Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Elkan Crook Hedtector - the world's least protective motorcycle helmet ever?

This gem has been sitting in a box in the shed for a long time. What possessed me to buy it in the first place I do not rightly know. It is unquestionably an item of great rarity; and with due cause many would say.

The astounding thing about this crash hat, for it is indeed that, is that it ever passed official safety standards for UK roads. OK, it was from a time when the wearing of helmets was not mandatory on British roads, but there was still a British Standard (BS!!) 'Kitemark' of quality for items that were sold as protective headgear.

What makes this 'helmet' yet more awesome, or scarey depending on your viewpoint is that it is still legal to wear to this day. Helmets have to meet the standards of the day, wearing a vintage helmet is perfectly legal, perhaps foolhardy, but none-the-less legal as long as it carries the Kitemark.

The genius of the Elkan Crook 'Hedtector' is in its one size fits all technology, that is to say that it is elasticated around the back of the head. The saving grace safety-wise is that it is unlikely that it would stay on your head above twenty five miles an hour given its lack of chin strap.

I cannot find any reference to Elkan Crook across the web other than they were based up in Gateshead near Newcastle and they dissolved as a company fairly recently. Before dissolving they were fabricating parts for the Ministry of Defense so it seems. Two parts are listed for them, a 'nuclear light' and a 'bushing sleeve'. Mysterious. 

The Hedtector. The weird bastard child of a union between an
engine drivers hat and a motorcycle helmet taking stylistic
references from the Blue Oyster Bar. 

The soft underside revealing the elasticated
headband.

Here it is. This is what you show the rozzers when they stop
you. Yes sir I am legal. They will definitely be impressed.
Note warning - 'This hat is NOT protection against falling
objects'

How could I picture this helmet without showing it modelled
and how could I ask anyone else to put it on their head.
When wearing this helmet you must have no shame. Here
am I.
Postscript: Thanks to Matt who points out that the Hedtector may indeed be an industrial bump cap. If so I am hugely disappointed but in the interests of historical accuracy I must mention it...

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