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Photograph Gallery

Novelty shot of Alec Jackson at Wembley Stadium, wearing an interesting outfit for riding around a racetrack!

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Douglas...... The "Leg Trailers" Favourite Bike

 

                                                

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hard to handle? The bike not the rider!  The handlebars look very uncomfortable

 

 

 

Harley Davidson's 450cc"Peashooter" Rare for Speedway    a Vee-Twin

 

First world champion: 1936 the Australian Lionel Van Prague at the Sydney Show Ground


After the war bike builders designed bikes for the sole purpose of racing on dirt or shale 

shale was now the norm for surfacing speedway tracks.

World beating bike the1949 Jap

John Alfred Prestwich (JAP), were arguably the best engine makers of them all? They were British, they reigned supreme for many years from the 1920's until 1960's.


Small diversion from Speedway here, the late Mr JAP was more than a grease monkey making engines for bikers.  Here is his entry from Who's Who courtesy of Carrick Watson: -

John Alfred Prestwich

British engineer

Founder member of the Prestwich Manufacturing Company, established in 1895, Prestwich was an engineer of outstanding ability, who constructed some of the finest cinematographic apparatus of cinema's first decade. He is best remembered today, outside of film circles, for the 'JAP' motorcycle engine, so named from his initials. John Alfred Prestwich was born in Kensington, London, and was educated at the City and Guilds School and the City of London School. Aged sixteen, he started work with S.Z. de Ferranti, maker of electrical apparatus and scientific instruments. After two years he was articled to a firm of engineers and left aged twenty to start his own business, making electrical fittings and scientific instruments in a glasshouse in his father's garden. He was associated with the firm of W.H. Prestwich, London photographers; possibly W.H. was his father. In 1896 John Alfred Prestwich teamed up with William Friese Greene to patent and construct a projector with twin lenses (arranged vertically) to provide projection from one lens while the film was being pulled down ready for the other, one of many early film devices intended to ensure that there was always an image on the screen, thereby eliminating flicker. It was promoted in 1898 but as with all machines requiring specially-printed films, it had no influence on the development of cine technology; the solution to the flicker problem was resolved in other ways.

In November 1897 Prestwich was selling the Moto-Photograph apparatus - which W.C. Hughes had previously sold as the Moto Bijou Living Picture camera, but which had been designed by one of the Prestwich family; probably John Alfred, since it shares the same mechanism as his Duplex machine produced with Friese Greene. It was awarded a silver medal at the Glasgow International Photographic Exhibition. Another member of the company was E.P. Prestwich, who seems to have undertaken most of the firm's limited motion picture production, including Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee procession (1897), views of the launch of the Albion (1898) on both 35 mm, and 60 mm for the Duplex machine; W.G. Grace's Jubilee Procession at Lord's Cricket ground in July 1898, and one of their few fiction films, The Artist's Model (1898). From 1897 the firm also sold three models of projector, with a superior fast-pulldown mechanism, and in 1898/1900 produced the 'Junior' amateur outfit for 17.5 mm film, also sold by Hughes as 'La Petite', and a reversing projector for showing films backwards for comic effect. Under J.A. Prestwich's guidance the firm rapidly expanded and was soon engaged in a wide range of engineering products, most notably connected with the motorcycle industry. For nearly two decades he invented, designed and manufactured cinematographic equipment including cameras, printers, mutoscopes, cutting and perforating machines, and projectors, including the Bioscope projectors for the Warwick Trading Company and Charles Urban. The firm later became known as J.A. Prestwich Industries Ltd, and was absorbed in 1964 by the Villiers Engineering Company.


Sorry about that! Back to the bikes: -

 

The all British Jap in a Rotrax frame 1950's

In my opinion this is the best looking bike of all time.

 

Then along came the Czech built ESO and the Jawa

Very early Jawa, not a serious rival to Rudge or the Jap

1951 ESO  

The eastern bloc Czech made bike that after a quiet start increased its sales at an alarming rate. Jap ignored the challenge like the rest of Britain's motorcycle industry at their peril.

Greg Kentwell on board an early Czech built ESO note the ESO trademark, clip on bars

The 2 Czech bike makers merged and the ESO name was lost as the new company retained the name Jawa

Jawa 890 first Jawa after they took over the E.S.O. company.

 Look out Jap you now have some serious competition..... Too late they didn't listen!  Jawa rules the roost in 2004.