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Cyril Diamond & the Motamite ... or 33/8 inches up a one pound jam jar

Alan Profitt

Cyril Diamond was a joiner at Titchmarsh near Kettering in the early 1950s.  He bought a Motamite - made by GYS Engineering Co Ltd of 9a R L S Avenue, Bournemouth W.

"The GYS Cycle Unit has been designed to give motorised cycling at the lowest possible price.  It is the first all British Cycle Unit on the market.  It can be attached to all makes of standard bicycles, both ladies' and gentlemen's, in approximately 15 minutes."

So Cyril cut his front mudguard off and fitted the Motamite.  He ran it for several years and took his driving test on it.

When he took his test on the Motamite, he rode it to Kettering where he met with the examiner.  The examiner told him to drive round the block several times and he would, without warning, step out for him to do the emergency stop.  Cyril saw the said examiner disappear into Lyons teashop.  After several circuits he became worried in case he ran out of fuel but, fortunately, he didn't and passed the test.

On the back page of the motor's handbook, he wrote his calculations:

2 galls in tin = 10"
1 filling of tank = 1½ins in 2 gall tin = .3 gallon
1 journey to Kettering and back = 1½" in tank = .1 gall
½ pint oil = 33/8 inches up 1lb pound jam jar.

His daughter Sally can remember the pop-pop of him arriving home on it when she was a small child.  She sent Cyril's Motamite manual to the NACC library where it has an honoured place in the club archive.

Cyril sold his Motamite in about 1955 and bought a Reliant van.  He used the van to carry his band instruments and later became a general photographer at 91 Huntingdon Road, Thrapston, Kettering.  The handbook was found after a busy life.

With thanks to Mrs Sally K Munnings (née Diamond).

First published - April 1997

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