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Veloce Publishing
November 19, 2019
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Motorcycle Apprentice: Matchless - in name & reputation

Motorcycle Apprentice: Matchless - in name & reputation

By Bill Cakebread
About the Author

Paperback 25x20.7cm 128 pages 102 colour and b&w pictures

ISBN: 978-1-787110-49-6

£ 19.99 Postage + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

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Bill Cakebread's dream to work with motorcycles led to an apprenticeship that changed his life forever. This book gives a unique insight to the excitement of working at the AMC motorcycle factory. It is an inspiring story, supported by period photographs and rare documents, and a fascinating record of the British motorcycle industry.


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.

Independent Reviews

What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be ... There are some wonderful photographs throughout the book, which is an easy and entertaining read a tale of an industry that went from commercial pillar to oblivion.
Old Bike Australia

This remarkable book affords insight into the life and times of the people who built those classic Matchless, AJS, and Norton motorcycles that now capture the imagination of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts, as well some rare technical background on the bikes themselves and how they were built.

Every now and then, of the many motorcycling books that arrive at Old Bike Mart for review, a diamond-plated gem comes along; one written with such warmth and enthusiasm that no like-minded soul could possibly put it down until the back cover is reached; one with such sharply-focused memories that the reader finds himself almost living the life being described ... At a modest price of £19.99, this information-packed paperback book is a delight from beginning to end, and is thoroughly recommended.
Old Bike Mart

Additional Information

Period covered:
1878-1969, specifically 1958-1966


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