Sammy Miller Museum News

The Museum Trust is delighted to announce that the Motorcycle Museum will be opening its doors to the public on the 17th May, all being well COVID wise of course!

We are looking forward to opening our Museum and Sammy is looking forward to welcoming visitors into his Workshop once more.

Our new 10,000 sq ft extension was completed only two days before the first lockdown, just as we were about to open it to our visitors!  12 months have passed since then but of course Sammy didn’t do ‘lockdown’ but kept himself busy in the Workshop restoring many bikes, all of which are now on display in the Museum.  So from the 450+ we had before lockdown we have added many more bikes including a 1933 Cotton, 1938 OK Supreme, Sammy’s 1956 350 Royal Enfield Bullet, his first ISDT in Garmisch, southern Germany, Sammy’s 150cc New Imperial Competiti0on bike and a Royal Enfield Constellation.

Jim Devereux has helped Sammy in the Workshop, ensuring that each newly restored bike fires up, some on first kick, and of course Sammy and Jim could not resist riding a few laps around our circuit at the Museum before the bikes are put on display in the Museum!

Events planned for this year start with the Despatch Riders Rally, the Honda Owners Club of GB Classic Show, the Royal Enfield 120 Year Anniversary with the RE Club, the Rickman Enthusiasts Day, British Bike Day and the Vintage Japanese Bike Day and peppered in between those big event days are our usual marquee ride ins for Italian bikes, Café Racers etc…..

Never rains but it pours!  

In the Workshop for recommissioning was another recent Museum acquisition – Ron Langston’s Ariel 500cc ISDT XOB 440. We also located Gordon Blakeway’s team bike XOB 441 and a few days afterwards Sammy located XOB 439, which is Dave Keep’s bike.  Dave lives in Tadley, Hampshire. Dave has had the bike for many years and agreed that we may borrow the bike for our open day with the three team riders Gordon Blakeway, Ron Langston and Sammy.  Demonstrations and photoshoot is being planned for just after we open on 17th May and will have the three bikes with the three jockeys. It will be a great day with some great photos!

Shortly after finding the Ariel ISDT bikes we had a phone call from a gentlemen who had Sammy’s 1956 350 Royal Enfield Bullet, his first ISDT in Garmisch, southern Germany.

However, it did not win a gold medal, just a broken frame on the fifth day! It has all the original documents, correct engine and frame numbers from when Sammy was riding it in the Irish Vase team.

The bike is now in the Workshop under full restoration and will also be on display and demonstrated at the launch of the ISDT bikes.

Also in the Workshop under restoration is a 1926 Zehnder

Our Zehnder is a very rare and interesting bike purchased from Joe Ryan’s collection, the famous Irish road racer.  The “Zehnder” company these days is a leading producer of heating, radiator and ventilation systems but their Chairman, Mr Hugo Ryf, still belongs to the Zehnder family in Gränichen, Switzerland and remembers the formation of their company when they first produced Zehnder motorbikes. Hugo was delighted to learn that Sammy is restoring a Swiss Zehnder for display in the Museum and luckily for us Hugo is in charge of the sale of newly manufactured Zehnder tyres and is delighted that our bike will be standing on two brand new Zehnder tyres! https://www.zehndergroup.com/de 

Between 1923 and 1939 Zehnder established a reputation for reliability and over the years built commuter-style motorcycles with horizontal single-cylinder two-stroke engines of 110cc, 150cc and 220cc along with a number of higher performance sports and racing machines.

Their first machines were designed by Friedrich Gockerell and produced by Zehnder under licence. Nicknamed the Zehnderli, the 110cc two stroke was economical and reliable, and responded well to tuning for sports work. In 1925 a Lady’s version appeared, and they went to chain drive in 1927, with optional 3-speed gearbox and lighting.

Competition successes included class wins in the 1926 and 1927 Paris-Nice races, with Ernst Zehnder at the helm.

During this time they were absorbed by Standard, in 1928. Standard ceased production in Germany in 1938 and moved to Switzerland where they used the Zehnder factory to build motorcycles, production continuing there into the 1950s.

BBC Antique Road Trip 

We were delighted to welcome the BBC Antiques Road Trip in 2020 assisting them with filming of despatch riders and the incredible impact these bikes had on the war effort.  Sammy was very happy to demonstrate on his army bikes from WW1 and WW2 collection, great history.    It is hoped that this episode will be transmitted in the autumn.

Engine Collection

Our engine collection has been enlarged with 18 more displays all with great history, technical design and interest. Many have been recommissioned and are now on display.

New!  Museum online shop!

Although the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum has been closed due to current lockdown restrictions, the new and live ‘Museum Shop’ has been taking lots of orders.  The shop can be accessed on the Museum’s web site. 

Visitors will be able to view the full range of the Museum’s merchandise and more. New items will be added on a regular basis. If you cannot see what you want then send them an email and you will be contacted within a couple of days.  (mgr.sammymiller@gmail.com)

New! Museum Online Booking System

Book tickets to visit one of the world’s best Motorcycle Museums direct from our website!  Our new booking system allows you to book with us instantly. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy!

If you’ve got any questions please send us a message and we will get back to you in a day or two. 

Have a specific experience in mind? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll get back to you making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!

Additional display areas in our New Extension

Because of Sammy’s relationship with Belstaff over the last few decades we are pleased to announce that Belstaff installed a heritage corner on the first floor of the new extension which includes some of their own collection.

The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust have a display on the ground floor of the new extension with many new additions including the 1955 Wooler 4 cylinder 1st world war despatch rider bike.

Library and viewing area on the first floor of New Extension

Take some time to sit and relax at our table and browse the collections connected with the history of motorcycling in Great Britain and the wider world. Our archives are largely paper-based and include correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, diaries, blueprints and collections from Ralph Venables, Bob Light and more.

And that’s not all on the Museum Complex …

When you visit the Museum take some time to enjoy the 3 craft and gift shops 

Krafty Korner     Gifts With A Smile      Seahorse Yarns 

all accessed from our wonderful Courtyard and selling a wide range of gifts, toys, jewellery, wool and craft items and much more.

During your visit enjoy al fresco dining in the sheltered courtyard at Bashley Manor Tearooms, don’t forget to try their award winning cakes made by their patissiere! 

Animals

We have upgraded our animal compounds and introduced more animals for our visitors to enjoy.  But we ask you not to feed our animals as they are fed suitably every day and too much food, either of the wrong sort or just too big chunks for the animals, has led to two of our goats requiring veterinary attention.  Thank you for helping us look after the health of our animals.

And finally…

The regular Tuesday Motorcycle Meet will be back from Tuesday 12th April.

Bikers, ride in on your motorcycle and park in the Courtyard – but in order to keep the Tearoom’s customers free of bike noise and fumes, please park your bike on the other side of the fountain, next to the museum.

Have a drink, something to eat and a chat with fellow motorcyclists! 
Weather permitting of course!  All welcome!

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