I've been meaning to update this for ages. As mentioned earlier in the thread, I managed to track a fair bit of history on the previous owners up until the 70s. It really helped having the original buff logbook with owners details showing.
The owners I have details on (until the early 70s) were as follows:
1. Joseph McDonald, Swinton Road, Mexborough.
2. Robert Anderson, Flintway, Wath on Dearne.
3. Geoffrey Robert Anderson, Woodside Avenue, Wath On Dearne
4. Morris William Todd, Flintway, Wath On Dearne.
5. George Frederick Sellars, Varney Road, Wath On Dearne.
So, to start with, it turns out first 'owner' Joe McDonald was the name of the dealership in Mexborough. Apparently there was a railway embankment behind the dealership and the new Lambrettas would be delivered on a goods train and rolled down the embankment. I've managed to find a 1960s advert for the dealership which I'm going to shrink down and fit into a clear keyring.
Onto Robert Anderson and Geoff Anderson (second and third owners). Robert was owner on paper only for some reason. His son, Geoff was the actual owner of the Lambretta. Geoff passed away about three years ago so I just missed out on being able to send him photos of the Lambretta now. His daughter, Liz got in contact after I posted asking for information on the scooter.
She managed to find this book but no photos of the Lambretta itself unfortunately. She was really pleased that her father's old Lambretta was still going though.
Liz's cousin, Claire also got in contact, explaining Geoff was her uncle and Liz is her cousin. She also went on to explain the next, fourth owner, Morris Todd, was her godfather. Interesting link!
So, onto fourth owner Morris Todd. This is the best bit, really. About a year after posting on a Facebook page asking for any old photos or help with the history of my Lambretta, Morris' son, Dave randomly posted a photo of him sat on a bike in his childhood garden in the early 1970s. He'd just discovered the image on a slide from his father's belongings and realised his father's scooter, which just happened to be 5554WU featured in the photo too! Bingo!
To this day, I'm chuffed to bits with this photo, even though it's grainy. Ultimately, I've managed to find a photo of my Lambretta from more than 50 years ago. Result.
Looking at the photo, you can just about make out the WU lettering on the number plate on the front mudguard. I spy some (now very collectible and valuable) side panel and horncast embellishers. How battered is it though, considering it was just over a decade old? I guess it was a relatively cheap, disposable runaround though and it was used daily and in all weathers.
Dave went on to tell me the following:
"I am on my bike in the photo - it must be early 1970’s. Dad used the scooter for work. He worked at the Rotherham GPO garage repairing the Post Office vehicles. I remember a number of neighbours children used to wait for Dad to return home from work and one by one he would give each one a ride ‘around the block’ on the scooter. I cannot remember how long Dad owned the scooter. Glad you like the photo, I knew I had one somewhere 👍"
I love the fact that Dave's dad used to give the local kids 'backies' and that it made lots of people smile.
At some point after this in the 1970s, Dave's dad sold the Lambretta to George Sellars.
Liz, who I mentioned earlier on, asked George's son Andrew, who she went to school with, if he knew anything about the Lambretta after spotting this photo of Andrew on a scooter in the 1980s.
Unfortunately Andrew knew nothing of the Lambretta and that's where the trail goes cold. All the scooters in the photo are Vespas, by the way 😉.
The next time WU changes hands is 1996. My theory is somebody owned the scooter from the mid 70s, shoved it into a shed for whatever reason and then forgot about it until the mid 90s. I wish I could work out who/why this happened as the mid 70s were the point where most 60s Lambrettas were worn out, worth virtually nothing and subsequently scrapped.
Fortunately, by the mid 90s, values were very much on the up and this Lambretta was dragged out and pushed back into service. It then went through a few colour changes including black and green and then black and cream. I wonder if the 20 years in a shed killed the original engine and a larger lump was then fitted. The current 150 engine isn't the same engine number as the original.
Eventually, in 2015, the scooter was given a resto in a scooter shop in Sheffield and then last year, it finally left the North after more than 60 years to live in Cornwall.
The next chapter is my responsibility!