This particular model was deliverd to the British War Department. 3000 Of the 30000 bikes made for the war effort were mounted with a Burman gearbox in stead of the usual Albion one because of British air raids in the neighbourhood of the Albion factory (there are different explanations).
In 1999 I bought a 1943 WD/CO/B from a Dutch classic bike salesman who had to take the bike with lot of newer classic twins of the '60s like Norton Commando's, Triumph Bonneville's etc. He wanted to get rid of the running RE for a reasonable price (less then 900 pounds) so I bought it.
With it came a few papers, like the original delivery note from Pride & Clark of London which dated sep-4-51 (sealed with a stamp of King George VI) for a second hand Enfield, price £ 69-10-0. The registration number was KUL512, the frame number 16201 and the engine number 12958, first registration 24th May 1949. The bike was reconditioned with another engine.
The Royal Enfield Owners Club's dating-service confirmed this. De frame was a WD/CO/B of 1943 (dispatched to the War Office Manchester) and the engine a WD/CO of 1941 (dispatched to the War Office Wilford). The bike was dispatched in 1946 to Danish importer Nelleman of Randers.
The man who bought the bike in 1951 in England was Norman Golding of Hove Sussex. He owned the bike at least until 1994, except for a short period that the bike was registered to Andrew Timothy Roycroft also of Hove SX. I know this information from a Vehicles Registration book (cart board) revised in 1962 on which tax was paid (or at least stamped) up to 1970. There is also a stamp stating: Entries Discontinued by Direction of Ministry of Transport. According to some letters and forms the last owner mr. N. Golding tried to get the old registration number KUL512 back in 1994. I got his application form and an denial from the DVLA because the registration KUL512 was not in their records.
When I bought the bike it was painted green (not army) with black frame and a lot of gypsy chromium (as we call allu-paint). The exhaust pipe was rotted away at the narrow end-bit, the rear tire was cracked, the headlight had a plain window glass roughly clipped and some of the cables were worthless. These were all replaced. The wiring was working alright and all in bright red wire. The compression is perfect, the gears are smoothly and the brakes as can be expected. Recently I had the generator rebuild and the regulator replaced by an electronic one; the speedometer stopped working in 2001 and has to be repaired yet (now I use a satnav).
At the moment (2018) the bike is fine and running with a Dutch (age related) registration for which I applied in March 2000. The bike had to be tested by the Dutch Registration Office (RDW) in Schiedam near Rotterdam a 25 km's from my former hometown. I got a lot of information of how to prepare the bike for the test. It was not very difficult, because the bike had to comply to the regulations of the period (1940s) and they were not critical. The only thing I did was bolting an extra bicycle reflector to the rear of the bike and charge the battery. After donating the necessary fee the mechanic checked the bike. Mostly if all the bolts seemed fixed, the frame wasn't broken etc. Three times he made a remark after which I thought "it's over", but every time the next thing he said was "but there aren't any regulations, so nothing to withhold approval". Those remarks were, that the hooter didn't sound loud enough compared with the engine noise, the front brake didn't brake very well and the headlight beam was a bit to high (which I fixed by turning the headlight a bit downwards). So with a form of approval I went with my trailer to the customs and surprise, because the bike was that old, it was free of charge. They told me that I would get my registration by post in about 3 weeks time.
After those long three weeks I could ride my new acquisition at last. Very nice indeed. I don't know exactly how many km's I have ridden, but it should be more than 15000 km's. I made a lot of tours in the neighbourhood, to club meetings and -tours, rallies etc. One of them was the REOC Cotswold Rally and the Redditch Revival in July 2003 (both more than a 1000 kms). I enjoy this little motorbike very much and btw she's known as Coby, which obviously stands for CO/B.
I have the following questions concerning the bikes history:
1. Does anyone have any information about the bike during the war? (What was the bike used for in Manchester or Wilford?)
2. What happened with it between 1946 (Denmark) and 1949 (first registration in Britain)?
3. What happened between 24th May 1949 (first registration) en 4th September 1951 (Sell by Pride & Clark). Who first-registered the bike?
4. Who knows anything about the owner mr. Norman Golding and/or mr. Andrew Timothy Roycroft? Were they members of the REOC (I think not)?
5. Does anyone know whether the bike was registered again or until what date the bike was registered and on the road.
6. Why has the registration book been stamped Entries Discontinued? What does this mean?
7. Does anyone know what happened with the bike between 1994 and 1999 when I bought the bike in the Netherlands?
8. What was the original color after the war (Personally I think it was maroon and black, as the backside and the inside of the primary chain case was a kind of maroon).
Any answer will be solving a piece of the puzzle of the bikes history and will be much appreciated by me. Any early photograph of the bike will be much appreciated as are all photographs of Royal Enfields.
In December 2003 the old lady had a facelift and she looks 10 years younger now. Her appearance is no longer 'apple green' but very stylish black with a wine red tank as you can see in the pictures
Summer 2007 the old lady had a serious deteriation and she had to have major surgery. The back wheel hub had to be repaired (with the aid of a German beer can), the gearbox lost a bush (which had to be turned, because unavailable) and the generator didn't work anymore (the armature shaft was replaced by one I found at a fair).
Now December 2007 all this is repaired and she is, with 12V electric installation, electronic regulator, LED rearlight and halogen headlight (20V/30V), ready for another 65 odd years.