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BMCT News Newsletter of The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust

September 2009

1923 CARFIELD ‘BABY’ Trustees Peter Wellings (Chairman) Malcolm Aldridge Steve Bagley Paul Barnes John Handley Mike Jackson John Kidson Ian Walden OBE Registered Office Rodborough Court Stroud GL5 3LR Registered Charity No. 509420 Editor Andy Bufton/MMS Holly Cottage Bishampton Pershore WR10 2NH

Our latest acquisition is this very rare Carfield „Baby‟ from 1923. Despite the automobile connotations of the name, there was no connection here with a car maker - the name came from an amalgamation of the names of the two founders of the company, Messrs. Carter and Fielding, who formed Carfield in 1919 to cash in on the demand for personal transport that grew after World War I. They offered machines with Villiers, Blackburne, JAP and Coventry Victor

Contact details Tel: 01386 462524 Mob: 07754 880116 E-mail: info@bmct.org Website www.bmct.org

engines in frames of their own design until the demise of the firm in 1928. To go with the bought-in proprietary engines, transmission was either by direct belt drive or via chain drive to an Albion two-speed gearbox with a belt final drive.

The new model quickly made a name for itself when Brian Carter rode one to a Bronze Medal in the Scottish Six Days Trial of that year, covering over 1,000 miles in arduous conditions with little difficulty. Our model is fitted with the optional kick starter which added £2 to the list price of £30 when new. The two speed Albion gearbox is fitted, and the eagleeyed amongst you will notice there is no front brake - the handlebar lever and rear brake pedal both operate on the belt rim. It is thought there are only three examples of the „Baby‟ left in existence. This one is a good little runner having been restored in the early nineties and can now be seen at the Black Country Museum, Dudley where hopefully it will be demonstrated around the site from time to time.

Smethwick based Carfield were perhaps best known for their most successful model, the Baby. It has a 1.5 hp Wolverhampton made Villiers engine and was announced in 1923. Nice cast footboard on the Carfield


Inside this issue: Carfield Baby


Bonneville Celebration


Help Wanted


Festival of 1,000 Bikes 2 LMM Anniversary Day


New Members


Two Days in Normandy 3 Norton at Donington


Mystery Bike


Dates for Your Diary


Members’ Corner



Thousands of enthusiasts went along to Gaydon in August as the Heritage Motor Centre played host to the Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club and their celebration of the Bonneville‟s 50th birthday. Production actually started in September 1958, in readiness for the 1959 model year, and the example below is one of the bikes made on the very first day. The weekend‟s activities included a mass ride-out to Meriden on the Sunday, and a fly-past by a Lancaster bomber!

The Excelsior above has been donated to the London Motorcycle Museum and they‟re looking for a volunteer to undertake a basic tidy up so the bike can go on display. All parts and materials for the job (including the correct seat!) would be supplied by the museum, so if you‟d like to get involved contact Bill Crosby on 0208 579 1248.

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Some sights from Mallory...


A nicely presented Triumph

Lovely RE Continental GT

The BSA Gold Star display

A brace of Ariel Leaders enjoy some track time

Thousands of enthusiasts descended on Mallory Park for the weekend of 10/11/12 July to witness what has become the best “live action” Classic Motorcycling event in the UK. Not only did this year‟s sold out event attract the most star riders of any event in Europe but the 1100 enthusiasts who rode in the “public” track sessions were stars in their own right having signed up for appearances on the 1.35 mile track on both the Saturday and Sunday. With the famous Ace Cafe providing their “Rock N Roll” stage in the big entertainment marquee which included DJs and live bands each night and a massive firework display provided by Norton it certainly made for a packed weekend. Saturday‟s weather provided some showers with all but 5 of the 27 track sessions for road machines being dry and saw almost 1000 machines on the track through the course of the day. Saturday also saw over 50 entrants in the pre-65 Trial that took place in the wooded area adjacent to Gerards Bend. The superb weather on Sunday brought record crowds through the gates who witnessed another 1,000 machines out for the 23 Track sessions for racing machinery. Indeed, roads around Mallory came to a standstill as traffic queued for more than an hour to get into the public car park. The record crowds know

that there is always so much happening on Sunday including 2 sessions of Sprinting on the circuit start/finish straight and a highly competitive Grass Track. Also on Sunday The Past Masters demonstrated to us that they have lost none of their style and their élan. Some iconic machines from the past wafted stylishly around the circuit piloted by some iconic names including BMCT members Ivan Rhodes, Sammy Miller and Colin Seeley. An electrifying display of speed and skill came from the National Motorcycle Museum „team‟ of Norton Rotaries under the watchful eye of their creator Brian Crighton. The huge crowd watched as the four National Motorcycle Museum machines

BMCT member Colin Seeley on the Gus Kuhn Seeley Commando

LMM ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND Despite the uncertain weather a fair crowd turned up at London Motorcycle Museum in August for their Anniversary Celebrations. Special guests included John Rosamond, former leader

howled around the circuit lead by the new Works Norton NRV 588 in the hands of works development rider Lee Dickinson. As usual, the BMCT were there on the Avenue of Clubs, exhibiting the 1931 AJS S3, 1923 Carfield and a lovely Sunbeam TT Replica from the Black Country Museum. The bikes attracted a lot of attention, but it was a shame that technical problems prevented trustee John Kidson from demonstrating the AJS on the Sunday. It was great to see so many of our members over the weekend and to welcome new enthusiasts to the cause. If you missed the event this year, be sure to make it in 2010. Watch the VMCC web site for dates.

of the Triumph workers‟ co-op at Meriden, and Frank Westworth, editor of Real Classic magazine. Frank arrived on a well used Norton Rotary, fresh from taking part in the ACU National Rally.

Part of the line up of delectable machinery at the LMM

NEW MEMBERS A warm welcome to the following new members and supporters of our Charity:

Eric Needham Douglas Smith Stuart Hatch James Hampton Scott Cooper Eric King Kathy Wilks Tony Wilks Robert Warland Neil Armstrong Peter Bardell Wilf Hatch T M Essex Michael Essex Stephen Joyner Nigel Leighton John Cox Brian Robson Marcus Etherington Peter King Lee Crahart Gareth Thomas Terry Liversidge Simon Rice Henk Meijer

Two days in Normandy 2009 by Dave Morse There are times during your life when you may go to a concert where the performer gives a once in a lifetime performance or their last! You may be there when that most spectacular of sunsets takes place and you say to yourself “aren‟t I the lucky one?” th


Something sort of similar happened to me this June 5 /6 in Normandy for the 65th Commemoration ceremonies for the D-Day landings. It all started earlier in the year with a discussion with a friend who mentioned that a group of British WD bike owners were trying to organise 65 WD bikes for the 65th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and I should contact an Ian Wright if I was interested. Interested? Try and stop me! Ah. Who was organising? When? How? etc...etc... So many questions and so little time, as it was already February.

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to be from all over Europe, a multicultural meeting with one aim to get as many WD bikes in one place since the last war. There were versions of all of the main marques, Ariel, Triumph, Matchless, Norton and of course Royal Enfield. We were given a briefing and then we were off. Some 130 bikes wound their way through the countryside of Normandy with some of us taking it in turn to halt traffic at junctions and roundabouts so that we could proceed unheeded – all very presidential! You could only safely look at the bikes in front of you but you got a sense of what the locals must be looking at as we noisily snaked our way through hamlets and villages to the famous Hillman Battery where we stopped for lunch.

No need to panic. Ian sent out the paperwork that explained that if I parted with a certain, reasonable, amount of money he would both arrange for the passes required to travel on the closed roads around Arromanches and provide a special baseball cap to record the event. I was hooked. Monies were rushed off and in due course confirmation, vehicle pass, (in French!), and directions were provided. I (sorry, my partner and I) decided to use the occasion to visit France as part of our holidays and spend 10 days over in Normandy for which I faithfully promised to spend only 2 days “gadding about” on my 1942 Royal Enfield 350 WD/CO/B. So off we went in full anticipation especially as the week before we went was scorching over here. The weather turned out to sunny and warmish but I warmed up as we got closer to the 5 th when I could get the bike out. That was the first problem. We couldn‟t find the camp that was supposed to be near to where we were staying. It was only on the 4 th that we came across a camp at the Longues-sur-Mer Battery and meet Rob, a very friendly and helpful Dutchman, who explained what was happening on what days – or should be. So on the way back to the site we were staying on I started planning – should I trailer the bike up to Longues or should I ride it? The weather was fine so I decided I‟d ride it. On our holiday site we came across another chap with a Matchless WD who didn‟t know where it was happening. He hadn‟t been planning ahead like I had! We agreed to meet up the next morning and I would escort him and his father to Longues. Off we went, me on my 1942 Royal Enfield 350 WD/CO/B (B for Burman gear box). My new friends on their Matchless machines, one a WD, the other a post war one acting as a camera bike recording the event. We arrived at the camp in due course where bikes were gathering accompanied by their owners who turned out

Longues-sur-Mer Battery camp

After lunch on the road again and off to Pegasus Bridge where we had a few hours to mingle with veterans and public alike. Here it was somewhat difficult with so much traffic to then wind our way up to the Merville Battery where we stayed as long as we liked until dispersing in all directions. Whew, what a day, what an experience. Tomorrow couldn‟t beat it, could it? The next morning came round all too slowly and I feel I may have left just a little earlier than the day before! Today, the 6th June, was the day we would enter Arromanches in one long convoy. Even more bikes arrived in a crescendo of noise and a smell only English bikes leaking oil from many orifices could make. Even more bikes than the day before, with most of their riders and pillions dressed in a variety of war time clothing. Something approaching 150 bikes turned up this time again accompanied with a multi cultural hubbub as everyone took on board just what was happening. We had another briefing again rightly making clear that it would be everyone‟s priority to be as safe as possible because again most riders had not ridden together and a lot would be riding on the wrong side of the road as well as in a big group!

Arromanches crowds

Two Days in Normandy (cont.) All this taken on board and photos snapped we were asked to “start our engines”..Then we were off.


Again we roared out of the Longues Camp and wound our way out through villages with elderly and young alike coming out of the cottages and houses to wave us through. We, again, had the outriders stopping traffic, with most drivers being willing participants, others mumbling “sacre bleu” or something worse.

Page 4 Where were we going though? We wound our way round the back of some shops and then appeared along the seafront in front of restaurants and hotels driving through massed crowds and onto the promenade and alongside the main square. We just about had enough room to park up before being swamped by eager crowds including veterans, some proudly showing off their DR badges. Photos all round.

We wound our way down to Ver-sur-Mer where we had to fill in forms as to who we were so that the whole occasion could be verified by The Guinness Book of Records. There were so many of us that they ran out of forms and they had to be doubled up. Finally all sorted, another briefing explained that we would leave Ver-sur-Mer, form up on the main road and one of the team would film us leaving for Arromanches in pairs. We would then proceed at a cruising pace, staying in our pairs until we got into Arromanches because the same cameraman would race ahead and film us arriving at Arromanches as part of the proof. Phew!

On the outskirts of Ver-sur-Mer At the allotted time we all started up again and roared off slowly through pressing crowds and made our way down onto the beach to join over 100 other vehicles to line up in some sort of order. The action of wet sand and throbbing motor cycle engines caused a few to sink into the sand above their rims but eventually we all parked up. Again many photos. We managed to get some 144 bikes onto Arromanches beach, what a success!

Longues-sur-Mer Battery camp Finally we all started up again and having paired up moved off towards Arromanches. The road carries on for a mile or so pretty much straight before dipping down and then sweeping up through a series of bends to the top of the cliffs above the town. Whilst sweeping up to the top I managed a glance over my shoulder. Wow! What a sight. Being near the front there was a great long snake of khaki coloured bikes winding their way behind me. What a sight!

After a period of time milling around and taking even more pictures people started going their own way. Some were going off to lay a wreath at the grave of a DR at Bayeux Cemetery. As for me, I was exhausted, thrilled and what‟s more amazed at the whole two days. I decided to get out and get back to the holiday camp as the weather looked as it might spoil the show. A quick blast along the coast to Saint Aubin-sur-Mer and back home. My poor partner had the patience to sit there for a couple of hours whilst all the day poured out again. Then the rain started and didn‟t really stop for a further 5 days, however those 2 days...as I said at the beginning, there are times during your life...

We then dropped down into the town. Rolling Thunder. People rushed out of shops. Others fumbled for the cameras. Flags waving, young and old welcomed us into Arromanches. The Gendarmerie waved us through where earlier they had said “Non” to others.

Dave Morse Member A264

Just a few of the machines on Arromanches beach

A proud author and his Royal Enfield

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September 2009

NORTON OWNERS CLUB 50TH ANNIVERSARY AT DONINGTON PARK The Norton Owners Club celebrated their 50th Anniversary with an entertaining weekend at Donington Park in June. Run in conjunction with the CRMC race meeting, NOC members were able to exercise their steeds in a number of track sessions, unencumbered by any noise restrictions as this was the one „noisy‟ weekend Donington are allowed in the calendar. Highlights included a display of Nortons from 1903 up to 2009, Les Archer re-united with his Manx engined scrambler, and the appearance of the new Norton works racer. The event was said to be the largest ever gathering of Nortons in one place. Possibly one of the rarest production machines present was

Mike Jackson, BMCT Trustee and President of the NOC tries Les Archer’s bike for size at Donington

MYSTERY BIKE This one will test even the experts among you. BMCT member Peter Rice has asked if we can identify the make of machine shown in the picture (right). We do have some facts to go on; the date is 13th June 1915 and the location is Walton on Thames in Surrey. The fact that the sidecar obscures most of the motorcycle makes identification very difficult, but if there is anyone out there who can identify it, then please let the editor know.

Some more of the Norton machines that were gathered at Donington...

the 1929 ohc 350 cc Model CJ (above) This was a Walter Moore design, the little brother of the 500 cc CS1, and featured a Sturmey Archer foot change 3 speed gearbox. It is thought that as few as 150 of this model were produced. Moore himself had moved to NSU by this time, and became involved in controversy when the new camshaft NSU racers were unveiled at the Solitude circuit in August 1930 bearing an uncanny resemblance to the engines he had designed whilst at Norton. The makers of course claimed it to be a wholly German design, whilst Moore himself claimed that he was able to use his Norton design with only minor alterations because he himself had designed it in his own time, away from the Norton factory at Bracebridge Street in Birmingham! Probably wisely, Norton did not seek to contest this claim in the courts but instead allowed their riders to prove the superiority of their products on the track - to good effect, it must be said.

The ill-fated Norton Wulf 500 exhibited by the National Motorcycle Museum

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 13 September Knebworth Classic Bike Show 18-20 September Goodwood Revival meeting 4 October Copdock M/C Show, Ipswich 17-18 October Stafford Classic M/C Show 1 November Military Day, London Motorcycle Museum 13-15 November Classic Bikes at the Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust Holly Cottage Main Street Bishampton Pershore Worcestershire Phone: 01386 462524 Mobile: 07754 880116 Email: info@bmct.org

Preserving the past...for the future

Who are we…? The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust was originally founded in 1979 as a means of raising funds to establish what was to become the National Motorcycle Museum at Bickenhill, near Birmingham. By 1995 the museum was well established as a successful commercial venture, and it and the charity became separate organisations. A new board of trustees was appointed to manage the assets of the BMCT as it pursues its objective to preserve and promote British motorcycle engineering heritage. Our funding comes from bequests, donations, membership fees and interest on our reserves. We have an expanding network of affiliated museums that we assist with projects, and we also own a growing collection of rare and unusual machines which can be seen on display at various locations throughout the country. Our members enjoy free entry to all our affiliated museums for the very reasonable sum of £20 a year. To enquire about membership or to find out about how you can help the trust through a donation or bequest, please contact Andy Bufton at the address on the left.

Visit our website at:



This very nice 350cc Matchless G3LS belongs to BMCT member John Evans of Desborough, Northants. John has spent a lot of time lovingly restoring the bike which features stainless steel wheel rims, spokes, fork sliders, spacers, “Jam Pot” sliders and engine bolts. In addition, the crank cases, cylinder head, rocker cover, gearbox, magneto and carburettor have all been chrome plated. The wheels have been updated to 1955 specification giving full width hubs and allowing easier rear wheel removal. With the period panniers fitted and a superb black and gold paint job, this is a real eye catcher of which John is justifiably very proud. Why not share your pride and joy with our members? Just post or e-mail your photo with a description to Andy Bufton at the address above. If there’s a story to tell about the bike, then so much the better.

This special advance ticket deal for the NEC Classic Motor Show is available to all BMCT members. Just phone the hotline and quote the code CBC09 to get cheap tickets and avoid the queues!

Edited and published by Matchless Management Services, Holly Cottage, Bishampton, Pershore, WR10 2NH

Profile for Andy Bufton

BMCT News Autumn 2009  

Carfield 'Baby', Bonneville 50th Birthday

BMCT News Autumn 2009  

Carfield 'Baby', Bonneville 50th Birthday

Profile for bmct.org