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1970's - In the begining

Updated: Jun 12, 2023


Having passed my IAM car test in the early 70’s I become an observer with the car group.


I am also interested in the motorcycle test but there being no one qualified at the time on motorcycles I thought that the best thing for me to do is to adapt the car system to the bike and get out there and practice! I apply for the Motorcycle test, allocated to examiner John Carradice and thankfully pass. Only after picking my way along the B707/709 to Innerleithen. As we climb uphill away from the clear road surface I began to pick my route through the snow by following the previous car tyre tracks at a cautious rate before descending along by the golf course towards Innerleithen where the road drastically improves again. Teach me to wait for the spring time. I guess I was too keen to get on with it.


This now has me thinking, if there were no previous advanced motorcyclists, where did John surface from as an examiner? Well the motorcycle test only joined the car and commercial advanced tests at the end of 1975. Therefore John is possibly the first Edinburgh examiner. Now I have completed the triple, red, blue and green badges. My examiner for the commercial test being Hugh Wilson our car group examiner.



After a few years there are a dozen or so of us who have guidance from my contact as an observer with the Edinburgh car group.


As with the car group, to become an observer in the early days we were required to have another qualification, this was provided by gaining a RoSPA Gold or Silver pass. So as tradition would have it I do the same with those wishing to become a qualified motorcycle observer, subsequently training all to Gold standard. In later years Dave Gilroy once mentioned that we had more RoSPA members than any other IAM group! As far as I can recall there wasn’t even a RoSPA bike group in Edinburgh! Although, obviously there is a car group.


Sometime later we drop the requirement to obtain a RoSPA, due mainly to time constraints and numbers. Instead we offer a six week observer training course for anyone wishing to become an observer. Trainee observer is tested by the chief observer for the final session.

 

At this time Jeff was watching The WIcker Man (the original one, thats just celebrated 50 years this year...) while listening to Slade sing Come On Feel The Noise when he wasnt out rding his 1973 BMW R90S.



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