By Dave Tooley
Marten Holdway joined the Solent City club only a few weeks after me, and because he was one of the few members who lived in Fareham we tended to leave the weekly pub social gathering together and return home in convoy.
Our concept of speed limits in our youth was limited to ‘how fast can you go without actually dropping your bike’ and those trips home I remember as being rather quick affairs. Especially since Marten owned a Gp 225 Wildcat Dykes , which without putting too fine a point on it was ruddy quick. I learned to ride my bike to the limits of its adhesion just to stay anywhere near him, this stood me in good stead for my racing later on.
Marten acquired the unfortunate reputation of never actually selling any bike he owned. He preferred to destroy them in some spectacular fashion on the road, normally involving putting himself in hospital at the same time.
To my knowledge he did this to his Wal Philips injected Tv200, his Wildcat Gp225 and his Vega 125. (There may be others, I’m sure Marten can update this article)
The resultant carnage left him with dodgy legs that only Barry Sheene would have been proud of.
To my eternal shame, I spent the vast proportion of my misspent youth hanging around Martens house, garage and bedroom. (we don’t like to talk about that much, it involved much reading of Spider Man comics, ploughing our way through mountains of battered faggots and chips, and watching Rowan and Martins Laugh In late into the night.) We should have been out chasing girls, but it just involved too much mostly wasted effort.
So much for my teenage years…Marten was my best mate during that period, he saved me a fortune which I could have just wasted on wine, women and song.
However, I made up for it later in spades.
Thinking about it, we rarely had an alcoholic drink apart from Club night.
After working on our bikes, we would normally end the evening in a Fareham coffee shop. Maybe it’s because booze seemed a lot dearer then than now, relative to wages