The Artful Bodger by Peter Henshaw and John Bradshaw

Written by bodgers around the world and edited by 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.  But none of the very varied accounts to be found within are urban myths. They are not regurgitations of what my friend says his brother heard that a bloke in the pub did once. Almost all the tales were told to one of the editors directly.

Classic vehicles and similar devices inspire many and varied bodges in order to keep them going and this new book is firmly based in the scene wherein the user/driver/rider/owner/victim is still able to have some control over his/her machinery. These are not useful hints & tips, but are celebrations of eccentric ingenuity.  An applause for stuff that was, and occasionally still is, user-servicable – and a protest against designed disposability.

It is well illustrated, but also contains grumpy old men’s ruminations and some amateur philosophy.  An ideal book for Dad to keep in the loo.



Review in ‘AOMCC's Cheval de Fer’ – by John Mitchell

I enjoyed it greatly and found it difficult to put down. At just £10 it’s good value, so put it on your Christmas list! continue reading

Review in ‘Miscellany’ – by The Editor

As electronics takes over from real engineering, bodging may be a dying art – but this book reminds us that it hasn’t always been so! 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.

Peter Henshaw

Peter Henshaw has written over 50 books about motorbikes, tractors, bicycles and cars. He edited Motorcycle Sport & Leisure for five years, plus the sadly missed Motorcycle Voyager. Now writing freelance for several magazines, proof-reading for A to B and the VMCC Journal, in between times he works for Sustrans. Peter is now the Editor of the VMCC’s magazine VINTAGE & CLASSIC.

He lives in Dorset with wife Anna, two motorbikes, no car and an unfeasibly large collection of bicycles.

From the same Author

Jakes Bikes & Trikes

Author: John Bradshaw

An innovative and self-made engineer, motorcyclist, and racing driver from Stafford, Jake’s creative work from the 1970s to the ’90s on his ‘TARKUS’ 3-wheeled hill-climbers and sprinters is uniquely chronicled in this new book, the first ever account of his Competition & Roadster Specials.

More Information

Their LEvel Best

Author: John Bradshaw

If you were to fancy taking yourself and your wife on a 2,000 mile trip around war- torn France, would using a very small motorcycle be your first choice of vehicle?

More Information

The Spiders’ Web

Author: John Bradshaw

The full story of the G.N. SPIDER, Basil Davenport’s legendary giant-killing hill-climber.

More Information

Some Strange Short Stories

Author: John Bradshaw

Strange stories for strange readers...

More Information

The Six Day Affair

Author: John Bradshaw

In late August 1939, Hitler’s armies were poised to invade Poland, while in Austria the International Six Day Trial (ISDT) was underway.

More Information


Author: John Bradshaw

An account of the Rediscovery, Restoration, Research and Riding of an Ordinary Bicycle from 1988 through to 1991 with Subsequent Thoughts.

More Information


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.

More Information

A Tall Short Story

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.

More Information