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  our motorcycle heritage”

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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

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We are pleased to have contributed to the latest project at the London Motorcycle Museum which sees the late Derek Minter’s collection of racing trophies and other memorabilia preserved intact, instead of 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 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.

Our photo shows BMCT trustees Nick Jeffery, John Kidson, Mike Jackson and Ian Walden at the unveiling of the trophy collection. The museum is open Saturday to Monday, and of course BMCT members go free.


The BMCT is proud to be a major contributor to the funding of a brand new exhibition at the National Motor Museum – “The Motorcycle Story”.

The Motorcycle Story immerses the visitor in a ride through motorcycling history and the human quest for freedom, individuality and the desire to win. For the first time, machines are displayed in their historical and cultural context; tying technological developments to changing trends in fashion, style and sport.

Supporting artefacts include clothing worn and trophies won by sporting greats in displays which cover varied racing disciplines, as well as road safety, British 'Mods and Rockers' youth culture of the 1950s and 60s and the Ace Café.

Central to the new display is the Motorcycling Icons Wall of Fame. A gallery featuring the top twenty riders as voted for by the public. Over 7,000 votes were cast, both online and at motorcycling events across the South of England. And of course there are the bikes themselves, charting the development of motorcycles from the earliest Pioneers (in our photo) through to modern day Superbikes.


After several years in the planning, the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust's exhibition of British Motor Scooters opened to the public on 21st May 2016. Housed within the Haynes International Motor Museum near Yeovil, the collection showcases the development of the motor scooter from its beginnings after World War 1 through to the demise of scooter manufacture in Britain in the nineteen seventies.

The collection is largely the work of one man, Robin Spalding, who set out to collect an example of every British motor scooter from the period 1946 to 1970. Having completed his task, and after restoring many of the machines, Robin, with the help of the BMCT, staged a six-month exhibition of his scooters at Coventry Transport Museum, at the same time launching a self-published book on the collection.

At the end of the Coventry exhibition the BMCT acquired the collection to prevent its dispersal or possible sale abroad, and set about making plans for its permanent display to the public.

These plans have now reached fruition, and the original collection, with some additions like the 1919 ABC Skootamota, can now be seen in its own purpose built gallery at the Haynes Museum, where BMCT members get free entry.

Limited numbers of Robin Spalding's book "British Motor Scooters 1946-1970" (ISBN 978-0-9573144-0-5) with Foreword by James Robinson are available for sale at the museum, and make a splendid souvenir catalogue of the exhibition.


BMCT trustee and former TT winner John Kidson (right) presents the latest BMCT acquisition to Matthew Richardson of Manx National Heritage. The bike is the ex-Bill Beevers/Noel Stephenson/Ben Noble 350 Manx Norton which has a long history of TT and MGP racing behind it, and is unrestored and still in "as raced" condition. It will form an important part of the Manx Museum's new exhibition opening in 2020.

Bill Beevers bought the bike new in 1960 to use for his swansong TT (he had been racing since the early 1930s and was by then 55 years old). He finished 6th in the Sidecar race, 35th in the Senior on his 500 Manx, and 44th in the Junior TT on this bike. It was then sold to Noel Stephenson of Preston, who raced it the Junior Manx Grand Prix from 1961 to 1965, before it was acquired by Bernard (Ben) Noble, of Driffield. Ben campaigned the bike at the Manx Grand Prix for some thirty years in the Junior and Junior Classic classes, with a best result being 19th in the 1985 Classic, and a best lap speed of 81.86 mph in 1993.

What makes this 350 Manx so unusual is its continuous documented history and its “as raced” condition. These attributes attracted the attention of the people at Manx National Heritage, who had been looking for a long time for such a bike to form part of an important new gallery exhibition they are developing at the Manx Museum in Douglas. When asked, we were delighted to assist by acquiring the machine, with memorabilia including Ben Noble’s pudding basin helmet and leathers, and placing it on long term loan in the museum.

Norton Museum Collection: New Affiliate

The Norton Museum Collection has become the fifteenth museum to affiliate with the BMCT. The museum, in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, is the culmination of a lifetime’s work by the founder, Dennis Norton. And that’s a clue - this is NOT a museum of Norton motorcycles! There are motorcycles present, however. Two of them, to be precise, both are Banshees, made in Bromsgrove, and they’re believed to be the only two survivors of the marque in the world.

Dennis Norton started collecting interesting objects in 1949 when he was given a Miller No.1 carbide lamp while working at what was then the Austin Motor Company at Longbridge. That was enough to spark Dennis’s interest in collecting, and he soon began to concentrate on items from the local Bromsgrove area. Local crafts included nail and button making, glass, and the world-famous Bromsgrove Guild, which was known for the decorative features that adorned important buildings all over the world - the gates at Buckingham Palace and Liver Birds atop the Royal Liver building in Liverpool are examples of their work. The collection also represents the lives of the local people through hundreds of artefacts from toys and wirelesses to haberdashery and jewellery.

Initially based in a redundant school building outside Bromsgrove, the ever-expanding Norton Collection became so popular that a new home had to be found, leading to Dennis acquiring and restoring a derelict Georgian house on Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove. The Collection continued to grow, but as it prospered the local council took an interest and bumped up the rates! Unable to meet the Council’s demands Dennis sold the property and eventually the Norton Collection, by now a registered charity, re-located to the Coach House next door, where it has been ever since.

BMCT members will of course be particularly interested in the two Banshee bikes present in the museum. The first is the 1922 Villiers-engined solo that until recently formed part of the BMCT’s display at the Sammy Miller Museum and now on loan to the Norton Collection.  The other is an interesting sidecar combination with a Barr & Stroud sleeve-valve engine and a custom-made aluminium bodied sidecar, made for local a local shoe shop and used by them for shoe repair collections and deliveries in the 1920s. Interestingly the BMCT’s bike was owned by Dennis Norton 35 years ago, but he sold it to buy the sidecar outfit!

The Banshee factory was originally based in Hull, but because of transport difficulties between there and the Midlands, where most of their components came from, they re-located to Crown Close in Bromsgrove in 1920.

A major donor and friend of the museum is the present Home Secretary and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, seen in our photo with Dennis Norton, admiring the BMCT’s Banshee Villiers.

The Norton Collection Museum is at 26 Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove B61 0DD, and is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The founder, Dennis Norton BEM will happily arrange group visits at other times. Phone him on 01527 919531.