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From Cyril's memoirs dated 21 January 2006
When an office junior at Ariel Motorcycles in the 1950s, it was decided I should be sent to investigate one of our dealers in nearby Solihull in Birmingham. They were suspected of rum shenanigans and I was to apply for the post of trainee mechanic, a position which, if I got it (I did), would enable me to report back to head office. I had my misgivings and didn't want to be what might now be termed a 'grass', but I had little choice if I was to keep my job.
JL Morris was a long-established dealer set in crumbling Victorian buildings in a dingy back street. JL 'Jimmy' Morris himself stayed mainly in the ramshackle office at the side of the showroom floor. My immediate boss, in fact the only other employee, was Charlie Hake, a 50-something mechanic of dubious morals and questionable hygiene. My introduction to Charlie came on my first morning. I was in need of the toilet and was directed by Jimmy Morris to the privy in the yard. I opened the door and there was Mr Hake, boiler suit around his ankles, hunched over his manhood in furious activity. I must have stood there for a couple of shocked seconds, long enough to prompt Charlie to say, 'Look kidda, either come in and gimme a hand or shut the bloody door.' I shut the door.
Over the coming weeks it became clear why the motorcycles being sold at JL Morris were ill-prepared and often displayed a bewildering array of faults and bodges. Charlie Hake simply couldn't keep his hands off his wedding tackle long enough to get any work done. His trips to the toilet were frequent and when not actually pleasuring himself he'd be talking about sex in all its forms while tweaking feverishly at his overalls. It was certainly an education for me and while it was many years before I learned the correct names for certain depraved acts, I soon became well versed in the vernacular.
Now, Jimmy Morris had a tan boxer bitch called Honey, which was allowed to roam freely throughout the workshop. On too many occasions to put down to chance, the dog would be missing at the same time as Charlie Hake. It was decided that the clinching evidence needed to get rid of Charlie was to catch him on camera in flagrante delicto with Honey the dog. So HQ supplied me with a Kodak Brownie and a flash cube.
Over the next few days I watched carefully when Charlie and Honey disappeared. It turned out he was leading the dog to a store room at the back of the workshop. What puzzled me was why this poor creature followed so willingly.
It was a Friday afternoon when I decided to take the plunge. I'd already planned my photo-assault, greasing the hinges of the store room door so I could ease it open without a tell-tale creak. Indeed, when the time came it opened silently and with the door ajar I could hear vigorous licking and slurping and already my mind was several steps ahead, awash with images of strange congress. On top of that there was a sickening smell of what I can only describe as warm meat. My stomach churned as I eased the door further open and carefully peeped inside. The scene before me was beyond anything I'd imagined. There lay Charlie Hake, flat on his back, overalls around his ankles, eyes closed in rapture as his arms reached back to grip the forks of a 1951 Square Four. Honey was paying close attention to his John Thomas with her big pink tongue, and why? It was smeared liberally with dog food. Suddenly there was a groan, Honey's lick rate increased, I pressed the shutter, scarpered, jumped on my Red Hunter and high-tailed it back to HQ.
The picture proved enough to get Charlie Hake the sack, and I believe the original print hung around at the Ariel offices for many years, being brought out at Christmas parties and the like. In retrospect, I do feel a little sorry for Charlie as his only wrongdoing, in my eyes, was the bodging of the bikes. I mean, who hasn't, at one time or another when feeding Tiddles or Fido, glanced at that marrowbone jelly and felt a flicker of mischief? Have I said too much?