You are here: Home › Arthur-amp-Lyn-Spain

Meet Arthur & Lyn Spain

Born November 1941 in West London, educated! at Spring Grove Grammar, Isleworth leaving in July 1958 to take up an apprenticeship with British European Airways (BEA) in September as an Avionics apprentice, I also took my motorcycle test and bought my first bike, an hybrid of a Villiers 197 cc engine in a small Royal Enfield (125) frame later that year which I used for work.
After four interesting years at Heathrow I transferred to the Helicopter Experimental Unit at Gatwick where I stayed until 1984. The firm had progressed by this time to much larger aircraft and I had gained several maintenance engineers licences but not without much blood, sweat & tears. I was briefly employed by British Aerospace, working on Hawks and Harriers after BA Helicopters moved to Aberdeen, then moved to the shortlived Gatwick/Heathrow helicopter Airlink and later to British Caledonian Airways until B.A. took BCAL over six years later.
Time to leave the aircraft industry and move on which I did when Lyn and I moved to Somerset in 1988 establishing a successful small business of home maintenance until retirement in 2006/7.
 I gained my interest in motorcycles when as a young scout we were allowed to ride on the little two stroke I was later to buy, in the camping field, it wouldn't be allowed now,too dangerous! I went on to swap it for a 500cc, 1949 Matchless which later had a sidecar attached so that Lyn could accompany me on our many trips to the Mendips where I went caving, (her father wouldn't allow her on the pillion of a solo, fathers had some authority in those days). An MSS Velo was to follow with a chair but later after marriage and a family, most of the bikes I owned were two strokes for work transport, with a six year break after a nasty accident.
A V50 Moto Guzzi came early in the 80s starting our love of travelling abroad (first trip to Holland), other Guzzis followed with trips to Spain and France until we joined the MTC where we enjoyed many trips abroad in the company of like minded folk trying out different bikes until ending up with the current BMW R80 (1994) for touring and a R45 for winter riding and a recently restored MSS Velo 1959.
We still love riding the bikes, old and modern, but must admit to preferring shorter distances between hotel breaks now that age has crept up on us!
 I grew up in Heston/Norwood Green, Middlesex  which at that time was almost rural!  My interest in Motorcycles started at quite an early age around 9 or 10 years old (in the early fifties).  We lived in a terraced house and the family at the other end to us just happened to have a BSA with a sidecar (and 2 children).  I was fascinated by this machine and got friendly with the family thus being taken out in the sidecar on their family outings.
Later in my teenage years at the Hounslow Methodist youth Club I met Arthur (who I went on to marry) and his friends who had an assortment of Motorcycles between them.  As my father was against me riding on the back of a solo motorcycle Arthur eventually put a sidecar on the Matchless and later on the Velocette. Two of his friends also put sidecars on their machines.  The adventures in those days on motorcycle were quite memorable (maybe more at a later date!) Arthur and I were married in 1963 and still had the Velo sidecar outfit as our only means of transport for some time. We then had various solo's which we carried all manner of things home on - would never be allowed now but needs must - when it’s your only transport.  We eventually had an old car then a van when our first daughter joined the family (I was told off for riding on the back of our bike when pregnant!) 
Fast forward a few years to the mid to late 70's  when I started working for money again and was getting fed up with public transport.  As I could ride a 50 and anything larger on L plates on my car licence I bought a Honda Camino moped with pedals!!  This served me quite well (I even remember taking one of the cats to the vets in his basket strapped to the carrier - did I really do that!!).  I then decided I would like something a bit different in the form of a new Red Honda 70 step through. Although I used and kept the Honda for a long time, I had to get a car when I went to work at Redland Bricks as the lights on the Honda weren't a lot of good travelling along mainly unlit lanes. At this time I didn't bother to take my test as I could ride on my car licence - Big mistake!
Arthur had bought a V50 Moto Guzzi so we joined the Moto Guzzi Club GB and started the Sussex group. We ventured to Holland on the V50 as well as various Guzzi Rallies in the UK. We moved to Somerset in 1988, joined the Somerset section of the VMCC and at one of the shows or Auto-Jumbles I saw a 200cc Bantam Cub advertised for sale and decided I wanted it. We duly bought it but it didn't run well, and my chief fixer of bikes didn't seem to want to sort it out in a hurry.
When the laws were tightened up on bike licences I was forced to take the new test, expensive and hard work when you are in your fifties (should have done it when it was easy). At this time I had acquired a slightly temperamental Suzuki 100 and managed to pass the test - lo and behold my Cub got fixed.  I rode it on several VMCC runs/events, even rode it down to Lyme Regis a few times, but it did have a nasty habit of throwing things off.  kick starting the Cub and the Honda 70 was getting a problem so I bought a 125 Scooter which I have since ridden quite a lot.  We joined the MTC in 1995 and participate in various tours and week-end events, we have also done many events with the VMCC club