Blast from the Past- (but very oily)

Well I never-


Many, many years ago, round about 1974 the West of Scotland Vintage Motorcycle Club was founded.

One of the Founder Members was “Slippery Jim Dale” named NOT because he was slow in paying, but oil seemed to adhere to him and his bikes, especially his tyres, in a remarkable fashion- AND not only clean oill! He was, however, very reluctant to part with anything motorcycle related.

His bikes were fondly known as mini Torry Canyons, despite their tyres’ teflon properties, Jim managed to fling them round corners as if they were Michelin Road Pilots, not Dunlop Universals

Jim, unfortunately passed away some 4 years ago, however, his brother Jake, noticed our web page, and as a result communicated with us, and some of the email correspondence is printed below-

My brother Jimmy Dale was a founder member of the WSVMCC  and after his death 4 years ago I have inherited a few boxes of slides illustrating many of the activities in which he took part (vintage runs, gatherings, camping trips etc.) Although I was a keen motorcyclist myself for many years these mean little to me as I have lived and worked in England for most of my life. The slides are all of quite good quality and could be of some interest to current members of your club who will doubtless be able to recognize many of the ‘bikes and owners given an opportunity to do so e.g. at a Club Meeting night. I will be delighted to forward these slides to you for whatever use they may be to you as archive material or just for general interest in old bikes (e.g. there are quite a few good close up shots of engine/gearbox details) If you are interested please contact me and I shall arrange to post these items to whomever would be able to take them into their care)


Delighted to get your e-mail

We would be very pleased to have these photographs, since we have been building up a lengthy gallery

I remember Jim well. He was Chairman when I joined in the 70s. there are a number of us old yins still getting our legs over a m/c seat & enjoying ourselves

Very nice to hear from you

Best Regards



Hello John ; and ‘How do you do!’          T

Thank you for your response to my earlier ‘E-mail’ and I will shortly arrange to dispatch the slides to your care via the Post Office’s cheapest parcel post but I’ll keep the receipt of Posting until they arrive safely.

They come ‘free and gratis’ to you and your club mates and I hope you enjoy poring over them and working out the ‘who where and when’  relating to them  [some have  Jimmy’s scribble hints as to these details but most will need a bit of guessing. I’ve been through them superficially and weeded out some of Jimmy’s non motorbike subjects (there were not too many!) but you may still come across an odd one or two.

 I attended quite a few of the Club’s early meetings in the Uplawmoor pub (when it was still a pub) with Jimmy, Ian MacKay, Willie Bates, Norrie Provan etc. and I was back in the village and stayed in the ‘Hotel’  and marvelled at how roomy and posh it now is downstairs with everything having been moved around and improved.

 My greetings to you and all your fellow clubmen and as it may be a day or two before you receive the slides so to keep you amused till then, I’ve attached a bit of light-hearted motorcycling scribbling that I wrote some time ago just before Jimmy died. (We used to exchange these bits of scribble as a means of keeping his mental facilities busy while the Parkinson’s slowly took over much of his physical mobility.) ‘The Flight of the Angels’ is only the first two chapters of a seven chapter yarn which develops into an even dafter tale. The bit I’ve sent is all based on fact as I knew and worked with ‘Willie’ the hero on a local farm for a while. The next five chapters is pure invention of an ‘overheaded cylinder heid’ but if you’re interested I can forward it to you in due course.

                Meanwhile, keep enjoying the bikes, they give you a lot of fun in life!

                                John (Jake) Dale.

We are delighted to hear from Jake and his very kind offer to forward the slides. Hopefully, Grumpy, AKA Norrie, will attempt to convert to digital and in due course add to our Archived Discs. Meantime, hopefully again, he’ll include a few samples on our web page which will focus on some faces familiar to us some 40 years ago! Go to it Norrie & thanks again, Jake, when you read this