Late August 1939
Hitler’s armies were poised to invade Poland, while in Austria the International Six Days Trial was nevertheless underway. The trial was dubbed ‘The Motorcycling Olympics’, where the crème de la crème from five or six nations competed in six days of hard riding.
Following the Olympics in Berlin three years earlier, the ISDT was seen by Hitler as being another opportunity for Nazi dominance – and the event was unexpectedly held in occupied Austria. Half way through, riding across the mountains surrounding Salzburg and with the British teams once again doing very well indeed, they received telegrams from the British Embassy telling them to get out and go home immediately.
World War II started just a week later
The story of how all the British competitors and spectators successfully made it away through Switzerland with the help of their German escorts has so far only been briefly mentioned in print, but extensive research has revealed much new material about this fascinating and exciting event in history.
Seventy five years later, one of the competitors tells his grandson all about his adventures…
Review in ‘exeditor MotorCycle Sport, freelance journalist’ – by Peter Henshaw
A fascinating tale that very few people have heard of, brought to vivid life by this new book a rollicking adventure read, and true into the bargain.
Review in ‘n/a’ – by Graham Austin
When John told me about the 1939 International Six Day Trial in Austria, blighted by the start of WW2, I immediately looked it up on the internet. What I found was a series of reprints from the motorcycling press and a few comments and accounts of the aftermath. I also found that I had a personal, though somewhat tenuous, connection with the tale; having driven most of the course taken on the third day, which included the Grossglockner Pass, on one of my Tours des Cols. John has taken this rather dry material and, together with a transcript of an … continue reading
Review in ‘Freelance motorcycle journalist’ – by Jim Reynolds
At last, one of the great untold mysteries of the 1930s has been researched and turned into an eminently readable tale. A significant work.
When writing Prose:
John Bradshaw’s professional life was spent working with and writing about mathematics and education. For seventeen years he was an editor for one of the Mathematical Association’s journals and also organised conferences and workshops. He has taught in primary, secondary and high schools and then in college and university. This is the first book he has written that was actually intended to be fictional.
When writing ‘factual tales of fettling’:
John Bradshaw grew up surrounded by mechanical things and has not escaped so far. He has always owned wheels and currently has a stable ranging from an 1880s Cogent Ordinary bicycle to a 1990s BMW Z3 sports car, with examples of many things in between.
He was the Social-Sec and then Chairman of the Ariel Owners MotorCycle Club in the 1980s and then created and for a decade organised CycleFest, an international alternative cycle event.
He has written articles for a variety of cycling and motoring magazines. The restoration, modification and maintenance of cycles, motorcycles and cars, and then and writing about it, is nothing new to him, but the Morgan-Ariel Special is his first true creation.
Author: John Bradshaw
An account of the Rediscovery, Restoration, Research and Riding of an Ordinary Bicycle from 1988 through to 1991 with Subsequent Thoughts.
Author: Peter Henshaw and John Bradshaw
A disparate collection of desperate tales of woe, and occasional subsequent joy. It's actually a totally useless book, but comprised of true accounts of survived disasters collected over many years of attending Rallies, Treffens, Noggins and Trials around the world.
Author: John Bradshaw
A true account of the creation of a Morgan-Ariel Special. With inspiration and help from friends in the Morgan & Ariel worlds – plus many others – a 3-wheeler has been built in the vintage style out of many parts, mainly from Morgans, Urals and Ariels, hence its name: Muriel.
Author: John Bradshaw
A motoring tale of trials, tribulations, love, war and derring-do. So, it’s a novel book involving Morgan, Ariel, Fairey and diverse other machinery, as well as various MCC events, but also girls & dogs and – well, life really.