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A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem

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A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem
Started at 02:26pm on the 22nd July, 2014 by Scalyback
Scalyback Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem

A bike too far.

Digging around at the site of the airborne forces landing area at Arnhem in 2009, Somebody uncovered a Flying Flea!

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It was minus an engine and wheels, and speculation rages over where the wheels and engine went, and why was it buried?

One idea is that it landed badly, along with some others. This unfortunate one was the donor of spares to get another damaged one fixed. It was then buried to stop the enemy using the spares. Their equiptment would have been limited to what would fit into the airplanes or gliders, so they would not have had a fully functioning MT workshop to do repairs.

However, I have a different opinion.

It seems it was set up to use, or even used, and was not a landing casualty.

Why? Look at the photos carefully. when something rusts, it tends to seize the bearings, working parts, etc. Now are those handlebars in the crated position (see photos below)? No. They had to be turned (i guess with spanner?) to the usual riding position. Now who would bother to do that if it was damaged on landing? It is very unlikely that they twised during excavation!

Well, who knows for sure what happened, but at least this veteran of the 'Bridge too far' landing has turned up to become another survivor.

It can now be seen in the Airborne Museum, Arnhem, Netherlands. The dutch have taken good care of it, finding it a correct flying cage to support it, and no doubt using the same technology for producing clogs, they have manufactured wooden wheels for it (Er, well, they may actually be metal?).

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The cleaned up little motorcycle finally gets the care and respect it deserves.


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This shows a very good condition Flea, Not sure about the tyre on the front though, they usually don't have one in the pictures.


OK, I'm not too well and in bed, some stomach bug, but this has passed the time nicely!



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Posted: 02:26pm 22nd July, 2014
Adrian1 Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem
Interesting post! By the way, how did they get the crate/frame apart? :)
Posted: 02:47pm 22nd July, 2014
Scalyback Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem

Don't know exactly, but the side has hinges at the bottom of the frame (Bottom photo), so I guess it swung open! YAY! NEXT!

But the next post down from a more knowledgeable person may hopefully explain it! (please post, please post!)

Posted: 02:58pm 22nd July, 2014
Mark M Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem
There was a fair bit on these a while ago in The Gun (REOC club mag) which if you were a member you would get! Too much to type here but the cradles were also made by RE in a Factory in Edinburgh, strange but true... REgards, Mark
Posted: 04:27pm 22nd July, 2014
Scalyback Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem

I do get the gun, but it will be back in the UK, and I just don't always remember to read the PDF version! What issue was it mate?

That post about the royal enfield gun club had a link to the companies book, A proud war record. Please don't say that some of you have never seen it? I'll post the link at the bottom.

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The Factories

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The flying fleas

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The flea tins!


The photos above are from 'A Proud War Record'. This is the extremely good book that R.E. put out after WWII, showing not only what they had produced, but also a lot about the company and how it worked. For those of you who would like to study the 48 page book, it is available as a PDF file and can be downloaded from the Barnstormers.nz site, using the link below.

A Proud War Record

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Posted: 08:36pm 22nd July, 2014
Scalyback Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem
Crikey! Did I really post this over 4 years ago?

Maybe nice for the newer members to see!
Posted: 09:35pm 8th October, 2018
Scalyback Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem
I eventually made a better scan of this from my own copy. It is available from:- A Proud War Record Just scroll down the page.

Posted: 09:55pm 8th October, 2018
Scalyback Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem

NUTS

I got the code wrong, try again... A Proud War Record Just scroll down the page.

Posted: 09:56pm 8th October, 2018
papasmurf Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem
Video tribute to the Flying Flea:-
Posted: 10:56am 9th October, 2018
RoSy Subject: A bike too far - Flea dug up at Arnhem
I had a Flying Flea years ago in my youth and thrashed the life out of it off road before moving on to other brit bikes, so when Enfield brought out the Pegasus I just had to have one, the tank badge and serial No on the tank just brought back those long lost innocent days. I glad to say that the Pegasus in it's modern formation though far removed from the Flying Flea is just as much fun, almost doing as much off road work as I did back then. A trip last year across France to the Swiss border and back wild camping on my old Enfield was great fun , so now I'm looking to do the same trip on the new Enfield next year.
Posted: 04:38pm 11th October, 2018

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