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Anyone know "Alexanders" Motorcycles in Edinburgh circa 1952/53

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Evening all,
I'm trying to trace the history of my C Rapide, the works records show it being despatched from the factory by rail on 17th October 1952 to Alexanders in Edinburgh I think it says.

The first owner was a Charles Peter McLaughlan of Craiglockhart House in Edinburgh. He was reported to be in the legal profession. The bike was first registered on 26 September 1953 - so it would suggest that it sat in the showroom for the best part of a year before being sold.

I'd love to have some history of Alexanders if anyone could help point me in the right direction, and if anyone from Edinburgh could identify Craiglockhart House that would be superb.

Any pictures of the dealership would be great, or a contact at a Scottish Museum if there is one.

Cheers for any help

Stuart
 

captain vincent

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Sweaty sock shadow!

Alexanders was based in Lothian Rd,they also had a shop in Glasgow and Aberdeen (NW chuctah territory).I have asked around before regarding the same as my shadow went there in 4/1/50,(having been roadtested in July 49 the factory must have been in dire straits!) The shop records don,t survive as far as I know but don,t forget the guys that visited the shop in there prime of youth drooling through the windows are now well clocking on,or have clocked out!

Regards

El capitano
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi Captain - would that be the famous Rab Smith Shadow?

Hi Captain V.
Being in Livingston would that be the famous Rab Smith Shadow?

I have pictures of the Kenmore Rally from 1976 and 1977 which I guess may show the bike.

I'm going to try the nearest Transport Museum to Edinburgh for more details - have you tried that one yet?

Stuart
 

captain vincent

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Rabs first shadow

No that would be his second shadow,I have his original first one HSC 159 that went bang rather spectaculary in 66 and was then robbed and plundered for bits over the next 40yrs.Rab used to work for the Glasgow bus corporation and I still have ticket machine boxes with odd bits in.I tried an advert in mph a while back to see if anybody had an early pictures of him as he was quiet a lad in his days and one of the founder members of the Scottish section.If you have a picture of him could you send me it as a couple of his old mates have very few photo,s of him as his family (if you can call the pair of Dunoon bookends that slung everthing of his oot)

Regards

El Capitano.
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I just typed 'craiglockhart' into Google and all sorts of info comes up.If you havn't got a computer blag someone into doing it for you..John
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I just typed 'craiglockhart' into Google and all sorts of info comes up.If you havn't got a computer blag someone into doing it for you..John
How did he manage to put a message on this board if he does not have a computer ?
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I tried google - nothing specific in the first 347,912 pages though....

Hi,

Thanks for the suggestion of my favourite search engine.

Craiglockhart is unfortunately a geographic area within Edinburgh (the site of Napier University) and it is also a fairly common name in Scotland - there are over 100 "Craicklockhart Roads" across the country. A large part of the first few pages relate to the University and then to an Architectural practise who are having a planning battle for a contemporary design in the Craiglockhart area. I'm confident that the address will be well enough known as a named house - that should track it down to a handlful of possibilities but they won't show on google, and google earth maps require a post code to be really effective which I don't have.

I have the names of the previous owners so will do some research with the Edinburgh records office and electoral role - however searching that costs money so I thought I would try the Forum first.

Luckily the second owner lived only a mile away from where my parents now reside - so I know the street and the house without problem - he was a "Turf Accountant" by trade.

Unfortunately Alexanders does not return anyting of interest on google so I was very much hoping that a member of the club (slightly older than me!) might actually remember going there, have bought a bike there, have a photograph of the dealership.

I have contacted the Glasgow Transport Museum to check their archives (Edinburgh does not have a Museum of Transport that I can locate) and await a response.

I did think that someone may have a book on their shelves with a photo of Alexanders in it, or recall a 1950's MPH edition with a photo in it (I haven't managed to buy the 1950's yet and judging by what they sold for on ebay last night (to America) I am not likely to be buying them anytime soon either.

Thanks all for your interest and help

Regards

Stuart
 

captain vincent

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Spoke to one of Rab,s old pals last night and he recalls Alexanders dissapearing mid sixties,some of the very early members books give actually addresses!,so you may be able to trace it that way!
 

shadhubh

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hi All.
I have an old pal in Glesga who worked at Allexanders, Great Western Rd in Glasgow for a good many years, when I'm down there at the weekend I'll ask him if he has any photos, bumph etc on the Embra shoap.

Vic..
 

john998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Alexanders

One of the Scottish Vincent legends concerns an Edinburgh bookie.
The story goes that his chauffeur had to follow him in the limo, so if it rained the minion had to bring the bike back, whiles the bookie kept dry in the car.
The main claim to fame of the Craiglockhart area of Edinburgh was the the first world war Hospital for officers with shell shock, the most famous been the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. John.
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (or something close to that I recall)

Forgive me the spelling but by 6th year studies school project was on the WWI poets - chilling stuff when you see what they went through.

I'll keep doing the trawl and see what I can come up with - I'd love a photo of the shop front if I can find one.

Stuart
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Alexanders

There was an Alexanders in Edinburgh, on the east side of Lothian Road between Kings Stables Road and the Usher Hall. It was where my Shadow originally came from. I have a feeling Alexanders closed mid-sixties: showrooms selling new bikes weren't places I needed to visit. It had four or five full length display windows.
The first owner of my Shadow (registered 3rd April 1951) was a bookie, Peter Charles MacLauchlan by name (now where have i heard that name recently?), and his address in the logbook was "Craiglockart House, Edinburgh". I believe it is now part of the University Medical Faculty. It is still there: I looked it up on Google Earth.
Whether Bentley story is true or not it is certainly widely known. I was sold the bike as "The Bookie's Shadow" and several VOC Scottish section members have told me the same story. The next entry in the logbook is 26th December 1957 so presumably PCM was a two-Vincent man.
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Craiglockhart House

Craiglockhart House is at 55 55 24.4 N, 3 13 40.3 W and is clearly visible in Google Earth. I image that MacLauchlan rented an apartment or an annexe on the grounds since the place is huge. No Vincents, under tarpaulins leaning against walls, are visible.......
Alexanders was about 50 yards south of 55 56 54.3, 3 12 21.9 beyond the building that projects into the (Lothian) road. There's a side road coming from the west directly opposite which wasn't there "when I was a boy".
Again Google has a clear image.
 

Trevor Rowlands

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
.

No that would be his second shadow,I have his original first one HSC 159 that went bang rather spectaculary in 66 and was then robbed and plundered for bits over the next 40yrs.Rab used to work for the Glasgow bus corporation and I still have ticket machine boxes with odd bits in.I tried an advert in mph a while back to see if anybody had an early pictures of him as he was quiet a lad in his days and one of the founder members of the Scottish section.If you have a picture of him could you send me it as a couple of his old mates have very few photo,s of him as his family (if you can call the pair of Dunoon bookends that slung everthing of his oot)

Regards

El Capitano.
I have a couple of photos of Rab will post them to you ,Trev
 

captain vincent

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Cheers Trevor!

By chance I was talking to Harry Wallace last night,who remembers drooling through the window on his £2 per week at a new shadow in the shop on his travels up north in the RAF I think on his es2 Norton,small world indeed!.

El capitano.
 

captain vincent

Website User
Non-VOC Member
:eek::D:D
don't furget the dug wae the flee circus on it's heed
That dug never did like me since I had a cup of tea out of his cup!.
Since Rab was section secretary at the time did that make the dugs flea circus honorary branch members by association.? The last time Harry, Donald & I saw him was when we went across to fire up his shadow in the depths of winter in a very damp and cold shed,when Harry cleared it,s throat and the resulting backfire nearly blew the shed doors awf and the paper boy fell off his bike halfway down the street thinking he had a blow out on his bike!.I will never forget that cheesy grin blipping the throttle in his shed watching all that damp stoor rise off the black beast!

Regards

El Capitano.
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Much appreciated - many thanks indeed and fingers crossed

Vic,

That would be great - fingers crossed.

I'll happily pay the cost of copying pictures or whatever - really appreciate the help. Even just additional bits of the story would be helpful as a number of people have PM'd me with little bits of history which I am now able to piece together. It appears the first owner of my bike was known in and around Edinburgh and owned more than one Vincent - it would appear that he may even have owned more that one brand new at the same time.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers and thanks again.

Stuart
 

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