Arthur Francis S-Type 250 – from Watford to Milan and Glagow!

As we’ve posted previously, 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Arthur Francis (aka AF) S-type dealer special Lambretta scooters.

As a result of said posts published on Scooternova, Chris Wylde contacted us to tell us a little about the original 250cc S-type he bought back in 1967; a certain TJH 25D.

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For those with a forgetful mind, we previewed the anniversary in January, saw some at the VMSC Show in March and at Whitby at Easter, and of course also attended the 50th Anniversary Event itself at AF Rayspeed in August of this year.

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Anyway, it was from one of these posts that featured the 1960s cover of Practical Scooter magazine that Chris recognised his old bike, TJH 25D. He told us, “I was also once a proud owner of this Arthur Francis Special. I purchased the scooter from Arthur Francis August 1967. It was Ken Peters who sold it to me.”

This Lambretta was pretty well-known at the time, as both an experimental bike for the Arthur Francis scooter shop in Watford, and also as the machine upon which Arthur Francis employee Ken Peters broke the London to Milan scooter riding record in 1967.

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Ken arriving in Milan after his reciord-breaking ride from the UK.

Featuring a few ‘AF trick bits’ the Lambretta was eventually sold on after its short but highly eventful celebrity career, and Chris was the lucky new owner.

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Chris collecting his scooter from Ken Peters at AF Rayspeed in Watford.

Chris told us, “At 18 years old I didn’t really appreciate the spec of the Lambretta I was buying. I first saw TJH 25D in the window at Watford, all covered in dirt and thinking ‘who would want to buy that!’ I also had a copy of the March edition of Practical Scooter with the photo on the front cover… Then I put 2 and 2 together. Next the bike was in the window all cleaned up and pristine. That’s when I fell in love with it – and it was certainly a step up from the Lambretta Cento 100cc I was riding!”

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Note in the photos above taken in Watford, you can see the TV200 in the shop window that featured on another Practical Scooter later on in 1967.
Chris told us, “At 18 years old I didn’t really appreciate the spec of the Lambretta I was buying. I first saw TJH 25D in the window at Watford, all covered in dirt and thinking ‘who would want to buy that!’ I also had a copy of the March edition of Practical Scooter with the photo on the front cover… Then I put 2 and 2 together. Next the bike was in the window all cleaned up and pristine. That’s when I fell in love with it – and it was certainly a step up from the Lambretta Cento 100cc I was riding!”

 

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Anyway, back to Chris; “In August 1967 my girlfriend of the day went to visit family in Johnstone, Glasgow for a week and I was invited too. She went up by coach, I followed on a Saturday on the Lambretta, stopping overnight with a cousin at York, then off to Glasgow on the Sunday. I did the return trip the following weekend.
“While in Scotland we rode up to the Lochs and round Loch Lomond. Also a day’s outing to Edinburgh.
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TJH in Glasgow, 1967.

 

 Chris continues; “I pasted the relevant bits of the magazine into a scrap-book which I still cherish.I have even found my old log book I had when I recorded fuel, journeys and repairs. Great days.”

Back into riding again a few years ago and now the owner of a Kawasaki ZZR 600, Chris adds it would be great to get in touch with the current owner and while current DVLA and insurance database records suggest it’s no longer around, there is of course a slim chance that it could be resting, forgotten inside a dark shed somewhere. Just maybe…
And here’s the link to the anniversary event page again too.
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12 thoughts on “Arthur Francis S-Type 250 – from Watford to Milan and Glagow!

  1. Regarding S Type registration number TJH 25D.
    I am a S TYPE fan please see my facebook page.
    I have details of a person called Mike Hyde from Kings Lynn along with a photograph of him sitting on TJH 25D. He had been in contact with Paolo at Racing Lambrettas web site back in 2000.

  2. Wow I have just come across this page whilst Googling my dad’s old Lambretta Regards TJH25D. My dad owned this bike in 1966! Would love to know where it is now too!

    1. Thank you for your comment Mary. Do you have any old photos you would like to share? It would be great to trace the full history of this Lambretta!

  3. Hi
    I have one photo of my Dad on it in 1966. How do I send it to you?
    Sadly my dad passed away 6 years ago. He would have absolutely loved to see all this information from Chris and the photos are amazing!

  4. Great to see Chris’s pics outside the Arthur Francis shop. I live in the street just behind the shop, I wish I had been around in those days when the Mod and Scooter scene was going on. Any more pics from the Arthur Francis heyday or the Mod Scene….?

  5. When I was 16 , I wanted a scooter . I lived in Hemel Hempstead , our local shop in the old high street sold them , so off I went but I couldn’t afford them , but I kept pestering them until they took me out the back and showed me a selection of Lambrettas that we’re going for scrap . I can’t remember the price but picke a tv175 series 2 , it turned over but wouldn’t go ,also in a bit of a mess , but to me it was my dream , I pushed it home , me and my dad stripped it down . I remember all the bits on the kitchen table , I took the barrel etc to Arthur Francis in Watford , the bored it out to 200 gave me all the bits to go with it . Back at home my dad painted the scooter blue ( he was a painter / decorator ). I loved that scooter many a great time at Clacton , Southend , etc , but reading an article on Arthur Francis brought back some very happy memories.????????

  6. I have just caught up with your news about what happened to TJH 25D following my run down to Milan. I remember the occasion well when I handed over the bike to Chris and I too would be most interested to know where it is now. A point of interest about the engine I used for the Milan run was a specially developed GT200 engine with specific modifications for the record attempt. It was also used later as a mule for the 250cc engine which Arthur was developing. When sold to Chris the factory original engine was installed.

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