I had had a hankering for an iconic classic scooter for some time. The classic Vespa shape was still readily available second- hand. Lambrettas were much rarer in classic form. Both scooters are now made in new Euro 6 compliant form, imitating the classic styling of the past. The new range of scooters are four-stroke twist and go with no gears. The Vespa GTS300 which I tested in the March 2016 issue, is probably one of the best top of the range classic retro imitations in the new scooter form. The Lambretta equivalent is also a great looker.

No. For me it had to be the original two- stroke, left hand twist grip gear change pressed steel framed ring a ding ding / pop pop pop sounding kickstart version!

I had just finished road testing the V100 Guzzi Mandello and was chatting to Mark Handy at Mo-Tech in Newcastle, mentioning that I’d always fancied one. I knew Mark had had scooters since he was 16 and his father in law Paul Hamilton had started Mo-Tech in March 1984, buying it from Angelo, an Italian, when it was known as Angelo’s Scooter Station. I can remember as a young teenager going in and looking at all the scooters and motorcycles and that must have stayed
with me. Angelo was a real character. His English wasn’t fantastic but he was really enthusiastic.

Mark said “what about this one?” and showed me a Vespa T5 (the sporty version of the PX) in a fetching green and white striped livery. It seemed to tick all the boxes. It was a P-reg one made in 1996 which was also the year of my youngest daughters birth. It was kicked over and it started first time. Tick box. I was pressed for time and said I would have to come back and look at it.

He said he would service it and replace a couple of parts so I took it out to Whitley Bay and back along the Coast Road and in and out of the city streets in Newcastle. It did T5-ALIVE! 46
everything that I expected it to. The big difference was the big grin behind the helmet. This is a fun scooter. I had the same feeling when I was riding the Honda Monkey Bike.

Technically this was the Sports version and the T5 refers to the Italian phrase for five transfer ports in the all new aluminium barrel engine. It produces 12 or 15 BHP depending upon which spec you read! It’s a four-speed gearbox and apparently will do 100km/h (that’s 62 mph to you and I), and this version has no electric start – it’s a kickstart only via a magneto and with no battery. Manual choke and the starting sequence is ignition on; prime and prod down with your right leg on the kickstart behind you after putting full manual choke on first. It usually kicks over first or second start and as soon as it kicks over and catches switch the choke right off and let it ping and tick tick away. Oh I forgot – you have to turn the fuel tap all the way first and when you stop it’s the reverse procedure and you have to turn the tap off and let it idle so that the petrol is used up in the carburretor. It’s fun learning.

There were three models. The Mark 1 from 1985 to 1992, the T5 Classic, which I bought, from 1992 to 1999 and the last one the Millennium for the year 2000 before the Eurocrats decided enough was enough for this type of scooter.

I did have an interesting ride on the way home, as I made a few wrong gear changes going down the box instead of up and up the box instead of down. It was a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time but after a couple of rides I got the hang of it.
First gear is clutch in on your left hand and click it back one click from neutral. The first gear clunks
in and you release the clutch and you’re away. Second gear is pretty low as well but third and fourth are fliers. It takes a bit of use to match the engine speeds and go up and down the box but that’s all part of the fun learning how to ride it. It’s not a twist and go! People hear you coming along before they see you and you get appreciative nods and smiles. It’s the old fashioned sit-up and beg riding position with a tool / glove compartment in front and the all-important shopping hook underneath the front seat. Two separate tanks one for four star and one for the two-stroke mix. 1980’s switchgear which is left and right indicator up and down for the main and dip beams and a horn that needs an enthusiasm injection! I was delighted with the purchase.

After a photo shoot at St Mary’s Lighthouse, where better to pull in as I cruised along the coastline of sunny North Tyneside, on a flat calm day at sea where even the paddle boards were out! It has
to be Di Meos Caffé on the quadrangle at Tynemouth where you can easily pull in. I forsook the pizza, the ice-cream and went for an over the top coffee. Mi gusto molto.

I spoke with Paul about scooters in general and he said that he bought Angelo’s Scooter Station nearly 40 years ago. Mark and Paul’s son Neil also work there and help run the business so it’s a family firm. He took on the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi motorcycle ranges which was an extension of the Piaggio Group’s scooters and now has the Suzuki franchise as well.

He tells me he always has between 5 and 25 classic scooters for sale and between
15 and 25 secondhand new style scooters plus of course the full range of new Vespa, Lambretta and Suzuki scooters.

Scoot on down there and see which model floats your boat. I’m glad I did. Now where are those keys – I must go out for a tootle! The sun is shining and the Vespa is pop pop popping along. I love the smell of two-stroke in the morning.

Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at wbay@aldersonlaw.co.uk or call 0191 2533509.

Mary was born and has lived all her life in the North East of England. Her first interest was science and she originally studied Biomedical Science at Northumbria and worked in the scientific research field and the NHS, before studying part time, again at Northumbria University, to obtain her degree in Law. Since then she has enjoyed a varied career covering many different areas of law, before specialising in Children Law, which she has done almost exclusively for the past 5 years.

Mary loves reading and history and at a weekend can often be found at one of the many historical sites the North East has to offer and has even been known to play video games when she can find the time.

Chris was originally a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives from 1997 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

He has over 25 years experience in private client work comprising Wills, Trusts, Probate, Powers of Attorney and other Court of Protection Work such as Deputyship applications. Chris has been a Partner in several firms in the North East, being Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

He brings a wealth of experience to his role and works closely with clients, providing them with a service tailored to their needs

Susan was born and bred in the North East, spending all of her working life in Blyth. She qualified in 1981 and, after some years at Alderson Law, began to specialise in family law, covering both private and legal aid. Susan was a member of the Law Society Family Panel and an accredited Resolution specialist, specialising particularly in private children law and domestic violence.

Susan took part-retirement in December 2018 but still works as a Solicitor here at Alderson Law. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She has also been a Brownie leader for over 40 years.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East in 2012 to study at Northumbria University undertaking the M Law Exempting (BPTC) course (the only undergraduate course in England and Wales which incorporates the Bar Professional Training Course), graduating in 2016 with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Prior to joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm, before moving to another firm to work as a Family Law Paralegal.

In 2018 she joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal and before qualifying as a Solicitor within the Family Law Department based at our Morpeth office. Jasmine represents clients in a wide range of matters including; divorce and matrimonial finance, disputes regarding the arrangements for children as well as parents who are subject to Local Authority involvement both before and during Court proceedings.

In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach, going to the gym, watching live music and looking after her pet rabbit.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. She studied Law at Northumbria University and, after qualifying in 2000, went on to work at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been advising businesses and claimants since he qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Mark’s passion is for representing claimants on two wheels in complex, serious and catastrophic motorcycle, scooter and cycle injuries, but he also has extensive experience of acting for claimants in many other personal injury areas including occupiers and public liability work and accidents at work. He specialises in challenging and complex cases. Mark always puts the client first, looking from the first day of instruction to obtain the best and fairest outcome for a claimant, no matter how long a case may take. He is a fan of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and early neutral valuation as alternatives to litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is the best option, together with the necessary drive to see every matter through to a fair conclusion.

Mark also, having started his own business, advises business clients, often with motorcycle-, scooter- or cycle-related businesses and also deals with complex commercial disputes, professional negligence cases, and general civil litigation.

Mark likes to spend what free time he has with his family and practising Tai Chi and Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate – in which he is a second Dan).

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blyth offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.