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Issue 25

November 2013

BMCT News N E W S L E T T E R O F T H E B R I T I S H M O T O R C Y C L E C H A R I T A B L E T R U S T ISSUE 25

DECEMBER 2013

In This Issue: Message From The Chairman BMCT AGM Stafford Show New Books For Christmas Museum News Bonhams Stafford Sale New Brough Superior Diary Dates Mallory Park Under Threat The BMCT Collection


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nother year draws to a close, and it‟s been a busy one for the BMCT. We have completed the p u r c h a se o f R o b i n Spalding‟s important collection of British motor scooters following its successful exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum, and have secured the long term future of the collection by reaching an agreement with the Haynes International Motor Museum to display the machines in their newly revamped museum, which is due to open fully to the public in the Spring of 2014. Robin‟s book about the collection is still available, incidentally. Phone him on 01737 555895 if you‟d like to buy a copy.

due to be repatriated for exhibition in a local museum by the time you read these words. More details in the next newsletter.

The Trust is also close to announcing affiliation with another museum with a link - albeit a little-known one - to the British motorcycle industry. And a very rare West Country made competition bike is

Elsewhere on these pages you will read of a new cooperation between the BMCT and The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. My fellow trustees and I are proud to be associated with the

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teve Bagley and his team were once again kind enough to host the Annual General Meeting of the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust on Wednesday 18th September 2013 at the Coventry Transport

Museum. The meeting was chaired by Ian Walden and attended by ten of the Trust‟s twenty voting members. The annual accounts and report of the trustees was accepted in a motion proposed by Trevor Wellings and seconded by Nick Jeffery, and the

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developments to increase the profile of British mo to rc ycles in t he country‟s most popular transport museum. All of which brings me to an announcement of the standardisation of the terms under which BMCT members have access to our affiliated museums. Our longest standing associate member is Roger Taylor of Steyning, who joined on 3rd November

2003 when the subscription was £20, and that fee has remained the same ever since. From 1st January 2014 your membership card will allow free museum entry to the card holder only, and any other members of your party will be expected to pay the normal admission price. Please also remember your card is nontransferrable and you may be asked to provide an alternative form of ID when visiting the museums. These terms already apply to Beaulieu, Bickenhill and Gaydon, and by adopting them at all of our other affiliated museums we hope to avoid any confusion or possible embarrassment, and also keep our membership subs at 2003 levels. I hope you will all continue to enjoy the benefits of supporting a unique and worthwhile charity, and wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

A G M trustees retiring by rotation, John Handley and Steve Bagley, were re-elected unanimously on a vote proposed by Trevor Wellings, seconded by Nick Jeffery. Williams Anderson and Dudley were appointed as auditors for a further year, and there was

a lively debate about the future direction of the Charity with some very constructive suggestions coming from the members. The full annual report will be available to read on our web site soon.

Front cover: Santa’s on his way! BMCT trustee John Kidson blows away the cobwebs on Graham Rhodes’s Manx Grand Prix-winning Seeley G50 in the Past Masters Parade at the 2013 VMCC Festival of 1,000 Bikes


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Seen at Stafford, clockwise, from above left: (1) An impressive Matchless Metisse owned by Graham Nock, son of the former owner of DMW. Graham also showed the Greeves Silverstone behind. (2) Getting nearer completion, the V6 dohc BSA. Can‟t wait to hear it! (3) Graham Bowen‟s lovely 1969 US-spec T120R. (4) Terry Hoyle‟s Norton Classic was on a stand full of Suzukis and beat them all to take Best Rotary. (5) A tidy Rudge in the Autojumble looking ready to ride away. (6) The bike we would like to have ridden home - a Thruxtonised T120 Triumph. (7) A nice military pair - 16H Norton and M20 BSA on offer in the jumble at £4,750 apiece. (8) This 350 twin port Sunbeam Model dating from 1935 was on offer at £6,500. (9) In the Bonhams sale a very shiny Ascot-Pullin exceeded its pre-sale estimate to reach a lofty £29,900! (10) On the VMCC stand we found this extremely rare 1923 PV, a London make with 350 Bradshaw engine, of which more in another issue. (11) “Best In Show” was this Yamaha Liberty trail bike. Compare this with what British factories were offering in 1959! (12) Bling‟s definitely the thing at Stafford in October, although this RD Yamaha is taking the autumn colours theme to extremes...

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ust in time for Christmas! The story of the Triumph Bonneville – its conception, design and p ro d uctio n, ho w it compared to the competition (British and Japanese), and how it was seen at the time. With insights into the company that built it, from the boom

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nother offering from Veloce is the follow-up to

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times of the 1960s, through struggles in the 70s, and eventual closure in the „80s, plus guidance on buying a Bonneville second hand, this is the fascinating history of a British icon. This is a meticulously detailed history of the Triumph Bonneville: its antecedents, how it came

about, and year-by-year production changes, with detailed technical specifications and contemporary road test reports showing how the Bonneville compared with its rivals. However, the history of the bike cannot be separated from the turbulent story of the company that built it. Triumph went from huge successes in the 1960s, when the Bonneville conquered North America, to troubled times in the early 1970s, leading to the formation of the workers co-operative that heroically kept the Bonneville alive for a further nine years. All this is covered here, plus details on how Triumph spares producer Les Harris took over production into the late „80s. Unlike other Bonneville books, this one also tells you how to buy one of these iconic bikes second hand – all the pitfalls, what to look for, and what they are really like to live with. Whichever one you choose, it should be fast,

agile and good looking ... on a twisty country road, there‟s nothing like a Bonnie, and with information on clubs, websites, spares, and the latest modificatio ns and upgrades, this book will help you get the right one for you. Featuring comprehensive appendices of facts, figures, contacts, technical specifications (including correct colours for each year), engine/frame numbers, and road test performance figures, this is the definitive book of a bike that truly deserves the term „practical classic.‟ “The Triumph Bonneville Bible” is available now in hardback at £35 from good booksellers or direct from the publishers on www.veloce.co.uk And as a special bonus Veloce are offering 40% off all books ordered between now and 31 December!

“T ales o f T riu mp h Motorcycles and the Meriden Factory” by the late Hughie Hancox. From the 1950s through to the 1970s, Hughie worked at the Triumph Meriden factory in various capacities – a fitter, a member of the famous Royal Corps of Signals Motorcycle Display Team, in the experimental department (where he actually worked on the

prototype Bonneville), and eventually as one of the legendary Triumph Production Testers. This latter role provided countless unique experiences with some of the most iconic British motorcycles ever manufactured. The story of testing new motorcycles at Meriden has never before been published, and this intimate and pragmatic account comes

straight from a man who was at the heart of it. With many previously unpublished pictures and service bulletins, plus helpful advice on problems that still exist with the bikes today, this is a unique book about a fascinating time and place in the British motorcycle industry. Softback, £19.99 from Velo ce a nd go o d booksellers.


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ou only have a few weeks left to enjoy the Bond in Motion exhibition at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Alongside the most famous vehicles like the Aston Martin DB5 and the Lotus Esprit S1, there is a host of treasures dating back to Goldfinger including the iconic 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III, the buzzing autogyro from You Only Live Twice and Octopussy‟s screeching Acrostar Jet alongside cars, bikes, trikes, sleds and boats. A much

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loucestershire's Jet Age Museum is to reopen in the Spring, 13 years after it closed. Work on a new hangar at Gloucestershire Airport in Staverton has almost finished. The museum will house delicate aircraft, such as a 1925 Gloster Gamecock, and contain archive photos and documents - and also a motorcycle that was made in an aircraft factory. Initially the museum will be open to the public at weekends and on bank holidays only while the team put the finishing touches to the building. Chairman John Lewer, who has

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reva mped Motorcycle Di splay developed with the help of the BMCT will take over some of the space when the exhibition closes on 5th January 2014.

The Sammy Miller Museum would like to remind all BMCT members of their winter opening hours. From 2nd December 2013 until 17th February 2014 the museum is closed on w e e k d a y s , b u t t h e y‟ r e o p e n Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd

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been involved with the museum for 20 years, said: "It's fantastic, absolutely fantastic. "Aircraft outside over the years slowly corrode away, they get birds nests in and the water gets in and they won't last. They are made of alloys and they have to be under cover and kept dry in order to survive." The original museum closed in 2000 after it was announced the main hangar was to be demolished. Volunteers have been campaigning and raising money ever since to get the collection back on permanent display. Aviation enthusiasts will

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January, good news for those who have gone stir crazy over Christmas and need their motorbike fix! If you haven‟t seen it yet, get along to the museum and take a look at Sam‟s magnificent Moto Guzzi V8 racer, the latest addition to his wonderful collection. And don‟t forget the London Motorcycle Museum is now open on Mondays as well as Saturdays and Sundays. Hours are 10.00 am till 4.00 pm.

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find much to interest them in the museum, which is dedicated to the enormous amount of aviation heritage to be found in the Gloucester area. The pioneering work of Sir Frank Whittle, whose first jet engined aircraft first flew at a nearb y air fi eld, is commemorated with replica aircraft and an audio visual display, while a team of e nt hus i a st s a re fa i th ful ly recreating the cockpit area of a WW2 Horsa glider, examples of which were assembled locally. It‟s a little known fact that in the early nineteen twenties the Gloster Aircraft Company

diversified into motorcycle production with an innovative machine called the Unibus. The Jet Age Museum have located one of the few remaining examples of the marque, and the BMCT is pleased to announce we are assisting the museum with their plans to put the machine on long term exhibition in the hangar following its restoration. More in a future issue of BMCT News.


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onhams annual sale of collectors' motorcycles at Stafford on Sunday 20th October made a total of £1,337,475, with 80 per cent of the 436 lots sold and created a brand new world record. Top performer among the competition machines on offer, the c.1966 Norton 350cc Manx prepared by legendary tuner Francis Beart and raced by Joe Dunphy and Keith Heckles found a new home for £61,980, more than doubling the top estimate and setting a new world record for a Manx sold at auction. Hot on its heels came the modern Molnar Norton Manx, prepared and entered by Fred Walmsley for the late World Champion Barry Sheene, which sold for £55,200. But it was a technological

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marvel from an earlier era that produced the sale's best result when the 250cc Moto Morini Grand Prix racer from the 1960s fetched £83,260. The Michael Buttinger collection of Japanese motorcycles provided one of the star lots of Bonhams' autumn Stafford sale when the limited edition c.1992 Honda NR750 superbike - an oval piston, 32-valve, V4engined technological tour de force, the like of which has not been seen since, sold for £57,500. Ben Walker, head of Bonhams Motorcycle Department, comments: "In strictly performance terms the Honda NR750 wasn't any faster than many of its more mundane contemporaries. What really blew everybody away was the bike's sex appeal when it came to style: never before

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had a p r o d u c t i o n £54,050. 'Barn find' motorcycle looked more examples from both like a two -wheeled m a r q u e s again Ferrari." demo nstrated the healthy demand for such Two of Britain's premier projects, the 1938 marques, Brough Superior Vincent-HRD 500cc and Vincent, again put in Meteor (below) owned their customary strong by the same enthusiast showing, the 1950 Vincent for 60 years, selling for 998cc Black Shadow £25,300 while the Series C selling for seriously distressed and £57,500 while the 1940 i n c o m p l e t e 1939 Brough Superior 990cc Brough Superior SS80 SS80 - the last to leave the made an above-estimate factory with a Works £19,550. Record Card - made

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Some 70 years after the last bike left their Nottingham factory, Brough Superior have announced a new model. The company has been owned by Mark Upham since 2008, and so far he has been producing replicas of the original machines. Now he has revealed this modern take on the theme with an all-new dohc 140bhp 997cc V-twin engine housed in a modern frame, and featuring an interesting dual wishbone front fork.


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Photo courtesty of Paul d’Orleans / The Vintagent

ur trustee Mike Jackson is pictured left in his pith helmet on the Salt Flats at Bonneville, USA. Mike was there assisting the Brough Superior team in their efforts to set new records at the annual Speed Week. Riders Alan Catchcart (750cc) and Eric Patterson on the 1150cc version set new AMA records at 101.328 and 124.334 mph respectively.

M a l l o r y P a r k T h r e a t As this year‟s sun-kissed VMCC Festival of 1,000 Bikes drew to a close, rumours were circulating around the paddock that there was some doubt that the event would return next year. Apparently the circuit has for some time been operating outside the terms of their 1985 planning approval (with the knowledge of the local council) but newcomers to the area were complaining of the noise and lobbying for the circuit owners to abide by the limit of 92 days

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activity per year, as per the agreement. The circuit operators protested that the extra track days they had been running were the only way to make the operation viable, but a court hearing found that they were in breach of the planning regulations and levied a hefty fine, plus costs. In September the operators (Mallory Park Motorsport Ltd) were put into receivership by the British Automobile Racing Club and all racing and testing was stopped. It

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NEW MEMBERS We welcome the following new members and supporters of our cause: Colin Jackson, Dawlish Craig Fenton, Frome Barry Holden, Portsmouth Sally-Ann Rollinson, Bognor Regis Martin Rollinson, Bognor Regis Jacky Howard, Freshwater, IoW Mike Ricketts, France Mark Booth, Basingstoke Edd Crooks, Dudley Jonathan Markes, Southampton David Gough, Warwick Andrew Gough, Warwick Jean Gilpin, Bognor Regis Tony Rothin, Kidderminster Giles Vodicka, Winchester Clem Peake, Burntwood Peter Dunfored, Andover John Dullea, Gloucester Nicola Dullea, Gloucester D M Grandy, Southampton Ron Hockley, Stony Stratford Glen del Medico, Ashtead M B Appleford, Crowthorne P Coombs, Lymington Stephen Elsom, North Baddesley Lee Gibson, Doncaster Paul Martin, Southbourne Ian Murfitt, Hersham now appears that a new company - not entirely unconnected with the BARC - has been set up to run race meetings at the track, which if it‟s true would mean that the Festival of 1,000 Bikes - the circuit‟s biggest event - will return next July, as originally planned. So watch this space….

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Here are some of the notable dates to look forward to early in 2014. Get them in your diary now! 4-5 January

The Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic, Newark Showground, Newark, Notts.

8-9 February

The Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

22-23 February

Alan Wright‟s Off Road Classic Motorcycle Show, Telford International Centre, Shropshire

22-24 February

Race Retro Historic Motorsport Show, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Warks.

13 April

Sunbeam MCC Pioneer Run, Epsom Downs to Brighton

26-27 April

International Classic MotorCycle Show, Stafford Showground, Stafford

8 June

VMCC Banbury Run, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon

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WE’RE ON THE WEB! WWW.BMCT.ORG

T H E B R I T I S H M O T O R C Y C L E C H A R I T A B L E

T R U S T

Registered in England No. 01445196 Registered Charity No. 509420 Registered Office: Holly Cottage Main Street Bishampton Pershore United Kingdom WR10 2NH

Phone: 01386 462524 Mobile: 07754 880116 E-mail: info@bmct.org

Preserving the past...for the future

The Trust was originally formed to facilitate the building of the National Motorcycle Museum at Bickenhill, near Solihull in the West Midlands, but since 1995 the BMCT has been an entirely separate organisation, a grant - making Charity dedicated to the promotion of British motorcycle engineering heritage through a network of affiliated transport museums throughout the country. Membership is open to all, and allows free entry to all the museums in the scheme. Our funding comes from membership fees, bequests, donations and income from investments. Please direct any enquiries to the secretary, Andy Bufton, at the address on the left.

Find us on Facebook Trustees: I N Walden OBE (Chairman) P J Wellings, S Bagley, T P V Barnes, J F R Handley, M Jackson, J N Jeffery, J Kidson,

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In that big box is the latest addition to the BMCT Collection. Itâ€&#x;s pictured leaving Philadelphia en route to New York, from where it is due to be shipped to Felixstowe, and then on to be exhibited at a museum in the UK city where it was made fifty years ago. All will be revealed in our next issue... Published by Matchless Management Services, Holly Cottage, Main Street, Bishampton, Pershore WR10 2NH

BMCT News Winter 2013  

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