Not so much now, but during my army days everyone knew me as “Swampy”


Scunthorpe, Humberside, UK


General  Manager, rail industry and associated services



Favourite model

Airfix Lancaster Bomber 1:76 scale

First interest in scooters

As a 6 year old watching my uncle fix a foxtail to his Vespa. Then forgot about it for 45 years but owned a variety of bikes, scooters and mopeds in between, including a Cossack Ural combination with sidecar on the continental side –an interesting ride for passengers.

Current scooters

1974 Vespa Sprint Veloce / 1968 Vespa VBB/ Lambretta GP 200 (bought with the proceeds of sale from my GTV250 (a Vespa auto) ; my garage is now “pure” ! Ask me about the GP, it has an interesting history which I may divulge, but only after a few amber throat charmers.

Former scooters

Something by Honda a long time ago, a Gitane (obscure French marque) and a GTV 250 (see above!)

Most useful tool in the shed

Needle nose pliers and my visigrips which also double as a bottle opener.

Most embarrassing moment

Took Mrs M. For brekky one Sunday at Scarborough Beach. Parked in an empty row of bike spaces. Emerged 1 hr later to find scooter amongst 20 or so Harleys ridden by 30 or so hairies. “Don’t be intimidated boys, I’m about to start the Vespa” quoth I, and pop-popped away to howls of derision.

Poison of choice

Paraquat weed killer–lethal in seconds and tasteless. When taking time off from poisoning people it’s red wine under $10 or Abbott Ale (has same qualities as paraquat)

Top restoration tips

Take it slowly, drink heavily, hide the receipts and try to remember that you also have a wife and family. Have a shower before trying to make it up to your neglected partner; you may not know it but you actually do smell like an oily rag. Mmmm , lovely (not).

Best gig

The Jam, Victoria Hall Hanley 1977. Support band was The Slits.

Top 5 playlist

1.     Blues harmonica, loud, dirty, distorted and amplified

2.     Guitar (as above)

3.     Spoons

4.     Can’t play anything else