I have been reading with interest about the practice of fixing cast flying squirrel mascots to Scotts. I have some questions about this because the letters in “Yowl” are silent on these aspects.
Were the mascots in any way ‘official’ by the Scott company or was it all just informal by owners?
Were they made specifically for the mascot purpose?
Do particular mascots belong to certain eras of bike?
What would these things normally be priced at, if available?
Location for mounting: Radiator cap? Front guard? Elsewhere?
Curious to hear what people know about the lil fellas.
Check with Geoff Green, the badge secretary, (contact details inside front cover of Yowl), he has them for sale.
The vast majority of squirrel mascots are seen on either the front mudguard or the radiator cap. I have seen occasional ones on an otherwise unused steering damper mounting boss on vintage Flyer petrol/oil tanks, ie. just between the filler caps. Also one or two on Scott “kite shape” forks using the boss that the mudguard bolts to.
When my father bought a new Brum Scott from Matt Holder in about 1961, he was given two brass squirrels to be used as mascots.
Thanks everyone for your replies. I have been in touch with Geoff Green and now have the option to get a Squirrel mascot for myself. The potential locations on the bike are also pretty clear now. The only unanswered part is how factory ‘official’ all of this is? Or was it just an unofficial practice that ‘caught on’? Most of the squirrel mascots I have seen seem to be the ones identified a couple of Yowls ago as No 5, I think. Does anyone know their origin? It’s just a curiosity for me I’m trying to understand.
I’m by no means an expert on Scott history but I believe that the original “Flying Squirrel” or Flyer of 1926/7? had a tank transfer that portrayed just that, a “Flying Squirrel”, with its “wings” extended and in flight. Nothing like the little creature on which these mascots are modelled which looks to me like a standard British red squirrel. If this is correct then the mascots could well be unofficial.
However, just to add to the confusion, I’m certain that the B’ham Scott that my father owned in the 60’s was registered as a “Red Squirrel” in the log book. It had the brownish red tanks & mudguards seen on some examples of the Birmingham model. Matt Holders idea perhaps?
I had belived that the first reference to Squirrels in relation to Scott Motorcycles was in 1921 with the introduction of the Squirrel model. However posted elsewhere on the internet is a picture of what I think is two of the entrants in the 1911 A-CU Six Days Trial – follow this link:
The picture was taken by Reverend Hodgkin, an early Scott (and other motorcycles) owner. I seem to remember that the bikes were identified as a 1911 model and a 1912 prototypoe and there are corresponding pictures of all three bikes in the team and their riders in John Underhill’s books.
The interesting and relevant thing here is the mascott on the top of the headlamp of the second bike – clearly a soft toy version of a Squirrel.
Perhaps the Squirrel name was adopted earlierand transferred to the sports model later. Certainly Jeff Clew suggests that the Six Days Trial ridders had some hand in the development of the Squirrel. Any comments, thoughts or proper information gratefully accepted !
There is undoubtedly a mascot on top of the headlight on bike no.2. However, to me it looks like a little teddybear.
Yes, I noticed the mascot on the Reverend Hodgkins photo too. And unfortunately it does look more like a teddy bear than a squirrel The Scott so adorned is AK18 which was Alfred’s machine. A few thoughts on this…the Reverend took several photos with children (his own ?) playing on his various bikes in the field next to his house in Whittingham, with a particularly charming one of a young person (could be a boy or girl) sitting next to his clearly new 1910 Scott T503. Perhaps one of the children donated the mascot ?
There are two photos of AK18 and BR16 with competition numbers (32) and (33) at this time. The very high quality Hodgkin photo referred to above of two immaculate and shiny touring Scotts showing the mascot on AK18 and titled as being at Heysham Harbour awaiting the IOM ferry. The other photo (Made to Limit Gauge ‘A’ 35) is described as the 1911 ACU 6 Days Trial in Carlisle with Frank Philip beside AK18 and Kit Parker of Kendal beside BR16. An evening browsing the internet shows there was no 1911 6 Days Trial in Carlisle – it was in Harrogate and Alfred was involved as a course official on the route. I cannot find a programme for the event on-line though.
Perhaps the Rev Hodgkin rode over to Harrogate ? Perhaps he put (his son/daughters ?) mascot on Alfred’s machine just for the photo ? Or perhaps it was Alfred’s or Frank’s soft toy all along ?
More research required – and underway !
Hi Neil . This is the photograph I was referring to in my earlier post and which will (I think) appear in the next edition of Yowl although it is no longer at displayed at the link in my post above. The bikes are the 2 bikes entered by the Scott Engineering Co in the 1911 ACU Six Day Trial (32 – Frank Philip and 33 Lancelot (“Kit”) Parker) – and the privately entered Scott ridden by Jesse Baker (34 although it is in the background partially obscured). I think that the location is the courtyard of the Clarendon Hotel, Harrogate which was the start and end point of each day.
Scott’s had a tame squirrel in the test area trained to pick up any nuts that fell off.———- “POTTY”
Another possibility for the location of the photograph is Appleby, the half-way stop on day two and possibly the closest the Trial came to Reverend Hodgkin’s home. Attached is the full route taken from a contemporary edition of the Motor Cycle.
That’s a great map of the event. The easiest run for my 1950 Scott from Whittingham would be Settle but that might not be a lunch stop. The photo of the hotel yard is bustling with activity, once the virus lockdown is over I’ll ride over to Settle and Appleby to see if there any architectural clues – the hotel doorway where the lady is leaning and watching all the activity is hopefully still extant. High ceilings here !