Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bain and Kessing....in 1948 and later.....

Don Bain was a champion motorcycle racer in Australia in the 1930s and just after WW2, he was a Velocette racer....
Ron Kessing had a generous father, who bought him a new Mk.7 KTT in 1938 and Ron acquited himeself on it well, but is better known for his machine preparation.
They formed a business just after WW2....
Bain and Kessing.... with a shop on the corner of Mintaro Avenue and Liverpool Road ( the Hume Highway) in what I consider is South Strathfield, but Kesso, as he was affectionately known, chose to call Enfield. In fact he advertised his shop at 7, Broadway, Enfield in the print media....many years later he admitted to me it was a ploy to save on the costs of advertising in the daily newspapers...there were many less letters in his "address" than the real one....
Somehow letters and customers found him...
Illustrated is a later advert, when Ron was trading alone, still from the same shop and address....





















I've two photos to share with you over the above....
Hidden in the archives of the Telco, Telstra, formerly the "PostMaster Generals Department"...the PMG, was the B & W photo of Bain and Kessing, with Ron Kessing, in overalls, striding out of his shop.
His 1936 Nash car is parked in the gutter and it was for sale, Kesso told me and had a sign on it's windscreen....the year was 1948.
Telstra found the pic to illustrate a conference on the methods of conveying the telephone traffic from the Sydney GPO to the Melbourne, Victoria GPO at the time...it was on the top three cross members of the telephone poles in the picture.
The archivist at Telstra knew me and so the photos were promised to me after the conference...
I remarked that Ron Kessing was still alive...the year 1989 and so we arranged for Roley Walker, arch Velo enthusiast, latterly taken from us by cancer and sadly missed, to bring his Mk.1 KTT ( won the 1929 Junior Manx GP in the hands of one Doug Pirie...) and for Ron Kessing to come and sit on it, 18th September 1989.
The photo was duly taken and used but I never got a copy, until today....when after a chance remark at the recent funeral of the late Allen Burt to the ex archivist, resulted in his tracking down the negative and arranging a print for me.
Pictured is Ron Kessing on the Velo, with Roley Walker to the right. Two senior Telstra people are in attendence ( names unknown) with that B & W picture....
So the story is now complete.....
Left click on the images to enlarge....

















5 comments:

CapitalCityWriter said...

Hi, Thanks for a really good little article. I've been interested in Kessing and the Velo ever since i saw the film Fastest Indian. I had an idea to write an Australian version and as i grew up right around the corner from where the Kessings lived in Croydon Park, it seemed a good idea. I went to the house a number of times to see what John was up to, usually to find him sitting on one bike or another, riding it about 5 meters up a slight slope, waddling back down and going again. My brother was mates with Kevin. Ron had the Shell up on Liverpool road at that time and there were taxis involved. I also love the story from Motorcycling Australia http://www.ma.org.au/index.php?id=597&no_cache=1&sword_list[]=kessing
Any update on Ron or his sons?
Cheers and thanks
Brian

p.archer said...

Hi Brian, I am Ron's grandson Peter (Barbara's son), unfortunately Ron passed away in June 2000, Kevin and John are still living in NSW. If you wanted to get a message to them please let me know and I can pass on your details to them.

I am glad to see that he was so popular, and he certainly was a character that I have very fond memories of.

Regards,
Peter

p.archer said...

Hi Brian,

I am Ron's grandson Peter (Barbara's son), unfortunately Ron passed away back in June 2000. He was a big influence on me and a great character who was loved by all. He always had a new story to tell me and unfortunately I'm sure I didn't get to hear them all.

I'd be happy to pass on your contact details to Kevin and John if you'd like to contact them.

Regards,
Peter

The Velobanjogent said...

Hello Peter,
Actually my name is Dennis and I knew Ron well, in fact I live only 2 km from 20 Boyle St.,
I was involved with him in the Motorcycle Old Timers Association, something he was passionate about and which I still run today in its 47th year.
Both Kevin and John attend the yearly dinner.
"Kesso" was a larger than life character and there is a photo of him on the blog I posted today, 31st May 2011....
Best wishes,
Dennis Quinlan.

KB Sydney said...

I know this is an old post, but thanks for showing the photo of the old motorcycle shop. I'm Kathrin Bain - Don Bain's granddaughter, my Dad still lives in Strathfield South, very close to where the old shop was.

Sadly, Don passed away before I was born so I never was able to meet him, but love reading stories about his motorcycle days.