Margaret remembers motorbikes and the Ace Cafe

Biker chick

By Margaret Chapman

Photo:No photos!

No photos!

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Margaret, master of the machine

Margaret, master of the machine

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Biker chick!

I didn't go dancing as I was too busy with the motorbikes. We all had boyfriends with bikes and we'd go to the Ace café on the North Circular. It wasn't a big place and we all congregated outside and talk, then  we would race each other. We'd go the Broxbourne to the cinder speedway track to watch the racing, the cinders would fly up and we would get cinders in our hair. We wore flying suits and plastic jackets, at 16, 17,18 we couldn't afford leather, I was only earning £3 a week.

Bike mad

I did attempt to ride a motor bike, but my boyfriend had a 650cc Norton Dominator and it was too powerful for me. I used to work in his garage stripping down motor bikes. I loved it, it was good fun. It was great for a few years between 1956 and 1960. We were looked on as being a really bad lot, being picked up by the police - we had a terrible reputation. There were no drugs around then, we were the first teenagers after the war. We made a lot of noise but we were harmless.  We wore big circular skirts with layers of stiff petticoats under them, but I was too much of a tomboy for dancing. I loved the music though, I belonged to a music club and got all the latest records.

Shopping

Jane Norman and Etam were shops just for us teenagers. It was great after the deprivation of the war. Jobs were easy to get, you could walk in and out of them. I worked at Elliott Automation in Borehamwood on Blue Streak and test equipment for the VC10 and had to sign the official secrets act.

This page was added by Jane Turner on 27/01/2008.

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