I am very sorry to say that my great good friend John Hartshorne died this evening at 6-55pm, after a very long and difficult fight with Vascular Dementia.
Without John there would have been no Silkolene Supertwo oil, probably no Silk motorcycle, and many thousands fewer MZ motorcycles sold in this country. His career included time at Douglas (Sales and Service)Ltd., Agrati UK Ltd., Silkolene Ltd., and being General Manager for MZ importers Wilf Green Ltd.. He was also a director and Company Secretary for Tom Ward at Wilfred Street in Derby. (Many will be unaware that Tom ran his little Scott repair business as a limited company, (Ward Motors Ltd.).
John’s very well-known Sprint Special ” U6 “, latterly 498EUT, was much admired, and much copied and imitated, appearing in several different books. He used it in sprints, trials, hill climbs, and races for many years.
I got to know John in the early 1980’s, when my brother-in-law Doug Wright bought the Sprint Special out of Stanford Hall Museum, and went to visit John for information on the bike, with me just going along for the ride. Out of that meeting our enduring friendship developed, thirty years of warmth, advice, and many good times.
John was married for more sixty three years to Elsie, and our thoughts are with her, son Andrew, and daughter Julie, and their families, at this sad time.
I will announce the funeral arrangements as soon as possible.