Author Topic: S.L. Bailey  (Read 6181 times)

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Offline Peterjmg

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S.L. Bailey
« 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.


Offline Dave

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #1 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 has some good photos.

Dave






Offline Doug

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2018 at 19:07 by Doug »

Offline Peterjmg

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #3 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.

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #4 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

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #5 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

Offline Doug

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #6 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


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.)


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.


(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.


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.


Bailey c1912 (1913 Douglas catalog)



Bailey winning the 1912 French Grand Prix. Averaged 47mph for five hours. (1913 Douglas catalog)


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. 


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”)


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


Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #7 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

Offline Paul Coney

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #8 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.

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #9 on: 11 Oct 2018 at 23:01 »

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

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #10 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

Offline Paul Coney

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #11 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???

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #12 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

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #13 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

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #14 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

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #15 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

Offline Ian

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #16 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.

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #17 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

Offline Doug

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #18 on: 24 Oct 2018 at 03:29 »
Leon,

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



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]

« Last Edit: 24 Oct 2018 at 04:11 by Doug »

Offline Hutch

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #19 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

Offline Hutch

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #20 on: 24 Oct 2018 at 04:13 »
and more in the same issue.....

Offline Hutch

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #21 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

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #22 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





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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #23 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #24 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #25 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #26 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #27 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #28 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.

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #29 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #30 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #31 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #32 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #33 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #34 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #35 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?

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #36 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #37 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."

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #38 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #39 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

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #40 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
)
« Last Edit: 07 Nov 2018 at 23:00 by Hutch »

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #41 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/btv1b6921260p



[Update links. 11Nov18, Doug, Site Moderator]
« Last Edit: 07 Nov 2018 at 14:10 by Doug »

Offline Hutch

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #42 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]
« Last Edit: 08 Nov 2018 at 01:57 by Hutch »

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #43 on: 07 Nov 2018 at 22:57 »
Thanks Doug for fixing up my dud links where i cut and pasted them incorrectly :-)

cheers

ian

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #44 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

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #45 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)

Offline Hutch

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #46 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
« Last Edit: 13 Nov 2018 at 02:52 by Hutch »

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #47 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

Offline Hutch

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #48 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!

Offline cardan

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Re: S.L. Bailey
« Reply #49 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

 

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