We were blessed with a visit from Titch Allen yesterday. I videoed three and half hours of his stories and animated conversation with my dad. A mere jog round the block for these leviathans of dialogue.
Titch is an old man now and it was a great pleasure to hear him talk of times past. What was strange, if indeed it is accurate, is that this man who formed the VMCC in 1947(i think) and was central to the formation of the Racing Section and was given the CBE some years ago has never had his stories documented.
Now, Ok, to be fair, and i dont want to cause any offence on this site, but its all just motorcycles in the end,at least from an outsiders point of view and the attatchments within these clubs to motorcycles are of course unique for each individual, some more to do with social context, some with control issues, some just about going fast, or being different and some with an almost religious conviction that somehow little else in life is worth a damn. And within this realm is a vast landscape of subtlties and folklore and myth and legend to rival any.
If of course you get past the ‘its only old motorbikes bit’ because thats just a parameter in the end. We all tend to need those.
So my observation is this. There has been great interest in the publication of Technicalities, (which in itself i believe crosses the line into folklore at times) but essentially is a technical publication.
The fundamental mechanical inegrity enabling the machines to actually function is of course important to the owners and that a publication has been created to facilitate that endeavour is of great importance. But, with an average age of i think almost seventy years, the scott owners club members have a wealth of stories and social history that will dissapear in time in the most part without some effort to document .
Of course ‘YOWL’ is invaluable in this, but there is definitely something special about film,video,audio.Capturing stories of people who may never pick up a pen and write to the editor.
I have put some video of racing on my Fathers Web Site and i intend to upload some audio of Titches stories to enable people to listen to one or two.
So, I am encouraging anyone who may see merit in this idea to not worry about being criticised for their Camera skills, and to have a go.
I would imagine many of those technically literate enough to use computers and forums etc may also have access to video cameras.It doesent even matter if it is digital , because the footage can be transferred, but it is better if it is.
I Think it takes a certain amount of courage to take a camera along to a get together or a section meeting but any cynicism you encounter is merely,in some way, part of the reason you are doing it. For these moments of peoples lives, these grumpy, excited, interested, animated moments will be the things we miss most, when we stand in years to come with copies of technicalities in our hands.
I have some experience with Documentry work having made an Educational one in the Noth West of Australia as part of an environmental project i am involved in ,but there are doubtless better organised and more competent folk to provide the support i am offering.
but i am offering to be a collection poitn for the material until such time as i have enough to put something together.
If anyone is interested in doing some documentation, and needs some advice technical or otherwise then please feel free to contact me at my email below.
The eventual point of this would be to put a documentary together, the direction being ‘life and times of a Scott Owner’.
‘How about ‘Come Yowl with me’
How interesting !
I look forward to seeing your recordings.
Some time ago I was put in touch with a niece of Alfred Scott , who remembered riding with him in his “crab” – the recollections were published in Yowl.
I am currently in contact with a chap who has fond memories of his late father’s stories of being an apprentice under Alfred , which I hope to submit to Yowl.
Recording these links with the past is important , which hopefully will give a further incentive to attract new members into a club with a proud lineage , whilst still seeking the all important means to look forward and not stagnate , in other words looking positively to the future by keeping our marque alive & on the road (and maybe race track) , in particular , through Technicalities and the Spares Scheme , not to mention the personal advice from individuals , especially your Dad & others , willing to share their knowledge.
Keep up the good work,
David J Waring
SOC NW Secretary.