Little Willie lived up to her promise and proved a bit obstinate in starting, and needed five kicks and extra tickling to get her in the mind!
We puttered into town and parked in our 'reserved' space next to Big Hank. Slipping a padlock around her neck I left little Willie and Big Hank making headlights at each other and went to buy some oil for the gearbox. When I returned there was a welcoming committee!
"This yours?" said the first bloke. Yes, I nodded. "I've often seen your Bantam here, but wondered who it belonged to," he continued, tooting the horn. Now you know, I thought. Then the second bloke piped up: "Is it yours?" Was he deaf, or what, I thought, but being too polite to ask if he had a hearing problem, replied: "Yes, I think so.... I've actually had the bike since 1982!" That impressed them both. Mind you, the second fellow managed to get the date right: "1965, is it?" He was spot on, despite the 1967 registration!
We spent quite some time talking bikes - big boys and their toys! Then the first chap said he thought he'd like one too, to restore and take to shows and win prizes. "Do you take yours to shows?" he asked.
"No," I said, shaking my head, "I believe in riding mine as an everyday transport - that's what it was built for, surely?"
He seemed pretty impressed and waited for me to start up Little Willie. But would she? Or was she about to embarrass me?
"Putt-p'putt - putt, putt, putt," she replied happily, in response to just one hefty kick! He was suitably impressed. I was suitably relieved. Then, we made our excuses and left!