"I heartily dislike the notion of sending the boys out on red machines like imps from hell".
- Post Office official discussing his dislike of red motorbikes,
favouring the standard BSA green.
British Postal Museum & Archive. David Blasco's blog: RoyalEnfields.com reported "...the motorcycle youth of Scotland even imitated the telegram boys of Glasgow. They didn't ride Harleys, they rode Enfields and Nortons. Big, British army bikes. They couldn't afford leathers and silk scarves like their matinee idols, so they wore black post office-issue uniforms, wrapping white linen tea towels round their necks to look like American bikers. ...looked like Sinatra and dressed like Brando."
Post Office carried out their own experiments. Twenty vehicles were purchased in 1914 and introduced on rural delivery and collection services. Four tri-cars were also purchased. Following the First World War, more reliable and higher powered machines were available and their use was extended to town deliveries. The first experimental use of solo motorcycles began in 1924. By the end of the following year some 400 motorcycles of various makes were in use on both delivery and collection work.
"Wearing as they do the uniform of the Queen, they are under an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner which shall never bring that uniform into disrepute".
Post Office statement on Boy Messengers' behaviour, 1892
As the Postal official who shall not be named noted above, the preferred postal bikes was a green BSA Bantam. The Bantam was two-stroke unit construction motorcycle that was produced by the Birmingham Small Arms Company from 1948 (as a 125 cc) until 1971 (as a 175 cc).
We wouldn't want postal carriers to be mistaken as motorcycle demons rampaging the countryside on some Majestic hell-ride...