FORMER BSA engine designer Edward Bird couldn’t believe his eyes – or ears – when a posse of the classic motorbikes came roaring up Mason Road and halted outside his front door on Sunday morning (August 30).
The 74-year-old is courageously battling prostate cancer and his daughter Jackie had sent out an appeal to the BSA Owners Club to see if they could give her dad the perfect tonic in his fight.
The club’s Birmingham branch duly responded to her appeal and came thundering to Redditch to meet the man who worked on the famous Bantam design and take him for a spin – and a glass of cider – in a motorcycle and sidecar.
“I am utterly overwhelmed,” said Mr Bird, “it is beyond my dreams, I can’t believe it.”
He started with the famous company as an 18-year-old apprentice at the Studley Road factory where the Bantam was made and stayed with the firm until it went under in the 1970s, moving on to Hymatic where he stayed until he retired.
“They were great days at BSA, I absolutely loved it,” said Mr Bird, who also used to ride a motorbike himself.
Daughter Jackie said: “I can’t thank the members of the BSA Owners Club enough, I couldn’t believe when they said they would be more than willing to come over.
“Dad is thrilled – BSA meant a lot to him and he still has one the original drawings of one of the engines he worked on.”
National and Birmingham branch secretary of the BSA Owners Club Phil Bull, who led the bikes over to Redditch, said: “We were more than happy to respond to Jackie’s request and take Mr Bird out with the machines that he helped design.
“These are classic British motorcycles and we have over 3,000 members across the country.”
The Birmingham branch meets regularly at the Blue Bell Inn by Tanworth in Arden on the second Sunday of every month at 12noon and the last Thursday of every month at 7pm.
For more details of the club email: email@example.com.