Saturday, 30 June 2012

Captain Maurice Seddon's BSA 500's unearthed.

I met Captain Maurice Seddon after I answered an adverisment for some bicycles he was selling. The ad read "Roadster bicycles, many to choose from" I was given many specific instructions by Seddon, the self procclaimed eccentric on what to do and how to do it when arriving at the property. It was not like any other 'viewing' I had ever incountered. I arrived at the property and was greeted by a 7 foot fence with a tiny bell button on it. I was to press the bell then wait. After pressing the bell a voice appeared from some small holes drilled in this rickety oil covered fencing. "Hello, Hello, can You hear me? Who is there?" The Patric Moore voice crackled from the decaying fencing. "I'm coming very slowly, I do everything slowly and thoroughly". It took about 20 minutes for him to finaly reach the gate to let me in, 20 minutes waiting, listening to his pack of mongrel dogs barking and barking. All the time inhailing the smells associated with a muddy yard full of gaurd dogs who's droppings were left to their own devices. Upon entering the property, I was greeted by a barrage of turd covered dog paws pumelling me all over the torso and some in the face too! When on that day I first met Maurice he was so cool, like a mad proffessor of a tv film, long crazy hair, mad inventions and piles of machinery everywhere, super nice and welcoming, kind etc. The dogs were eventually fended off by his flailing walking stick and some Geman commands (Seddon is 1/2 German) and we went to look at the 'Roadster bicycles'. I was led to a rusted pile of frames and wheels under a birds muck and dog excrement covered tarpaulin. What a mess! Anyway The Captain gave me the lowdown on all this BSA stuff He collected over the Years, and all the other stuff. The Yard at the property was insane, piles and piles of things collected over 50 or 60 years living there. A total hoarder. To Your left - a mountain of vintage stereo equipment, protected from the elements by a tarpaulin, to Your right - another tarpaulin covering a barrage of vintage BSA parts. Sheds dotted around filled with reel to reel German recording equipment, so many things in huge piles everywhere. Basically his yard consisted of massive piles of hoarded electrical equipment and freezers, seperated by muddy connecting pathways. Quite a spectacle.
    Anyway, Captain Maurice Seddon is something of a legend, His life story is quite a read, He was there in the pioneering days of sound recording, he rose to rank of Captain in the Royal Signal Corps, He is known internationally as an inventor, one of his most known inventions was low voltage heated clothing. He has also appeared on numerous tv shows.
     To get a good lowdown on Him go to this article here.

   If it wasn't for Seddon I would not have been able to get my BSA together, He helped out a lot and I helped him to shift a lot of his parts. Alas now Seddon resides in a care home and his parts are all gone at auction etc.
   He is well known in bike circles for being the eccentric guy with the BSA's covered in heated clothing modificatins, including a car type alternator driven by a belt on the crank. Recently his 2 main B33's went up for auction. I was a bit dissapointed. My dissapointment was quashed when I casually wandered into Andy Tiernans for a bike fix, and BAM! The captains BSA's right there, running, cleaned up fully working. Well done to Tiernan for getting those. Thought they were lost, only to surface on ebay as nut and bolt breakdowns. So glad to see them out in daylight, running and sorted. Here are some pictures. I will do more than one post on them.











22 comments:

  1. I met a guy who talked of this man. He bought two old vw beetles off him I think one of which he'd converted into gas powered.. Showed me some photos of these plus snaps of the heated clothing.. Apparently even his bath tub was heated in some mental way.. Sounds like a proper hero.

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    1. How long ago was that? Yes he had some vw beetles, gas powered, there was also a split screen vw beetle some time ago that got sold. Converted to gas.

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  2. What are the canisters hanging off the right hand crash bar? This fellow reminds me of my own father who also would seemingly wire things up just for a check and then leave them as is. He also discovered the Dymo Label Maker and labeled everything in sight.
    Jim A., Tucson, AZ

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    1. I do not know, I was thinking fire extinguisher but yea not sure. I might find out next time I'm down there.

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  3. The canister is the compressor for the airhorns. I met this Gent quite a few times, he used to attend all the autojumbles in his locale and was always up for a discussion/lecture about his heated clothing.

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    1. Air horn compressor is the one located under the exhaust manifold (10th pic down)I think the one on the crash bar thing is one of these http://www.antiquemystique.com/pages/6297x_jpg.htm

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  4. Maurice was a part time despatch rider. His Rolls Royce was oil cooled. He had a seamstress who sewed electric blanket wiring round glove fingers etc. He used to have a hot plate in his top box and brewed his drink - choci and garlic was the other love of his life. His telephone at home was wireless but like two way radio so when he pressed the button you listened and when he stopped speaking he could listen to you - one way traffic. He built a rectifier for my GT380 one Saturday. He had a windmill i his garden which powered banks of batteries and a umbilical cord to rooms in the house which he plugged his heated clothing into. To use the word mental as a way of describing anything connected with Maurice is insulting. He was doing environmentally best practice and frugal thirty years before any of the solar panels etc and should be lauded. Royal Borough of Windsor and Chelsea brought on his demise and should be ashamed. Good luck Captain Maurice Seddon (RN Signals Retired) proud to have met you as are thousands.

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    1. I agree with what You say, it's a real shame.
      Re the telephone, He was still using that telephone until the recent move.
      Maurice is a totall one off.
      "To use the word mental as a way of describing anything connected with Maurice is insulting."
      If the word mental has been used anywhere i'm sure it's in the more 'modern' sense, i.e mental=amazing
      Thanks fo the comment.

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  5. Fair enough and perhaps you are right. They broke the mould with Maurice and he must have met countless despatch riders and repaired their electrics. Who could forget the garden and the VW with the tree going through it? Do you remember that he sprayed the cars bodywork with used engine oil? Always lovely and always a charmer. Ex http://www.gordonstoun.org.uk/index.php?page=reminiscences-by-mark-varill I wonder if they could assist in any way. You can see the VW and Maurice at - http://www.ltv-vwc.org.uk/wheelspin/ws_june_2003/Captain_maurice_seddon.htm

    He appeared on Letterman and others. Jonathan Ross, Jonny Carson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CMyGRXGA-E

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    1. Yea that's my video of the BSA I took the other day!

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  6. Thanks so much for putting this up guys, so rad, really inspired my day. 2 of my school friends talked about a guy they met once and I think it must have been him, I've just messaged them to check. They've literally never gotten over meeting him and talk about it in the pub to this day. (if it was him). RAD!

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    1. was it him? let me know ha ha

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  7. Maxwell this guy makes you look like a total square. You definitely need more turds in your bedsit. And dogs. And your Beeza needs accessorizing big time. You've still got a long way to go my son.
    BP

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    1. I heard that, real talk. fo shiz. ha ha ha

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  8. I met the captain a few years back when i worked in langley, i parked my bug next to his and got talking to him, nice chap. He owned a 38 bug and soldmit to graham whonused to own brookvalenspares in sydney

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  9. Amazing chap! There's a shortage of his kind these days. ..and well done to Mr. Tiernan for rescuing and preserving the BSAs as they are.

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  10. Dear Maurice, I remember him at Security Despatch in the late 70s.

    http://thebridgeclub2011.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/corpses-from-hell-mg-captain-maurice.html

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  11. He used to use a Turbovisor as well

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  12. i seek current contact details of captain maurice seddon

    jimmyschlitz@gmail.com

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  13. Sadly I have to report that Maurice Seddon died aged 87 - 5th March 2014

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  14. Maurice's funeral is at Slough Crematorium this Monday 24th of March at 12 noon. Be there or be square.

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    1. Correct "anonymous!" I have RSVP'd

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