A Tall Short Story by John Bradshaw

A motoring tale of trials, tribulations, love, war and derring-do.

In the late 1920s &’30s, young Dick Atkins, a farmer’s son from Malvern, is far more interested in motorcycles than the horses and cattle around him and so he and his pals get involved in local club trials, girls, national competition and even the International Six Day Trials. Things don’t always go as planned of course and soon a Morgan, a wife and then the war comes along. Dick serves in the RNAS, way up in the north Scotland, still with the wind in his face but with a third dimension to experience. He grows up rapidly…..

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.



Review in ‘The Malvern Gazette’ – by Roger Bibbings

A plausible provenance of this marvellous vehicle is revealed in an extraordinary book entitled ‘A Tall Short Story’, which is inspired by some of the very special Morgans and their drivers of the1930s and designed & crafted so meticulously by mathematician, amateur engineer and dedicated motorist John Bradshaw. continue reading

Review in ‘MCC’s ‘Informal News’’ – by John Aley

Over the years there have been many books about how this, that or another special was created but I don’t think I’ve ever found one written so entertainingly in such detail. This section is so interspersed by personal anecdotes that we can only hope John gets round to an autobiography one day continue reading

Review in ‘Real Classic’ – by Jim Reynolds

Muriel, an unusual debutante, was revealed for the first time at The Morgan pub in Malvern back in October 2010. Her coming out was witnessed by assorted Ariel, Morgan and general transport buffs, all intrigued to see what John Bradshaw was wishing upon an unsuspecting world. Long term Ariel nut, ex-Chairman of the Owners Club and a serious rider, he’s not renowned for being blandly conventional – witness the modern Dursley-Petersen bicycle he rides with some dash continue reading

About The Author

John Bradshaw

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. He now also offers some books that are 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.

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