Registered Charity No. 509420


Well known Midlands personality Professor Carl Chinn officially opened the row of shops known as the “Oldbury Buildings”
at the Black Country Museum recently. Grant aid from the BMCT has enabled the museum to rebuild a row of shops that
were dismantled brick by brick from their original site in Oldbury, and to model one of them on the premises of A Hartill,
a well known Black Country cycle and motorcycle dealer. Our photo shows Peter Wellings and John Kidson outside the shop.


It was a great day for all concerned as the BMCT handed over the Baughan (see article below) to The Museum in the Park
on long term loan. John Kidson rode the machine down to the museum accompanied by Edwin Hayward, son of Bill Hayward,
who rode the bike to so many of its successes between 1929 and 1946. Also in attendance was Graham Stagg, the former
owner and restorer of the bike, and himself the son of a former Baughan employee, and two further generations of the Hayward
family. By special arrangement the sole surviving Baughan light car came along for the day, and representatives of the media
were also present. Peter Wellings handed the Baughan over to David Mullin, Collections Officer of the museum, and presented
a £500 donation to the Midlands Air Ambulance. The presentation of the bike coincided with the launch of a new book by
Ken Chandler - “Harry Baughan, a Life in Motorcycling” is published by Walls Quarry Press and available from them or the
museum shop.

PW & DMDSC02789
Peter Wellings hands over the bike to David Mullin                               Three generations of the Hayward family

Peter Wellings presents a £500 cheque to Annie Newell of the      John Kidson rides into the museum - David Mullin holds the door
Midlands Air Ambulance. Graham Stagg looks on.



The Velocette LE Owners Club has very kindly donated an interesting Mark 1 LE to the Trust. The club commissioned the bike from member John Rose last year, and what makes it special is the fact that the engine, transmission and front fork have been sectioned to expose the working parts.
Cleverly, John has rigged it so that the engine can be turned over using the starting handle that was fitted to early examples of the model. The bike was finished in time to take centre stage on the LE club stand at this year’s Classic MotorCycle Show at Stafford, and in due course will form part of the BMCT display at the London Motorcycle Museum.



Maker: Baughan Motors
Lower Street

Our latest acquisition is a Baughan trials sidecar outfit that was banned from competitions in the nineteen thirties because it was too good!

Harry P Baughan was born in 1895 and formed his engineering company in Harrow after seeing service in World War 1. He was a keen trials rider, and in 1919 built his own design of cyclecar, an example of which he used in the MCC long distance events. In 1921 he moved the company to Stroud, where he expanded into motorcycle production, using mainly JAP and Blackburne engines. Two of Baughan’s employees, Bill Hayward and Chris Stagg, were keen motorcyclists, using Baughan machines with great success in trials and scrambles. Two other keen Baughan workers were the Grant-Heelas twins who helped out with passengering duties. Baughan himself became heavily involved as an organiser of the ISDT when it was held in Wales and held various postsBaughan in the ACU Western Centre until shortly before his death in 1968. By 1936 Baughan Motors had ceased motorcycle manufacturing and changed their name from to Baughan Engineers. In common with many similar companies they became involved with war work, and became suppliers to Gloucester Aircraft, supplying components for the Whittle jet engined Gloster Meteor. Ridden by Bill Hayward, usually with one or other of the Grant-Heelas sisters in the chair, the works Baughan outfit employed a two wheel drive system to great effect, winning trials everywhere it went. Several clubs barredducationalthe combination from their events, although the ACU stopped short of banning two wheel drive outright. Built in 1929, the machine features a Blackburne 500cc ohv TT engine with a Sturmey Archer foot change gearbox. Lubrication is taken care of by a Pilgrim pump with an auxiliary hand pump enabling a couple of extra shots of oil to be delivered to the engine before it was worked hard. A dog clutch operated by a large lever gave the passenger the ability to engage or disengage the drive to the sidecar wheel, essential at the end of a section where the lack of a differential meant the outfit would plough straight on when not being ridden on soft ground. The two wheel drive system was patented by Baughan, and a machine was evaluated by the government for possible military use. By the time the order for 2,000 machines came through, however, Baughan has stopped making motorcycles, so the technology was passed on to Norton, who went on to make over 4,000 Big Four two wheel drive outfits for the military. Last used in 1946 when it won the Cotswold Cup Trial, the works outfit lay around the factory for many years and was eventually acquired in a sorry state by Graham Stagg, son of Chris. The sidecar was in particularly poor condition and needed a new wooden frame making to take the original aluminium panels. The finished restoration was the subject of an article by Bob Currie in The Classic Motorcycle in 1984. Following acquisition by the BMCT, this important and historic motorcycle will take pride of place in a new display at the Stroud Museum at Stratford Court, Stroud.




Maker: The Carfield Motor Co.
Windmill Lane
Cape Hill

Our latest addition to the BMCT collection is this very rare Carfield ‘Baby’ from 1923. Carfield were founded by Messrs. Carter and Fielding in 1919 to meet the demand for personal transport that grew after World War I. They offered machines with Villiers, Blackburne, JAP and Coventry Victor engines in frames of their own design until the demise of the firm in 1928.Carfield were perhaps best known for the model seen here, the Baby. It has a 1.5 hp Wolverhampton made Villiers engine and was announced in 1923. 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 few problems.This model is fitted with the optional kick starter which added £2 to the list price of £30 when new. A two speed Albion gearbox is fitted, and 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.



The BMCT’s latest acquisition is a 1947 EMC Mk I made by Josef Ehrlich, an Austrian who fled the Nazis in 1937 and settled in England. He brought with him a split single two stroke motorcycle engine, based on a Puch design, and in 1947 set up a factory in Park Royal, north-west Copy of DSC02131aLondon, to produce the EMC motorcycle using this engine. The first models (ours in number 16 off the production line) had 350cc engines housed in an up-to-date duplex cradle frame with Dowty Oleomatic front forks and Vincent double-sided front brakes. Unfortunately it was priced high at £191, some £12 more than a Velocette KSS would have cost at the same time. Consequently not many were sold on the home market, but a respectable number went for export. The model was developed gradually over the next few years, gaining plunger rear suspension in 1948, and a 500cc version was planned, but the venture failed and the factory closed in 1953. Ehrlich himself went on to work for de Havilland, but was always working on motorcycle engines, and in 1961 produced a 125cc racing machine on which the likes of Mike Hailwood had some success. By 1968 he was into racing cars, producing Formula 2 and 3 cars for some of the up and coming drivers of the day like Jody Scheckter. Joe went back to bikes in the early eighties, designing a very fast 250cc machine that went on to four TT victories in the hands of Graeme McGregor, Con Law and Eddie Laycock. In his latter years Ehrlich devoted his time to developing the so-called “Environmental Engine” concept which used variable capacity and compression ratio technology to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Dr Josef Ehrlich died in 2003, aged 89 and never saw the engine developed commercially. Our photo shows the EMC being delivered to Bill Crosby of the London Motorcycle Museum where it will be on display.



The Mayor of Coventry flags away the first competitor in the 2009 Coventry to Brighton Run, watched by BMCT Chairman Peter Wellings and Ian Alexander of the VMCC’s Warwickshire Section, organisers of the event. This year the BMCT were pleased to be associated with the run, providing tea, coffees and bacon baps to all the participants, some 75 in all. The Coventry to Brighton Run is open to any pre-1980 machines, with a special class for those bikes manufactured before 1931. Leaving Coventry early on Saturday morning, the riders follow a suggested route to Brighton, where they rest overnight before awards are presented on Sunday prior to the ride home.





A new book cover smalldocumenting the many motorcycle manufacturers to have been based in Coventry has been published with the help of grant aid from the BMCT. The 160 page study is the work of Damien Kimberley of Coventry Transport Museum, and he gives profiles of the makers who contributed to making Coventry the most important centre of motorcycle manufacturing in Britain. The famous names like Triumph, Humber and Coventry Eagle are there, along with not-so-famous ones like Draper, Wartnaby and Clarendon. This well-researched book contains historical information on the personalities involved in the industry as well as the machines they produced, and thus is an excellent reference for those who wish to find out about what was a golden age for engineering in Coventry and the surrounding area.”Coventry’s Motorcycle Heritage” by Damien Kimberley is published by The History Press and costs £14.99. Copies can be ordered direct from the publisher here; or from Coventry Transport Museum. Our photo shows Damien with BMCT Chairman Peter Wellings at the official launch of the book in the Motorcycle Gallery at Coventry.

                     DK & PJW small


We are saddened by the news that Brian Wood, past chairman and trustee of theBrian Wood BMCT, passed away on 5th January 2009 after a long illness. Brian grew up in Birmingham and became involved with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he managed to talk a neighbour into giving him a decrepit old New Imperial that was being used as a hen perch. Brian stripped and rebuilt this bike to running order and so began a lifetime’s fascination for motorcycles which he managed to fit in with a varied career as an engineer, nurse, heating contractor and nursing teacher. His collection grew over the years until ill health forced him to scale back, but he refused to give up his beloved military bikes and rode them until well into his seventies. Many’s the time Brian would prolong BMCT board meetings by drifting off the subject into some long but fascinating motorbike related anecdote – those meetings somehow aren’t the same without him. Brian was 77 years old, and leaves his wife Barbara, a son and daughter, and four grandchildren, to whom we extend our heartfelt condolences. R.I.P. Brian.



The restoration of our 1931 AJS S3 is now complete, and the bike will go on display at the Black Country Museum in early February. The work has been carried out in record time by Sammy Miller Motorcycles to their usual high standard, and both Sammy Miller himself and his chief restorer Bob Stanley have pronounced themselves thrilled with the result. The S3 is one of the rarest of AJS models, since it was only made for one season before the Wolverhampton company went out of business and was bought out by Matchless to form the new AMC concern. The 500cc v-twin is of unusual transverse configuration, and drive to the rear wheel is by shaft from the crank to the
AJS complete ii cropped SMALL
gearbox, where it is turned 90 degrees to provide a chain final drive. The design brief was to make the bike a quiet, reliable tourer, and power output was modest at around 20 bhp. The bike has many nice touches, like the concealed brake and clutch cables and a tank-mounted dashboard which includes the speedo, ammeter and a clock. The restoration of this bike has been made possible thanks to generous donations from family, friends and colleagues in memory of the late Stewart Barlow, a British bike enthusiast who sadly lost his life last year. The S3 can be seen in action later this year at the VMCC Festival of 1,000 Bikes at Mallory Park.


The BMCT congratulates Sammy Miller on being awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Sammy was given the richly deserved award for his services to motorcycle heritage.

75 NOT OUT! 12/11/2008
Museum proprietor and ace restorer Sammy Miller celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday. His wife Rosemary presented him with a surprise gift - three young Alpacas to join the existing ones kept at the museum. Our picture shows Sam and the others getting acquainted with the new arrivals.
If you would like a link here or know a useful resource .... Call or-mail us - see contacts


APPEAL FOR HELP 06/11/2008
The Black Country Living Museum are embarking on a new phase of development helped by grant aid from the BMCT. The plan is to re-create a 1930’s motorcycle shop in the Old Birmingham Road area of the museum, and they are appealing for help from anyone who may have any old photographs or memories of motorcycle dealers of the era. If you can help, please contact David Helm at The Black Country Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley DY1 4SQ or e-mail him at Any material will of course be safely returned to you.


Former BMCT Trustee Barry Littlewood was at Buckingham Palace with his wife Carol recently to receive the MBE he was awarded in the New Year’s Honours list for services to preservation and heritage. As Chief Executive of Coventry Transport Museum for many years, Barry was responsible for the major re-development that saw Coventry emerge as one of the leading transport museums in the world. We offer Barry our sincere congratulations and show him below receiving his medal from Her Majesty and proudly displaying it after the investiture. Well done Barry!

 BRL & HMQ    MBE                 

An event that crept under most peoples’ radar in August was the Pageant of Power at Cholmondley Castle near Malpas, Cheshire. This was similar in concept to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with cars and bikes tackling a tight and twisty 1.5 mile sprint course in the grounds of the castle. We were represented by our members John Kidson (ex-Arthur Wheeler 350 Moto Guzzi), Ivan Rhodes (Big Port AJS & Velocette KTT) and Sammy Miller (Brough Superior & 500 Husqvarna v-twin GP bike). Although blighted by the weather the event - sponsored by Bentley - went off well, and will hopefully find a place in the calendar in future years. The photos below show (l to r) a somewhat soggy Messrs. Kidson, Rhodes and Miller.

The Trust’s recently acquired Triumph Bandit made its track debut at the VMCC’s Festival of 1,000 Bikes at Mallory Park on the weekend of July 12th to 13th. Andy Bufton rode the bike and reports that it ran very well, giving smooth power all the way up to an indicated 8,000 rpm, at which point he backed off in deference to the irreplaceable mechanicals in the engine. Nevertheless, the bike was a match for many bigger machines, being easily able to keep up with Velocette Venoms, Triumph 500 twins and the like. Handling was absolutely spot on, the shallow steering head angle giving great stability, especially around the long Gerards Bend. The light weight of the bike made it easy to flick through the Lake Esses, and the brakes coped well with the big stop at Shaw’s Hairpin. Thankfully none of the chicanes that have ruined the track in recent years were used, and it was back to the good old Mallory Park of the golden era. The bumper crowds were treated to a great weekend of demonstrations, and on Sunday the highlight was undoubtedly Agostini and Cooper re-enacting their titanic battle in the 1971 Race of the Year on MV and BSA respectively. Back in the Avenue of Clubs our Bandit attracted a huge amount of interest on the BMCT stand, being certainly one of the rarest bikes on show. Andy is see below in front of the BMCT stand, and on track on the Sunday.

 DSC02247     Andy Bandit1


1914 COVENTRY CHALLENGE 14/06/2008
These machines were constructed from 1903 by a cycle manufacturer who fitted various engines into his heavy duty bicycle frames and completed them with bought in parts, including engines from Minerva and Fafnir, and later JAP and Precision. In 1914 they DSC02041produced this model, with a Villiers engine of 269cc, and after the war they returned to JAP power with singles and V-twins.

This Villiers-engined example was supplied new to a firm of auctioneers in West Wales and used by them until a car was purchased in 1923. The bike was left in storage until 1997, when it was acquired and restored by Roy Poynting of Salisbury, and it has seen regular use since, including the completion of ten Pioneer Runs without incident. It has been acquired by the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust for exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum, in the city in which it was built 94 years ago. The photo shows the machine outside the Sammy Miller museum on Sunday 15th June, where it was an attraction at Sam’s annual Biker’s Day.



On 6th April 2008 nineteen motorcycles were stolen from the Gloucestershire home of Honorary BMCT Member, Mrs Joyce Cobbing.

Naturally the Gloucestershire Police would be grateful for any information that could lead to their recovery.

The missing machines are:

1904 Humber, 4hp. V-twin. Reg. AB2607

1911 Hobart, Ladies Model, 300cc, Reg. AR2945

1913 Humber, Reg. EH554.

1913 Douglas, Ladies Model. Reg. KT1703

1915 Brough, Ladies Model, in line Flat twin, 500cc Reg. AT2885

1915 Douglas. Reg. CT4454.

1921 Moto Gillet, 350cc. No Reg.

1921 Alcyon Acynette, 90cc. Ladies Model. No Reg, Wheels missing

1923 Zenith-JAP, 680cc. V-Twin. Fuel tank missing. Reg. KH4513

1924 Calthorpe. Reg. PH569.

1925 Velocette,EL, Ladies Model, 3-Speed. Reg BC8928

1926 Moto Guzzi, 500cc. Reg. KC9654

1926 Rex Acme-Jap, V-Twin. Reg. RT2251

1927 New Imperial, 250cc. Reg. KH4513

1927 BSA, 350cc. OHV. Reg. NX8103

1932 Moto Guzzi, 175cc, Model P, No Reg.

1932 Frera, 225cc. No Reg

1946 Ariel Red Hunter.1946, 500cc, Reg UAS872.

1950 Moto Guzzi, Motoleggera.48cc, No Reg.

Anyone with information should contact Gloucestershire Constabulary, details below-

Detective Constable Emma Skeen

Tel- (01452) 335200


Triumph Bandit 28/02/2008
We are please to announce that the Trust has acquired a rare, running example of the bike that contributed to the downfall of the once mighty BSA Group in the Seventies - a Triumph Bandit. This was a 350cc ohc parallel twin, designed by Edward Turner in an effort to stem the tide of Japanese bikes flooding the home and (importantly) US markets. The bike had a Bandit small1troubled gestation and, as it was about to be launched in 1972, the BSA Group was forced into an arranged marriage with Norton as its debts spiraled past the £20m mark. The bike never made it into production, but a handful of prototypes survived, along with some of its stablemate, the BSA Fury. However, most had been built for display at bike shows and were simply mock-ups with empty crankcases, which makes our fully functioning bike all the rarer. Our Bandit will take pride of place in the Coventry Transport Museum, and will be used occasionally for demonstrations. You will be able to see and hear it on track at the VMCC’s Festival of 1,000 Bikes at Mallory Park in July (see below), where it will be ridden by James Robinson, editor of “The Classic MotorCycle” magazine. For the inside story on the Bandit and Fury, see Bert Hopwood’s excellent book “Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry?”



2008 Festival of 1,000 Bikes 31/08/2007
After another record breaking event in 2007 the VMCC’s Festival of 1,000 Bikes returns to Mallory Park on the weekend of 12/13th July 2008. As in previous years the event gives enthusiasts the opportunity to ride their own machines in multiple track sessions over the weekend. Catering for all classes of machines from the earliest Veterans through to machines of the Superbike era, this is an ideal opportunity to be part of a great, wide ranging event. The more relaxed noise restrictions on the Sunday will provide the opportunity for owners to exercise their racing machinery. No doubt among them will be BMCT members like Ivan Rhodes and Sammy Miller, to name but two. We will be in attendance with our usual display up near the hairpin in the Avenue of Clubs, so come along and say hello. For more details contact the VMCC on 01283 540557 or log on to


Colin Seeley is BMCT’s latest member 20/03/2007
AB & Colin SeeleyWell known motorcycling personality Colin Seeley stopped by at the BMCT stand at the recent Race Retro exhibition and decided to become a member. Colin will be remembered as a World Championship sidecar contender in the Sixties and also as the man who bought out the remains of the AMC racing department, thereby ensuring the continuing availability of spares and complete engines for AJS 7R, Matchless G50 and Manx Norton. Many of these engines were housed in Colin’s own Seeley frames and went on to great success in the international arena. Colin’s book “Racer - and the Rest” is out now and is a very good read. In our photo Colin (right) is handing his membership application to Andy Bufton (left) on the BMCT stand at Stoneleigh.


New Trustees join the boardDSC01020 29/01/2007
Following the retirement of Barry Littlewood, the Trust has strengthened the board of trustees with the election of two new members – John Handley and Steve Bagley (right). John has spent his working life in the world of commerce and brings with him great experience and many contacts who will be of great value to the Trust in the coming years. Steve will already be known to some of our members as the Principal Curator of Coventry Transport Museum. He has a great depth of knowledge on historic transport related issues and will be able to advise the board from the museum curator’s perspective.


Latest Acquisitions 15/12/2006
In recent months the Trust DSC01044has been active in securing the future of some interesting machines. A 1934 Scott Flying Squirrel has joined our collection, and is remarkable in having been owned by the same family since 1934! Currently undergoing recommissioning, this bike will be seen out and about at the events the BMCT are attending this year. See List of Events for details. Also on its way is a Beardmore Precision (left), an interesting Kings Norton made machine with a 500 cc side valve JAP engine, unit construction, integral fuel tank and leaf-sprung front forks. One of only two five hundreds known to survive, this bike will be part of the display at the ever-improving London Motorcycle Museum at Greenford, Middlesex.



Off-road vehicles registration bill
The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) is calling on you to lobby your MPs to vote against a new Off-Road Vehicles (registrations) Private Members Bill, that the industry believes will have limited or no effect on the mini-bike problem, but may well have implications for collectors and museums alike. The Bill is recommending a compulsory, retrospective, registration scheme of all off road motor vehicles as a method of dealing with the misuse of mini-bikes. The Motor Cycle Industry is advising that there are already twelve laws in place that can be used to deal with the issue of misuse of mini bikes and an extra law, which would not come into place for many months would have a limited effect on the illegal users who already would have little regard for the current law. The scheme will be costly to implement and legitimate sport will become even more expensive and bureaucratic. The number plates could be dangerous, as they would be likely to break and could be hazardous when racing or competing. We suggest logging on to the Motorcycle Action Group website and following the links to campaigns. There you will find the contact information you need.


Charity Helps Save Isle of Man Heritage 
The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust has stepped in with a grant of £20,000 to help prevent some important racing machines being lost to the Isle of Man following the break up of the Murray’s Motorcycle Museum collection. At its height the museum, situated at The Bungalow on the TT circuit, was home to over 120 machines, the majority of which have now found private owners after being widely advertised on the internet.

The BMCT has assisted Manx National Heritage in purchasing three of the machines DSC01182with significant history. They are the ex- C H Hopwood 1921 Levis which finished 8th in the Lightweight TT of 1922, the ex- Bertie Rowell 500cc Model 8 Sunbeam, and Albert Moule’s 1935 350cc Model M Manx Norton. The bikes will go on display at the Manx Museum, along with some interesting items of memorabilia.

John Kidson, former TT winner and Chairman of the BMCT said “We are delighted to be able to assist Manx Heritage in this way, especially with the 100th Anniversary of the TT Races coming up next year, and hope that this will in some small way help to make up for the loss of one of the island’s main attractions for enthusiasts.”

The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust was originally set up in 1979 to fund the National Motorcycle Museum near Solihull, but became a separate entity in 1995 when the museum passed into private ownership. Nowadays the charity promotes the restoration, preservation and exhibition of rare and unusual British motorcycles for the enjoyment and education of enthusiasts all over the country. 

Membership of the trust costs just £20 annually and allows free access to the country’s leading motor and motorcycle museums. For more details go to the website,, or write for a leaflet from
BMCT, Holly Cottage, Bishampton, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 2NH.


Coventry’s New Look 
On Monday 10th April Councillor Ram Lahka, Lord Mayor of Coventry, unveiled the latest phase in the redevelopment of the Coventry Transport Museum. An impressive archway over Millennium Place leads to the entrance of the new look building, with the exhibits being reached through a splendid foyer with a well stocked souvenir shop.

Inside the museum the Motorcycle Gallery Coventrydisplays are as impressive as ever, but the crowning glory is the new Motorcycle Gallery. This was part funded with a £162,000 grant from the BMCT, and the result is a stunning tribute to the men and machines that make up our motorcycle engineering heritage. 

Prominent in the display are some Coventry made bikes owned by the BMCT, and the 500cc Triumph Tiger 100 made famous by Ted Simon in his book “Jupiter’s Travels”. The full list of machines is below, and we would urge you to take the first opportunity to see what must now be one of the most interesting and imaginative exhibitions anywhere in the country. All credit, then, to Barry Littlewood, Steve Bagley and the team for a job very well done.

    Motorcycles on display:

    1924 Hazlewood Combination       1935 Norton Combination
    1926 Rex Acme                            1923 Triumph Ricardo
    1928 Rudge Dirt Track                  1959 Norton Café Racer
    1964 Royal Enfield 250                 1968 Lambretta
    1960 Triumph Tigress                   1962 BSA Star
    1939 Francis Barnett                    1918 BSA Model K
    1921 Humber 4.5hp                  1927 Norton
    1918 Lea Francis                         1937 Sunbeam
    1947 Velocette                            1950 BSA Bantam
    1962 Francis Barnett Fulmar         1928 Omega
    1974 Triumph Tiger 100                1927 Rudge Combination
    2000 Overlander                           1958 Manx Norton
    1926 Triumph Model P                   2006 Triumph
    1936 Coventry Eagle M4               1920 Invicta
    1923 R&H                                    1924 Rudge
    1932 Francis Barnett Kestrel         1936 Francis Barnett Stag
    1937 Rudge Sports Special            1939 Triumph Speed Twin

    The following can also be seen in an “open storage” area to one side of the main display:
    1911 Rudge1921 Kenilworth          1936 Coventry Eagle
    1911 BSA1963 James                   1919 Triumph Baby
    1962 Francis Barnett Plover           1920 Stafford Pup
    1958 Francis Barnett Falcon          1963 Caldicott
    1961 Greeves                               1958 James
    1948 Royal Enfield                        1925 Humber
    1926 AJS                                      1927 Francis Barnett
    1934 Francis Barnett Cruiser          1952 BSA C11
    1923 Wee McGregor                      1924 McKenzie
    1965 Triumph Tina                        1947 Francis Barnett
    1920 Hobart                                  1962 BSA C15
    1925 Rover                                   1924 Lea Francis
    1940 Rudge Autocycle                   1938 Rudge
    1955 BSA Gold Flash


Two rare Humbers repatriated

We are pleased to have secured two extremely rare Humber machines that had 1921 Humber 4.5hp4previously been exported overseas. The 1921 4.5 hp is an interesting flat twin of 601 cc, known at the time as the “Silent Humber” because of its smooth and silent running. Only five of these bikes are known to exist, and ours is the only one currently on display to the public. It can be seen in the new Motorcycle Gallery at Coventry (see above).

Our other find is a lovely 1929 Humber 350 ohc1929 Humber 350 ohc, a fine sporting middleweight which has spent most of its life in Australia. Again, only four other examples are known to the VMCC, and we are looking forward to exhibiting it at events around the country as soon as we have finished its restoration.



New Acquisition Hazlewood Combination
Our latest acquisition a rare motorcycle combination from Coventry based Hazlewood.  Further information will follow about this and details about where we intend to get it onto public display.  More info in the "Machines" section. 


NEW ACQUISITIONS ....Prevented from going overseas
Two new acquisitions made by the trust were made especially satisfying by knowledge that other prospective buyers were overseas collectors.  A recent Bonhams Auction produced not one but two fine machines.  A 1918 Lea Francis, a make that we have wanted to see represented in the collection for some little while, and a 1920 Diamond 2.5hp made in Wolverhampton.
Both Motorcycles are in fine order and will shortly be going on public display at one of the museum collections.  Photos on the Machines section.



The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust, which exists to preserve and promote the heritage of Britain’s motorcycle industry, has awarded a development grant of £162,500 to Coventry’s Transport Museum. The grant has been awarded to both support the further development of the museum’s motorcycle gallery, and to undertake a two year research project into Coventry’s motorcycling history.

Brian Wood, chairman of the BMCT said “We are delighted to support the ongoing expansion at Coventry, particularly as recent developments have done so much to secure its recognition as one of the world’s leading transport museums. This is the first grant of this scale we have awarded for a museum development and we will be monitoring its success very closely to ensure that our country’s motorcycle history is recorded and promoted in a manner that educates the public, does justice to the industry, and opens up the way for grants to other organisations in the future”. 

Joe Elliott, chairman of the museum’s board is delighted with this grant and said “We are most grateful to the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust for this most generous grant as it allows us to ensure that our motorcycle history is portrayed in the best way for the benefit and education of all our users. The award reflects the growing and widening reputation of the museum and we are tremendously grateful to the Trust for their active and ongoing support”.

The new motorcycle gallery is planned to be finished in early 2006 and the research contract will produce a history of the city’s motorcycle manufacturers by the Spring of 2007. Steve Bagley, the Curator of the museum, would be interested to hear from anyone with relevant knowledge who would like to get involved in the development of the gallery. He can be contacted at the museum on 024 7683 2425.

Membership of the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust is open to anyone with an interest in British motorcycles. An annual subscription helps to find, preserve and exhibit significant motorcycles from our admirable engineering past for future generations. Go to their web site at for more details or email

Further information available from:
* British Motorcycle Charitable Trust – Andy Bufton
* Coventry Transport Museum – Lucy Rumble


The BMCT were represented by Andy Bufton at a glittering ceremony to officially open the new extension to the acclaimed Sammy Miller Museum.Sammy Miller 17.03.05 014

A whole host of stars of yesteryear were in attendance to see John Surtees MBE declare the new collection open. Among the many former champions present were Tommy Robb, Stuart Graham, Gordon Jackson, and Roy Peplow, to name but a few. 

Sammy himself introduced a televised tribute from Murray Walker  (in Malaysia for the F1 car GP) before handing over to “Big John” for the unveiling. After the ceremony there was a demonstration of some of the unique bikes from the museum, topped off by Sammy giving an exuberant wheelie display on his trials Ariel.

The quality of the exhibits in the new Racing Gallery is simply astonishing. Sammy admits that his favourite of all is the “Mona Lisa” of motorcycles, the 1939 V4 AJS racer.

Visit soon*, and see the autographs of those who attended the opening on the petrol pumps just inside the entrance.
Congratulations to you Sammy, from all at the BMCT.

* Remember Trust Members are entitled to Complimentary Family Admission, so don't forget your membership card


We have recently been made aware of another major restoration project concerning a rare peice of motorcycling history almost lost in the NMM fire :-
the ex- Terry Vinicombe Kirby BSA outfit which won the 1968 750cc sidecar TT at the Isle of Man and was Tom Kirby's only TT winner.
This painstaking restoration is being undertaken by a committed team led by Roland Pickett and is documented on a
website with many fascinating photographs. 

The factory records for large numbers of British bikes have been transferred to the Vintage Motor Cycle Club library from the Science Museum in London. The archive consists of eight hundred production and despatch record books identifying production, competition and works machinery. For more details contact the VMCC on

The BMCT’s recently restored Banshee was one of the victorious Sammy Miller Museum team machines at this year’s Graham Walker Run. Sammy’s team made a clean sweep of the awards aided by the Banshee which ran faultlessly throughout. See it at Sammy’s museum, along with other BMCT bikes, including the interesting Whippet motor scooter which has just emerged from the workshops after a nine month restoration.

The board of trustees at the BMCT are currently involved in projects which we hope will increase the profile and scope of our work in motorcycle preservation and exhibition.
We hope to bring you more news in the very near future.

The email address for general enquiries is Please let us have any news, views or stories and information which will help us in our aim to locate and preserve rare British bikes.

Current at October 08