Updated

5-Mar-17

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Historic Police Motorcycle Group

For Owners of ex Police Motorcycles

Swallow Gadabout

Some more photographs of the Gadabout have come to light.

Can you help identify the location or the people?

PC Malcolm Cant of Leicester City Police riding FRY 713, a 1948 machine.

HA9443, fleet number 1578, is a BMMO Midland Red vehicle from 1934. The chassis is an S.O.S., BMMO designed and built.The first production batch had 56 seat Short Bros. bodywork with 30 seats upstairs and 26 below. The engine was a 6.3 litre petrol side-valve unit. Subsequent batches had several different body builders - but none of them were by Swallow!  An 8 Litre direct injection diesel engine of BMMO design was soon introduced, which was later retro-fitted to some of the earlier vehicles. In total, 336 of this type were built for use by the BMMO companies and some were bought by other local operators. None of this type seem to have survived for preservation. The picture is obviously post-war as wartime markings have been removed and the vehicle repainted. Even the gold coach-line around the panels has reappeared. The presence of the starting handle would indicate that this one still has a petrol engine.

A little information about the bus

Can you help to identify the location?

Below. PC Joseph Brazier re-united with a machine he rode.

 Published in Express and Star in Walsall many years ago.

For further reading, try the following -


‘Leicestershire Constabulary 1839 to 1989. 150 years of service to the community.’


‘Scootertastic’ by Adam Powley


'Ahead of Time' contains a number of articles on items made in and about Walsall that could be said to be ahead of their time, including the Gadabout. The book is published by and is still available from Walsall Council, Local History Centre, Essex St, Walsall. WS2 7AS.


Wolverhampton History & Heritage web site (also has info on DKR scooter and much more)