWhirter,Mr  and Mrs Wallis, Mr and Mrs S. L. Bailey (Staple Hill), Lily and Laura Squire (Fishponds), Mr T. Evans and family (Wingfield), Ashton Gate Brewery. and Mrs Manning. Dorothy and Madge. Mr and Chapple Mrs S. R. Stevens (Brislington), Mr and Mrs Payne (Bedminster), Mr and Mrs Iles. Misses Elsie and Flo Iles, Mr and Mrs Blake,Mr and Mrs Chandler. Mr and Mrs F. Pratten. Mr and Mrs F. Shellard, Mr and Mrs R. Fudge, Mr and Mrs Brown and Doliy. The funeral arrangements were carried out Mr S. Boulton, Kingswood. "

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 31 Jan 2019 at 02:31
I found a reference to a donation made by a W.J.Webb of the Kingswood Hotel so seems to confirm one connection between Douglas, Bailey and Paul's Great Grandfather.

I have not managed to find much more on what Bailey was up to during WW1.... yet, but moving to 1919 I came across some interesting links between Bailey and Sir John Alcock - the pilot of the first Atlantic non-stop crossing by aeroplane. W.W. Douglas was also a friend and I gather they had known each other for some time. Sir John raced a Douglas car at Brooklands and was going to be presented with a new one from the factory for his success in crossing the Atlantic, but unfortunately he was killed in a plane crash in December 1919 before it could be delivered.

This article appeared in the Bristol Western Daily Press the day after Captain John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Whitten Brown's landing in Ireland.

I had read a later article on Bailey when he returned to Australia that stated he had been involved in some aviation activities but I didn't know at the time he was probably  referring to these events. It does appear he played some role in events leading up to the successful crossing.

-Ian

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 01 Feb 2019 at 15:40
Some more pictures of the early ohv engines. First is a better picture of the timing side of the 'steel' cylinder engine built for SLB by Bradshaw. Unfortunately I did not document the publication, but it looks like one of the motorcycling periodicals.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/steel-cylinder-ohv-timing-side.jpg)

This second image looks like the machine seen early in this thread mounted by SLB and F.G. Ball; here being riden by Kickham. Not the clearest of pictures, but I don't think it has the axial fins of the steel cylinder SLB engine, but the radial fins.

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/kickham-on-ohv-1.jpg)

(https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/aa-files/images/doug/2018/Bailey/kickham-on-ohv-2.jpg)


-Doug



Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 14 Feb 2019 at 04:13
Great pictures Doug!, the one of the Bradshaw / Bailey creation showing a lot more detail than the ones previously posted. The one of Kickham at the Liverpool MC speed trial is interesting as it looks very similar to the one shown of Alfie Alexander is on in Leon's post #33 from Jeff Clew's "The Best twin", but from the other side?

I found out that the badges that SLB refers to in post #108 were badges that identified that the wearer was doing important work for the war effort and was needed at home rather than enlisting. These were worn as some members of the public were quite vocal in letting their patriotic feelings being heard and harassing any eligible male to enlist - even if they were needed on the home front in specialist roles.

It appears that Captain Sir John Alcock had a few links with Bristol and the Douglas factory. On the day he was knighted with Brown he attended a Gymkhana organised by the Bristol Motor Cycle Club. This was one of a series of events organised by the club in connection with a visit by members of the Auto-Cycle union and reported in the Bristol Western Daily Press June 23 1919. As part of these events a tour of the Douglas works was made on the 21st and S.L.Bailey announced at the luncheon that Sir Alcock would be coming direct from his visit to the King at Windsor in order to attend their (the Bristol MCC) rally. Sir Alcock also was the guest of members of the Bristol MCC at a dinner later that evening.

In the Whiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser June 21st 1919, it was reported that a congratulatory telegram was sent to Alcock after his successful flight by his good friend Mr. Fred W. Ball of Home Hill Buildings, castle St. Trowbridge, who was Mr. F.G. Balls father. It is stated that at the time that  Frederick George Ball was the head of the experimental and competition department of Douglas Motors and that he had flown with Alcock a number of times in the past.

Very soon Sir John Alcock and Sir Arthur Brown were national hero's and celebrities and very much in demand by the public and Alcocks connections with Bristol as noted in the press is limited. In September 1919 Alcock attended a sports meeting in Kingswood, Bristol to sign 12 programmes for the public (reported in Bristol Western Daily Press September 8th 1919). This sports club was part of Douglas with President Mr. W.Douglas, Vice President Messrs W.W.Douglas, J.Douglas and A.P. Douglas, chairman and treasurer Mr. S.L.Bailey and hon Secretary Mr. F.C. Dunn
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Feb 2019 at 04:41
What are the chances of finding a copy of the telegram from Alcock to Bailey sent from Clifden if such a thing existed? Close to zero I would have thought. This find seems almost too good to be true.....but I guess stranger things have happened.....?

from: http://www.battle-axe.org/gallery/index.htm

-Ian

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 17 Sep 2019 at 08:20
The caption on Doug's image above (https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27948#msg27948) for SLB's December 1912 73-mph ohv Douglas/Bradshaw gives a clue to the internal configuration of the the engine.

Bradshaw's horizontally-opposed racing ABC engine certainly used THREE con rods, but in the caption for Bailey's Douglas engine is describes the cylinders as "offset". This suggests the crank and rods were in the usual Douglas configuration, rather than the three-rod ABC design in which the cylinders were in line.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 17 Sep 2019 at 11:28
I've not read anything "official" about the con rod/crankshaft arrangement in Bailey's 1912 ohv record-breaker; at least nothing that says unambiguously that "the bike had three con rods".

Higher up in this thread I proposed that the bike did have three rods (as in the 500cc ABC being developed at the same time by Bradshaw at Brooklands). In the last post, I thought I had some evidence that the engine had only two rods. But I've changed my mind again! Sorry.

Have another look at Doug's image of the engine, which likely comes from "Motor Cycling" some time around Dec 1912 - Jan 1913. It clearly shows that the cylinders are "offset", but rather than offset side-to-side they are offset up-and-down. So "offset" describes the "De Saxe" arrangement of the cylinders relative to the crankshaft. The De Saxe arrangement, with the axis of the cylinder ahead of the crank shaft, was quite popular at the time (and at various times since).

In the 24 December 1912 edition of Motor Cycling (posted by Doug early in the thread) there are some details of the engine, which is described thus:

"...Specially light pistons were used, and the connecting rods were set centrally, and are not staggered as on the standard Douglas..."

If "offset" refers to up-and-down, "set centrally" suggests the cylinders were in line, viewed from above.

This can be done with two con rods (knife-and-fork on a common crank pin), but I doubt an engine like this would run free on the stand to 6,700 rpm without shaking to bits.

The other solution is to use three rods and a three-throw crank, as on Bradshaw's ABC racing engine. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27401#msg27401

Re-reading the various descriptions, it's almost certain (!) that Bailey's 1912 record-breaking Douglas used a De Saxe, three-con-rod, three-throw-crank engine.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 21 Sep 2019 at 02:30

Just tidying up a few loose ends in my "ohv Douglas history" files.

Higher up in this thread ( https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27414#msg27414 ) there is a photo of Alfie Alexander on an early ohv Douglas with the unusual number plate AE-P2.

I asked if this was a Douglas trade plate.

In my ABC file I have a photo of a rather nice fore-and-aft ABC of unknown age (from the gearbox maybe late/post WW1?) carrying a similar plate P2-AB.

Does anyone know the meaning of these unusual registration numbers?

Thanks

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 23 Sep 2019 at 00:16
An extract from: http://www.metadyne.co.uk/pdf_files/CarReg.pdf

"Dealers marks burgeoned and it was not long before there were problems. Firstly they emerged in a wide variety of colours. Secondly some unforeseen usage arose. It appears that the plates consisted of the usual one or two letter mark from the issuing authority, followed  by  a  further  mark  (for  example  ‘XA’)  indicating  the  trader  or  dealership,  thence  a  serial  number  relating  to  the  dealer.  It  also  seems  that  manufacturers got  into  the  habit  of  obtaining  just  one  ‘dealers’  mark  and  using  it  for  all  their agents around the country, creating extensive problems for local police in tracing usage  of  vehicles  and  difficulty  in  pinning  down  blame  for  any  shortcoming  in  the  dealers record keeping. The 1904 Royal Commission on Motor Cars suggested that all plates should be red and that all dealerships should register locally."

Following this guide, the number AE-P2 on a Douglas (from Bristol) is "AE" (the two-letter code for the Bristol issuing authority) + "P" (referring to Douglas or a Douglas dealer) + "2" (the second plate belonging to Douglas or the dealer)?

It seems the Bristol Record Office, B Bond Warehouse, Smeaton Rd, Bristol. BS1 6XN (0117 922 4224)
has a Card index to 1963 (AE to reverse YAE). It might even include trade plates.

Perhaps a local could drop in and see?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 23 Sep 2019 at 00:40
Leon,

Does sound like they are trade plates. There is a picture in Jeff Clew's Book "The Best Twin" showing Graeme Brown's dealership storefront. Parked at the curb is a new 1928 600EW, with plate PK-31. There is also a photo of Prince Albert (King George VI) on a 3-1/2hp Sports model with number XH-81. Maybe royalty was allowed to run around on trade plates?!

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 23 Sep 2019 at 02:42
Hi Doug,

I'm feeling pretty certain that AE-P2 is a trade plate, and as well as P2-AB mentioned above I have another pic of the prototype ABC Firefly 250 (c1915-16) carrying P3-AB and a c1911 BSA with AB-R6.

The weird thing about these plates that makes them very "non-British" is that they have a letter in both parts of the number, and that they were RED!

The 2-letter + 2-number plates are unusual, but are probably ordinary numbers. As today, a low number carries prestige. From the above article it seems that the format of the trade plate was changed in 1921, so I think the weird trade pates were mostly 1904-1920.

Has anyone seen a Douglas with AE-P1 or AE-P3?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 23 Sep 2019 at 04:05
Leon and Doug,

I just had a quick look through pictures i have of Dougii and the only bike I have found so far with what looks like a "trade plate" on it is the miniature Douglas reported in these threads - AD-D2;

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=4841.msg27658#msg27658

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=1863.msg6756


Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 23 Sep 2019 at 04:36
The crankcase used on the 1912 Douglas/Bailey/Bradshaw OHV engine appears to be derived from the standard 1912 2 3/4 HP Douglas. Note the angles between added OHV pushrods and the tappet rods !

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Dirt Track on 03 Oct 2019 at 01:46
G'day all.
Here are Les Bailey's bound volumes of MotorCycling, I have decided to have them all rebound in green leather.
Howard.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 03 Oct 2019 at 09:22
It's a lovely collection Howard.

Have you found any SLB doodles in the margins, or perhaps scratched out eyes of evil opponents? Did he write his name on the covers?

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 06 Oct 2019 at 11:59
Leon,

The picture of the lovely lady was taken at Brooklands so now I know who she is.  I have been trying to find out for some time.  I now need to find out why the Douglas carries the number 0 as race numbers always started at one.
To add to your timeline Bailey's firs race at Brooklands was on 27 May 1912 where he was entered on a Humber.  Kickham was entered on a Douglas and by the following Saturday Bailey was not only riding a Douglas but won the race.  He continued racing at Brooklands until June 1923 although he preferred sidecar outfits from late 1921.
In view of the number of patents (around 50) he must be regarded as a significant innovator so I see no reason why he was not responsible for the ohv conversion in 1912.  He and Freddie Dixon patented the banking sidecar in 1923. 
My interest is in Granville Bradshaw whose expertise was rapid prototype production and I believe most of his designs and patents were copied from others.  In 1912 his main interest was in  the use of steel cylinders machined from solid and as an ohv  conversion would require new cylinders he would have been an obvious choice as provider.  Bradshaw was also able to get the head cast and machined.  I must doubt the view that the modified engine had a three, rather than two, throw crankshaft as there is no mention of a new crankshaft being supplied. 
 Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 06 Oct 2019 at 22:45
Roger,

Welcome to the forum !

I could be way off the mark and just a guess, but maybe "0" indicates the scratch man in a handicap race??

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 07 Oct 2019 at 00:04
Roger,

Maybe this might be a clue to the meaning of "0" and I was most likely off track with my comment of it indicating scratch position. Perhaps women were not permitted to "officially" enter the events at Brooklands at the time (or not even welcomed to do so by some?) so were assigned the racing number "0"? Here we have Mrs. Eric. Longden (Violet Longden) on a Douglas, reported on 15th April in "The Motorcycle" at the Brooklands re-opening event. So possibly "0" was used for entries not in the official race programme?.

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 07 Oct 2019 at 11:06
Ian,
Thank you, another two problems solved!
Both Bailey and Kickham were entered in the Victory Handicap but Violet Longdon is not in my list of entries until 17 July 1920.  As she clearly did race on the 5th May she must have been a late entry and this is exactly what the report says.  I love the description that her skirt slowed her down.
It seem likely that late entries were allocated the race number 0 and this explains why I failed to find the first race that Nigel Spring won in 1923 carrying the number 0.  The museum's database is largely made up from the race programmes although we don't have a complete set so I assumed that the race was in one of the missing programmes.  Interestingly the there were one other late entry as number 29 is also not listed.
Women were not allowed to race in BARC events but they were in those run by other clubs at the track.  Part of the reason was that there were no facilities for women in the Paddock until the Clubhouse was extended in 1930 but even they they were not allowed until 1935.  The match race between Gwenda Stewart and Kay Petre was banned on safety grounds but they were allowed to do timed laps.  Both exceeded 135mph which placed then in the top ten all time speeds and BARC were forced to allow them to compete with men after that.
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 08 Oct 2019 at 08:10
Leon and Ian,

The key point about the trade plates you have cited are that they were white characters on red background to distinguish them from the standard plates that had a black background.  Unfortunately the orthochromatic films used at the time renders red as black so this is difficult to recognise in pictures.
I am not aware that the format for trade plates changed with the 1920 Road Traffic Act and it is more likely that the licencing authorities were allowed to use their own format.  The initial letter(s) denote the county and the second letter(s) the company.  So P 2 AB would be a Surrey registration and AB the company in this case ABC.  Each company could have as many numbers as they needed or  could afford so ABC had 1-3.  AE P 2 is a Bristol registration and Bristol had a different format with P denoting the company as they appear not to use the company initials but allocate the letters in alphabetical order.  The same is true of AB R 6 which is Worcestershire.  The AD D 2 is a Gloucester registration where the D ties in with the Douglas company in Collingwood, Gloucestershire.
The format letter-number-letter format dates to before 1921 and avoids confusion with later three letter  numbers such as ADD2 which was again a Gloucestershire registration issued in 1935.

Roger


 
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 09 Oct 2019 at 00:18
Leon, Roger and Howard,

Thanks Roger for the great information regarding Women at Brooklands and the BARC and also the extra information on the trade plates. Bit by little bit some of it is falling into place. Yes it does appear that "0" was used for late entries to events that were not published in the official race program.

The comment about Violet's dress slowing her down is amusing (but maybe not so PC these days!), considering she appears to be wearing trousers rather than a dress!. I found this picture of Mrs and Mrs Longden in August 21st 1913 edition of The Motorcycle which makes comment about her prefered motorcycling riding attire at the time. As Eric Longden was from Australian then one could possibly assume that they were friends with Bailey?

After I looked at this picture, I thought about my question posed in post number 46 and replied to by Leon in post 49 of this thread, that the lady on Les bailey's bike AD5724 was his wife (well she does have a wedding band on). It occurred to me that it could actually be Violet on the bike, but I have not seen a good picture of either Catherine Bailey or Violet Longden to be able to compare them and confirm it either way.

Howard, are you able to have a quick check of Bailey's magazine from August 21st 1913 and see if the original picture in the magazine is better than this one? (...maybe Bailey marked the page ?..... :) ) Or maybe Roger has seen a better picture of Violet from the Brooklands Museums Archives??. I will see if I can find a better picture of either of them.

Cheers

Ian



Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 11 Oct 2019 at 10:37
Ian,

Political correctness has changed with the times.  In England before the Great War ladies would not have ridden in anything other than a long dress although a long split skirt may have been acceptable.  Trousers and long boots would not have been acceptable so the comment about her skirt slowing her down would have been to dispel the view that she would have raced at Brooklands in anything other than a skirt - the BARC would have banned her from racing.  The motorcycling world was more in tune with the realities of life rather than the committee of the motoring Ascot so were able to publish the picture.
I must find out when it was acceptable for ladies to give up riding sidesaddle on a horse, it was certainly after the war that riding sidesaddle was barred on a motorcycle.
A slightly better picture is attached and it could certainly be Violet - well spotted.
I can't find any pictures of the Longdens in the lists that I have of the museum's archives but I will try to check when I go in next week.
Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 11 Oct 2019 at 15:44
Doug,

In post #65 you wrote "Walter Moore did leave Douglas for ABC in 1922 (not sure what month), so they might have lost their key developmental guru for assembling a Works entry."
I am interested in the history of Norton and my understanding was that Moore joined Norton in 1923 from Douglas.  ABC Motors (1920) was in severe financial difficulties by 1922 and Ronald Charteris resigned his directorship in April and the company went into administration in September.  Although ABC Motors was reformed the administrator didn't give consent to this until December 1923.
I am surprised that Moore would join a company so close to liquidation unless Douglas were in a similar situation. This would explain why they didn't enter the TT and why SLB entered himself and two other riders in the Brooklands Royal Meeting on 22 May 1922.   In 1923 Cyril Pullin was the Douglas team entrant and Rex Judd joined the team leaving O'Donovan who was the Brooklands race manager for Norton.  He had left Norton to go to Velocette in 1922 but returned in 1923 and recruited Bert Denly which is where my interested started.

Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 11 Oct 2019 at 18:49
Roger,

That info was from Jew Clew's book "The Best Twin", page 68 in the 2nd edition. Sometimes in Clew's books it can be difficult to date an event as he will span a few topics without a date being mentioned and one is never really sure if he has jumped out of chronological order. but this is sandwiched in between events in 1922, hence that is when I assume it took place.

It was also mentioned that Moore was enticed away to specifically sort out the production problems ABC were experiencing, by a significant increase in salary, and some dissatisfaction at his position at Douglas. So maybe that and a less than candid description of Sopwith by Tom Sopwith during the job interview about the actual financial future lead him to think it would be a good - albeit brief! - career move.

-Doug


[edit reference to Sopwith to clarify the individual rather than the firm. 11Oct19. -Doug]
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 11 Oct 2019 at 22:08
Doug,

Thank you for the source, I have the same problem with dates in Jim Sheldon's Veteran and Vintage Motor Cycles!. 
Sopwith Aviation went into liquidation in September 1920 so it would have been ABC Motors (1920) that Moore joined in 1922.  They were part of the Hadfield Bean group and had gone into the production of the ABC car to use up some of their spare  manufacturing capacity  built up during the war.  Jim Shelton also thought that ABC Motors (1920) were producing the motorcycle and bought shares in the company which promised rich returns on the investment with guaranteed orders for 4000 cars from the parent company each with a £30 profit.
There were problems with the car production but these were mainly due to the parent company forcing the use of heavier transmission components in what was essentially a cyclecar.  Would Moore have attempted to sort out such problems?

However, I have just found a picture of an ABC motorcycle with the registration P 1 HB which opens up the possibility that the original ABC Motors sold a licence to manufacture motorcycles to Sopwith rather than an exclusive licence.  The wording of the transfer of assets to the new company include the motorcycle so Moore could well have been enticed from Douglas in early 1922 to sort out those problems.

Graham Walker left Norton in 1923 following his use of Webb forks in the TT and Moore replaced him.for the 1924 season.  Bristol based George Tucker won the sidecar TT in 1924 with Moore as passenger.  Quite what he did in between we will probably never know.

Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 12 Oct 2019 at 01:07
Roger,

Slight correction to the use of "Sopwith". I see now it could be read as the firm Sopwith, when in Jeff Clew's book the reference pertains to a job interview with Tom Sopwith at the 'Bear' Hotel in Esher. I have made an edit to the previous post, highlighted to show the change.

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 12 Oct 2019 at 06:04
Roger,

Thanks for the much better image of Violet !. Yes I think it could be her on AD 5724, especially as there is probably about 6-7 years between the pictures of Violet with Eric and the Brooklands picture. Fingers crossed a better picture of either her or Kate turns up so it can be confirmed either way. Looking forward to seeing how you go in the Brooklands Museum Archives.

The question of the Bradshaw / Bailey OHV conversion was playing on my mind a little.......2 or 3 throw crank, De Saxe or not?? etc,  so I thought I would do a bit of an experimental mock up to see how they might have put their engine together using a standard crankcase from 1912. Now I don't have a 1912 crankcase so I used a 1919 one which for the purposes of these experiments should be ok. If anyone knows of significant differences between the 1912 and 1919 crankcase that would render my theories as incorrect please let me know! :-).

Most Douglas enthusiasts would, I think be familiar with the normal 2 3/4 HP setup with regards to the barrels and conrods and crank. That is, the conrod is offset to the piston centre line. See picture A below. This was done to reduce the rocking couple between the front and rear cylinders and hence reduce engine vibration. This results in the barrels to being offset from one another by 1/2" or so.

A conrod offset from the piston centre line would not be a good feature to have for a "high" performance engine due to the eccentric loading on the conrod. This would obvious lead to flexing and fatigue of the conrod and uneven wear on the big end bearing etc. (which is a common problem on 2 3/4HP engines I have seen). If you flip the pistons over on the rods (Picture B attached) you can more or less get them in line, but due to the offset of the barrels in the crankcase (required because of the web in the crank between the two big ends, you cannot assemble the engine without serious machining work. The period articles on the Bradshaw / Bailey OHV engine of 1912 appear to state that a standard crankcase was used - so how did they improve things and use conrods inline with the centre line of the pistons?
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 12 Oct 2019 at 06:54
As Bradshaw machined the barrels from most likely round steel stock, he could have easily offset the "spigot" on the barrel that goes into the crankcase recess. To line up the front and rear barrels would require them to be offset inwards by 1/4". I found this was not quite possible, but you can get close. I think I noticed that in the literature it was stated that the barrels were not quite on the crank centre line - is this the slight offset that they were talking about? I will have to re read the previous posts carefully.

I didn't have any suitable steel laying around, but I did have some PVC. Not quite up to building an engine with (!) but ok for a demo. A bit of playing on the lathe and this mockup is the result. The conrods can be central to the pistons and  if you offset the front barrel toward the timing side and offset the rear barrel towards the drive (flywheel) side you can end up with the barrels almost in alignment with each other (not quite, about 1/4" offset, but maybe close enough?). If you wanted to be brave with the machining you could get closer, and if you were to machine the cases slightly you would be able to get them aligned. Note that this setup would not be able to be used with a standard crank but would require the 3 throw crank to be used, as previously stated by Leon.

If you offset the barrels the other way, i.e. front towards the drive side and rear towards the timing side, it appears you could possibly use the standard crank and the barrels would be offset from one another by 3/4" or more. The centre to centre distance between the rods on the standard engine looks like about 1 3/16", so not perfect alignment but possibly better than the standard setup with regards to conrod / piston alignment.

If Bradshaw used detachable heads, then the front and rear barrels could be swapped and inverted so the offsets could be outward to use a standard 2 throw crank and inwards for a 3 throw crank?? So possibly the Bradshaw / Bailey OHV engine was used in both configurations??

The Bradshaw / Bailey OHV barrel and head conversion therefore appears to be able to be used with a standard crankcase with either 3 throw cranks and special pistons and rods (i.e. 3 rods) or with the standard 2 throw crank (and possibly standard pistons and rods). I wonder if they had thought of selling it as a conversion? Also did Bailey take the engine parts with him to Australia to put on a standard 2 3/4 HP, or did they stay in the UK?

Can this eccentric barrel idea be used to get a De Saxe setup? Yes it appears to be able to do this but I need to do some playing to see if it can get the offset shown in Doug's picture of the engine.

-Ian

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 12 Oct 2019 at 07:51
Oh I forgot to add, the bore of the grey plastic eccentric part is 60.8mm.

Also, thinking about the possible De Saxe setup on the Bradshaw / Bailey engine, I don't think my demo system would give enough offset to be worthwhile, unless maybe slipper pistons were used so that their bore could overlap the cylinder holes in the crankcase by an amount and more offset of the barrels could be gained. The "spigot" on the barrel would then not be a full circle tho', but maybe that is not a major issue on a racing engine?

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 15 Oct 2019 at 16:04
Ian,

You have been busy in the workshop while I have been looking at the magazines.  I think that we have reached the same conclusion that the revised engine must have needed a new crankcase to provide the desaxe offset.  I don't know whether it would have been possible to use unmachined blanks to achieve it.  Colmore sponsored SLB so they would have had access to such spares but there is the alternative that the usual racing engines already used an offset.  It was not unusual on racing engines and the 2.7 litre JAP 90 degree V-twin used by Will Cook in 1909 had such a large offset that the angle between the cylinders was close to 80 degrees.
Looking at the very few pictures we have of the early ABC with the three throw crankshaft the conrods have very narrow big ends which would explain why replacement rods were required.  The reason for this is that Bradshaw used roller bearings so the big end was the same width as the rod.  This would reduce the offset and put the centre of the rod almost in line with the centre of the cylinder using the standard  crank offset.  The attachment is taken from the 1913 catalogue on your site.
I am still working on whether the engine used a three throw crank but the were popular in 1913/4 but rarely get a mention in the press.  ABC appear to have dropped the idea quite early as the one used by Emerson in its first outing  in January  1914 had a two throw crank.  Emerson was involved with the development in 1913 together with Dougal Marchant.

Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 16 Oct 2019 at 04:27
Roger and Leon,

Roger, like you I was thinking that the Bradshaw / Bailey engine would require machining of the crankcase or a new crankcase until I realised that if we assume the piston gudgeon (wrist) pin height  is the similar in the Bradshaw pistons as the standard Douglas ones (i.e. the distance from the pin to the skirt is the same) then to avoid the problem of the skirts running foul of the barrel holes in the crankcase you could use longer conrods. Thus the skirt will not go into the crankcase at Bottom Dead Centre.

If the spigots on the barrels are not full circle then you would be able to insert the pistons into them even if they were blind barrels. If not, then you would need detachable cylinder heads to be able to assemble the engine but this setup might be better from an engineering point of view? Thus with longer rods Bradshaw could have avoided altering the standard Douglas crankcase?

I am wondering if the reason there wasn't any clear description of the 3 throw crank / 3 rod setup used if Bradshaw / Bailey in the press of the day is if they were going to apply for a patent they (read "they" as "Bradshaw") would have been reluctant to disclose their IP? I have been looking to see if I can find any patents describing the 3 throw crank but so far I have not found anything - as usual more searching to do!

If we look at post #39 from Leon we can see on the last OHV engine picture in the post (from Clew page 44 ed. 2) that Douglas appear to have used a new or modified crankcase and appear to have offset the cylinders in a De Saxe fashion?.....interesting! I was thinking the apparent offset of the barrels vertically might be explained if the picture was taken with a short focal length (i.e. parallax error), but the position of the upper rear barrel stud appears to be higher in the crankcase casting than the front barrel one?

I have been doing some drawings of some of the options on cylinder alignment and will hopefully post them soon.  I agree with your comment Roger, re the possibility of the Bradshaw rods requiring less width for the big end and hence allowing for less offset of the barrels for a 2 throw crank setup - great observation - I will possibly have to do a drawing of that as well now! :-)......

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 16 Oct 2019 at 07:43
Doug,

A number of Bradshaw's patents failed or were void so I am not convinced that prior disclosure would have stopped him revealing the secrets.  It is more likely that the deliberate vagueness was to stop competitors finding out the secrets as there was intense rivalry between SLB and GE Stanley at that time.  There was a much delayed match race that never happened because SLB used a number of excuses but the real reason was more likely the difficulties involved with the new ohv engine.  ABC were a tiny organisation with around six staff in total so their aero engine took a year's development before it was able to fly.

I have cropped the earlier picture of the SLB engine and I believe that, like your image of the later ohv Douglas engine, it shows the the front cylinder is offset to the flywheel side.  The reflections on the parallel part of of the cylinders show that the barrels are not in line horizontally even taking account of the vertical difference.

Bradbury did produce a three throw crank twin in 1914 on their 6hp engine in order to remove the rocking couple but quickly dropped it when the couple was not considered to be a problem.

Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 17 Oct 2019 at 06:16
Roger,

I just noticed my error in the use of "De Saxe" - thanks for indirectly pointing that out - I should be using desaxe as in French for un-balanced rather that a person's surname - school boy error on my part! I will use "desaxe" from now on.

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Eric S on 17 Oct 2019 at 07:39
Desaxé can also mean Misfit when taklking about somebody.
When I read De Saxe I thought it was coming from Saxe in Germany !
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 00:49
Eric,

Thanks for the additional information on desaxé ! I assumed the technique was named after someone, but when I searched for it using "De Saxe" not much turned up - now I know why! :-)

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 00:58
Roger,
Firstly, my apologies for this long series of posts coming up.
Further to your comment about the Stanley – Bailey match race, I had come across articles about this rivalry in “The Motor Cycle” but had not looked into it in any detail. Yes the competitiveness of Stanley and Bailey certainly made for good press!.
The press appears to start commenting about Stanley and Bailey within the same article in The Motorcycle in June 13th 1912 when Bailey was still riding a Humber.

The Motor Cycle reports details of the “friendly” wage between Singer and Colmore Dept. on October 10th 1912 – there later seemed to be some confusion between the competitors on what the rules of the match race were………
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 01:01
 By October 17th things appear to be moving ahead and a date is suggested …….
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 01:03
Also on 17th October we have a comment by the Colmore Dept. re Bailey not being totally happy with the arranged match race! More delaying tactics, I would think so!
Of course Bailey would suggest the test hill at Brooklands because his “only” hill climb was on the test hill at Brooklands and he came first in class!
 I like the comment that Bailey is “..very jealous of his reputation…” – maybe a nice way of saying “huge ego” ?!
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 01:11
October24th comes along and Bailey is seen as reluctant to race Stanley, most likely as Roger points out that Stanley was definitely the crack rider of the 1912 season at Brooklands with his Singers and Bailey knew he didn’t have a truly competitive machine at that stage.

Nothing much happened by 31st October, but Singer appear quite confident of the future. I gather Stanley used to carry his cams around in his pocket and only installed them in his racing bikes when required? Some suspected this was because he didn’t want his secrets to be stolen, but he did dispel this theory in the press – I’m not sure I believe him!

In the same issue was also The Motorcycle’s version of a letter by Bailey – which must have been long winded! (…maybe he protests too much…?). Interestingly Bailey now blames Singer for the delay!! Maybe he does not fear Singer’s machines anymore because he knows they are either not ready or busy with more record breaking to worry about the match race or it is getting to close to Christmas for anything to happen? At least Bailey was correct about the speed potential of the soon to be run in anger Bradshaw / Bailey Douglas.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 01:16
On the 7th November The Motor Cycle reports that Singer have a new 350cc bike almost ready for record breaking.....But a week later it is reported that Stanley has been ill for a fortnight – poor chap, hopefully it wasn’t something he picked up at his celebration dinner with Singer?  Lucky for Bailey or possibly Stanley as maybe neither of them wanted the match race to go ahead? By 21st November Stanley has maybe recovered well enough to possibly have a go at some records…..



Edit: Quinzies is a rare and serious complication related to tonsillitis - so he most likely didn't pick it up at the dinner - I hope he made a full recovery.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 01:20
Later in November, Bailey has been busy and has scored some records for Douglas (28th November 1912 in The Motor Cycle). So maybe he is now ready for the match race? But now on Dec 5th news is filtering through to the press about the new OHV creation by Bradshaw and Bailey.........
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 01:27
..and finally on the 19th news of success on the Bradshaw / Bailey Douglas.

As Roger pointed out, ABC had limited staff, but they managed to turn out a record breaker in very short time! Also Bailey has (as Leon has pointed out earlier in this thread) appeared to have made the switch from Colmore to Douglas.

For the last issue of the year, 26th December, it is reported that in the next issue of The Motor Cycle (1st issue of 1913) would be a report on steel cylinders. I unfortunately don’t have any copies of the first half of 1913 for the Motor Cycle – does anyone have a copy of the relevant issue or anything else related to the Douglas OHV engines from that period??

A lot happened in quite a short time period! (...and i hope I got it in the correct chronological order - please let me know if I have it mixed up and I will fix it!)

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Eric S on 18 Oct 2019 at 07:33
What is a "Singer ex pouent"?
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Oct 2019 at 22:11
Typographic error, should be exponent, i.e. someone who supports a particular cause, belief, etc. : someone who is known for a particular method, style
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Doug on 19 Oct 2019 at 20:03
Well in French it would be "Singer, of course" which is almost the same thing!

-Doug
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 27 Oct 2019 at 12:58
Ian,

I see that you have posted the protracted exchange of notes in TMC about the delay in getting SLB's modified engine to the starting line.  I have been looking at Bradshaw's history contained in the minutes of ABC Road Motors from 1914 to 1919.  His motorcycle engines were always late but he was very good with coming up with excuses, so I am not surprised that the Douglas engine suffered from similar problems.
One point on Stanley's cams mentioned earlier.  He was not concerned about the shape of the cams but their timing.  Vic (his real name was Vincent) Horsman also rode a Singer in the same period and he inadvertently swapped the inlet and exhaust cams.  This provided a significant increase in performance as it provided overlap with inlet and exhaust valves open at the same time.  Jim Baxter wrote about this in the VMCC magazine as he owned the Stanley engine.

Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 01 Nov 2019 at 04:16
Roger and Leon,

Apologies for my tardy reply but things have been a bit busy for the last couple of weeks.

Thanks Roger for the info on Stanley and Horsman's cams - very interesting. I agree with your comments with regards to Stanley's lack of concern with the profile of the cams as with side valve engines there is no fear of the valves hitting the piston's so the lift can be large and the aim on a tuned engine is to get the valve opened and shut as quickly as possible and keep them open as long as possible  - so the profile could be quite radical and possibly not as critical compared to an racing OHV one. So Stanley was most likely being coy about the overlap of the two cams rather than the actual profiles (obviously something that is harder to alter with on  2 3/4 HP Duggies as the inlet and exhaust cams are formed on the one part rather than the separate ones on the Singer).

I haven't progressed at all with looking into the Bradshaw / Bailey Douglas cylinder barrel configurations - my drawings of the locations of the barrels with respect to the holes in the crankcases started to look like "Spirograph" pictures (!) - so I have decided to look at a different approach when I get a chance to get back into the shed. Roger, I concur with your comments with respect to your "digitally altered" picture of the engine in post #141. It is looking more likely to me, that the 3 throw crank / 3 rods configuration was not used on this engine - but desaxe cylinders are still a possibility.

Leon, you commented in post #39 that the OHV engine shown on page 44 of Clew's "The Best twin" was more likely 1919, rather than 1913 and that it could be an 8 valve. When I enlarged the picture for post #140, I noticed that the timing cover, which at first appeared to be a later one piece design in fact looks like it was a modified version of the earlier two piece design. Also I thought it was hard to see the valve setup to confirm that it was in fact 4 valve per cylinder rather than 2 valve - it would be nice to find another picture of this engine to be able to confirm this one way or another. So I think this engine is possibly pre WW1 but was not used until after the war in 1919  ?

Some years ago (maybe 6?) I came across the attached picture of a 2 3/4HP Douglas. I apologise for the poor quality but that is all I downloaded at the time from the internet. I don't recall any details of it other than it was supposed to be a Douglas prototype and it was UK based. I went looking recently for the website again but no luck finding it unfortunately. Does anyone know anything about this engine / bike? - is it a genuine Douglas creation or something that an enthusiastic owner has built for themselves? It is obviously 8 valve......

Roger, you asked a question in post #132 re. what Walter Moore was doing between his employment with Douglas and Norton and why would he have joined ABC. I don't know the answer to that - but a while ago I did some research into 3 speed 2 3/4 HP gearbox serial numbers and putting some of this information together with a couple of comments about Walter Moore by Jeff Clew, one that he was reputedly paid a royalty of 1 shilling per 3 speed gearbox (p 42 The Best Twin) and that he was paid much less than some of the munitions workers in WW1 (25 quid a week) at the Douglas factory (pg 55 The Best Twin) I came up with a rough estimate of what he might have been paid in roayalties by Douglas and approximately when.

If you take into consideration the total numbers of 3 speeds used in the 4 HP, 2 3/4 HP, CW and S1/S2 models that were covered by Walter's patent, he would have been paid for over 30,000 gearboxes in total (if the rumour was correct - and I have added the numbers up correctly). For the year of 1920, all new (as opposed to reconditioned WD models) 2 3/4 HP bikes had 3 speed gearboxes. Production of the 4HP was still moderate and there were reasonable number of S1's made as well. So for the  1920 year's production, Walter's earnings from royalties appear to have peaked at about 8000 units and then dropped off rapidly until another peak in 1925 (about 4500 units - mainly for the CW). At one Shilling a box that adds up to a tidy sum of beer money for 1921.....I'm not sure what his salary would have been at Douglas in 1920 but his royalties from the 3 speed gearbox for that year alone would have earned him approx. 400 Pounds and maybe helped his decision to leave Douglas?

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 01 Nov 2019 at 05:35
Leon, you commented in post #39 that the OHV engine shown on page 44 of Clew's "The Best twin" was more likely 1919, rather than 1913 and that it could be an 8 valve. When I enlarged the picture for post #140, I noticed that the timing cover, which at first appeared to be a later one piece design in fact looks like it was a modified version of the earlier two piece design. Also I thought it was hard to see the valve setup to confirm that it was in fact 4 valve per cylinder rather than 2 valve - it would be nice to find another picture of this engine to be able to confirm this one way or another. So I think this engine is possibly pre WW1 but was not used until after the war in 1919  ?

Hi Ian,

Actually I didn't say the engine was "more likely 1919" or that it "could be an 8 valve", rather I said, based on the article I quoted from in the Motor Cycle, 4 Sept 1919, that it WAS 1919 and it WAS 8 valve. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27438#msg27438

Of course the article and illustration may have been "fake news" and the engine was not a "new" 8-valve, but instead a pre-war-2-valve-per-cylinder, but I at the moment I can't think of a why that might be the case.

If the ohv Douglas in your photo is in fact a "prototype", it is unlike any of the others I have described early in this thread. I doubt it's the real deal.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 01 Nov 2019 at 06:32
Leon,

Ooops, Sorry, I should have worded my post more carefully. I should have posed the question that the engine in the picture in The Motor Cycle from 4th Sept 1919, described as an 8 Valve OHV Douglas engine was maybe not made in 1919 and was possibly not 8 valve. The description in the text of the existence of a "new" 1919 8 valve Douglas engine would be correct though.

The engine in the picture could be 8 valve, but I cannot see 8 valves (I can see how they could be there tho'.....) and the exhaust and inlets would have to be bifurcated in the head given that there appears to be only one inlet and exhaust pipe per cylinder. Some features of the engine appear to be pre WW1 so Clew's description of this engine being for 1913 still could be correct? Hopefully another picture of the engine shows up that shows more detail of the valves.
 
I agree with you that the 8 valve in the modern picture doesn't look like any of the other early OHV Douglas's and that points toward it being an interloper (possibly in a similar way to the Billy Davy's NZ OHC Douglas that was constructed in period.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/110073580/graeme-duckett-billy-davy--an-interesting-life
)
 I only have sketchy recollections of the web site I found the picture on. Hopefully someone has more information with regards to this 8 valve engine and its origins?.

To date I have not found any information at all that definitely identifies genuine Douglas OHV survivors from the very early days.

Regards,

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 04 Nov 2019 at 23:20
Clarification to post #106 added.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 05 Nov 2019 at 11:01
I have been looking at the pictures in the Hartley collection at Brooklands Museum and came across one showing Pilot Officer Alcock standing in front of an unknown aeroplane with a new Douglas ohv which the caption states is a 1914 TT replica.  I think that Alcock's rank indicates that this was taken around the start of the war in 1914.  This certainly shows that he was very much involved with Douglas at that time and is a possible link to SLB.  Certainly Bob Dicker, who was part of the support team that went out to the States for the trans-Atlantic crossing, was part of the ABC team in 1913 and possibly even late 1912 when they were producing the components for SLB's race engine.  I will ask for permission to post the picture.
I have also found this delightful article written by SLB just before his departure in December 1912 that shows that he was very much more than just a rider.  I see no reason to doubt that he did commission the 500cc horizontally opposed twin design that was subsequently taken over by ABC.  Granville Bradshaw did not have any experience of air cooled aero engines or race engines  as he implied; the Star engine was water cooled and was commissioned by Star before he joined the company in late 1909/early 1910.

More on both of these questions as my research on Bradshaw concludes.

Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: TonyC on 05 Nov 2019 at 12:43
Have been looking through my Fathers archive and have found these two interesting pictures.

They are both taken at Brooklands and are very good quality images. A date of 1951 is on the back of one of them so perhaps they were taken from glass slides.

Regards

Tony
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 05 Nov 2019 at 13:50
Tony,

I have seen both pictures before but not associated the two which have obviously been taken on the same day.  Both at in the Peter Hartley collection at Brooklands but only the one of Ball is captioned.  This gives the same information but adds that the picture was taken in 1914 but the 4 has been subsequently replaced by a hand written 3.
The tree line in the Ball picture shows all of the trees in leaf which would make it more likely to be October 1913 rather than February/March 1914.  The Brewster picture gives a wider view of the trees showing some bare ones confirming the later date.  Both Ball and Brewster did ride a Douglas in the second meeting at Brooklands on 13 April 1914 which was a BARC rather than Bemsee event.  The lack of other competitors in the pictures indicates that this was taken well before the event.

Brewster was a member of the Association of Pioneer Motor Cyclists which was formed after the Second World War which explains the 1951 date.  Phillip "Percy" Brewster was a remarkable rider whose first race at the track was in 1911 and his last, the grueling 200 Miles Sidecar Race, in 1930.  He also presented a remarkable paper on tuning motorcycles for a wide range of events to the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1926 and produced racing pistons under the name of Martlet.  I bought his scrapbook on Ebay this year and it :( is now in the museum.  I thought of producing some copies of the 1926 paper but ran out of time.

Roger

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 05 Nov 2019 at 20:25

Hi Tony,

Lovely photos! Thanks for posting them. "APMC" is (I recall) the Association of Pioneer Motor Cyclists, so maybe the photos were printed in the 1950s for an APMC event. Was your dad a member?

The bikes are both of the "1914 TT pattern", rather than the type used by Alfie Alexander on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare and at Brooklands in October 1913. Hartley's caption for the Ball photo (which I reproduced back near the start of this thread https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27406#msg27406 ) is that it was taken during track tests at Brooklands in (late) February 1914. In the text, Hartley says that Les Bailey, on crutches, acted as timekeeper.

No doubt the bikes had many other outings at Brooklands in the build-up to the TT. Hartley lists the race appearances, but there would have been testing too.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 05 Nov 2019 at 22:05
Still at Brooklands, but after the TT and just two weeks before the outbreak of war. This is the start of the 350cc Ten Mile Scratch Race.

SLB, second from right, is on his light-weight, long-wheel-base track bike. The engine is one of the 1914-TT-type, although it looks a bit unusual because of the camera angle. The front exhaust exits forward and down to the left, towards the camera in this shot. There is more about this bike and another photo higher in the thread. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27337#msg27337

SLB was a man of steel - suspension was for sissies. No doubt the beaded-edge tyres were inflated rock hard and it must have hurt at 60+ mph. Bailey lead for the first lap, but broke a valve rocker on the second lap and dropped out.

The photo comes from Old Bike magazine, Issue 32, Winter 1999/2000.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 15 Nov 2019 at 03:29
Roger,

The picture you referred to in post #160 of Alcock with his 1914 OHV Douglas from the Hartley Collection, looks like it  appeared in The Motor Cycle on June 26th 1919 after his success flying across the Atlantic and again on 1st January 1920 after his fatal crash in France.

From references to Alcocks training after joining the RNAS documented in Flight magazine in late 1914 and 1915 the aeroplane he is front of would most likely be a French Caudron (possibly model D or F ?) which was used as a training and reconnaissance plane. He was listed as Temporary Warrant Officer 2nd grade on 19th November 1914 and was promoted to Flight Sub-Lieutenant, for temporary service, 29th December 1915 (announced Flight 6th January 1916).

Alcock’s OHV Douglas does appear to have a lot of similarities with the ones shown Tony’s great  photos in Post #161, albeit it being in road going trim.

An ex-Alcock 2 3/4HP OHV Douglas was for sale in The Motorcycle on 16th October 1919, maybe Baxter was trying to cash in on Alcock’s notoriety at the time?

Looking forward to seeing the picture from the Hartley Collection if you can get permission !

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 15 Nov 2019 at 05:11
Tony,

Your excellent picture of Ball in post #161 appears to be the same bike shown here at Brooklands but on another occasion;

https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/photo/bike-at-brooklands-high-res-stock-photography/HN6129-001

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 18 Nov 2019 at 03:30
I was looking at the stilltime collection for early pictures of Brooklands and came across this picture ......;

http://www.stilltimecollection.co.uk/detail/3259-tpt-transport-bike-douglas-racing-prix-motor-sport-raceway-race-brooklands-veteran-soldier-war-battle-survivor-military-army-reflextion.html

I noticed the machine had some things in common with some of SLB's early Douglas bikes shown in previous posts on this thread. Did O8502 (or at least parts of it) evolve during 1912 to become the Bradshaw / Bailey OHV record breaker?

cheers

Ian

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 22 Nov 2019 at 07:41
Ian,

I don't seem to get email notification of the posts now so apologies for the delay in responding.
It is highly likely that SLB used the same machine and that it evolved over time.  Jack Emerson's Norton which took records in 1912 was taken over by O'Donovan and was used at least until 1924 for testing Brooklands Specials and Road Specials  engines at the track.  LPD1 was built in 1926 and was still racing when Pat Driscoll gave up motorcycle racing in 1932.
I now have access to the tapes that Bob Dicker recorded at the museum.  He worked for ABC in 1913 together with Dougal Marchant and Jack Emerson and possibly earlier so could have been involved with the SLB development.  In 1919 he was part of the US based crew for the Alcock and Brown trans Atlantic flight.
However, we need to be careful about assuming that the record breaking machines were the same as those used on the road.  Bert le Vack certainly used very special machines for record breaking and there is  snippet in Motor Cycle that suggested that SLB's record breaking machine would weigh just 95lbs!  The 1913/4 ABC racers were certainly not standard road going machines even if they raced in the TT.
Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 11 Dec 2019 at 04:42
Roger,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you but I have been busy with the usual end of year "rush" unfortunately. Hopefully your email notification will let you know about the new post this time?!

After looking more closely at the existing pictures of his Douglas machines I am erring towards him having possibly two bikes for the 1912 season and mixed and matched parts as required for the task in hand. As you mentioned, Bailey did specifically mention the development of a light weight bike in the press and presumably this was the one that went on to be the Bradshaw / Bailey OHV record machine in 1912. He most likely had a different machine for his road events, but parts from that appear to have possibly made their way onto the OHV record bike. I guess also the number plate O8502 could have been used on different machines as required.....

I have looked into connections between Bob Dicker and Les Bailey and have not come across any documented evidence so far, but I'm sure they would have known each other. I will keep looking......

I came across this picture on the ABC Road Motors website, (original from Brooklands Museum)

https://www.abcroadmotors.co.uk/history.html?start=1

of Bailey in the 150 Mile Junior TT race at Brooklands 14th September 1912, which I think was a week after his French Grand Prix  Class win at Le Mans. It shows a Harold J Cox "C.A.P" Carburettor (AKA BSA Double Barrel carburettor) that Bailey appears to have used on the OHV record breaker (Doug's reply #112)  and appears to be similar, if not the same,  as used on the 1914 OHV engine as mentioned by Leon in post #34.

See;

http://vinvetmotorcycle.simplesite.com/434774156

for some info on the C.A.P. Carburettor (scroll down the page a bit). BSA liked to acknowledge that the carby had been used for winning the Brooklands Junior TT, but did not mention by whom or what brand of machine they were riding!

Further to the Stanley - Bailey Match Race - Les was reported in the press when he was back in Australia in early 1913 (Sydney Sunday Times 9th Feb 1913) that he was still intending to undertake the race. I didn't include the entire article as it was quite lengthy but it can be found here;

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/126460708?searchTerm=%22s.l.bailey%22&searchLimits=l-decade=191|||l-year=1913|||l-category=Article|||l-illustrated=true

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 11 Dec 2019 at 08:22
SLB's Sept 1912 bike is more heavily finned than the standard 1912 Douglases, but seems to have a standard timng chest - a precursor to the rather-more-special machines that were developed for the 1913 TT. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5097

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 11 Dec 2019 at 21:32
Ian,

Thank you, I did receive the notification of your post.
I too have been sending far too much time on other things, this time it is the origins of ABC when Walter Adams joined with Ronald Charteris in 1909 to form what was to become the All British Engine Co.  Tracing the Adams history was fascinating as he claimed to have produced an overhead valve oil engine in 1893 and went into production with a horizontal single cylinder water cooled version in 1900.

I now have the tapes of Bob Dicker's interview and must go through them to see if there is any connection with SLB.  I suspect that there was a strong link with Douglas as I now think that the ABC engined machine was commissioned by ABC in an attempt to get their engine adopted by Douglas.  ABC are likely to have tried to sell them the design as they were not really interested in building the engine or the complete machine themselves.  Their subsequent record showed that this was a wise strategy.

I found this article after reading the excellent one that you posted.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/240055314?searchTerm=%22s.l.bailey%22&searchLimits=l-decade=191
It is notable because SLB claimed to have introduced high speed engines to the public and obtaining sustainable power at 5000 rpm due to the balance of the horizontally opposed twin configuration.  Up to that point Bradshaw only had experience of four cylinder and V8 engines so I think this is evidence that he did indeed design the ABC engine.  It is significant that Bradshaw's first aero engine was a copy of the one that Adams designed for Star.

Regards,
 Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 11 Dec 2019 at 22:19
...as I now think that the ABC engined machine was commissioned by ABC in an attempt to get their engine adopted by Douglas.  ABC are likely to have tried to sell them the design as they were not really interested in building the engine or the complete machine themselves.

Do tell more Roger! Presumably you have some evidence to support your thoughts?

...It is notable because SLB claimed to have introduced high speed engines to the public and obtaining sustainable power at 5000 rpm due to the balance of the horizontally opposed twin configuration.  Up to that point Bradshaw only had experience of four cylinder and V8 engines so I think this is evidence that he did indeed design the ABC engine...

Sorry, in my wildest imaginings I can't interpret this article as "evidence" that SLB designed the ABC engine.

Personally I don't subscribe to the "Granville Bradshaw was a goose" brigade, championed by Brian Woolley on the Classic Motorcycle magazine many years ago.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 12 Dec 2019 at 04:29
Leon,

SLB's Sept 1912 bike is more heavily finned than the standard 1912 Douglases, but seems to have a standard timng chest - a precursor to the rather-more-special machines that were developed for the 1913 TT. https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=5097


Your mention of  1913 TT Machines reminded me of something that I came across some time ago, before this thread started, of what could have been a PR stunt by Bailey when he returned to Australia in the mid 20's using a bike with the nickname "Never Stop" - a 1913 2 3/4 HP Douglas owned by William's Bros.( I say it might have been a PR stunt because before 1925 I cannot find mention of the name "Never Stop" associated with a Douglas, tho' the newspaper articles state that the bike had been used in competition for many years previously).

It was used in handicap races using a local rider and looked like it could put on a good turn of speed despite its relatively old age. Was this machine a 1913 TT model or possibly one of the 1912 bikes that Bailey took with him to Australia and used early in 1913? Pity the picture of it isn't a little clearer. I guess the old bike was a bit of a "sleeper" and hence was successful for a while against the handicapper until they wised up!

Standard 1912 2 3/4 Barrels did have quite a number of fins compared to the 1913 - 1919 "veteran" ones, but the inlet port was much improved in the 1912 TT version over the standard one - a feature that appears to have been carried over to the 1913 production version. As they say "racing improves the breed". (I didn't have a picture of a 1913 to hand and my picture shows a 1914 barrel but it is much the same as the 1913 one)

Cheers

Ian




Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 12 Dec 2019 at 10:39

Leon,

Do tell more Roger! Presumably you have some evidence to support your thoughts?
As this is outside the topic I refer you to the excellent set of articles on the history of ABC by David Hales
https://abcroadmotors.co.uk/history.html
Brooklands Museum now has David's collection which includes catalogues and the board minutes of ABC Road Motors (1914) to is dissolution in 1920.  The minutes show how few complete motorcycles were sold and that they were only offered from 1914 when the war intervened.  The 1913 catalogue was for engines only and not complete motorcycles.
The 1912 aero engine catalogue offered water cooled large capacity engines with 4, 6, 8 and 12 cylinders and I have only found evidence of only one 4 cylinder engine that flew although a couple of the V8s failed on the static military tests that year.

Sorry, in my wildest imaginings I can't interpret this article as "evidence" that SLB designed the ABC engine.

Personally I don't subscribe to the "Granville Bradshaw was a goose" brigade, championed by Brian Woolley on the Classic Motorcycle magazine many years ago.
Bradshaw's experience was with large water cooled engines which ran at a maximum 1800rpm so how likely is that he would have come up with a high speed air cooled HO twin?  SLB claimed to have been working of a 500cc air cooled HO twin before he left for Australia in December 1911.  What a coincidence that Bradshaw announced early in 1912, after SLB was safely on the other side of the world, that ABC were putting into production such an engine.
Bradshaw was  a draftsman with minimal training and no engineering experience apart from blowing up his brother's motorcycle and bolting a propeller to a V-twin JAP engine that, when started, ripped the mounting from the bench.  No doubt he claimed that as his first flying experience :D
Please tell us more about why you believe he was not a "goose" laden with all of the goodies plagiarised from others and of any successful designs that didn't bankrupt the company that manufactured them.

Regards,
Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 15 Dec 2019 at 16:48
I have found out more about the Humber aeroplane which was launched with a catalogue in 1910, Matchless also built a plane that year.  Humber produced their own engine for the plane but abandoned the project in 1911.  It was no surprise  that the 1910 Humber in that year's T.T. used technology employed in their aero engine.  Notable features were a cylinder machined from steel and overhead valve assemblies inserted into the one piece cylinder/head.  This is the technology used in SLB's 1912 Douglas engine.  SLB worked for Humber in 1912 so is likely to have learnt about this approach while he was there making it even more likely that he approached an aero engine manufacturer (ABC) who had workshops at Brooklands and that it really was his design for an HO 500cc twin that he was working on that delayed his return in December.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 16 Dec 2019 at 20:03
The Humber design is cute and quirky - I particularly like the concentric pushrods. I doubt SLB would have learned anything from it other than it was best avoided. OHV JAP engines were common at the time - using "mini heads" to carry the valves - as was the four-valve Indian which used a separate head and cylinder. The well-sorted 350 OHV Precision came out in the second half of 1912, using valves in separate cages which included the valve seat dropped into a one-piece cylinder/head casting - a design carried over from many long-established inlet-over-exhaust engines.

In summary, SLB (or Granville Bradshaw for that matter) didn't need the Humber to know what a good OHV engine looked like.

Personally, I have no time for the "Bradshaw-goose, Bailey-genius" argument, particularly when it is unsupported by evidence.

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 17 Dec 2019 at 09:33
Leon,

The Humber TT engine was the first motorcycle engine that I can find that used the newly emerging aero engine practice and in particular the machined steel cylinder/head assembly.  This method produced lighter components but at a significant cost which would not have been justified in a production motorcycle.  A single push/pull rode was also aero engine practice as in the Gnome rotary.  Walter Adams went into production with an overhead valve water cooled single in 1900 that used inlet and exhaust valve assemblies bolted to the cylinder/head.  He also infered that he produced an engine with that layout in 1893 was was remarkably early.  Adams went on to design and produce the Star four cylinder aero engine in 1910 that evolved into the first ABC range of aero engines the following year.
Bradshaw was like the curate's egg - good in parts.  His genius was to put together the best parts of the designs of others but he was a draftsman and neither a design nor a production engineer . My favourite is  the post Great-War Sopwith ABC twin and as a result the delightful machine was far too expensive to produce (e.g. cylinders), extremely unreliable (e.g.rocker assemblies) and impractical.  Who else would deliberately omit a kickstart from a design on the grounds that it was easy to bump start and then add a sidecar?

Regards,
  Roger
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: pvn06 on 11 Jan 2020 at 23:20
Great to see this thread, I guess I must have missed it when I last looked.
I became interested in this first OHV engine when I started building my own 2 3/4hp model into a rough TT spec 3 years ago.  I too had been looking for more photos of the OHV Works bike - and guessed that the final configuration was the 1914 TT bikes, shown in the Kieg collection - which you show in this thread.  I too had found the picture of Brown in an old motorcycle book - although it was not identified as the OHV TT bike . . . but was amazed to see it being used by Brown, seemingly on the road - photo attached.
Although work on my own sidevalve 2 3/4hp (in TT rep spec) is still progressing slowly, eventually I would like to consider building a replica of the OHV 1914 TT bike.  I have almost enough 2 3/4hp bottom half engine parts to build another motor.  I have been keeping an eye out for any early OHV valve stuff . . . but not surprisingly have not found anything resembling the genuine engine parts yet - unless anyone knows different - I am guessing none survived.
However, I have managed to get hold of what I think are very early (20-21'ish?) 350 OHV barrels .  .. identifiable as being early as they still use the vertical crankcase mounting holes.  As you can see from the photo, they also have a 3rd hole at 90 degrees - which I assume the original 1913/14 engines would not have had - but this 3rd lug looks like it can be easily removed as superfluous when fitting to 2 3/4hp crankcases.
I also have a gaff 1917 frame - i.e. some tubes have very bad corrosion.  As it is, it is too rough to use - but I think as part of retubing I can make the front downtubes duplex (as the 14 OHV bikes were, as said earlier in this thread - similar to the 4HP frame) and also the saddle tube will need surgery to bring it into a more vertical position where it meets the gearbox mount.
Needless to say - if anyone does have any early 350 OHV parts I would be very interested!  That said, I see this as a long term retirement project, and still need quite a few parts - I am looking for a better set of early fork blades than the set I currently have, and another Douglas hub and rear belt rim.  I do have a 1912 petrol tank - and am thinking I will mount a second hand pump in it, rather than the large external hand pump used on the 1912 TT bikes.

Finally a photo of my current build attached, as it is now in early 2020 . . . will do another article on this shortly, but it is progressing!, need to get this one done first!
thx for this thread - it has a number of photos and information I had not seen before.
Best wishes
Paul Norman
www.RacingVincent.co.uk
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 12 Jan 2020 at 00:34
Hi Paul,

Brown's machine is quite a bike - handsome and fast. I'd gladly have it in the shed.

I have commented on your barrels elsewhere: https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7357.msg29077#msg29077

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: pvn06 on 12 Jan 2020 at 10:27
Hi Leon, good to talk . . . thanks for this, and my apologies - I don't know why I missed your reply to my earlier thread, but thanks and yes - useful info.  Doug also replied to me on this yesterday for those barrels . . . that is good to know.  I think the quest for OHV heads that look something like correct for the 14 OHV bikes will be the most difficult challenge.  I know the picture of the early engine shows a one piece head/barrel, but am expecting that might have to make a pattern to have them cast eventually . . . long way from that time yet though.
chrs
Paul
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 13 Jan 2020 at 00:15
Paul and Leon,

Is the picture of person sitting on AE 4145 in reply #178  Sir John Alcock rather than William Brown? see reply no. 165 in this thread with the picture from The Motor Cycle June 26 1919.

regards,

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 13 Jan 2020 at 02:45
Here is a picture of SLB doing some record breaking in Melbourne in 1913 as shown in The Sunday Times (Sydney) 13th July 1913. Not great quality unfortunately.

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 13 Jan 2020 at 02:52
Spotted on ebay;

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1912-S-L-Bailey-On-His-3-h-p-Twin-Humber-Aston-Track-/333165985622

Picture of Bailey on his Humber in 1912.

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: pvn06 on 13 Jan 2020 at 19:49
Hi Hutch, you are absolutely right of course - it was Alccock not Brown.  I was supping a large glass of red wine at the time - that's my excuse m'lord.  The book was a late 70's publication - Kaleidoscope of motor cycling or similar and has some great photos from pre-war era.

And here's a question for those interested in pre-WW1 Douggie race bikes. . .  I have a repro spare parts list that lists part 204D as the carb fitted to the TT bikes in 12-13-14, but does not say what kind of carb it is??  I know in the pictures of Bashall in 1912 his bike has a single choke carb with a  larger ring around the bellmouth, but on at least picture of Bailey in the same year it shows an unusual twin choke carb.  I would be interested to know what carb to keep an eye out for!
I already have what I think is an Amac HYD or 25E (original 2 3/4 carbs for 25E showing as pre 1919) for my 1919/20 bike (with what could be WW1 green paint still on it) and another similar for second bike, but if anyone knows what the TT bikes used, would be interested.

chrs
Paul
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 14 Jan 2020 at 04:22
Hi Paul,

Bailey (at least sometimes) used a BSA carburettor on his racing Douglases at Brooklands - for example he won the Brooklands Junior TT on 14 Sept 1912 and BSA claimed credit for his carburettor in their advertising in November. The carb used two rotating barrels with a thumb-wheel-adjustable main jet between, and can be seen in various photos of Bailey's bikes above. The design was earlier marketed as CAP, but the only ones I have seen are branded BSA. [Edit: Detail of the 1914 TT Douglases published in Motor Cycling show this carburettor: see higher up https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27416#msg27416 ]

AMAC was the standard carb of choice at Douglas. Prior to 1915 the design featured a large hexagon nut that screwed onto the bottom of the mixing chamber. The carbs with the bell-mouth and the large hexagon are AMAC. I suppose there was a racing version pre war, but the earliest "commercial" racing AMACs I know of were the 15TT23s on the RA.

Alfie Alexander's 1914 [Edit again - not 1913 as I first typed] racer (AE-P2) uses the 1913-on pattern Senspray. This has a rotating throttle valve (with a small rotating air "shutter") with a main jet on axis at the centre of the throttle valve. On the 1913-1918 versions, there is a fixed venturi on axis of the main air inlet which focusses a jet of air at the tip of the main jet. You can see the venturi in the side-on photo of Alfie's bike above. (The BSA/CAP design doesn't have this venturi.)

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 15 Jan 2020 at 05:59
No worries on the mix up Paul, easily done with the close association of Alcock and Brown. I don’t even need alcohol these days to help in inducing a disconnect between what I’m looking at, my brain and fingers doing the typing!! 😊.

The TT models as released by Douglas to the public and the actual works TT bikes would have differed in many details. I think items, such as carburettors, would have been individually experimented with by competitors such as Bashall, Bailey, Kickham et al. in the search for better performance.

I had a look in the 1916 version of The Handbook of the Douglas Motor Cycle (available as a reprint from the LDMCC). Here they list part 204D under the heading of “Douglas Carburettor”, implying that the standard carburettor they mounted on their TT model was of their own manufacture. It is probable tho’, that customers could order other period carburettors, such as AMAC’s, instead of the Douglas carburettor for the TT model.

The 1916 handbook also shows some of the Douglas carburettor parts. I don’t know what the difference between the TT versions and the standard version of their own instrument would have been– could be different choke size or jets?

A special Douglas version of the AMAC carburettor was described in The Motor Cycle in 18th December1913. The carburettor shown differs in some details to the 25E version but the function of the heat jacket is the same. I have not been able to locate very much information on these early AMAC carburettors. There is some information on the N.Z. Barnstormer’s website in the Hints and Tips for AMAC carburettors 1914-1920 and some in the 1916 The Handbook of the Douglas Motorcycle. Maybe a forum member has more information on these early carburettors?

http://www.barnstormers.co.nz/1604/amac-1914-1920-carburettor-hints-and-tips/

Thanks for the information about where you found the good quality picture of Alcock – I will see if I can track down a copy of the book.

Cheers
Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 16 Jan 2020 at 01:43
The TT models as released by Douglas to the public and the actual works TT bikes would have differed in many details.

Hi Ian,

I'm not quite sure on this, in part because I haven't seen Douglas advertising a "TT" model pre WW1? Most other makers did, and it usually designated their sporty model but with no pedals, as these were banned from the TT. Of course Douglas did away with pedals on all its models quite early. Special bikes were no-doubt supplied to "special customers".

Anyway, I suppose the closest thing to a "TT" model was the 2-speed model with footrests (rather than foot boards) and guards without valances. In 1913 this was the Model P, which became the Model V in 1914, and it's interesting to note that the Model V is shown with an AMAC carb, rather than the Douglas carb that was used on the more sedate 1914 models. The Douglas item was a rather dated affair, with a torturous path for the air and the mixture to get to the engine, and I doubt any speedman of the day would fit one to his machine.

So back to you Paul: does the parts list explicitly say the 204D was the carb fitted to the TT bikes in 12-13-14? The 1913 TT bikes (side valves) were very sporty, and used "works" cylinders, but the photos I've seen would suggest AMAC carburettor.

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 16 Jan 2020 at 04:58
Leon,

I understand your scepticism. I based my statement on observation of the some of the pictures of works TT bikes from this period, that many of the details between individual riders machines were different for a given year, and this, together with the general observation that Douglas appears to have released models to the public with improvements from the previous year, plus the works TT bikes changing from year to year, then it was unlikely that a public version of the TT bike would be exact in detail to the previous years works TT model.

I agree that the Douglas carburettor was unlikely to have the performance of the AMAC and I think if the customer had the choice they would pick the AMAC. Maybe the Douglas carburettor was not so bad compared to others at the end of 1911 (see attached picture), but about  to be quickly surpassed in performance by the AMAC?

(I note that the 1913 TT model shown here;

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2624.0

does not appear to have some of the features of the special works TT models of that year, or the previous year, though it's provenance indicates it is a genuine TT Douglas. BTW It also has an AMAC carburettor !)

The only advertising picture for the 1912 - 1914 period "public" model TT Douglas I have found so far, is this one from The Motor Cycle 16th November 1911, showing a Douglas Carburettor fitted.

So Douglas offered their "TT" version carburettor 204 D as an option for their public TT model for the period 1912-1914, but most customers would have chosen the better option - AMAC ??

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: eddie on 16 Jan 2020 at 07:12
Ian,
       Alan Phillipps fitted the Amac carb on LB1120 when he first rebuilt the bike in 1960. When he purchased the bike from the original owner, it had been fitted with a Cox Atmos carb (which he couldn't get to operate satisfactorily - hence the Amac). Later on - when the bike had passed on to Alan's son, Trevor, we tried to get it running on the Cox Atmos without much success - power delivery was erratic and unpredictable, causing belt stretch and breakage, but there appeared to be a cocsiderable power benefit from the Cox Atmos. Bearing in mind the bike was then about 80 years old, we decided it was better to give it a less stressful life with the Amac Carb. It is still easily capable of 60 mph. I have had the engine stripped down once, and the only descernable internal differences are the camshaft - it is just stamped up 'C', and the pistons are lower compression (when Alan got the bike it had odd pistons with different compression heights, so the lower ratio was chosen to give the old girl an easier life! ).

  Regards,
                 Eddie.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 16 Jan 2020 at 08:46
Ah Eddie - we are rare members of the brotherhood of the Cox Atmos! I had one fitted to my 1923 Invincible JAP (Australian-made 1000cc v-twin), and it ran "ok" without being fantastic over many thousands of miles. One afternoon I spent hours "tuning" the Cox Atmos, and eventually got a steady idle, fabulous response when the throttle was cracked open, and gobs of revs. On the stand. I headed off on a rally the next day and it wouldn't run down the road!! A friend, cleverer than me, had his JAP twin running beautifully on the same model carb. I've not seen a CA small enough for a 2 3/4 Douglas.

Ian the bike in your illustration is in the 1912 catalogue as the Model J, the predecessor to the 1913 Model P and the 1914 Model V. These models were listed by Douglas as "light touring", but in line with other manufacturers (e.g. Rudge, Triumph, Rover, Norton, ...) it could be (and clearly was) referred to (by others?) as a "TT Model", which was at the time an abbreviation for "our standard roadster but with no pedals, light mudguards and dropped handlebars". Remove the guards and tool box and they were often catalogued as the "Brooklands Racer".

This is where you should be careful. A "TT Model" pre-WW1 most likely used a bog-standard engine. To get go-faster goodies - a special cam, high compression piston etc. - your best bet would be to be a "special" customer of one of the big agents, of have friends at the factory. Is LB1120 really a "genuine TT Douglas"? Not in the strictest sense, because it doesn't have the very special parts that were seen on the "Works" bikes ridden by Bashall, Bailey et al.

But given that the Douglas catalogue pre WW1 didn't feature a "TT Model", LB1120 is the type of machine Douglas would supply to preferred customers that wanted to go racing. Pretty much a Model P with a special cam, perhaps special pistons, and certainly not a  Douglas carburettor. The period photo in Eddie's thread shows an absolutely fabulous bell mouth on its non-Douglas carburettor.

To get a good idea of how far advanced the "Works" machines were in 1912, compare Bashall's 1912 TT bike to the bolt-on-manifold Model J.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 17 Jan 2020 at 00:01
Hi Eddie,

Thanks for the information and experiences with regards to the carburettor on LB1120.

Looking back through old threads just now I came across this one from 2007;

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2012.msg7555#msg7555, in particular reply #13

Did you ever find out what the cam was in Alastair Brown's ex Alfie Alexander 1912 machine S-9084 ? :-)

Is this bike possibly the only survivor with what appears to be 1912 "works" features ?

cheers

Ian

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 17 Jan 2020 at 01:14
Leon,

Yes you are correct, Douglas did not list a specific TT model for the period 1912 to 1914. I will refrain from referring to such a model from now on and describe them by the term "Light Touring" model and /or by their Douglas designated model letter.

The Douglas "T.T." Carburettor is listed in the 1914 Working Instructions and Price List of Spare Parts for the 2 3/4HP Douglas as Motor Cycle as part 878a for the 1912-13-14 T.T. models. The early part numbering system appears to be quite different to the 1916 and onwards parts numbering system for the 2 3/4HP. I do not know why Douglas called it a T.T. version and why they offered it for that period of time when history tells us that the AMAC was a much better instrument. (EDIT: Douglas also list controls and cables part number 872 for the AMAC carburettor and note that if you require these for a T.T. model then please state that when ordering. Thus Douglas did recognise they had a "T.T." model even if they didn't appear to advertise one as such in their catalogues?)

The earliest reference I can find for a "T.T." engine being avail. for fitment to a Douglas Motorcycle is for the Model V 2 and 3 speed versions shown in the 1915 Preliminary List of Douglas Models. It does not describe how the "T.T." engine differed from the standard one. The list does not identify these machines as being  a T.T. model only that they could be optioned with a T.T. engine and either Douglas or AMAC carburettor.

Just to remind myself what some of the differences are between the standard Douglas 2 3/4HP barrels and the works one's I have updated my picture from my reply #173 to include (unfortunately rough picture segment) of Bashall's 1912 TT winning engine, the ex Alfie Alexander S-9084 and Bashall's 1913 TT engine. As I mentioned before, I would expect the standard bikes features to lag the works machines by at least a year, so I would expect a Model J (developed in 1911), whether described in the press of the day as a TT model or not, to be of a lower specification to a 1912 works T.T. machine.

I feel we have drifted off the topic of this thread a little.

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 09 Mar 2020 at 07:48
I had always assumed the central-boss piston and forked con-rod was a Bailey design new for the RA. But no - the design was apparently used by Douglas in ohv racers as early as 1920-21. SLB and William Douglas shared credit for the design.

A booklet prepared for RA riders in the 1923 TT offered the following info on the RA piston:

"It [the piston used in the RA] is patented in most countries, and has been well tested on the bench, on the track and [in] various record attempts. It was used with success in the twenty-four hours, sidecar record, Junior Race in the Isle of Man, Junior Race on Brooklands, and many other events, as well as the Brooklands T.T. Race, 1921."

The design dates back to at least June 1920, when William Douglas and S.L. Bailey filed a description for US patent US1437585. [Edit: woops, wrong patent! See next post.]

Again this highlights that the RA was not so much a "miraculous birth" but a coming-together of a lot of clever ideas that had been swirling around the works for a while. SLB was the brains behind quite a lot of them...

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 10 Mar 2020 at 02:45
Woops - thanks to Doug for pointing out I've quoted the wrong patent above, and that I want GB187281 which describes the single boss piston.

So please amend the above post to read "the design dates back to at least June 1921, when S.L. Bailey filed a description for GB patent GB187281".

The reference to the piston design being used in the 1921 Brooklands TT (May 1921, I think) suggests the piston was around for a little time before the patent was filed.

Cheers

Leon

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: roger h on 12 Mar 2020 at 22:09
Its been a while since I've looked at this thread, and its still fascinating. well done.
 I have a Cox Atmos carb on my 1226 Humber 12/25 car, I've had them on four Humbers now, and they're very good in this application. At the start of the season, when its still wet and cold, I find I have to open up the adjustable main jet to get it to run properly, but as the season progresses I have to gradually close it down. Friends with Humbers have the same experience. I haven't seen one on a bike.
Best wishes,
Roger
(now trying to rebuild an SW5)
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 25 Apr 2020 at 01:35
Leon,


Again this highlights that the RA was not so much a "miraculous birth" but a coming-together of a lot of clever ideas that had been swirling around the works for a while. SLB was the brains behind quite a lot of them...


Yes I concur with your comments but unfortunately not all of Douglas's "clever" ideas seem to have been a success - one that comes to mind is the OB (and OC) kick start mechanism, SLB's Patent No. 244559 (mentioned here ; https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2827.msg10379#msg10379)

Looks like the general idea of the kick start quadrant attached to the crankcase might have originated back in 1913 with Williamson? As the OB was designed as a sporting touring machine it obviously needed a kick start, particularly with a sidecar attached. To me it does not seem a good idea to have the kick start quadrant in a case with the timing gears! - what could possibly go wrong! :-), but I guess Bailey had limited options available to him at the time.

The OB kick start developed a poor reputation, possibly not helped by lack of proper development before it went into production - maybe another casualty of Douglas concentrating on developing the EW?

The boss on the crankcase appears to be an additional weak point in the design, assuming the damage to the two on the left in the picture were not caused by other means (i.e. delicate application of a hammer during speedway preparation)?  Has anyone else seen this type of damage on OB cases?

The OB case on the right looks like it had a core alignment problem in production and is a possible disaster waiting to happen (it is not an early engine number - about half way through the OB production). The kick start mechanism was improved with the introduction of the OC (but I don't think all of it's shortcomings were addressed) and then it was quietly forgotten......

cheers

Ian

Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 25 Apr 2020 at 01:43
Williamson kick start shown in this video;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DiqDMfAW2w

cheers

Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Hutch on 02 May 2020 at 02:23
Information  on what SLB was up to in 1924 appears to be quite thin.  I found this article in The Western Daily Press on July 25th 1924 where the Bristol area was visited by an International delegation of advertising people. It appears that they had a good time inspecting the Douglas works, including the RA model.

I like the comment about Douglas making their own nuts and bolts - yes we know about them !

-Ian
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 18 Dec 2020 at 16:58
Here's the insides of the first ABC OHV motor, and described in the press in late 1912. Note the three con rods.

It seems likely that the 1912 DOuglas OHV motor also had a three-throw crank.

Leon
Leon,

I'm back in the land of the living and have now completed Bradshaw's history up to the end of 1913.  This makes it virtually certain that the ABC engine in the picture was the engine that Les wanted to produce and approached ABC to put his design into practice.  ABC's aero engines were not a roaring success so they needed other work to provide an income in 1912 and Bradshaw's draftsman's background was an ideal start of the collaboration.  Although he was an expert on aeroplane design and stresses he wasn't an engineer and in 1913 ABC recruited Jack Emerson, Dougal Marchant and Bob Dicker for their motorcycle engineering expertise and gave up on aero engines.
Your picture is date as  late 1912, do you where it was published and exactly when? 
This could be significant as I think it was more likely to have been published after Les was on his way back home and didn't find out about it until later.  The engine design was changed in mid 1913 with a two throw crank and over square dimensions which I think may have been to avoid any claims by Les that they infringed his design.
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: cardan on 19 Dec 2020 at 09:52
Hi Roger,

Sorry, I'm not quite sure where I found the illustration https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27401#msg27401 , but I wonder if it was from "Flawed Genius"? Maybe the ABC Road Motors website? I'm far from home so I can't check just now.

"described in the press in late 1912": The 500cc ABC motorcycle engine - with the three-throw-crank - was described in detail in the motorcycle magazines at the end of December, 1912.

For example, the Motor Cycle issue of 26 Dec 1912  that carried the story of SLB's record-breaking at Brooklands on page 1544 ("... At Bailey's request, Mr. Bradshaw designed and made the cylinders, valve, pistons, and connecting rods of an exactly similar type to those used in the new [ABC] aeroplane engine, and it was with these that the Douglas motor bicycle was fitted, experimentally, when the above records were broken...") also carried the story of the new 500cc ABC motor cycle engine on p1541.

I'll attach both below. My reading of articles like this, and many others in the period, suggest that Bailey was developing and racing bikes for Douglas in the second half of 1912, and got some assistance from Bradshaw to develop the ohv engine.

The report of Bailey's record-breaking Motorcycling, 24 Dec 1912, p252, contains a contradiction to this storyline, by stating in part that "... Bailey has employed his spare time in having built a very remarkable 500 cc horizontally-opposed twin-cylinder engine..." My views on this are here: https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=7014.msg27403#msg27403 .

But clearly you have new info - please share!

Cheers

Leon
Title: Re: S.L. Bailey
Post by: Brooklander on 21 Dec 2020 at 08:10
Leon,

Thank you for your prompt reply, i can confirm that the image of the first ABC engine parts was in Barry's book.  Unfortunately he doesn't give the source but on the next page (94) he states that the new engine was revealed to the public in April 1913 so I suspect that was the date of the picture.  That fits in with the other information I have (the first 1913 catalogue) which contains a different picture of the same components.
This would then be in line with ABC's approach to announcements of its aero engine.  This starts with a brief description of the new engine with scant details at the start of the year.  By April a more detailed description accompanied a mock up of the engine at the Olympia Show and finally an exclusive description in The Aero in the summer that showed pictures of the components to demonstrate their novel features. In most cases no further  trace of the engines appeared in press reports.  In the case of the motorcycle engine this was entered to race at Brooklands in October.  This was in modified form but it didn't appear until January 1914 when it took world records but by that time it had a two throw crankshaft as did the identical  WE Brough engine that was introduced in 1914.

Regards,
 Roger