Author Topic: White Bros Darlington  (Read 575 times)

Offline squiggle

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #15 on: 12.02. 2021 19:59 »
This was my heaven when I had to get parts for my B31 when I was 17. Eddie Dow in Banbury there were Gold stars on the counter, RGS littered all around the store. Plus some Dow specials.

Offline Topdad

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #16 on: 16.02. 2021 13:42 »
I once visited Eddie Dows in banbury back in 1966whilst on my way to Acton and a party with my brothers Uni housemates. some how managed to breakdown just by there place the lad with me pushed my plunger outfit to there gates about 5 am and there we sat till a happy sole arrived about 7-45am  I'd lost a rear chainlink and couldn't find my spare ( yes i did have one !)  This guy took pity robbed a spare link from someones toolbox and gave us a coffee wouldn't take anything and we were on our way  i'd even been able to wash my hands curtesey of this guy , the elay proved terminal knowing we weree way behind and with youthful gusto ( read stupidity ) set of for Acton all great til wheatly hill when well into  stupid territory  overtaken by a mini i decided to pass him which I did , just, cos by then a large hole had appeared in the crankcase where the driveside big end made its effort for freedom , passenger covered in oil , I think the mini may have been as well  but it was themfingers crossed and managed to end up on the side of the road . Eventually we were rescued by the flatmates one had a trasit which we took the chair off and but it all in the back  , sad demise of my first A10 , but what a bike !!
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Online terryg

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #17 on: 16.02. 2021 14:02 »
Re. the Bond Minicar...
A chap in the same year as me at school had one. He was a quiet unassuming type but the appearance of the Minicar coincided with him ‘pulling’ one of the most attractive and ‘posh’ girls from the local grammar school.
Envious, or what?
I often wonder if Max and Pru had a future together.
Terry
'57 'SR', '59 SR, '63 RGS

Offline Topdad

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #18 on: 16.02. 2021 16:03 »
Ha ha , sorry bond mini cars do that to me ever since I was a kid . Our local parish vicar was a lovely old  chap but blessed with a very bad/short memory eventually the parish bought him a ,you've guessed it ,a bond mini car. His Church was on the top of a hill  our house at the bottom  and one morning as I passed the top of the lane I was passed by this bond followed very closely by the vicar who ever the gent was dipping his hat to a lady whilst trying to head off the bond from terminal decent ,on this occasion he did but on another, he blamed a slipping brake we all said he forgot to put it on . Some yrs later it ended up in our local river no dought slipped hand brake again !
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Online Greybeard

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #19 on: 16.02. 2021 17:24 »
A Bond Mini car. Villiers 2-stroke engine. 197cc I think.
https://images.app.goo.gl/SXo1Fq2VSe9iY88x9

Online bsa-bill

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #20 on: 16.02. 2021 19:59 »
Gipsy Jack worked on the same estate as I did (this is 60s) and he had a bright yellow Bond Bug, Jack liked a pint or four, one Saturday night in summer Jack came down the village high street from the Black Bull and turned right off the main street to go home and turned into the path of a car coming up the street, the Bug exploded like a snowflake, we, me and my mates who had witnessed the whole thing took Jack, the car driver and the car drivers wife into my mates nearby house, nobody was hurt but Jack spent the next hour arguing he was in the right to cross in front of the car as he was indicating to do so, the Bond was written off of course.
I'm not dissing fibreglass cars at all, I had a Relient Regal for quite some time, handled a bit like a labrador, cocked its leg up on corners
 
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #21 on: 16.02. 2021 21:13 »
   For those of you wondering how such a three wheeled machine as the Bond Minicar had a market, the answer is that it's all down to the curious UK laws associated with "construction and use".

   As a vehicle it comes in the same category as a motorcycle and sidecar, (3 Wheels) with the proviso of having a maximum weight limit equivalent to a heavy bag of feathers and no reverse gear. The upshot was a vehicle enabling somewhat weather protected transport, some load carrying capacity and relative comfort compared to being out in the cold. At the time, before the rules changed, you could tax and insure it and drive away on L Plates unaccompanied by a qualified driver.  But not recommended to use on a windy day, they would take off and with flimsy bodywork, seat belts years away there was a definite risk to life and limb. The great advantage was that all this was available to those with a basic bike licence or unable to manage passing the test for a full car licence.

  Power was via the single front wheel  which was chain driven from a conventional motorcycle unit. The rear wheels used rubber mounted suspension arms as on today's lightweight trailers. As GB notes, power was a single cylinder Villiers 2 Stroke. The whole power train was suspended on a vertical pivot, the steering wheel moved the whole ensemble, just like a dodgem car.  At full lock the front wheel pointed sideways, enabling donuts at will and the ability to turn round in just under twice its own length.

 On early models starting was by opening the bonnet and using the kickstart pedal. Bad luck if you stalled in traffic. Some models had a steel cable linked from the kickstart to the top of a floor mounted lever, which you pulled, if it kicked back a good chance of skinned knuckles, but a prospect of a start from the driver's seat.  It had cable brakes, with  a conventional 3 pedal layout for throttle, brake, clutch. Gear change was by cable, the hand gear lever being on the steering column.

   Idling in traffic risked carbon monoxide poisoning, the short silencer moved with the engine/wheel unit and exhaust gases exited under the passenger compartment. To comply with the prescribed weight limit, the earlier construction used thin gauge aluminium panels and was considered a motorised death trap as regards an accident situation. All before the days of Ralph Nader and his 1965 tome on vehicle safety, "Unsafe at Any Speed". Later versions had improved body structure and greater use of fibreglass panels, electric start and provision to run the engine backwards to give "reverse" cleverly avoiding the no reverse gear rule.

    Makers Sharp's Commercials, owners of the Bond brand, were successful in pursuing this fibreglass innovation, moving into fibreglass bodied cars, notably the Bond Equipe, based on Triumph Herald chassis, bulkhead and doors, with stylish front and rear mouldings. More powerful GT versions used the Vitesse/GT6 Powertrain.

   This expertise was noted by Reliant, another 3 wheeler/fibreglass body outfit.  When tax changes took away the USP for microcars, the market bombed and the Bond Minicar was no more. Reliant picked up the pieces as Sharps struggled in their niche market, kept the name, the Bond Bug being a Reliant  powered version of the same basic concept styled and updated for a more discerning youth market.  Not a well thought out design, opening the door in the rain was not a good idea..... but it used proven Reliant running gear, with rear wheel drive and hydraulic brakes. The Reliant engine was an Aluminium Crankcase version of the original Austin 7, (4 cylinder watercooled four stroke) and this also saw use in the QUASAR, a semi enclosed feet forward style two wheeler innovation which enjoyed short lived success.

  Swarfy.

Offline dsj666

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #22 on: 17.02. 2021 17:10 »
White Bros was my actual local bike shop as a boy.
I recall I made a special visit with my mate to see the first Bond Bug in Darlington!

Closed December 2010 as a Honda dealer (founded 1919 making their own 99cc bike, The Oswald), now an optician and mobility centre, so I might be a customer there once again shortly!  *smile*

It was apparently one of the longest trading motorcycle shops in the country, sadly missed.

But the snooker hall above seems to be still going!
1954 A10 Plunger (in bits)

Offline Topdad

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #23 on: 17.02. 2021 17:24 »
Thanks Swarfy for the techno veiw point on bugs etc  , from a personal perspective I never had the chance to drive a bug  possibly I hadn't  upset someone in management enough ,to drive one of those however I did get to drive bond 875  this bond  was quite incredable to drive ,thats incredable in a scary way  , very fast  using an hillman imp engine and weighting in at 5 lbs  ,injest ...just ,   driving one from Liverpool ,once was enough , to Widnes down the ditton road which was exposed to high winds , was a trouser changing cringe inducing moment never ever to be forgotten nor I may say to be repeated. Ok belting down the road in speke  and when pushed it rattled along but just past where the ford factory was the road opened wide to countryside fortuneately i was in the outside lane the wind hit me and it went sideways I swear the only thing that stopped it was the kerb ,the rest of the journey was conducted in a very much more dignified manner and I later told my sales manager that if the guy hadn't gone ahead and not pxed is bike for it I'd have left the deadly bundle there and got the train back to Liverpool!  not a convert !
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Online RichardL

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #24 on: 17.02. 2021 17:51 »
But the snooker hall above seems to be still going!

You must take up snooker as an homage to your former local BSA dealer.

Richard L.
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Online Butch (cb)

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #25 on: 18.02. 2021 09:55 »
My Grandfather was a local billiards hot shot, back in the 30s. I have all of his medals for that.

My Father bought a Bond 3 wheeler for my Mother to learn to drive in. I think the idea was that he wouldn’t have to sit with her. Not a success, I’m not sure if she ever tried it but it very quickly got parked up in the garden for us kids to play in. The Villiers motor got sold on. I do remember it had Z Victor 1 painted on one side of it.
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Online Greybeard

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Re: White Bros Darlington
« Reply #26 on: 18.02. 2021 11:13 »
... I do remember it had Z Victor 1 painted on one side of it.
https://images.app.goo.gl/45ehMpaayPnrwnc69

Z Victor 1
A reminder of the 1960s and 70s UK police telly series, Z Cars (which show-pieced Ford cars - the villains tended to drive Jaguars). This Ford Zephyr Mk IV is an exhibit in the Tampa Bay Auto Museum by virtue of its experimental 4-wheel drive.