Our chum and former editor of Scootering magazine, Andy Gillard has asked us to spread the word about a scooter-related project he is working on with his friend Paul Karslake.


Paul’s dad, Mike Karslake was a renowned Lambretta enthusiast, from his first ride on a Model C in the early 1950s until he sadly passed away in 1990. Travelling to and competing in many events throughout Europe, as an individual, club member and also representing Lambretta Concessionaires, Mike promoted Lambretta wherever he went. He achieved many accolades over the years too, including designing the first British Lambretta Owners Association club badge and being given a new LI Series 2 by Lambretta Concessionaires as a thank you for all of the work he’d done for them. He also ran a scooter touring business into Europe, with parties of up to 40 riders flying out of Southend airport with their scooters.


Mike began collecting old scooters and memorabilia long before anyone else, arguably preserving a number of Lambretta-related items for future scooter enthusiasts to enjoy.

Local Southend Standard newspaper cutting from the late 1970s, reporting on Mike Karslake's scooter collection which included the Lambretta Rickshaw
Local Southend Standard newspaper cutting from the late 1970s, reporting on Mike Karslake’s scooter collection which included the Lambretta Rickshaw

Moving from Essex to Devon in the 1980s, Mike created what was (as far as we’re aware) the first Lambretta museum in the world at his home in Okehampton. The museum also hosted a few scooter rallies at the time including a EuroLambretta event. Unfortunately, after Mike passed away, the museum became too much for his widow Rachel to run on her own and so she made the difficult decision to sell it off a few years later. Amongst the items sold were photo albums, and it is these and their contents that Andy and Paul are trying to trace with a view to publishing a book in the future.

Jo and Rachel Karslake in the Lambretta Rickshaw at a show in Essex in the late 1970s
Jo and Rachel Karslake in the Lambretta Rickshaw at a show in Essex in the late 1970s

Paul has one album himself, and another has been traced to Italy, but if anyone else out there has any photo albums that were once in Mike Karlsake’s Lambretta museum – or any individual images that are Karslake family related – then please drop Andy a line.

All enquiries will be greatly appreciated and if the images are not already on file, arrangements will be made to make copies of them. You can email Andy via:  books@andygillard.co.uk

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