everybody has a story to tell about their life

Dennis and his motorbike

Janet Chadband and Dennis Knight, 2013

Dennis: Rob, Janet’s brother had a motorbike. Triumph wasn’t it 500 or was it a 650.

Janet: I don’t know.

Dennis: Big bike. So we were at the top of the hill and Rob says ever seen five people on a motorbike. Rob driving, one on the pillion, one on the tank, one on the handlebars and one on the back mudguard, five of us goin’ down over Port Gaverne hill and back up again.

Janet: On the pavement?

Dennis: On the road I think.

Janet: Well he used to take the girls down there riding on the path. He got me down to Treliske one night, well no it wasn’t Treliske it was the City Hospital then. We left Archer Farm and we were inside the Hospital 22 minutes later.

Barbara – Interviewer: So how far is that about 35 miles?

Dennis: They used to go, Warren Dinner, Terry Thomas, Brian Blake and Alex Pollard, they used to go Port Isaac to Wadebridge in 8 and a half minutes and that’s goin’ via St Minver not St Kew. There was no traffic on the road then but there was also more bends and corners.

Janet: About every fortnight they would come into Archer Farm kitchen, newspapers all out over the table, they’d all sit round, there would be Rob, Mike Jenkins, Jan Davey can’t remember the others there was about half a dozen of ’em. Out would come the japlac paint, all different colours, paint brush each and they would change the patterns on the crash helmets so it would take the Police a fortnight to work out who they were by the pattern on their crash helmets. They got chased out of Wadebridge one night and when they got up to Ball Cottages, they switched out the lights and shot down the Amble turning and then turned round and watched the Police cars go straight up the road.

Dennis: I had a motorbike, only a little one a small two stroke and I was away at sea at the time but of course you couldn’t ride a motorbike ’til you was sixteen so I’m goin’ down over Port Gaverne hill with Eric Thomas on the back. Down the bottom is Maurice Bearne, (the Policeman) on a pushbike, cloak over his shoulder. Wooh stop, so he said ‘Dennis have you passed your test’ I said ‘well yes Mr Bearne last Wednesday in all that rain’ (you couldn’t carry a passenger if you hadn’t passed your test) ‘Um well if you’re sure I want Licence and insurance up the Police Station within five days’ They give you a piece of paper to take with it, very small bit of paper. Well off I went to the Police Station, the Police Station was in Tintagel Terrace then. Knocked the door went in the front room, sat down and he looked at my papers. ‘Well he said I thought you’d be insured I didn’t think you’d be silly enough not to be insured and he said you got your licence’ and I said ‘Ya I have’. Anyway he said ‘Do you know why I stopped you’ I said ‘No’, he said ‘Eric was grinning on the back and I thought you were trying to get away with something’. Another time, the same man, twelve months later, we all decided we’d go to Pendoggett for a drink. Well the only one who could afford a car was Dudley Taylor so we piled into this car, four or five of us, James Platt was one, Sid Pluckrose, Dudley, me. So of course these Policemen then only had a pushbike and everything was black except there face and hands, no street lights, so anyway of course we all come out the pub. Maurice Bearne was up there, up the lane, so I put me coat over me head but didn’t have the brains to keep me mouth shut, so we got in the car, got home and thought got away with that. So anyway, Merle Honey, Merle Arnold as you probably know her used to work in Mrs Titterton’s Wool shop,(the shop that is now The Fudge Shop ) it used to also sell fireworks what a combination wool and fireworks. So Merle was in there and she said ‘Dennis I want to speak to you, she said I had Maurice Bearne down here and he asked me how old you were, are you 18 so I said I think he is’ anyway she said ‘you want to watch out, be prepared’. A week later Maurice is coming down the road and said ‘Ah come here I want to speak to you’ he said ‘I don’t want to see you going into a pub until you are 18 and don’t tell me you are 18 ‘cos I know you’re not 18 until next July’. He found out.


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