Spagthorpe People: Julian, Lord Spagthorpe
Spagthorpe People
Julian, Lord Spagthorpe (1957–)

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  • Not many people are aware that the famous British marque was revived in 1981 when Julian, Lord Spagthorpe, inherited his title at the age of 24. A keen motorcyclist himself, he saw an opportunity to inject some character into what was becoming a rather bland industry, and started a manufacturing operation in Peter Tavy, Devonshire. His bikes have certainly been distinctive, from the first model of the Greyhound sportbike up until the present day.

    In that one remaining scrapbook there are some very yellowed Spagthrope advertisements. I was thinking of trying to analyze the heraldic symbols on the Spagthrope coat of arms that was the firm’s logo in the ads. Can anyone recommend a good reference book? I’m particularly puzzled by what appears to be a codpiece.

    By George, I think you've got it! I had heard that some of the adverts were cocked-up in the printing, and if I'm right, what you have is one of the rare existing examples of this error. What appears to be a codpiece is, in fact, an upside-down rendition of Julian’s pride and joy, a moustache bra of his own invention. The hirsute lord devised this appliance with nostril protection in mind, which indeed makes it look like a more private accessory when you view it inverted. (Unkind stories spread among the factory workers joke about a mishap with this bra that allegedly sent the lord to the hospital with minor brain damage from oxygen starvation, but there may be a grain of truth in this - it may explain Julian’s obsession with developing a fully-submersible motorcycle for the Royal Navy).

    So you might want to mount those yellowed pages with care, perhaps sealing them in nitrogen gas and putting them in a mildew-free environment. It might be amusing to mount a photo of a Spagthorpe upside-down next to it, and see if people make the connection between the “codpiece” and the stylized moustachios that comprise part of the pinstripe detailing on every Spagthorpe motorcycle.

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