British Motorcycle Charitable Trust
The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust (BMCT) is a Charitable Trust dedicated to promoting and supporting the preservation and restoration of British motorcycles. Established as a Registered Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee in 1979, the Trust aims to protect and restore rare British motorcycles and provide access to the public through a network of museums and annual motorcycle heritage events. The Trust also provides support and resources to educational establishments, clubs and private individuals and maintains information on all aspects of British motorcycles.
As well as donations and membership subscriptions, the Trust benefits from legacies from motorcycle enthusiasts. The income is used to provide restoration grants and to improve transport museums in the UK.
The Board of Trustees are all volunteer motorcycle enthusiasts with expertise in various areas of business. The current chairman is Ian Walden, OBE.
Between 1979 and 1995 the Trust developed the National Motorcycle Museum at Solihull before it was transferred to a private management company. Coventry Transport Museum worker Damien Kimberley has compiled a unique history of the motorcycle manufacturing industry in Coventry.
The BMCT are affiliated with and support a network of transport museums around the UK to display rare British motorcycles and members have free entry to the following collections:
- Black Country Living Museum
- Brooklands Museum
- Coventry Transport Museum
- Haynes International Motor Museum
- Heritage Motor Centre
- London Motorcycle Museum
- The Tank Museum
- Beaulieu National Motor Museum
- Sammy Miller Museum
- Dover Transport Museum
- Stroud Museum
- Gloucester Life Museum
- Jet Age Museum
The Black Country Living Museum was supported with a gift of £135,000 from the BMCT in 2001 and the Heritage Lottery Fund to purchase the Marston Collection of Wolverhampton built motorcycles, which included several rare Black Country motorcycles including a 1918 Sunbeam military vehicle found in a derelict state in France. Grant aid was also given so that the museum could erect a replica 1930s motorcycle shop within the grounds, complete with rare locally built motorcycles like the AJS S3 v-twin.
In 2014 a totally revamped motorcycle display will open at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hants., thanks to a £75,000 grant from the BMCT.
The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust own and restore a range of rare British motorcycles including a 1911 BSA 3.5 HP, a Scott Flying Squirrel, a 1923 Beardmore Precision and a 1937 Brough Superior SS80. The Trust has recently acquired the last running Triumph Bandit which it has donated to the Coventry Transport Museum and a rare Carfield 'Baby' from 1923 which has a 1.5 HP Villiers engine and won a Bronze Medal in the Scottish Six Days Trial covering over 1,000 miles in challenging conditions. The Trust is also funding the restoration of a 1936 Triumph Tiger 80 by the Coventry Transport Museum. In 2015 a unique Matchless Vickers machine gun outfit from the First World War was saved for the nation when the BMCT acquired it and provided for its exhibition at the Tank Museum in Dorset.
The Trust funds a range of research and educational work relating to the British motorcycle industry and has funded work by staff at Coventry Transport Museum to write a history of the motorcycle manufacturing industry in Coventry.
The Trust also helped to fund the development of the Resource Centre at Haynes International Motor Museum near Yeovil, where information and literature on British motorcycles is being digitised for the benefit of enthusiasts and restorers throughout the World.
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- "Thanks to the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust" (PDF). pp. P3. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- "Triumphant return to Coventry". BBC. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- "1936 Triumph Tiger 80 Restoration Project". Retrieved 6 December 2009. In 2013 the BMCT acquired the Spalding Collection, comprising an example of every make of British motor scooter made between 1946 and 1962. An exhibition of these machines (to be known as the British Scooter Collection) will open in the Spring of 2015 at the Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, nr. Yeovil.
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