NEWSLETTER OF THE BRITISH MOTORCYCLE CHARITABLE TRUST
In This Issue: New Affiliated Museum Northants Classic Show Mallory Park Bonanza The Sammy Miller Run Lord Montagu Obituary
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We’re delighted to be able to announce that the Dover Transport Museum is the fourteenth museum to affiliate with the BMCT. Our members will now be able to visit free of charge this fascinating collection, housed in a former Army leisure centre on the outskirts of Dover, which celebrates the area’s connections with transport on land, sea and air. Norman motorcycles were made in Ashford, just up the road from the museum, between 1939 and 1961, so it’s no surprise that the make features strongly in the museum’s collection. Indeed, it’s their intention to eventually have a Norman themed exhibition showing as many different models of the marque as possible. The museum is staffed entirely by enthusiastic volunteers, and has its own workshops where newly acquired exhibits are restored or conserved as appropriate before they go on show. Currently on the bench in the motorcycle section is a very early Ivy which is now being re-assembled (below) ready to take its place in the line-up of bikes.
Many of the museum’s exhibits are housed behind replica shop fronts bearing the names of actual businesses that traded in Dover and surrounding areas in the past. There’s a wonderful model railway layout, a hall devoted to models of cross-channel ferries, and the main hall houses the oldest known surviving PierceArrow lorry, supplied to the British Army in World War 1. A splendid museum, well worth a visit. They are open on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays between March and October, and Sundays only during autumn and winter.
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Sammy Miller with his museum’s latest restoration, the lovely 1965 DMW MKll Hornet 250cc with Villiers Starmaker cylinder and head mounted on DMW crankcases, Alpha crankshaft and Albion five speed gearbox. Beautifully finished in DMW Racing Blue, this is a welcome addition to the collection at the famous Sammy Miller Museum, where BMCT members go free.
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The 2nd Annual Northants Vintage and Classic Bike Show in aid of charity took place at the Star and Garter in Chelveston on 22nd August, and once more the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust was honoured to be selected as the main beneficiary. Stuart MacDowell and his team put on an excellent show, which was blessed with fine weather right up until we were packing up to leave, when we felt the first drops of rain on our heads. There were prizes for all categories of machines, and a great time was had by all. Weâ€™re looking forward to the 2016 edition, date to be announced.
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The demise of the VMCCâ€™s Festival of 1,000 Bikes looked as if it would leave a big hole in the classic motorcycling calendar, but luckily Mallory Park have stepped into the breach to organise their own version of the event. Slightly lower key than the VMCC version (and correspondingly less crowded) the Saturday of the two-day event gave owners plenty of track time to enjoy their classics, like the Ariel Arrow owner who got quicker every lap until the ironmongery touched down! Sunday was reserved for the more exotic racing machines, piloted for the most part by celebrity riders. It was nice to see the Brooklands Museum guys there enthusiastically exercising some of the machines from their collection (numbers 17 and B3).
OBITUARY Edward John Barrington Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu 20 October 1926 – 31 August 2015
Edward, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, was the devoted custodian of his family’s 7,000-acre Beaulieu Estate in Hampshire. He was also a champion of the historic vehicle movement and founder of the National Motor Museum. He played a major role in the preservation of England’s historic houses and the development of the UK tourism industry.
born. In the same year, he also launched Veteran and Vintage magazine, which he published until its sale to IPC in 1979 (it later became Collectors’ Cars and eventually Classic Cars).
By 1959 the vehicle collection had grown even further, and a new building was therefore constructed. It was officially opened by Lord Brabazon of Tara Edward Montagu inherited the Beaulieu Estate on the death of his father, in the presence of many luminaries from the world of motorsport, including John Montagu, a motoring pioneer, when he was just two years old. The Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks and Graham Walker. Satellite motor museums family seat, Palace House, was built around the original gatehouse of were established at Measham and Brighton but were short-lived. Beaulieu Abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded on land granted to the Order by King John in 1204. The Estate was sold to Lord Montagu’s In 1967, the now world-famous Beaulieu Autojumble was held for the first ancestor, Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, by Henry VIII in time. The inspiration came from the automobile swap meets Montagu saw 1538. in the United States and he was proud that the name he devised, Autojumble, was later given a place in the Oxford English Dictionary. Montagu’s birth in 1926 came as a great relief to his father, who at the age of 61 was desperate for a male heir to his title and the estate. After finally The plans for the new Motor Museum and its visitor buildings were then fathering the son he had longed for, it was a sad irony that John Montagu drawn up by the architect Leonard Manasseh. They centred on the design died in 1929 leaving Beaulieu to be managed by his widow and trustees. of a new 40,000 square-foot museum with space for at least 200 vehicles. When Edward Montagu took over the running of the Beaulieu Estate on his To achieve this, Montagu founded the Beaulieu Museum Trust. As chairman 25th birthday in 1951, he found that he could expect only £1,500 a year of the charity, his enthusiasm and drive won the support of the motor from his inheritance, a figure that would barely cover running costs. “In industry and other sponsors, and within a couple of years the necessary 1951, to any sensible, rational being, the house was a white elephant”, he funds to start construction work had been raised. This ambitious project, would later say. “The wise solution was to get rid of it. For me, however – which Montagu’s advisors had warned against, came to fruition on 4th July neither entirely sensible nor rational – that was unthinkable.” Various 1972 when The Duke of Kent came to Beaulieu to open what was to solutions were considered, but eventually he decided to open the house to become Britain’s National Motor Museum. The newly designed visitor the paying public (the abbey ruins and grounds had already been open for complex separated the new motor museum buildings from the historic many years). In his own words, Edward Montagu’s early attempts to attract abbey ruins and Palace House. It also relocated the car parks, diverting the visitors to the house were “charmingly amateurish”. bulk of visitor traffic away from Beaulieu village. The new buildings, which included a purpose-built admissions centre, cafeteria, motoring research Palace House was not as grand as other stately homes, such as Longleat, library and offices, won several awards. The most significant of these, the which had opened its doors a couple of years earlier. What was needed, prestigious National Heritage Museum of the Year, was awarded in 1974. therefore, was an extra ingredient. Montagu later recounted: “What In the same year, a monorail was installed, passing through the museum at catapulted me permanently into the major league for the future was the high level. idea of commemorating my father’s life by exhibiting veteran cars. Without it, my life would have been very different and I doubt whether I would have In 1983, in recognition of his innovative approach and commercial success, been able to remain as owner and occupier of my ancestral home.” the government invited Montagu to chair its new Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, which he soon renamed English Heritage. Those The idea would prove to be a winner. In 1952, there were no other motor who feared the insensitive commercialisation of ancient sites were proved museums in the country and it also gave Montagu the opportunity to pay wrong, although Montagu did make them more visitor-friendly, with tribute to the father he had never known, who as an MP had been an eager improved interpretation and facilities. When the government decided to campaigner for the needs of early motorists, and publisher of the first abolish the GLC, the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was said to motoring journal Car Illustrated. The only drawback to this plan was that, at have endorsed the transfer of its historic buildings to English Heritage the time, he only had one veteran car, a 1903 6hp De Dion Bouton which because “Edward Montagu will know what to do with them.” Lord Montagu had previously been used by the estate electrician. A call-out to the Society played as hard as he worked. He was a keen shot, loved foreign travel, went of Motor Manufacturers and Traders produced the additional exhibits he wind-surfing off his own foreshore and regularly competed in historic needed to start a small motor museum in the front hall of Palace House. motorsport events. He also had a passion for the theatre, opera, gourmet On opening day, Edward Montagu told his private house guests that if they restaurants and parties, for which he never lost enthusiasm despite received more than a hundred visitors by 6pm they would have champagne mobility difficulties in later life. with dinner. The doors opened at 11am and by 12.30pm the hundredth visitor passed through; they had champagne with lunch. Edward Montagu was first married in 1959, to Belinda Crossley. They had a son, Ralph, in 1961 and a daughter, Mary, in 1964. The marriage was By 1956 the vehicle collection, which now included several motorcycles, dissolved in 1974, after which he married Fiona Herbert in 1974 with had outgrown the house and Montagu established a separate home for whom he had a second son, Jonathan, in 1975. His elder son, Ralph, them in some large sheds in the grounds. The Montagu Motor Museum was succeeds to the barony.
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3 The 2015 Sammy Miller Run took place on 30th August and once more was blessed with fine weather. Riders aboard a wide variety of machines enjoyed a jaunt through the New Forest receiving
BMCT-sponsored Finishersâ€™ Medals (inset) on their return. Our photos show: (1) The 1931 Ariel SG of James Devereaux, winner of the Sammy Miller Trophy for Best Machine. (2) Shirley Blake setting off with a smile on her 1926 TT Model Cotton Blackburne. (3) Paul Trim (1961 Triton) with Jeremy Weightâ€™s Hinckley Triumph engined Triton for company. (4) Simon White on the locally made 1936 AJW Red Fox 500. (5) A striking 1950 ex-GPO 125cc Bantam belonging to John Rands. (6) Terry Langley (1961 Ariel Golden Arrow) and Ian Harrop (1970 650 Triumph T120R) wait to start. (7) Ian Anderson (1923 BAT Martinsyde) departs the start with Michael West on his 1959 Francis-Barnett Falcon. (8) Don Rickman on his 1903 Ariel, easily the oldest machine in the event. (9) Detail of that lovely Ariel SG. (10) Not all of the bikes were shiny.
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You may recall in BMCT News no. 27 we reported on BMCT member Colin Seeley seeing his father Percy’s old Series A HRD Vincent Rapide for the first time in many years after it emerged from a long and painstaking restoration. Well, at the recent Salon Privé concours event at Blenheim Palace, Colin got the chance to ride the restored bike again, some 60 years after he last threw a leg over it. Our photos (courtesy of Ian Daisley at Probike Art) show Colin aboard the Vincent, acknowledging the spectators, and discussing the experience with BMCT trustee John Kidson.
M u s e u m There’s a lot happening at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon this winter. With building of the new £4m Collections Centre already in progress, the museum itself will be closed for redevelopment from 30th November 2015. The new look museum and Collections Centre will open to the public on Saturday 13th February 2016. Remembering BMCTpractice, member Bob whoMiller passed away recently, As is their usual the Dowty, Sammy Museum opening aged will be restricted to weekends only during the winter times months. If you’re planning a visit there, it’s best to check beforehand to make sure they’re open. The number to ring is 01425 620777.
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The Black Country Living Museum will also be operating restricted hours for the winter. From November to March they will be open Wednesday to Sunday, and the museum will be closed completely from 30th December until 12th January. Check their website for Christmas opening times. The Haynes International Motor Museum closes at 4.30pm every day from November to March, so aim to get there early, there’s a lot to see! The Museum in the Park at Stroud closes for the month of December every year for conservation and deep cleaning.
D o w t y Isle of Man BMCT member Bob Dowty passed away in July, aged 84. Bob was a keen motorcyclist and road racer, competing in the Southern 100 and Manx Grand Prix, and right up until 2011 was chairman of the Isle of Man arm of the aerospace engineering company founded in Gloucestershire by his uncle, Sir George Dowty. BMCT Trustee John Kidson knew him well and has this to say about Bob’s amateur racing career : “Bob rode in 15 MGP races between 1951 and 1958. In '51 and '52 he rode Douglases in the Junior, in '53 he rode a 7R in the Junior but all his other Junior and Senior races were on Manx Nortons. His best placings were 3rd in the '56 Junior and also in the '57 Senior. He was also 4th once and 5th twice and 6th twice. Out of 15 races he finished 11 times and retired 4 times, which is a very good record. He rode for Reg Dearden in the last few years so had good bikes. He was 84 so he had a good innings, and still had a Manx in the stairwell of his house!”.
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Jill Honeybun writes: “Between 1973 and 1976 my late husband and I lived in the outback of Western Australia. Ken was a leading hand fitter for an iron ore mining company during the day, and a keen motorcycle restorer and steam enthusiast when off duty. We returned to the UK having bought an Atkinson steam wagon, a Fowler traction engine, a BSA G14, and an EMC! Sadly Ken died suddenly in 2006, and recently I came across some old paperwork for the EMC, which we sold to someone in Bradford on Avon some years previously. Your EMC is the only one I can find on the internet, and I’m wondering if by any chance it is “ours”, in which case I will happily give you the information.”
S i n g l e s Amazingly, it transpires that the BMCT’s 1947 EMC, which now resides in the London Motorcycle Museum, is Ken and Jill Honeybun’s actual bike! The sheaf of paperwork Jill sent us contains lots of correspondence between previous owners of the machine, and even a photo of it in café racer guise before being found by Ken, who restored it to its original specification. Coincidentally, member Roy Lambert recently got in touch to say he had acquired an EMC too. Roy’s is a 1949 example which he acquired at an H&H Classics auction in Droitwich.
LMM founder Bill Crosby with the BMCT’s 1947 350cc EMC.
The same bike in Australia in its café racer days.
Melissa Beanland, Huddersfield Lynn Beanland, Huddersfield Lester Beanland, Huddersfield Aron Roman, Winchester Mason Roman, Winchester Naomi Roman, Winchester Robin Bragg, Harpenden Simon Smith, Redhill Dawn Wilson, Kirkby in Ashfield Cassandra Green, Portsmouth Sarah Sparshott, Harpenden Richard Sparshott, Harpenden S. Ayres, Littlehampton Kim Archer, Poole
James Dwelly, Thames Ditton Lucia Couse, Wareham Alex Rankin, Wareham Andy Cloke, Iver Angela Bragg, Harpenden Peter Marshall, Dover David Hindson, Poole Andrew Grenside, Hindhead Benjamin Poore, Southampton Stuart McBride, Canterbury Michael Horswell, High Wycombe Robert Tomlins, Sandwich Tony Sheppard, Verwood John Wright, Bournemouth
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Roy Lambert’s 1949 model 350.
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John Rashleigh, Weymouth Annabel Rankin, Wareham Richard Butler, Bicester Stuart McBride, Warlingham Derek Woodhall, Broadwas Tony Austin, Buxton Chris Bramley, Amesbury Brian Perrett, Mold Derek Patterson, Broadstone Brian Wilson, Loughton Neil Trutwein, Romsey William Chandler, Basingstoke Barbara Chandler, Basingstoke
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The October 2015 issue of The Classic MotorCycle carried a two page interview with your editor...
At first glance you think “Lovely Matchless G45”, but look a little closer… Spotted in the paddock at Kop Hillclimb. Thanks to Roy Osborn for the photo.
THE BRITISH MOTORCYCLE CHARITABLE TRUS T Preserving the past...for the future Registered in England No. 01445196 Registered Charity No. 509420 Registerered Office: Registered Office: Holly Cottage Holly Main Cottage Street Main Street Bishampton Bishampton Pershore Pershore WR10 2NH WR10 2NH United Kingdom
Tel: 01386 462524 Mob: 07754 880116 Email: email@example.com
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.
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 E Kidson
Come and See us on the bmct stand in hall 5
Published by Matchless Management Services, Holly Cottage, Main Street, Bishampton, Pershore WR10 2NH