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Issue 28

October 2014

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

Ivan Rhodes (AJS) on one of his demonstration laps during the Festival of Black Country Vehicles. In the background is the 1930s motorcycle shop reconstructed with grant aid from the BMCT.

In This Issue: 66th VMCC Banbury Run Cotton Centenary Chelveston Bike Show Break-in at Museum Festival of Black Country Vehicles Book Review Salon PrivĂŠ


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A somewhat smoky departure from Gaydon for Chris Ronalds and his passenger on a 1921 Model H Triumph. That right leg will soon be waterproof then!

Ralph Boreham (Triumph “Baby”) salutes your photographer. The first half dozen starters wore military uniform, Ralph’s was a tribute to his maternal grandfather who served in WW1.

Banbury debutant and BMCT trustee Nick Jeffery sets off on the 1928 Brough Superior SS80 that he recently rode to a rally in Germany.

Peter Burows pushes away on his faithful 1915 Royal Ruby

Lots more photos from the Banbury on our website www.bmct.org

BMCT member Rodney Hann from Sherborne looking very stylish on his 1929 Sunbeam 499cc Model 9.

Sammy Miller, who will turn 80 in November, chose this inline four AJS as his Banbury mount this year.


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Our Cotton Telstar was one of a line-up of racers at the 100th Anniversary of Cotton celebrations which took place at the Brooklands Museum, Weybridge on 20th July. The event was superbly organised by Bob Smith and fellow members of the Cotton Owners Club (Bob is editor of their magazine Cotton Pickins and also a BMCT member) and was a huge success, drawing over a hundred Cottons to the museum from far and wide. It was 1914 when Frank Willoughby (Bill) Cotton patented a design for a triangulated motorcycle chassis that developed the inadequate bicycle based frames of the day into something fit for purpose. World War One intervened unfortunately, and it wasn‟t until 1921 that the first complete bikes rolled out of the Cotton works in Gloucester. Here are just a few of the lovely machines that were at Brooklands. You‟ll find more photos at www.bmct.org/events.

Chelveston Classic Bike Show A huge thank you to Stu McDowell and his team from the Chelveston Bike Show who generously donated the proceeds of this year‟s event to the BMCT and Macmillan Cancer Support. The show was held at the Star and Garter pub in Chelveston, Northants on Sunday 30th August. Prizes were awarded for the best bikes in twelve classes, and mercifully the weather stayed dry after a less than promising start to the weekend. After the success of the event Stu‟s already planning a bigger and even better show for next year, so keep an eye out, we‟ll be publishing the date here as soon as it‟s fixed in the diary.

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At around 11 pm on the 27th of August burglars broke into the inner foyer of the National Motorcycle Museum at Bickenhill. They smashed their way into the museum‟s trophy cabinets and made off with a large number of motorcycling trophies, including several TT Replicas. In the course of the robbery there was damage caused to some nearby bikes (see left) but it seems the thieves were interested only in taking away as many trophies as they could. Which is a mystery, really, as melted down for

scrap they‟re not of very great value, being mostly made of silver plate. Nevertheless the Museum is offering a handsome £20,000 reward for any information leading to the recovery of the stolen items and the perpetrators being brought to book. Anyone with information is urged to call James Hewing at the Museum on: Telephone: 01675 443311 Email: james@thenmm.co.uk www.thenmm.co.uk


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very nice little 1970-built trials iron by even more nostalgic in the period setting of Sprite. The Smethwick (and latterly the museum village. Here‟s one enthusiast Halesowen) manufacturer used a variety of savouring the moment on his DMW. proprietary engines, and in this case the compact Sachs two stroke motor was employed.

For once the Black Country Living Museum was bathed in warm summer sunshine at the end of July for the annual Festival of Black Country Vehicles. The format for this event is very different to most other classic shows as the vehicles themselves aren‟t just parked up for visitors to admire, but also paraded around the museum grounds by their owners. Entries are restricted to makes that appear in Jim Boulton‟s book “Powered Vehicles made in the Black Country” and even makes from outside the area and powered by Wolverhampton made Villiers engines aren‟t allowed. Visitors were able to savour the sight and sound of three very tasty AJS machines (below) from Ivan Rhodes‟s wonderful

Doing very enthusiastic laps of the museum circuit to the delight of the crowds was this splendid little Excelsior powered Meadows Frisky, which back in the 1950s was classed as a motorcycle for taxation purposes.

One of the fascinating aspects of the classic vehicle movement is that from time to time interesting old machinery turns up in the most unlikely places. This Clyno was found in the attic of a house in Liverpool and is being restored by the new owner, who also showed the Clyno car in the background.

One of the endearing features of the Black The many Black Country car manufacturers Country Living Museum is getting the were well represented by marques such as opportunity to ride on some of the locally Star, Bean and Turner (below). made the buses, trams and trolleybuses that

collection. On the left is the 1930 R10 on which Freddie Hicks suffered a heart attack in the 1931 Senior TT, causing the crash at Union Mills in which he sadly lost his life. The bike was rebuilt and loaned to Amal who used it for carburettor testing, keeping it in lieu of debts when the Midland Bank called in the AJS factory‟s loans. In the centre (and also featured on our front cover) is a 1927 H6 which has been ridden by many well-known personalities in the past, including one Howard R. Davies, whose HRD concern was based in Wolverhampton, and to the right is a 1923 Big Port Ajay that Ivan acquired in pieces during the 1960s. Ivan has very kindly supplied a history of these bikes which will appear in a future edition of BMCT News. Elsewhere in the display we spotted one of the last creations to come out of the area, a

If you‟ve not been, we‟d highly recommend convey visitors around the site, and these a visit to the event next year. Remember, were kept very busy during the day. BMCT members go free! Also in action for the day, and providing a smoky backdrop to the display of Sunbeam cars (right), was the replica of the Newcomen atmospheric engine, the world‟s first practical device to harness the power of steam to perform mechanical work. Inside that building is a full size working replica of the engine built in 1712 by Thomas Newcomen and installed at the Coneygre Coalworks near Dudley to pump water. The crowds were entertained by several parades of the classics, looking somehow

Front cover: Ivan Rhodes whizzing past the BMCT funded motorcycle shop at the Black Country Museum


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Thanks to Jim Reynolds and Ivan Rhodes for pointing out the error in BMCT News number 27. Ivan writes:

Recently published by Veloce as part of their Essential Buyer‟s Guide series is marque expert Peter Henshaw‟s guide to the Triumph 650cc Thunderbird, Trophy and Tiger (the Bonneville has its own dedicated guide), covering the pre-unit and unit construction models from 1950 to 1983, when the Meriden Co-op closed. The book contains some very sound advice on what to look for when buying a bike, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls that await the enthusiastic but inexperienced buyer. There is a useful reference section at the back of the book giving details of specifications of the different models and advice on where to go for spares and other specialist services. Priced at £12.99 the 64 page A5 sized guide is available from most motoring booksellers or Veloce Publishing at www.veloce.co.uk

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I s s u u A reminder that back issues of BMCT News can now be found online at Issuu. Just go to www.issuu.com, type bmct news into the search bar (see example on the left) and choose which of our back numbers you‟d like to look at. Simples!

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Following their success at the Daytona 200, Triumph were celebrating again at TT2014 after an impressive victory for Gary Johnson (left) aboard the Smiths Triumph 675 in the first Supersport race. It was the brand‟s first TT win since Bruce Anstey took the Supersport laurels eleven years ago. To cap a great season for Smiths Triumph, their riders are currently leading the British Supersport championship too!

Dear Andy Re. the photo of Ernie Lyons on page 6 of the June newsletter. You‟ll know by now that it‟s not Ernie, but Don Crossley with Ernie Nott on the right and Ken Bills is on the left. Don Crossley was well known for taking newcomers round the TT Course in a coach showing us the way round, telling us how Guthrie would take the moss off the wall at one spot, and where you peel off for Waterworks – blind, and if you get it wrong you finish up climbing the wall as one wellknown trials rider did in a parade lap recently! Two or three years ago I rebuilt the one remaining, of only two such machines, 1949 DOHC 500 Velocette and when it was completed sent Ernie a photograph. I received a phone call from Ernie, in a nursing home by then, to thank me. A lovely chap. Shortly after Ernie died I received a letter from Harry Lindsey to say that he and Charlie Somerville had been visiting Ernie weekly, and that Ernie was counting the weeks and days before his 100th birthday – it was like looking for a lap record, he said – but didn‟t quite make it. He was a staunch member of the Church of Ireland who received the support of his Catholic neighbours when he refurbished his local church. Keep smiling, Ivan Thanks Ivan. And to set the record straight, here’s a photo (below) of Ernie astride a GP Triumph taken some years after his 1946 Senior Manx Grand Prix win at 76.74mph.


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Every year around the beginning of September an exclusive event takes place in the grounds of Syon House, the Robert Adam designed West London residence of Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Scheduled over three days in mid-week, Salon Privé is part Concours d‟Elegance competition and part Supercar and Bike Show where the public mix with celebrities to view some of the most stunning cars and motorcycles on the planet, whilst partaking of as much champagne and lobster as they can manage. All included in the £230 per day ticket price. This year we were proud to be asked by the organisers to enter our Cotton Telstar in the Leaderboard Legends class for competition machines made before 1970. There was a second class for Striking Bikes, and both classes were judged by Steve Parrish, Malc Wheeler and Henry Cole. Here‟s a flavour of the event. Sadly our bike wasn‟t eligible to win Best Machine as it wouldn‟t start on judging day due to a technical problem. The top prize in our class went to the Rickman Metisse.

Norman Hyde (right) discusses the finer points of his Hyde Harrier with the Salon Privé organisers

This Triumph Daytona won its class at the Barcelona 24 Hours and years later was found in a garden hedge and restored by original sponsor Bill Crosby of the London Motorcycle Museum

The Midual was almost marketed under the name Douglas with which it shares its engine layout. Price? £112,000.

The bike Concours lawn. Foreground is Ellis Pitt’s charming little MAC Spud, which he is trying to get into production. Our Cotton Telstar is in the background.

Allen Millyard explains to the judges what possessed him to make a motorcycle with an 8 litre V10 Dodge Viper engine...

The Concours judges scrutinise a wonderfully original Alfa Romeo 6C, believed to be Campari’s 1929 Mille Miglia winning team car. That’s a Bentley 8 Litre in the background.

Winner of the Leaderboard Legends class was this Rickman Metisse entered by Don Rickman himself.

This Thruxton Bonneville is one of twelve built by Triumph in 1960 to contest the Thruxton 500 Mile race for Production machines.

This year the celebrated car was the Ferrari 275. Hard to believe the model is 50 years old. Judging was very strict. This one didn’t win a prize in the Concours because one of its indicator bulbs was out.


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P a g e Member no. A1104 Ian Harrop tells us about his new bike:

Here‟s my recently purchased 1952 Matchless G9 Super Clubman, registered MLX333 (which is a Plumstead area mark). She is in good order, buff log, matching numbers etc., and has had plenty of cleaning and TLC from me so far. My fettling list is getting smaller but there is a small gearbox leak that I need to track down. No engine oil leaks, even after a full set of filter changes and filament filter cleans. I have recently rewired a switch that earths the magneto to provide a cut out. The “to do” list will never go away. Despite being 49 I have only ever been educated in the metric system and even 31 years in the military was mostly metric so its been a real „adventure‟ to start to get hold of Whitworth spanners and the like. She rides well and sits happiest at 55 to 60 mph. I am looking forward to getting to know her better over the next few years!

Welcome to our New Members Mark Barzotelli, and Keri Barzotelli, Brixham Marcus Hilsdon, Shrivenham Ian Thorogood, Ringwood Stephen Duke Sr., Shaftesbury Ian Harrop , Fareham Nigel Herman, Reading Ashley Boardman, Tadley Edward Blundell, Hook Fennis Blundell, Hook Anthony Livesley, Parkstone Micheal Philpot, New Malden Stephen Duke Jr., Shaftesbury L Burden, Rugeley K Burden, Rugeley Paul Norval, Bath Richard Hall, Nuneaton Hazel Bevell, Basingstoke

Derrick Muir, Brackley Neil Sinclair, West Molesey Wendy Powell, London Kerrin May, Southsea Ian Dawson, Southsea David Ede, Morden Marian Norval, Bath Allan Jarvis, Basingstoke Stuart McRae, Wallington D Collar, Crowthorne Ian Hopgood, Faringdon Susan Went, Dorchester Ken Onions, Dorchester Geoff Woodhams, Guildford J Godwin, Hurstpierpoint John Baxter, Nuneaton Barrie Mansel-Edwards, Coventry Pete Graves, Wool

It‟s happened to most of us in the past. We end up coming back from somewhere like the Stafford Show with something we didn‟t know we needed. Well that‟s what happened to Pete Burrows last spring, but on a somewhat larger scale. Just having a general look round the items on offer he was rather taken by this pretty Norton Dominator. So much so, in fact, that he ended up taking it home with him. Luckily, he lives in Stafford so that bit was easy! Nice one Pete!

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Jim Palmer, Weymouth Elisabeth Sweeney, Chapel-en-le-Frith Nicholas Jenkins, Weymouth Gillian Young, Pewsham Michael Howlett, Ilchester C Barrett, Sonning Common Paul Trim, Marchwood David Holmes, Birmingham Alex Golden, Chelmsford Barry Brookes, Weymouth Laura Marsden, Brierley Hill Murray Marsh, Chichester Robert Bromfield, Newbury Nigel Page, Midhurst Helen Page, Midhurst J Ventham , Rowland‟s Castle N Blumsom, Littlehampton

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The caption writes itself - an Ariel ace aboard an Ariel Ace. Sammy Miller, the most famous Ariel rider in history, gets his leg over the new Ace at the Festival of Speed. Made in Somerset by the people who make the Atom sports car (inset) and featuring a 1273 cc V4 Honda unit.


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.

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 Registerered 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

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,

Dat es For Yo ur

Diary

October 18-19 The Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford Showground The autumn “Stafford” traditionally caters for the later classics, with the Japanese manufacturers to the fore. October 19 Bonhams Sale of Collectors Motorcycles, Stafford The sale is an integral part of a Stafford Show weekend. Keep your hands in your pockets if you don‟t want to end up taking home a purchase that management hasn‟t authorised. October 31 - November 1 National Motorcycle Museum Live, Bickenhill, West Midlands The Museum celebrates 30 years since it first opened its doors with a star-studded weekend of fun and frolics. Hear museum exhibits being fired up, meet the big names from the past, Read, Grant, Cooper, etc. and have a souvenir photo taken aboard a TT winning bike. November 14-16 The Classic Motorbike Show, NEC, Birmingham After a couple of years away we‟ll be having a stand at this year‟s NEC Classic Motorbike Show, part of the popular Classic Motor Show. See left to learn how to get discounted tickets for the event. We‟re looking forward to seeing you there. November 22-30 Motorcycle Live! NEC, Birmingham All the latest new bikes on show, plus the Coventry Transport Museum‟s Classic Zone BMCT News is published by Matchless Management Services, Holly Cottage, Main Street, Bishampton, Pershore WR10 2NH

Issue 28  

66th Banbury Run Cotton Centenary Chelveston Bike Show Festival of Black Country Vehicles Salon Privé

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