Paul Sciberras
Page updated 12-Jan-2011

Paul worked for the company in the late seventies. Though he was officially in the Parts Department, he also fulfilled that vital role, without which no organisation can function properly, General Gofer.

He has contacted us and sent these memories.

My name is Paul Sciberras, and I worked for the family at Stockwell from June 77 'till 1980. I worked with Pete Stevens, Bob Mancini, Ian McDonald and Frank Coma in the parts department (doing the post - making tea - taxing bikes at County Hall, as it was then, and also assisting in other departments).

I knew the firm had been sold and then sold again, with the site then redeveloped and I admit feeling sad at the news that this had happened.

My nickname, given to me by Peter Stevens, was "young 'erbert" and one of my many tasks was the daily 10 o'clock roll patrol to the bakers across the road. Pete had (probably still has) a very dry sense of humour but funny with it.

I've organised two foreign trips 1st - Le mans MotoGP 2007 (10 bikers) and the 2nd was to the Catalan MotoGP in June of this year (24 bikers), both bloody brilliant.

Reading/referring to Mike Edwards piece - I've also done the National Rally 2006 (Birmingham) & 2008 (Bletchley Park). I follow BSB and WSB quite closely too.

I've often thought of my early career on leaving school and working at Gus Kuhn Motors and wondering - Where or what are they doing now? The people I remember, in addition to the above, are John Leggett, Dave and Peter Sleat, John Bayliss, Mike Brannan, Mick Cornelius, Dave Goldsmith, George Jenner, John Horne, Ian Furse, Mike Edwards, Dave Houghton and Jerry Storr, (what memories - fantastic).

Pete Stevens had his Triumph Spitfire as I recall. Bob had his Suzuki GT500 twin (mad) Ian was into Hondas (CB750's). Frank, I think Frank was a Triumph man. Val had her yellow Alfa.

I can honestly say that of all the posts I have held and in whatever capacity and in whatever firm - I do look back at Gus Kuhn and the guys I started my working life with, as probably the best. (they always seemed to be happy). 'TWAS A HAPPY SHIP THE GUS KUHN.

I have many memories, one in particular. I went out on a breakdown (Blue SIMCA Pick-up) with Bob somewhere over to Streatham or Norbury or wherever and Bob, being Bob, used to drive bloody quick. I remember driving down this particular residential road at speed with less than the width of a Rizla fag paper on either side thinking "Oh Sh*t - I didn't bring a change of underwear". (Bob - he could drive - but I always enjoyed his company, as I did with all the guys)

I remember Chris Omar (Mike Edwards sidekick - he rode a Jawa/CZ 350 - not sure if it was a sidecar outfit).

I remember Mick Cornelius in the workshop (a British bike man through and through) and how he used to slate two strokes " Buzz Buzz Buzz" he used to say, and I remember every Saturday evening, when we were ready to pack up, I'd say to Mick "Day off tomorrow Mick - then back on Monday to do it all over again". He'd respond with a sigh - his eyes would roll - but always with a smile.

Dave Goldsmith (Ducati man) another good guy! Dave Houghton, as I remember, was a quiet sort of guy or maybe not - nice bloke though (Yamaha XT500 and a BMW was in his garage).

Johnny Leggett - always reminded me of days long gone and a Teddy boy image (fond memories none the less). I remember George (Jenner). He helped me/sold me my first bike UYV 740S, a Suzuki GT125 and I also remember that, as the working day would draw to a close and after all the bikes had been put away, he would stand by the showroom entrance chatting to Vincent Davey or John Horne. It was also George who helped get the job in the first place.

John Bayliss (Suzuki GS550 on dry days and Vauxhall Viva on wet ones) and Mick Brannan (Yamaha XS500) were sales assistants. Occasionally Mick would take me as a pillion to County Hall for taxing bikes or other business. I remember on one occasion I'd been out with Mick (pillion) on the BMW R100/7 demonstrator and when we got back Ian Macdonald went somewhere on the same bike, obviously on company business, but he had an accident. I don't remember him to be seriously injured but the bike needed some repair.

Dave and Peter Sleat (great guys to work with and, like the others, didn't mind a joke at my expense). I worked with both of them in the warehouse in Lingham Street where, in the later days, I helped to assemble new bikes either to ready them for PDI or just for the showroom. I also did some insurance rebuild/repair work. I think I worked in just about every department in one way or another whether covering for sickness or holidays.

I remember Vincent (Jnr.). His accident happened before I joined the company - but I remember him always smiling, always happy despite his disability.

I think I was working in the warehouse where Vincent Snr's car was parked and I think I scratched it. I was mortified - his BMW scratched!! Me - p45 to follow (thankfully that didn't happen).

I remember Ian Furse (GS750) and also Jerry Storr (XS750) as mechanics. I always remember Ian to be an accomplished mechanic - there always seemed to be an air of quality to his work and persona.

In the depths of the basement was my work station and in particular the Postal Department - the packing and despatching of parcels to destinations all over the world and to (BFPO) British Forces in particular - posted wherever. At the time (just 16) I didn't realise just how popular Gus Kuhn Motors were, not just in the UK but worldwide. But with the demise of Norton and then Triumph a little piece of my personal history went with them.

I remember making the tea in the flat upstairs, doing the washing up etc. I used to take my transistor radio up there to listen to Michael Aspel in the morning and in the afternoon the daily Top Ten with Roger Scott - both on Capital Radio. Even now when I hear certain records they bring back memories of when I first heard them during my stint with Gus Kuhn Motors (fond memories indeed).

Then there is, or there was, the ROLL PATROL and to this day, and everyday at 10.00 tea break, the one - and the original roll patrol - the thought of it always brings a smile to my face. Silly perhaps - but just like in the film "Ghostbusters" when one of the main characters was asked to think of something they remembered with fondness in their younger days - and they replied with the "Stay Puft marshmallow man" - well the Roll Patrol is mine.

After leaving GK I worked in the West End for an electronics company for four years and then decided to change jobs and move/work closer to home in Kent . I'm now living in Ashford (which used to be a small market town) soon to be completely carpeted with bricks and mortar (not good).

Now 47, and married with 3 children, I work for a small independent garage. (cars) for servicing/repairs and MOT's. I've been here for twelve years managing the day to day running and the administration side of things. After eventually passing my bike test in '91 and riding on and off for a few years thereafter I was diagnosed and treated for cancer during 2005 and so far so good. After the treatment had finished I bought a new bike and this time haven't looked back!! I'm more passionate 'bout biking now than I've ever been and definitely live for today. Once, letting my wife know of my intentions to get back onto two wheels, she responded with "No!!! you're not getting a bike - If the cancer doesn't kill you - the bloody bike will!" Nice to know your wife has faith in you - and those words are always ringing in my ears every time I get on It.

I have fond memories of my time with Gus Kuhn Motors and would love to know what people are up to these days.