Norton 1983 to 1996
I was in
I returned I went to see Jim in
This was his story below.
My father was always there to help and we both went to Barking Docks to pick up the Norton
I wanted the bike to go into a museum and contacted
Stanford Hall in Leicestershire. I got a reply back from Titch
Allen, the curator of the museum at the Hall and he said he would like to have
it there. We ended up taking it on my birthday
This was when the bike arrived at Stanford Hall, Titch and me are talking about the bike and its travels.
The Bike stood in old stables with other well known bikes.
Earlier in 1988 I sent a letter to Titch
and said I would be coming over to see the bike and try to get it started
again. He said he knew the editor from the motorcycle Magazine ‘Motorcycle
Sport’ and maybe he could do an article and include Stanford Hall in it. It was
organised for Cyril Ayton from the magazine and us all
to meet on
Cyril Ayton after a test ride on the bike
Me and my Dad
All these photos were courtesy of Cyril Ayton who kindly sent them on to me a few months later
In the photo is my father, Titch Allen and myself-my father came with me to Stanford Hall on 13th April 1988 and we got the old Norton started again after standing for 5 years. These pictures are of great pleasure for me to have as this was the last day I had with my father, as he passed away 2 days later.
Front page of the Magazine
This was the article Cyril Ayton put in the Magazine April 1990, 2 years later. I am very grateful to Cyril as the last day with my father was very
exciting as we got the bike started but also he captured these photos that I would not have had if it was not for him.
I have now received information in May 2015 Cyril Ayton had passed away, I had only met him once but this press cutting was shown to me by and old mate of Cyril and mine Freddie George.
I decided to bring the bike back to Norwich as both my daughters were small it was about 125 miles away and they did not want to travel there.
The Norton was at Stanford Hall for exactly 6 and a
quarter years. I went after it on
Through the bike standing its brakes had seized or rusted and it was hard to push it onto the trailer-I had to be careful as one of the screws in my ankle was near the surface and if I knocked my ankle it was very painful.
This was not all that happened that day, as I was really
lucky to get the bike back. I got to
After I had the bike back home I had to do a bit of work on it to get it road worthy again, I then started using it to go to college as I had then started a retraining course in motor mechanics in 1991.
At the end of 1992 ‘Classic Bike Magazine’ were doing various bike on how to maintain them and I ended up contacting them to see if they wanted any of my experience. The Deputy Editor Mick Duckworth contacted me and organised a meeting at my house.
Himself and a colleague came Mick to ask questions and the other person to take various photos.
This is the Front page of the magazine and the other picture is with out my hat Section 42
Second page showing contents with Commando Maintenance and me on page 42
Both these photos are courtesy of Classic Bike and are used in the main article
As time went on the Norton needed work and I ended up doing another engine overhaul a re-bore and the con-rods were made true as I was told they were slightly bent, I know when that happened-there was torrential rains in North Queensland and the cylinders got flooded and water does not compress-when I tried to kick it over I realised it was hard so I removed the sparkplugs and pumped the water out.
Various stages of the engine rebuild with Keith my next door neighbour there to give me a hand when I was then going to slot the engine into the frame.
After a while and I had been doing the course for some time the college were interested me and why I went into retraining and wanted to do a story in their magazine and this was it below.
Photo courtesy of the City College
After a while of riding the Norton in
George Harmer and Stephen his son ran it and agreed to have it there in 1994.
to take the Norton to
Out side of the
museum-it was part of
These photos and write-up are courtesy of Eastern Daily Press Norwich
The Norton was at the museum for 2 years and I felt I did
not have the need or the resources to keep the Norton very much longer, so I
decided to sell it. I wanted to sell it to somebody that would keep it in its
look as it was when it travelled through
The photos show
The bike went up to Keighley in
I did around 33,000 miles in
I worked out that the bike did just a bit over 50,000 miles while I had it-there were years where it did 2000 miles and a few that it did none when it was on show.
On reflection it was the ideal bike to do the
Since then I have hired a few bikes-a couple of BMWs and quite a few Hondas and they are so easy. After riding them I would never have another bike like the Norton.
This was Alans children and wife on the first picture and his son in the photos above.
Alan got the bike back to his place and he sent these photos of it outside his house, on the road and at one of the shows.