After I graduated university my first job in 1966 was at the Group R&D Center for the Associated Engineering Group (AE). The group included Hepworth and Grandage (Hepolite pistons), Well worthy (pistons, rings and liners), Glacier (shell bearings) , Coventry Radiator (heat exchangers), AETC (turbine blades) and several other companies. I was a Development Engineer and had two development fitters working for me. One of them was a man named Peter Booth. Although they theoretically worked for me essentially it was a small team working together like friends. Peter was an enthusiastic motorcyclist--as was I --and we became firm friends. At that time he was restoring a 1928 Zenith and I was amazed and totally impressed with his meticulous approach and his attention to detail. Working together as a small team we solved several cooling system problems-- the first Buick V8 in a Rover car, the V12 in the Jaguar saloon, the Triumph Trident oiol cooler and the British Army Challenger main battle tank. We spent many nights together in the freezing cold of the MIRA wind tunnel testing systems at 85 mph-- the maximum speed at which the tunnel would run. It had to be run at full speed at night because it took so much electrical power to run the four Lancaster bomber propellors that in the day time there would have been no power in the surrounding district. It was during times like these that I grew to fully appreciate Peters skills, commitment and resourcefulness.
As is life we both left the company and lost contact. Then in 2015 I saw mention of Peter in a UK magazine and reached out and remade contact. In 2017 during a visit to the UK to see my family I arranged with Peter to meet up with him and his wife at their home in Coventry. We spent a very pleasant afternoon remembering the old days and had dinner together that evening. Peter showed me his bikes which included the Zenith I had seen him restoring about 50 years previously. He told me that he was slowing down a bit so had bought himself a Tiger Cub to go to the shops on--a true motorcyclist!
I attach some photos showing the Zenith, then Peter preparing for a run in the early 1980s on his Norton and then Peter in his garage with his bikes during my visit in 2017.
Peter unfortunately passed some weeks ago due to prostrate cancer. He was 90 years old and riding his bikes up to a few days before his death. A true motorcycling enthusiast and a fine man. Goodbye for now, Peter----Rest In Peace. .