My Great Grandfather’s Motorbike – Part One
Seasons greetings one and all!
For me and so many others, Christmas is all about family. So why should this years Christmas special be any different? I’ve been through the Two Wheeled Ronin family archives and discovered this wonderful, old photograph of my great-grandparents on motorcycle.
I’ve never met them, they sadly passed away back in the 60’s, but seeing the photo sparked something in me. I wanted to find out everything I could about this motorbike. Unfortunately, there is no one around who would remember it specifically.
I had seen the photograph once before but seeing it again really caught my imagination this time. What if the bike was still out there somewhere? I’m always reading about “barn finds”. What if I could track it down, buy it and fix it up?! I’ve seen enough restoration programmes to know that it is possible.
In reality its most likely that the bike was scrapped decades ago, but you never know.
So I started with what I had. An old grainy photo in which you can make out a partial number plate. Annoyingly, I don’t have a date for the photo either but my best guess is that is around the 1950’s or earlier.
I first tried the DVLA, hoping they might find something with the partial plate as you can make out GKC. Anyway, after a couple of discussions with them, they basically couldn’t help. If they had the full reg they could, but they can’t do anything with a partial.
I put the photo up on my twitter account, in the hopes that someone might recognise the bike. A couple of ideas came through. A Panther was one suggestion. Another suggestion was a BSA – possibly c10 or c11. Personally, I think BSA is the closest so far.
For the time being, I’ll stick with that. I went to the BSA owners club. Who were kind enough to look into my enquiry. But sadly, said there wasn’t enough information to go on. And rightly so.
Next, I took my enquiries to the Vintage motorcycle club. I asked where reg’s starting GKC were registered. They told me that GKC was also Liverpool issued – Mar 1942 to Feb 1945. They also informed me that all the record from there are presumed destroyed. So, I got in touch with Liverpool City Council. Sadly it was true. Registration documents from that time have indeed been destroyed.
Dead end. Back to the drawing board.
Upon closer inspection you can see the shape of the knee grips don’t match the BSA C10. Also you can just make out the model badge and it’s a lot closer.
At time of writing, sadly, i’m no further forward with my investigation. I think i’ll have to check out some motorcycle forums and rule out all the motorcycles it isn’t until I find the one that it is!
The research continues and in the new year I hope to bring you the second part of this story.
Thanks for reading folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts this year. Thanks for all the help, support and kind words, it really means a lot.
Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Words and pictures by Craig Willis