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Series 'A' Instruction Books

Graham Smith

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Administrator
Are you an expert on Series 'A' literature?

If so, would you know if any of these manuals are the 'real' 'original' Series 'A' Instruction Manuals?

EG_1-6.jpg was printed at the Stevenage Printing Works.
IS_2-6.jpg was printed by the Leiston Abbey Press, Ltd.
IS_5-9.jpg appears to be a 'modern(ish)' re-print.

Any information you may have would be appreciated, as I'm looking into a reprint for the Club to sell, but I'd really like anything we produce to be based on the the original as far as is reasonably practical and possible.

Regards to all.

Graham
 

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Comet

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VOC Member
Hello Graham.
None of them look like the instruction book I have. Mine says "instruction book for 1935 and series A models" with no mention of the Rapide. Also the price is 8d including postage. The HRD artwork is different as well as it matches the artwork on a series A tank.

Cheers
JK
 

Albervin

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VOC Member
I have one that cost 8d and another that was 5/9. I think these all "look" real but what about the print inside? Both mine are reprints but the latter one is very good. I think you sometimes have to use gut instinct on the way the paper feels. I get the feeling Vincent re-printed these manuals over a number of years as they brought out new models. My 8d copy only refers to 1935 and "A" models but the 5/9 copy also mentions the "Rapide" Series "A" (their inverted commas). If anyone feels inclined to sell me an original copy to go with my 1938 Comet then I am willing to pay a fair price....
 

John Appleton

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VOC Member
Graham, I spoke today with Glen Barnes, proprietor of the Leiston Press, who told me that Leiston Abbey Press faded away in approximately 1974, but were certainly operational during the 1930's. I realise this is of no more than passing interest, and doesn't help with your question. It was also of interest to me to find that Leiston had another connection with Vincent, as I was already aware that, when the Stevenage works closed, a few of the skilled workers moved to Leiston to take up employment at the Richard Garratt engineering factory, part of which we now own and run our family business from.
I know you will already have done this, but Glens only suggestion was to search on the title page of the books as it would be normal for re-prints to be dated at time of the re-run. As I previously stated, no help with your questions, but of passing interest for all that.
 

Graham Smith

Forum Website Webmaster
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Administrator
Graham, I spoke today with Glen Barnes, proprietor of the Leiston Press, who told me that Leiston Abbey Press faded away in approximately 1974, but were certainly operational during the 1930's. I realise this is of no more than passing interest, and doesn't help with your question. It was also of interest to me to find that Leiston had another connection with Vincent, as I was already aware that, when the Stevenage works closed, a few of the skilled workers moved to Leiston to take up employment at the Richard Garratt engineering factory, part of which we now own and run our family business from.
I know you will already have done this, but Glens only suggestion was to search on the title page of the books as it would be normal for re-prints to be dated at time of the re-run. As I previously stated, no help with your questions, but of passing interest for all that.

That's very useful thanks John.

I did conduct a search on the internet for the Leiston Press, but didn't find out too much. I also scanned the books for dates, but unfortunately none of them have anything.

One thing that is of interest, John Kennedy's book seems to be for a period pre- the introduction of the Series 'A' Rapide, and it's also a lesser price that the later editions.

All being well, I'm going to have a look at it on Sunday or Tuesday at the North Kent Section's Clubnight.

I'll report back then!
 

Len Matthews

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VOC Member
When Angela and me were Regalia Stock Controllers we used to sell replica Series A handbooks. (Same as the one on the right of Graham's photos). Looking through my copy I can find no date or printer's details. I did occur to me that in pre-war terms that 5/9d was jolly expensive for a rather slim volume with no illustrations.
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Without trying to hijack the thread, I am hoping someone can assist with a similar request. I have just bought a "Series B" Rider's Handbook. It was purported to be original but when questioned, the seller could (would) not guarantee it. Inside the cover it states"Preliminary Issue" Rider's Handbook for The Vincent HRD Rapide Motorcycle. Series "B". On the next page it states it is for Series "B Frame Nos. Commencing R2002 Engine Nos. commencing F10AB/1/003. The last page (43) states it was printed in Gt. Britain by Geo. Reveirs Ltd. 10-12, Roseberry Ave. London EC1. The cost on the front cover is 3/6 with postage of 3d. When I have a few extra spare moments I will scan it and place in the photo section. Thanks.
 

Len Matthews

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VOC Member
I had one like that (the one with no illustrations). During the German Rally a long while ago when Phil Irving was over I asked him about it. He said that he had to write the text before the Factory had completed building the prototype B Rapide. He said he had to describe how to assemble the gearbox internals before anyone had actually done it and was pleased to find he was near enough right in practice. Fact or fantasy? I don't know but that was what the great man said.
 
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