Thursday, 8 October 2015
This photograph entitled Glasgow Police Riding School was taken on 30th November 1956, at a time when the motor scooter was fast becoming one of the most popular forms of transport. Private ownership of cars at the time was at an extremely low level, and the scooter, along with inexpensive motorcycles such as BSA Bantams, provided a welcome alternative to the pedal cycle and public transport.
Scooters were tried out by many police forces, usually to be rejected quite rapidly in favour of full-blown motorbikes or continued reliance on the good old pedal cycle, but it’s evident that Glasgow Police were more enthusiastic than some when it came to the scooter. The machines being ridden in this photo are all 125cc Vespas, with at least three of them displaying L-plates; presumably these learner-drivers were not allowed out on patrol before passing their motorcycle test.