Mike's Classic Motorcycles
Xaria's Gramp, Michael G. Hawkins, Showing Off a Triumph Twenty-One
Written by Gary Hawkins
Xaria's Grampa and, hence my Dad, Michael, has a one of a kind personality. He loved to travel, and often did this on classic English motorcycles, sometimes fitted with a sidecar when the children were in tow.
For most of his working life, Mike (as he was known to his friends) was a welder in the Avon Rubber Company. He also ran a scaffolding business. From an early age, my brother and I got used to humping scaffold frames all over the South West of England. Dad bought and sold items he came across at bankruptcy auctions and estate sales. He would purchase van loads of stuff, repackage it, and sell it on. He acquired a two-acre plot of land that abutted their property in the small rural village of Holt. For years this served as a massive garden before it was sold for housing. If you’re familiar with English TV, my childhood was like living in an endless episode of the seventies TV sitcom the Good Life, and the brilliantly funny Only Fools and Horses all rolled together!
He started buying motorcycles out of need rather than want. Mike needed to get into work, and when the family came, we all needed to get around. Hence at least one of the bikes would always be fitted with a sidecar - just the right size for two small children. Mike and his wife, Marion (who sadly passed in 2017), traveled all over the UK on motorcycles. When we came along the motorcycle and sidecar got us to our holiday destination.
As we got older and got too big for the sidecar, then Dad had to buy a car. But by this time his passion for motorcycles had taken hold. More and more bikes arrived. In the end, the collection reached nearly forty machines, stored in numerous garages and a converted telephone exchange building! When they built a house in the mid-nineties, the house was designed totally around Mike's hobbies. The large garage stored their campervan, directly behind was a workshop with all sorts of metalworking machinery, next to this a hoist that could winch motorcycles from the ground floor to the attic, which was specially reinforced and could store thirty plus bikes!
This part of Xaria's website pays homage to Mike's passion for two-wheeled transport. Over time more information will be added so check back occasionally for updates.