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BSA Bantam motorcycle (1965) – Front view

BSA Bantam motorcycle (1965) - Front view

The Post Office purchased its first motorcycles in 1914. These were fitted with sidecars and were supplied by a number of manufacturers. At first, they were used only in hilly, rural areas, where they had the advantage over postmen on bicycles. Their capability to carry a greater load meant that the combination motorcycle could also be used to collect as well as deliver mail.

The first experimental use of solo motorcycles began in 1924. In addition to postal work, they proved ideally suited to the telegram service. BSA supplied the largest number of motorcycles to the Post Office and the Bantam was used in large numbers.

First purchased by the Post Office in 1948, early models came with a single seat. A double seat was fitted to later machines. Bantams were used on telegraph work as well as on postal duties. They are fondly remembered by a large number of ‘old boys’ – Royal Mail employees – who started their careers as messenger boys.

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Posted by The Postal Museum on 2009-04-06 13:20:10

Tagged: , BSA Bantam , motorcycle , Royal Mail , Post Office , GPO

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