Britain's oldest motorcycle goes overseas

110-year-old Raleigh sold to Dutch buyer after British museums decline to bid

Visordown News's picture
Submitted by Visordown News on Mon, 26/01/2009 - 14:05

BRITAIN'S OLDEST motorcycle has been sold to an overseas buyer after the National Motorcycle Museum and Wollaton Hall in Nottingham declined to buy it.

The 110-year-old petrol-engined bike, made by Raleigh called the 'Sir Walter' was built in Nottingham in 1899 and is thought to be one of the first motorcycles in the UK.

The bike was owned by ninety-year-old John Day, from Surrey, who inherited the motorcycle from his father. It has now been snapped up by a Dutch private collector for £26,000.

Mr Day, whose father was a founding member of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club, regularly raced the bike at the annual Pioneer Run at Epsom Downs for pre-1915s motorbikes.

David Davies, editor of the VMCC magazine, told "The reaction of the museum is extraordinary. By any standards the value of the bike to Nottingham was enormous."

Nottingham city council said in a statement: "The museum service reviews all offers of donations through a Collections Management Group. Unfortunately, Mr Day's offer did not reach this group, and as we understand that Mr Day did not receive a latter or other communication from us confirming our refusal of the motorcycle, it is possible the original letter was never received."

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