When lawyer Nigel Winter takes a few days off to follow in the tyre-tracks of one of England's greatest engineers on his way from Land's End to John O'Groats, he finds far, far more than he expects. For Mr Turner designed the motorcycle that powered Marlon Brando to fame in The Wild One, and on which Steve McQueen tried to jump the wire in the Great Escape. As the author travels north you begin to feel the ghost of Mr Turner, and his larger than life personality, peering out of the pages. Behind him looking on, are the multitude of ordinary working people from the 1950s and 1960s, their fears and hopes, and the weird and wonderful class prejudices and management styles of the day. Along the road to John O'Groats, the author riding his modern Triumph and Mr Turner on his Triumph Terrier in 1953, we encounter the bizarre history of Triumph Motorcycles. Record breaking machines that sold around the world, whose entire work force locked out the management just so that they could continue to make motorcycles and prevent Triumph from being consigned to history. A history so completely off the wall that it simply has to be true. Travelling with Mr Turner draws the reader in to experience how life was lived in those post war decades of tumultuous change and Rock 'n' Roll, when the legend of Triumph encapsulated an entire generation in a world now nearly vanished into history, but still somehow wonderfully alive today. Contemplative, witty, often tongue-in-cheek, this is a fascinating personal perspective on the history of Triumph motorcycles seen through the eyes of two different social eras. Now entered for the Orwell Book Prize!
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Nigel Winter is a full time lawyer and an occasional writer spanning publications as diverse as The Daily Telegraph and The Road, but this is his first book. He is also a life long motorcycle enthusiast with a strong affection for Triumphs old and new!
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