By Dave Tooley
Phil Blatch was the guy who rented the ‘warehouse’ for the club. (i.e. the cluttered shed down the back of the alley off Elmhurst road)
There is a photo of him here on the right.
I knew Phil and his brother Paul from when I lived just across the road from them in Avenue Road. Gosport during the long cold winter of 1962/63. I believe Phil was also a founder member of the club. He was definitely the right man for locating scrap bikes for spares, and always seemed to know when there was another one becoming available. Gosport seemed to be a graveyard for older Lambretta’s in the early 70’s, and I built up most of my racing bikes from the cadavers of abandoned machines found in and around the local area.
I’m not really sure what became of Phil, because he didn’t seem to remain a scooter rider for very long after I joined.
It could well be that he became one of the early car owning fraternity and abandoned us lesser mortals.
In fact this pretty much sealed the fate of our club almost before we lost our weekly venue in the Connaught Drill Hall. So many of the early members either bought 3 wheelers or passed their car driving test, and immediately became much more attractive to the fairer sex (either with or without Brut aftershave) that the weekly attendance slumped.
I cannot knock it, the moment I passed my car test my bikes were sidelined as daily transport and only used for rallying/racing.
Within a very short time, the only members turning up were the few of us that were concentrating on racing scooters. We decided at that point it made far more sense to join the Hampshire Union, and hang around Raffs workshop in the evening instead. A shame really, because the social side of being a club member collapsed.