Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The White Helmets motorcycle display team

The White Helmets as they were popularly known or, to use their official title, The Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team were based locally to me as I grew up and very ocassionally you would see one of the Harris Triumphs with a reg plate on it blasting through town.

The Team was wound up in 2017 as being outdated. Sad, but history moves on and really the decision seems fair enough as there are no motorcycles in the British army anymore. Perhaps the Team was a good promotional and recruitment tool for the signals but how can you really justify spending so much tax money on a display team that has little relevance to modern operational competencies?

Originally formed in 1927 the Display Team had different nicknames through the years, 'The Red Devils', 'The Mad Signals' before 'The White Helmets' was settled on in 1963. The purpose of the Team was initially to promote riding skills amongst despatch riders. Machines used over the years varied and did not necessarily correspond to bikes that were in regular military contracts. Most recently the Team was known for flying the flag with their Devon built Harris Triumphs which were all auctioned off shortly after they disbanded.

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