Ixion was the pen name of the worlds first and I think the worlds finest writer on motorcyling matters.
Ixion started riding motorcycles in 1898 and started writing about them in The MotorCycle a couple of years later.
He carried on writing about motorcycles until 1961 which is a remarkable feat. Ixion also published books on motorcycling that are now the classics on early motorcycle riding.
As Ixion is the most famous character from the early years of motorcycling, it seemed odd that nobody had written about his life.
Luckily for us Dave Masters has now written an excellent book about the great man - Ixion.
I have now read this new book twice, its an excellent read - "IXION" of The MotorCycle, The Life and Times of Canon Basil H Davies by Dave Masters.
This Ixion book is only being printed in very limited numbers, so if you are interested in old motorcycles, then I suggest you hurry up and buy a copy as soon they will be sold out.
The Ixion book is over 170 A4 size pages with over 250 images, many previously unpublished.
You can order the book directly from the author; Dave Masters, 6 Fairlight Close, Bexhill on Sea, TN40 2PT
Tel: 01424 211873 or email him at email@example.com
This excellent work is just £18 plus postage.
The following is a review of the book by Geoff Morris. Geoff is one of the leading lights of the veteran motorcycle world and really knows the topic and is full of praise for the book -
It isn’t often that a motorcycle book captures a completely new field but Dave Masters’ deeply researched volume on the sometimes shadowy figure ‘Ixion’ does just that. ‘Ixion’ who in reality was Canon Basil H. Davies B.A. ( 1879 – 1961 ) was a keen motorcyclist and competition enthusiast who just happened to have a tremendous flair for the written word. He spun wonderful prose about our hobby in ‘The Motor Cycle’ for 58 years, occasionally using his real name, but mostly choosing the pen-name ‘Ixion’ and never letting the reader link the two ( shades of Clark Kent and Superman ! ).
The reasons for obscuring his identity and the choice of the mythical Ixion name are all laid bare in established Velocette author Dave Masters’ book exploring the many intriguing facets of this prolific journalist, churchman and rider.
When I first learnt , several years ago, about Dave Masters’ intention to present the full unwritten story, it took me right back to the mid – 1950’s when, still at school I was able to lash out out occasionally on copies of ‘The Motor Cycle’ and’ Motorcycling’ from my paper round earnings. Both were good and I had no favourite ( still haven’t ), but the unusual name Ixion interested me and so a fascination with the weekly writings ‘Occasional Comments’ of this man grew, as I devoured every printed word in these two excellent journals . Incidentally it always amazed me and still does, how these magazines were ‘put together’ each and every week especially the massive show numbers.
It is fitting that Canon B.H. Davies’ longest sojourn as the incumbent of a Church just happened to be at Bexhill where the author lives and also where the now established and popular annual ‘Ixion Calvalcade’ run takes place.
Luckily contact with Ixion’s surviving family members including his now 102 year old son ‘Joff’ brought forth hitherto unknown personal material, old snapshots, manuscripts and memories – all of which have been encapsulated within a unique journey through life.
The book has uncovered a truly amazing tale and all credit to Dave Masters for winkling out the many twists and turns in this prolific life and you sometimes wonder how one individual could pack so much into one lifetime. For Ixion had other interests (and publications) which were the subject of his pen besides motorcycling and which may surprise a few people; as will his BBC broadcasts on ‘the wireless’ in pre- war days. Dave Masters recounts how ‘Torrens’ of ‘The Motor Cycle’ came across a journal for the teaching profession which recommended Ixion’s standard of prose as a ‘teaching aid’, no doubt aimed at schoolboys, all of whom would have been aware of his name in those days. Only very recently I was reading an ‘Occasional Comments’ written some 80 odd years ago and was a little surprised to see Ixion refer to cigarettes somewhat lightheartedly as ‘coffin nails’ – a description which I thought was of much later origin ( but Ixion liked a pipe ! ).
Suffice to say that I could not relinquish reading the book until I had understood what made Basil Davies tick as he journeyed through life on his chosen ‘Fiery Wheel’ which his alter ego Ixion was bound to. A remarkable life and told well by the author who has set the publication in traditional typeface with good design and inception which very much suits the period covered.
The book packs something over 200 illustrations into its 162 A4 format pages with many photographs ( including an 8 page colour spread ), drawings and sketches and of course excerpts from ‘Occasional Comments’ and other contributions. Photographs range from a young Ixion on his early motorcycles and the famous ‘1,279 miles in six days’ Triumph ride in 1905 to the very last one showing the great man in retirement pensively leaning on his garden gate just a few years before his demise in 1961.
The front cover of the book is very evocative with the two personas of Ixion illustrated ; the journalist with his favourite 1903 Excelsior and the Canon Basil Davies whilst the incumbent at St. Barnabas, Bexhill on Sea. This book is self funded and published and the print run is limited to a few hundred copies only, so I would suggest an early application. The price is £18 plus £4 p&p. Obtainable direct from Dave Masters, 6 Fairlight Close. Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, TN40 2PT. Tel: 01424 211873 (firstname.lastname@example.org )