A young Londoner had only one ambition in life – to work with motorcycles. That simple wish led to an apprenticeship that was to change Bill Cakebread's life forever as the training that Associated Motorcycles Limited provided enabled achievements that he never dreamed possible. This book gives a unique insight to the atmosphere and excitement of working in a motorcycle factory. It is an inspiring story, supported by a host of period photographs and rare documents, which provides a fascinating record of work within the British motorcycle industry in the final years of its decline into oblivion.
This is the inspiring story of how a young school-leaver with no academic qualifications and low expectations built a successful career based on an apprenticeship with Associated Motor Cycles Ltd, and eventually became Managing Director of his company.
It describes the very personal story of the ups and downs of factory life in the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, it conveys the unique atmosphere and excitement that surrounds the manufacture of motorcycles, an atmosphere that for those who have experienced it is like no other. The excellence of the training that was provided by the company enabled the writer to achieve far more than he ever anticipated.
The journey through the factory, starting with the lowliest of duties in the machine shops and ending as personal assistant to the top motorcycle designers of their time, is described in detail. It gives a rare insight into working practices within the different departments and the characters that were employed.
Supported by a host of period photographs and rare documents, it provides a unique record of work within the British motorcycle industry in the final years of its decline into oblivion.
About the author
Born in London in 1941, Bill Cakebread’s sole ambition was to work with motorcycles. This enthusiasm secured him an apprenticeship with Associated Motor Cycles Ltd. When the British motorcycle industry collapsed, he joined Peter Berthon, famous for his association with ERA and BRM racing cars. Adapting his vehicle engineering knowledge to mobile cranes, Bill then became one of this country’s leading experts in crane safety, and, as Managing Director of his company, was a regular contributor of articles on the subject, as well as representing the UK at international standards meetings.