Those Strange Douglas Threads …

One of the first challenges of an early Douglas restoration is dealing with the non-standard threads. Not just because you don’t have the right taps and dies, but because the last person to work on the machine didn’t either! An M7 x 1.0 metric thread is very close to Douglas’ 1/4 x 25 tpi – just not close enough.

So why did Douglas use 5/16 x 25, 3/16 x 27 etc.? The received wisdom is that the Douglas factory wanted to prevent owners buying what today we call ‘pattern parts’. Strange threads and odd spanner sizes ensured that owners had to go back to the dealers for their spare parts. It must have seemed like a great wheeze, 90 years ago …

But Why ‘London’?

We’re often asked, why is the Club called the ‘London Douglas Motor Cycle Club’ when it has members all around the world? Well, back in the late 1920s, the Douglas factory encouraged owners around the UK to set up local clubs including, of course, one in London. Activities declined during the war years as young men were called up and fuel was rationed. Post-war, however, seven or eight enthusiasts reformed the London section – and from that small acorn, an oak tree grew! Read more about The Club

London Douglas Motorcycle Club Members in Argentina
London Douglas Club Members in Argentina

Season’s Greetings!

We wish all our members, visitors and followers the compliments of the season and a fine year’s riding in 2020. May the sun shine and our machines prove reliable – as Douglases are, of course! Long-hidden machines continue to surface and even the slowest restorations (your webmaster speaks from experience) eventually see the light of day – we look forward to welcoming new machines into the ranks of the LDMCC in 2020.

 

Real Classic Douglases!

Readers of Real Classic magazine will have seen an excellent eight-page article in the October 2019 issue about the discovery of three ‘barn find’ Douglases. While the term ‘barn find’ is rather over-used these days, particularly on auction sites, these three machines from 1930 appear to be the real thing! The article traces the discovery and return to use of a T6 and two S6 machines and includes an honourable mention for the LDMCC, for spares and advice. If 1930s machines are your cup of tea, its well worth searching out a copy of the magazine.

Did You Know?

Douglas Motorcycle DK Symbol
Douglas Tappet With DK Symbol

The Douglas factory stamped some parts, like this tappet from a 1936 Aero, with the DK symbol shown in the picture. DK stood for Douglas Kingswood. Their stamping ‘policy’ is not entirely clear, as the other three tappets are plain – but next time you’re rooting through a box of bits at an autojumble and come across the DK symbol, at least you cannot say you Don’t Know – it’s definitely Douglas! Did this stamping practice continue post-war? If you know the answer, please add a comment below.

Another Photo Challenge!

Charlie and Betty Sim on Douglas Motorcycle
Charlie and Betty Sim on their Douglas

Charlie and Betty Sim on Douglas Endeavour Motorcycle
Charlie and Betty Sim on a Douglas Endeavour

These photos were sent in by the great niece of the rider, who asks if anyone can tell her anything about the machines or location. The earlier machine, LG4760, is registered to Cheshire County Council while the later machine RN9017, which looks like an Endeavour, was registered in Preston. This appears to have been taken in a holiday camp and the rider’s light trousers and his wife’s white shoes suggest that it was ‘posed’! Charlie Sim was a talented musician who played trombone with the Billy Cotton Big Band in the early ’50s. If the pictures ring any bells, or you have the machines in your shed, we’d love to hear from you.