top of page

 

Fanthorpe Arthur Reginald Twite  Born September 1921

 

Early Years

'Reg' suffered as a child 

Christened Fanthorpe, after a hamlet in the Cotswolds favoured by his mother, he was soon to be known as 'Fanny'. Pre school years were a confusion of sexual misunderstandings among neighbours and much chatter and sniggering took place on park benches around the playground. He became shy and reclusive in the presence of other children and adults alike.

 

School was to become an even greater misery.

First year classmates soon uncovered the school register to find F A R Twite and the ensuing names of Farty, Windy, Smellie, Poo gas, and others were an unending plague of teasing and upset.

 

Reg - as he preferred to be known, focussed on handiwork and displayed great ingenuity in the construction of Meccano objects. An early 3-wheeled trolley narrowly missed winning third place  at the 1932 village fair and in his disappointment, Reg mounted the trolley at the top of Church Hill, careering down past the Red Lion where enthusiastic clientele cheered him on as he sped toward the crowds gathered on the village green. With remarkable fleet of foot and graunching of the Blakey’s steel heels on his sandals, a magnificent right swerve was achieved saving many unsuspecting folk from injury. A heroic manoeuvre that was later to be awarded a special scroll of thanks from the committee.

Unfortunately, this was not the end for poor young Twite. The trolley and Reg took the road bridge at high speed. Boy and machine flew through the air in what onlookers described as 'a perfect arc' - ricocheting off the side wall before crashing into vehicles parked outside the Fox Inn.

 

The spectacle earned him some fame and admiration in the locality. On his release from hospital, he was welcomed home by many well-wishers. The ensuing celebrations continued for some time at several ale houses until a small disturbance was caused by the ungentlemanly use of Reg’s nicknames.

 

The local newspaper later printed an apology for the headline 'Trouble caused by Flying Fart’s return'.

Reg before his injuries

Leaving school early, Reg found apprenticeship at the bicycle repair shop both educational and exciting. Despite his regular injuries, he revelled in the ever faster attempts recreating his downhill experience in order to master a soft landing, coast up the hill past the Fox Inn to Green Road and complete a return run. An ambition that still stands unaccomplished today.

Career

Not joining the RAF was the next blow for Reg but his engineering skills weren’t overlooked. The requirement for aerodynamic development gave birth to increased ministry production of wind tunnels. Reg joined a nearby engineering firm to help in the testing department. He excelled.

 

Psychological investigations revealed that Reg was unusually gifted in all things mechanical. He seemed to have a sixth sense - understanding the physical attributes and properties of all machinery. He had 'the knack'.

1946 brought some joy at last. Finding the love of his life, Betty, at one of the regular hospital visits. A charismatic sporty type, Betty lifted Reg’s spirits and spurred him to better himself and his prospects.

 

Studying for only a matter of a few months, he attained top marks in the FIMechE qualifications and gained a government position in wind tunnel research in Gloucestershire.

 

It was Twite’s misfortune that a member of the office staff revealed his true christian name - and 'Fanny' was to be resurrected among work colleagues. The effect on Reg was dramatic; driving towards serious mental health problems.

 

He turned to frequent use of the Nadger belt. 

'The knack' sometimes let’s you down

Luckily, relief was soon found. Twite’s reputation led to an offer of an honorary doctorate from West Peebles College of Further Education and his series of lectures on 'The Concentric Dynamics of Insertion' gained him little known fame and the publication of three papers;

  1. Insertion - Not to be taken lightly 1954

  2. Retraction - Only a fool would follow 1955

  3. Positive Insertion - raising spirits 1962

Rev Arthur Pistonock-Henderson introduced Dr Twite to his uncle, Arthur Lansdowne P-H and Pat McNutty - the team developing the Thrunging Sprocket engine. This inspired Reg to go further and create and patent the 'Bilaterally opposed rotor arm' - a rapid repeat tool for multiple insertions. It is the same design principle as used today.

Family

Married Betty in 1947

Son George - 1953

Twins - Anne and Matthew - 1958

Widowed - 2003

 

Today Reg lives simply and honourably, welcoming many friends and family into his humble home He is always delighted to receive visitors and is known for his outstanding Lemon Drizzle cake.

 

Thrunging Sprocket ref:

https://cybermotorcycle.com/archives/norton-george/pistonock.htm

Hand point L.jpg
Hand point R.jpg
bottom of page