Registered Charity No. 509420 Company Registration No. 01445196
“Preserving and promoting
our motorcycle heritage”
The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust Ltd. Registered in England under Company Registration Number 01445196),
Registered Office : Holly Cottage, Main Street, Bishampton, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 2NH
Some more photos of the machine described in our news section, showing the dog clutch arrangement:
The Sunbeam was advertised as the gentleman’s motor bicycle, and built to a very high standard by John Marston of Wolverhampton from 1912. In 1918, tragedy struck the family with the death of the eldest son, followed a few days later by that of John Marston himself, and then his wife only days after that. The Sunbeam company was taken over by Nobel Industries, and remained under their control until they in turn were taken over by ICI in 1927. TT success followed in 1928 and 1929, but despite the quality of their machines, Sunbeam found
it hard to justify their high price in the austere thirties. In1937 the firm became part of Associated Motorcycles, formed by Matchless and AJS, another famous Wolverhampton make. Based now at Plumstead, a new Sunbeam range was launched, featuring a new high-
We are pleased 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 -
During 1936 Edward Turner took over the ailing Triumph factory and decided to update the existing Val Page designed models. This was undertaken in the early stages by enhancing existing models to produce an interim Tiger range until eventually all-
We are delighted to have been instrumental in returning a rare 1920 Martinsyde-
Revere lightweight motorcycles were marketed by W H Whitehouse & Co, of Friars Road, Coventry between 1915 and 1922, using frames made by Sparkbrook and a 269cc two stroke engine supplied by Villiers of Wolverhampton. Some models were single speed with belt drive, but others featured two-
At one time F E Baker’s Birmingham based Precision company rivalled JAP as a supplier of engines to Britain’s motorcycle manufacturers. They started making engines in 1910, but it was not until after WWI that their first complete machines were made. They were launched as the “Beardmore Precision”, the Scottish engineering company having gained control of Baker’s company. Noted for their leaf-
This was Humber’s first peacetime offering after WWI and was based on a pre-
Introduced in 1911, the Hazlewood was built in West Orchard, Coventry by a firm established in 1876. The first machine used a JAP 2.75hp engine and had belt drive to a three-
Richard Lea and Graham Francis started out as bicycle makers based in Coventry in 1895. They dabbled in cars in the early years of the 20th century before switching to motorcycles in 1912 with a range consisting of just one model, a high quality 3.25hp JAP engined V-
The Diamond bicycle was made in Sedgley Street, Wolverhampton until 1908 when the firm’s first motorcycles were offered, powered by Belgian FN engines. After WWI they moved to Vane Street and turned out a number of lightweights with Villiers and JAP engines. In the twenties Diamond were bought out by Sunbeam and entered the TT for many years but failed to register any major successes. In 1933 motorcycle production ceased and the company concentrated on making trailers and milk floats along with frames for other motorcycle factories. Currently on display at the Black Country Museum.
The Kerry was marketed by the East London Rubber Company of Shoreditch from 1902 to 1914. A variety of proprietary engines were used, including Belgian FN and Kelcom. The loop frame design was used to circumvent the Werner patent which applied to machines using the crankcase as part of the frame. From 1960-
Founded by Thomas Humber to make bicycles, the company moved into powered transport building tricars under licence. From 1902 Humber began manufacturing a range of motorcycles and forecars using a single cylinder P&M engine with a two speed chain drive transmission. A 340cc two speed V twin Humber won the 1911 Junior TT and various other variants followed, but the company quit motorcycles in 1930 to concentrate on cars. Now on display at Coventry.
Britain’s largest motorcycle manufacturer had its origins in an 18th century gun trade association which became the Birmingham Small Arms Co. in 1861. They branched into bicycle manufacture in the 1880’s, and for the early years of the 20th century were involved as component suppliers to various motorcycle manufactures. In 1910 BSA produced their first complete motorcycle, the 3.5 hp model. This very original bike is in the open storage area at Coventry.
Founded by George Bell in 1920, the Banshee company made motorcycles at their works in Crown Close, Bromsgrove until 1928. They used a variety of engines, most notably the 269cc Villiers two-
After six years as a bicycle manufacturer, New Hudson began to make motorcycles in 1909 at their Birmingham factory. Production was interrupted by the war, but by the early twenties their range was impressive. Competition success by riders such as Bert Le Vack, Jimmy Guthrie and Tommy Bullus followed, but in the early thirties the firm was swallowed up by BSA. Part of the new motorcycle display at the Haynes Museum.
Rex began in Birmingham in 1900 and merged with Allard, a Coventry bicycle maker, in 1902. Meanwhils, the Acme Motor Co. had set up in Coventry to make motorcycles. In 1922 Rex merged with Acme and an illustrious line of TT winners follwed, with Walter Handley being their most successful rider. Handley became a director of the company, but left to ride other makes and with him left the motivation. Production ceased in 1933. This bike currently displayed at Coventry.
In 1919 George Brough left his father’s motorcycle firm to set up on his own making V Twin machines in competition with his father’s flat twins. Naming his bikes Brough Superior left the public in no doubt as to which were the better machines, in George’s eyes, at least! The Brough works in Nottingham produced bikes with mainly JAP and Matchless engines until 1940 and earned the title “Rolls Royce of Motorcycles”. After the end of motorcycle production the company carried on as precision engineers. Another exhibit at Haynes.
Alldays & Onions made machines like this Villiers engined lightweight at their factory in Sparkbrook from 1903 to 1915. The “Matchless” designation is a model name and there was no connection with the motorcycle manufacturer of the same name. From 1915 the firms products were sold under the “Allon” name and they were produced in a new factory in Small Heath. The last year of manufacture was 1927, when a V Twin with JAP power was produced. On display at the Sammy Miller Museum.
Zenith began in 1904 in Finsbury Park, London with the extraordinary Freddy Barnes designed Bi-
Alfred A Scott was a pioneer of two strokes and produced many innovative designs from his works in Shipley, Yorkshire. Scott himself left the company in 1915 but the name continued to be associated with high performance water cooled models like the Flying Squirrel which produced a heady 24 bhp in 1925! Matt Holder took over the company in 1950 and moved production to Birmingham, where the last “Birmingham Scott” was produced in 1972. This fully restored bike can be seen at the London Motorcycle Museum.
John Wooler’s designs owed more to his love of innovation than to any commercial considerations. He founded his company in 1909 and produced his first motorcycle two years later. After a break during WWI he made a series of fore-
1929 Baughan 2WD Sidecar Outfit
1971 Triumph Bandit
1936 Triumph Tiger 80
1923 Beardmore Precision
1921 Humber 4.5 hp
1924 Hazlewood/Montgomery Combination
1904 Humber Forecar
1911 BSA 3.5 hp
1939 Sunbeam B24S
1923 New Hudson 598cc
1926 Rex Acme 250 cc TT Model
1937 Brough Superior SS80
1914 Alldays Matchless
1922 Zenith Bradshaw “Gradua”
1925 Scott Flying Squirrel
In this section you’ll find photos and descriptions of some of the machines owned by the BMCT
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