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Issue 30

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

In This Issue: 50th Coventry to Brighton Run Stafford Classic MotorCycle Show Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show Museum News Restoring a CWS Federal Members’ Page Diary Dates


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fter a three year break the Coventry to Brighton Run has been revived by the VMCC Midland Section, who have taken over organising the event from their Warwickshire counterparts. This year marked the 50th running, and contestants assembled at the start in front of Coventry Transport Museum for coffee and bacon rolls laid on by the BMCT before being flagged away by the Mayor of Coventry on their 160 mile journey. Several BMCT members took part in the run, and there were prizes for Lewis Onions (Best Scott), Brian Thomas (Organiser’s Choice), Malcolm Griffin (Best Original Machine) and Martin Young (Best Post-War Machine). On arrival at Brighton they enjoyed a gala prizegiving dinner before heading home the following day.

Martin Young’s Panther (left) waits patiently with another in the morning sunshine

The weather was promising as the competitors assembled outside Coventry Transport Museum

Derek Harper’s 1913 Clyno, oldest bike on the Run

Lewis Onions leads a group away from the start on his very rare 1932 Reynolds Special Scott

Malcolm Griffin is flagged away on his 1954 Norton Dominator

Front page photo: A rare trials shot of the late, great Geoff Duke (200cc Ariel), six times World Champion, who passed away in April at the age of 92. At his funeral the hearse took him on a last lap of his beloved IoM Mountain Circuit.


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The fascinating Starmaker engined Dawson Special, another example of British motorcycle engineering innovation. Conceived and built in the 1970s by Leslie Dawson, founder of DMW Motorcycles, long after he left the company.

Offers were being invited for this supposedly all original 1950 Vincent Comet. Described as a runner, but not used on the road since 1969.

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On the award-winning LE Owners Club stand was this 1961 Velocette Viceroy. With a 250cc reed valve horizontally opposed two stroke twin, they were highly regarded by the press in their day, but were a flop in the showrooms.

This 1933 Brough Superior 11-50 project went for £46,000 on the hammer at the Bonhams Stafford auction, against a pre-sale estimate of £10,000 - £12,000.

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This beautiful 1914 Sparkbrook took the award for “Best in Show” at the Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show in February. Restoration of the machine started with a frame and forks fished out of a lake! Once the identity of the bike had been established, other important parts, including the correct Sparkbrook gearbox and 770cc JAP v-twin engine, were sourced from autojumbles, and the completed machine took part in the 2014 Pioneer Run. Sparkbrooks were made in Coventry between 1912 and 1923. More photos from the Stafford and Bristol Classic MotorCycle shows can be found on our website - www.bmct.org


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Sunday 29th March saw invited guests make their way to the Sammy Miller Museum for the gala opening of the Grand Reception Hall, Sammy’s latest extension in the never-ending battle to accommodate his ever-growing collection. The impressive entrance is two storeys high and brings welcome light into the building while providing space for more motorcycles, with the added bonus of a viewing area from which the Isle of Wight can be seen on a decent day.

courtyard for a fire-up session. The museum’s freshly restored Brough Superior SS100 was one of them, and onlookers were amazed as Bob revved the bike and then let it slip into the slowest tickover, which sounded like no more than 250 rpm as it chuffed away to itself! If you’d like to see and hear it, go to YouTube and type “Brough Superior start up” into the search box. In the still frame below, Bob is astride the bike with John Surtees looking on. Sammy had assembled a veritable who’s who of personalities from the motorcycling world, with the opening ceremony being performed by none other than John Surtees OBE and Murray Walker OBE, who entertained the assembled crowd with tales from their illustrious, albeit very different, careers. Despite the somewhat inclement weather, Sammy and his Chief Restorer Bob Stanley wheeled a couple of machines into the

C o v e n t r y Here’s the latest from Coventry: “Work is moving on at great pace throughout the museum, to ensure that we will be ready to launch our new look in June. In addition to opening the fantastic new Land Speed Record Exhibition this week, here's what we're currently up to: Re-routing and work on new exhibitions Lots of work is happening on the ground floor of the museum, as we change the layout of this area to make some of the biggest and most exciting changes, to enable us to tell Coventry's transport story in chronological order, in a dynamic new way. The upstairs motorcycle and cycle galleries have now been demolished, making way for

a new 'Design and Innovation' exhibition as well as education spaces. In the new museum, the cycle and motorcycle collections will be displayed alongside the car collections, throughout the whole

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museum. Since Thrust SSC and Thrust 2 moved out of their original home, this space has now been completely stripped and redecorated, in preparation for a new 'Working Wonders' exhibition. When it is completed, this will be a super new display of 'working' vehicles, and the important roles that vehicles have played in all of our lives, from milk floats to buses to lorries! The great news is that despite the really ambitious timescale for this mammoth project, we are still on course for the redevelopment to be finished by June 2015 - we can't wait for you to see what we've been doing!”

L o n d o n Exciting news from the London Motorcycle Museum is that by their intervention, and with help from the BMCT, the late Derek Minter’s collection of racing trophies and other memorabilia has been saved from being broken up following the recent passing of Derek and his wife Jenny. Derek had been unwell for some time, having suffered a stroke and crashing while doing demonstration laps on a Manx Norton at Darley Moor in 2000. Jenny cared for him until she sadly lost her own battle in August

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2014, leaving Derek in the care of the nursing home where he passed away in January this year. While she was still alive Jenny was determined to safeguard the future of Derek’s trophies, and through the efforts of Colin Seeley a deal was brokered which saw Bill Crosby and the London Motorcycle Museum purchase the trophies, whereupon the BMCT stepped in with grant aid to provide for their display in the new Derek Minter Café. A full report on the opening ceremony in our next issue.

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Colin Seeley and John Kidson unveiling the Derek Minter Trophy Collection.


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News B r o o k l a n d s

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Brooklands Museum has been awarded a grant of £200,000 from Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund, towards the Museum’s ambitious Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track Revival Project. Coming on top of the recent grant of £4.681million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, this latest contribution means that the project is 95% funded, leaving the Museum with around £370,000 still to raise.

and at-risk smaller items in the Museum’s collection. The reading room will provide improved research facilities for writers, historians, students and specialist groups wishing to explore the archives and reserve collections. The new workshop will enable the delivery of an Aviation Heritage Skills Training Programme which will train volunteers from Brooklands and other organisations in the highest standards of preservation, conservation and restoration of aircraft, as well as providing much The Arts Council grant will go towards a new improved conditions for volunteers working climate-controlled archive store, a training on the Museum’s restoration projects. and restoration workshop and a reading and research room which will be housed The upper floor of the Flight Shed will house inside the “Flight Shed”, which is being built the active machines amongst the Museum’s as part of the Brooklands Aircraft Factory & outstanding collection of historic aircraft, Race Track Revival Project. The archive with a bridge providing a direct link from store will be the first purpose-built, there to the Finishing Straight of the original environmentally-controlled storage space Brooklands race track of 1907 (also being for the internationally significant archives restored within the project) to allow these

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An update from Gaydon: “Work is progressing on the Heritage Motor Centre’s new Museum Collections Centre, a new building, separate to the main Museum that will house the vehicles which we don’t have room to show in the museum, together with the reserve car collection of our project partner, the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust. It will allow the public access to view these entire collections for the first time and also

Second World War Wellington Hangar (to be relocated and restored during the works) into ‘The Brooklands Aircraft Factory’, where visitors will be able to see (and try for themselves) how aircraft were designed and built at Brooklands over a 80-year period.

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Javelin fighter and return it to the City in which it was built almost 60 years ago. Once at the museum the jet will be assessed before a fundraising campaign is launched to pay for its restoration. "We are delighted to have secured the future of this rare example of the famous Gloster fighter," said museum chairman, Darren Lewington. "Built at Hucclecote in 1956, this is the world's only surviving FAW The Jet Age Museum have been successful 4 Javelin and spent much of its operational in their bid to acquire a 1956 Gloster life as a test and trials aircraft at GAC

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aircraft to be brought out for engine runs and taxying demonstrations. The third main focus of the Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Race Track Revival project will be to transform the Museum’s Grade II listed

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(Gloster Aircraft Company)." For more than twenty years the aircraft has done duty as Gate Guardian at RAF Leeming. The Gloster Aircraft Company built planes using jet engines designed by British engineer Sir Frank Whittle, who died in 1996, aged 89. Sir Frank's son, Ian, is a patron of the Jet Age Museum which has had 25,000 visitors since it reopened in August 2013. The museum is also home to one of the three surviving Gloster Unibus motor scooters, made in 1920.

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be the place where our cars are looked the museum, from some of the oldest after, with a fantastic new workshop facility. British cars, to sports cars and one-off prototypes, some of which have been rarely The project is one of the most ambitious on display to the public before. There will undertaken at the Heritage Motor Centre also be a wide selection of models from the since it opened in 1993. Costing over £4 world’s most comprehensive public million, the Museum Collections Centre is collection of Jaguars and Daimlers. funded by a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, together with A new workshop for the Trusts’ skilled generous gifts from our two main sponsors, technicians is also an important part of the Jaguar Land Rover and building and you will be able to watch as the Garfield Weston they carry out the busy daily task of looking Foundation, as well as after such large and varied collections. money from both Trusts. In all, it will be a really different way of seeing our collections and a chance for you Inside the new building to get behind the scenes and experience there will be nearly 250 how a large museum ticks”. cars; the same mix of interesting and unusual motor cars that are in


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In Issue 27 Stephen Hartley introduced us to “Fed”, his 1922 CWS Federal. He was about to entrust his pride and joy to specialist engineers for a full restoration, and here’s how Fed has been getting on.

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n August 2014 we decided to have ‘Fed’ professionally restored at Stotfold Engineering Co Ltd in Biggleswade. The decision was made with some trepidation – would irreplaceable parts be lost? How long would the work take, what would it cost? This is how Fed has been getting on… 8 August. Terry @ Stotfold Engineers – “The engine is altogether now and has good compression. I cannot see any teething problems in regards to ignition timing. The clutch has three plates missing and I am sure that I will have to make these parts from flat spring steel. I will send a pic of the type of clutch plate for your reference. The gearbox looks in fine order internally but the belt drive pulley has a lot of run out on it, it looks as though it has had a bit of brutal persuasion going by the hammer marks on it, a pic will be sent. Taking a look at the wheels I notice that the spokes are galvanize finished, this is definitely not in keeping, they should be black japanned. The wheels are fine as they are but will need stripping and repainting. The rear mudguard did not look right as it did not match the radius of the tyre, the reason is that the rear rack or carrier has been home-made and is not to original specifications. The rack plays a great deal in the support of the rear mudguard hence the anomaly creeping in. The rack will need a subtle modification to allow the rear mudguard to sit in its natural position. I have done my homework regarding bolts and nuts and washers being bright nickelplated on veteran and vintage bikes. A lot of restorations I have seen have gone overboard with their plating, they assume that every nut and bolt should and would have been plated. Before chrome plating came on the scene there was paint, oil blacking or nickel to finish off the small parts. I am going to use my judgement bearing in mind the purchase price of the Federal in comparison to other machines of the day. These machines do not need glitzing up, keep them standard.” 17 August. Terry @ Stotfold Engineers – “The rack has been modified and the mudguard now sits where it is supposed to. Some nice spring steel has been found in the storeroom that will be perfect for the clutch plates.” 20 August. I headed over to Stotfold Engineers to deliver number plate clamps, replacement handlebar and pedal rubbers, and see how Fed is coming along.

Work on the engine is essentially complete. The gearbox is immaculate (just needed a clean). The clutch consists of spring steel and copper disks – three of the steel disks are missing but it should be simple to fabricate replacements; the existing disks provide a perfect template. 21 August. After much searching I have found Tippers which is a family business that can supply an authentic 1920’s registration plate – white hand-painted letters on black stove-enamelled steel plate. Today I took Anna and Ben over to Stotfold Engineers for a look at Fed. What a difference. The wheels and frame are a beautiful black, the engine and gear box (with its new spring-steel clutch plates) have been re-fitted, and the rear mud guard primed.

Terry has fabricated a rear stand and was doing a final bit of linishing. Fed will look splendid. Even better – Terry has sourced a period valve lifter lever happy day. 23 October. Have found a specialist in Cornwall who can make a tool bag for the rear pannier. The metal box will be finished in leather. 21 November. Terry has got the first batch of nickel plating back and things are starting to happen again at Stotfold Engineers. The exhaust system went back together as well as 90% percent of the forks. Fed should have his front wheel in very soon. 14 December. Fed is tramping along nicely. Terry has prepped the mudguards – there was masses of pinholes in the rear guard that needed brazing up to do a permanent job, and 2 big holes in the front fender that holds the number plate

mountings. Waiting on another lot of nickel plating to come back. 19 December. This afternoon Frances and I went to see Fed at Stotfold Engineers. Things are really coming on – the nickel plating looks fab, particularly the Albion Gears lever and the front damper. 20 January. Terry @ Stotfold Engineers – “Things are on the go again. The carb has been rebuilt as well as oil pump and a few more parts are at the painters. We are not far off.” 11 February. Terry @ Stotfold Engineers – “I am really losing my patience with my painter as he is the only one holding me up. He is holding me up on three projects so far and yours is the first on the list. I am sure I can have the parts back early next week.” 26 February. Terry @ Stotfold Engineers – “We got a few pops and bangs out of him today but he is not running as he has carb issues that I have ironed out today, i.e. flooding, float needle very worn, wrong jet fitted causing over rich mixture, spring too short on choke so cannot get full choke, no fuel filter on petrol tap, fuel cap breather cap hole is blocked and intake mesh gauze missing. I am going to drain the flooded crankcase and clean the plug tomorrow and hopefully we will be on the road again. Of course there is no known starting procedure for this engine with this carb setup but I will crack the code and write it all down for you. The engine has to be primed with oil and the oil pump has to be pumped and locked down so as to not pump any more oil into the engine. The hand lever advance control has to be in the full advanced position when starting as we are not running high compressions here and the flame front is slower to ignite. The throttle lever should be on tick over position, i.e. just open, but I am not sure about the choke lever position. The best start for the choke lever is full open for a couple of pushes and then inspect the plug for wetness. If the plug is dry we will try a little more choke, if he still does not fire we will increase choke until we see wetting on the plug. if wetting is just visible we will have to try a multitude of throttle settings to see if he picks up and fires. There is so little info on the web or in my personal library of veteran and vintage books on the starting procedures of veteran two strokes. I will keep you informed when a remedy is found for easy starting of the Federal. All of the paintwork has been fitted. There is only some fine fettling to do.” To be concluded in the next issue.


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Member Rich Johnston sent in these photos of two of his bikes. The Francis-Barnett on the right hasn’t been without its problems, while the BSA Beagle should see a bit of use this year.

Another Francis-Barnett (above), belonging to member Lee Gibson.

Send your bike photos to Andy Bufton at the address on page 8, or email them to andybufton@aol.com

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We were sorry to hear shortly after our last newsletter went to press that BMCT Honorary Member Joyce Cobbing passed away in January at the age of 89. Joyce and her late husband Ken, who died in 1990, were well known in the vintage bike world, and they accumulated a large collection of predominantly British motorcycles over the years. Unfortunately this attracted the attention of the wrong sort of people, resulting in a break-in at Joyce’s farm in Gloucestershire in 2008, when nineteen of her bikes were stolen. Among them was an exceptionally rare Brough Ladies’ Model, valued at around £25,000 at the time. Following Joyce’s death, her remaining bikes and spares were auctioned by HJ Pugh of Ledbury, where the top sellers were her 1923 Duzmo 500 and 1925 Ner-a-Car.

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We welcome the following new members and supporters of our cause: Mick Tappenden, Crewkerne Mike Webster, Romsey Mike Rivett, Dorking Ian Reeve, Bedford Paul Tremeer, Cheam Colin Archer, Wimborne Ken Taylor, Tadworth Peter Houghton, Ferndown David Ainsworth, Cadnam Denise Houghton, Ferndown Stuart Wigmore, Langport Mike Chislett, Glastonbury Kathleen Wigmore, Langport Raymond Walker, Bloxwich David Parker, Coventry A. Walker, Bloxwich Darren Smith, Rickmansworth Michael Parry, Loughborough Martin Leaman, Rickmansworth Richard Bygrave, Hitchin Lindsay McFarlane, Rickmansworth Josephine Barratt, Ringwood Michael Harnett, Southampton David Tofts, Ringwood Peter Mountford, Bristol Jason Newman, Farnham Peter Hesketh, Woking B. Lauder, West Molesey Mark Macgranthin, West Molesey Ian Dougal, Hitchin John Gentleman, Aldershot Brian Lukins, Glastonbury Tom Luther, Knebworth Harold Vere, Kirkby in Ashfield Ian Cruickshank, Smithville, MO., USA Patricia Vere, Kirkby in Ashfield Graham Hill, Petworth Margaret Maxwell, Shenstone Rodney Hutchings, Crewkerne Chris Batiste, Solihull Bryan Harwood, Crewkerne David Cole, Newton Abbott Dave England, Chard Jane Stone, Northwood Ron Coombs, Welwyn Garden City Jason Burke, Bushey John Norman, Bracknell Susan Dyson, Bognor Regis Simon Lockwood, Dorchester Anna Nicholls, Great Yarmouth James Kelsey, Chichester David Connors, Faringdon Carol Partridge, Shenstone Linda Connors, Faringdon

William Rockstro, Poole Philip Minchinton, Erith Ray Proudley, Salisbury Christophe Jolly, Corfe Mullen Neil Procter, Knypersley Keith Barnett, Wokingham Steve Holbrook, Long Eaton A. Pickering, Blandford Forum Christophe Horridge, Wolverhampton Anne Gartshore, Wolverhampton W. J. Eldridge, Petworth Roger Crowther, Wokingham Stuart Nicklen, Weymouth Philol Sivelle, Ashford Carole Furnell, North Baddeley Brian Thomas, Castle Bromwich Peter Herivel, Herne Bay Ian Ellis, Coventry John Capella, Andover Julie Taylor, Balsall Common Leonard Taylor, Balsall Common Steve Poole, Camberley Terry Franklin, Salisbury Malcolm Kilgallon, Bloxwich Richard Scull, Andover Paul Green, Exmouth


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 WR10 2NH UK Tel: 01386 462524 Mob: 07754 880116 Email: info@bmct.org

www.bmct.org

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.

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,

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June 21st VMCC Banbury Run, starts at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwick. The 67th running of the event, which has become the largest gathering of pre-1931 bikes in the world. There’s 500 entries, and 100 Autojumble stands, too. July 10th - 12th Mallory Park Bike Bonanza, Mallory Park Circuit, Kirkby Mallory, near Hinckley, Leics. Road bikes of all ages will be parading on Saturday, followed by historic racing machines on Sunday. Celebrity guests and two races for Classic Grand Prix machines add to the atmosphere.

July 19th VMCC Taverners Founders Day Rally, Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leics. Synonymous with ‘The Taverners,’ is Founders Day set in the scenic Stanford Hall grounds, it has become one of the major UK events in the ‘old bike’ calendar. Hundreds of vintage, veteran and classic bikes are on show, and there are over 300 Autojumble pitches.

July 26th Festival of Black Country Vehicles, Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, West Midlands. The festival celebrates the Black Country’s historical reputation as a major centre for vehicle manufacturing and all vehicles have been built right in the Black Country from 1913 up until the present day. As well as being on static display, vehicles will take part in parades around the museum’s extensive grounds. Published by Matchless Management Services, Holly Cottage, Main Street, Bishampton, Pershore WR10 2NH

BMCT News Issue 30  

Spring 2015

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