Being a typical Yorkshireman, Adrian Terry knows what he likes, and likes what he knows. For more than four decades he’s loved scooters and Northern Soul.
When Adrian became the owner of his current scooter nine years ago, it had already been customised in a Bob Marley theme but understandably he wanted to put his own stamp on it. He quickly treated it to a custom theme that embraced something close to his heart, Wigan Casino, and the murals were created by the talented Dean Webb. Last year, having had the same paintwork for some time, Adrian decided it was time to freshen things up. Once again Dean Webb was commissioned to redo, refurbish and add to the paint. A major part of this latest version, the front end murals, utilise the full metal canvas available, extending all the way down to where the legshields curve into the footboards as well as incorporating the front mudguard.
Memories of a misspent youth
Adrian’s passion for scooters and soul began during the 1970s and he’s been active on both scenes ever since. Discovering Northern Soul locally, he was soon making the weekly trans-Pennine pilgrimage to the heart of soul, aka Wigan Casino. There he’d dance the night away with like-minded youngsters from all over the UK. More than four decades later he’s still burning up dancefloors at soul allnighters, alldayers, weekenders and the like. He’s also still involved with the scooter scene, an association sparked by his brother Shaun, but cemented when he bought his first scooter from local scooter dealer Armandos in 1976.
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Looking back, he regards the 70s as the best period of scootering. “The 70s were the best times, no matter where we went we had the time of our lives, it was tribal! I was riding with (Barnsley) Vikings back then, we’d hang out at Armandos, other Yorkshire clubs would too. One of the Armando brothers tried teaching me Italian, I can still remember some words and phrases now. It was all by word of mouth, often a summer ride to the coast was decided while hanging out at Armandos. Destinations like Skeggy, Scarboro’, Cleggy or even Blackpool were where we headed to. Often there’d be a few confrontations with locals, young lads letting off steam, enjoying ourselves, having a laugh just doing what young lads do. Blackpool was a favourite of mine, I remember one time we took over the go-karts, we ended up fighting with the fair lads as we didn’t pay and we wouldn’t get off the karts!
“We went all over, the only place I didn’t go was Isle of Man for the scooter week, I think the last one was in ’77. Some of my mates made the trip, but I went to the Casino instead. We also went to the Lambretta club rally in Southend in the late 70s, it took us two days to ride there. We didn’t have much money so hardly ever got digs, we slept anywhere. At that Southend rally we were sleeping around the side of a garage. We got moved on in the early hours by the local police. The Vikings used to meet at the Cutting Edge pub in Barnsley, I can remember people from the Quadrophenia film coming up to a meeting and signing up extras. Some of the lads went, I didn’t, couldn’t get the time off work. Besides, after Quadrophenia came out it spoiled it for me, people jumping on to the scooter scene for all the wrong reasons.”
70s scooter stories
In the years since then Adrian has owned and ridden plenty of scooters. “My brother Shaun had scooters, it seemed natural for me to follow; besides, there was no shortage of women wanting to go on the back. I had breakdowns, near misses, arguments, even fights when riding scooters. I’ve had a few accidents too, in the 70s, we were young and daft. My first scooter was a cherry red GP, I paid 50 quid for it and have still got the logbook. I wrote it off, while riding, the bellmouth ignited, distracting me as a car pulled out of a turning!
“Another time when my brother was ‘inside’, I borrowed his scooter and dropped it going on to a roundabout, luckily I got it fixed and resprayed before he got out. I’ve also had a couple of Vespas, the first was a Vespa 90, but I couldn’t cope with its handling and it didn’t end well. A wagon loaded up with steel pulled out on me. I swerved to avoid the wagon and hit a Rover head-on. I went through the windscreen and woke up in hospital – I was 21 at the time and bounced well!
“My second experience with a Vespa was when I was riding with Steel City, in the main they were Mods, listening to The Who, The Jam and Ska. I had a Union Jack P200E for a short time but sold it on, it wasn’t for me.
It’s said that every scooter has a story and this scheme is but one chapter in this particular machine’s history. We’ve already mentioned the Bob Marley paintwork that had been applied by the previous owner, Joe Bancroft, but before that it had been a competition scooter, raced at circuits across the country for a few seasons. A scooter of its time, when mixing and matching were the norm, it’s a Serveta with GP handlebars and panels. Not one for the purists! Around the same time as Adrian’s first change to the paintwork was being created, the engine, which wasn’t running as clean as perhaps it should have, was dispatched to Armandos for an overhaul and revamp. Since that rebuild some eight or nine years ago, the motor has barely missed a beat. A real testament to the quality of workmanship at Armandos, not that there was any question on that score. Any minor adjustments or attention required are invariably taken care of by Bryan, a fellow scooterist /soulie mate of Adrian’s.
First and foremost, Adrian’s custom scooter reflects what he’s about, it’s been created to suit him and no one else. It may not be one for the purists – but after almost five decades in the saddle, Adrian’s earned the right to express himself pretty much any way he chooses to.
- Name: Adrian Terry.
- Scooter club & town: Sheffield. Ex-Barnsley Vikings, ex-Steel City, currently Wide Boys SC.
- What was your first scooter and how did you first become interested in them: Via my brother Shaun who was a member of Barnsley Vikings SC. First scooter from Armandos in 1976, a cherry red GP.
- What was your first (or most memorable) rally/ event: Favourite rally Blackpool. Going on the go-karts and having trouble with the fair lads for not paying.
- Name of scooter (reason & inspiration): No name.
- Scooter model: Serveta with GP handlebars, side panels etc.
- Time to build & by who: I bought this Lambretta nine years ago. It was originally Bob Marley themed, I changed it to make it something closer to my heart, Wigan Casino – which I went to every week. I have had more murals added in 2021 . Engine was rebuilt by Armandos 8-9 years ago.
- Engine spec
(Please list all changes from the standard spec of the engine)
Kit: Mugello 225.
Carb: 30mm Dell’Orto.
Gearbox: Pacemaker with 17/46 sprockets.
- Paintwork & murals by: Dean Webb.
- What’s it like to ride? Very pleasant and also very reliable.
- Is there anyone you wish to thank: Dean Webb for the paintwork.
Images: Gary Chapman
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