Bill's Unique Military Motorcycle Collection For War and Peace Show
A unique collection of military motorcycles, mostly built during the Second World War, will be on display at the War and Peace Show at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent, in July.
The bikes, which range from a 1938 BSA WC 10 to a 1956 Triumph TRW, are from a collection of 19 motorcycles built up by Bill Tipping, 82, from Formby, Merseyside.
“I always used motorbikes to get home from airfields in Lincolnshire while I was serving as an aircraft electrician,” said Bill, who left the Air Force in 1956 after serving 10 years.
“When I came out of the services I started picking up bikes here and there. Some had been virtually thrown away. People weren’t interested.
“I took them in and restored them, eventually specialising in Army bikes. Now I have 19 of them.” All the bikes are in working order.
The first bike Bill restored was an Ariel 350 WNG machine, originally used by the RAF. He paid around £30 for it. Most have cost him no more than £80.
One of his favourites is a Royal Enfield purchased directly from the Army in 1946. It’s in virtually new condition and entirely original.
His 1950s RAF Triumph TRW was found in a skip having been dumped there during a house clearance. It only had 6,000 miles on the clock. Nobody else wanted it so Bill took it into protective custody and restored it.
“The collection is unusual because all the bikes are different,” said Bill. “There are bigger collections but not so varied.
“Of course the increased interest in vintage motorcycles has made the collection quite valuable now, and I regret that. The monetary value doesn’t interest me. It’s the bikes that are important.”
Now retired, Bill set up a business repairing car radios when he left the services. The bike collection led to a business career for his son Peter, who runs a motorcycle MOT service.
“We have shown the bikes off at local shows on Merseyside and they have attracted a lot of interest,” said Peter. “But we were keen to show them at the War and Peace Show because that attracts the biggest crowd of any military vehicle show.”
The bikes that will appear at the Show include a 1938 BSA WC10, a 1944 BSA M20, a 1946 Moto-Guzzi Super Alce, a 1953 Moto-Guzzi Airone Militaire, a 1939 Velocette MDD (WD/MAC), a 1940 Velocette MAF, a 1944 Triumph 3HW, a 1956 Triumph TRW, a 1940 Royal Enfield Model C, a 1943 Royal Enfield Model CO, a 1939 Matchless G3, a 1941 Matchless G3L, a 1940 Norton 16H, a 1949 Ariel WNG, a 1943 James ML, a rare 1939 NSU OSL 251, a 1939 BMW R35 and a 1941 Indian 741B.
The Tipping family also own four wheeled military vehicles including Jeeps, a Hillman Tilley, a Dingo, and a Dodge weapons carrier owned by Peter’s mother, which she still occasionally drives.
More information on the War and Peace Show website
|The Triumph TRW -ex RAF||
Royal Enfield - still as new condition