By Dave Tooley
I cannot let the opportunity pass by to write up a small piece about our good mate Dermot o Malley. He was a sort of ‘guest’ member of our Scooter Club because, to the best of my knowledge, he never once ever actually paid any club fees or had a Scooter on the road. The only time he ever appeared at our weekly meetings was if one of us took the time and trouble to actually ride out to his home and collect him. (and take him home after the pub)
He shared a bungalow with his Father down a small country lane, not very far from the Knowle Mental hospital in Wickham. I seem to remember his Father had a broad Irish accent, though we hardly ever saw him leave the house. Whereas Dermot had a very upmarket sort of lilt to his voice, which belied the fact that he was always completely and utterly skint. Marten may have to correct me on this, but I remember Dermot saying he was a student at a University somewhere studying for a Maths degree or something similar. Something I found very hard to swallow, because he didn’t come across as being that qualified. But then I could be wrong.
Can anyone out there verify this? He was notorious for being very good at telling porkies!
Dermot owned a ‘J’ 125cc Lambretta, which was never on the road, and always in a state of being rebuilt for a potential ‘race’ machine. Although it was a devil to get going (bump starting it was the only way) I think we only ever once took it to a Rally, where it promptly packed up.
Marten and I would spend entire weekends around Dermots place in the long hot summer of 1970, messing around with his bike then tearing up and down the country lane that led out to Knowle. When we turned the engine off, the only sound you could here was the birdies twittering or a tractor in a far off field somewhere ploughing the land. It sure was a beautiful location.
Suddenly he just disappeared off the scene, and we never saw him again. I often wondered where he’d ended up.