Author Topic: Thorpe Douglas  (Read 955 times)

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Offline TonyC

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Thorpe Douglas
« on: 07 Jun 2021 at 23:10 »
Hi all,
Following a recent visit to a fellow enthusiasts home I was shown the attached photos of a Thorpe Douglas that were taken  by a Lance Walker, date unknown. These were in an album owned by Charlie Ollis but there is no record of when or where they were taken. I'd be interested to know if anyone knows anything further. Cheers, Tony

Photos rotated and converted to linked files - Dave, 08Jun2021
« Last Edit: 08 Jun 2021 at 03:05 by Dave »

Offline cardan

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Re: Thorpe Douglas
« Reply #1 on: 08 Jun 2021 at 01:17 »
Hi Tony,

The Thorpe Douglas changed quite a bit over the years, but your photos show it towards the end of its development while in the stewardship of Phil Seymour. The tank, livery, fork, carb and oiling system point to 1949, or perhaps 1950. Although Seymour owned and rode it, Bert Thorpe was still involved with engine development.

Apparently Seymour rode it (with Trevor 'Ginger' Bridges in/on the chair) through 1950, when it was sold to Les Taylor, still looking very much as in your photos. Unfortunately Taylor crashed it and was severely injured.

In the 1949-1950 era the bike was ridden in events (mostly grass track) all over the country, but I've not previously seen a photo of it wearing 113, so I have no idea of the event where the photos were taken.

In my opinion the best account of the machine is Brian Woolley's article in The Classic Motor Cycle, September 1990. All the photos and info for the article came from Phil Seymour who owned and raced it post war, but there is also lots of detail regarding the development of the bike through the 1930s in the hands of Bert Thorpe. I suspect the info for this part of the story must have come from Bert Thorpe himself, then via Phil Seymour.

There are lots of mentions and photos of the Thorpe Douglas in the NCR over the years - all very interesting but some a little misleading. The CMC 'origin story' comes more-or-less from the horse's mouth, and it probably the one to believe.