Motorcycle enthusiasts are gearing up for the hugely popular annual Tolson Museum Motorbike Show on Sunday 9 September. Whilst there is excited anticipation about the variety of makes, models and vintages of motorbikes that will be on display outside museum, the star of the show may well come from inside the museum itself.
For the museum in Huddersfield has recently taken delivery of a special and rare motorbike – a very early Panther made by the Cleckheaton firm of Phelon & Moore.
The Phelon & Moore 3.5 H.P. motorcycle was previously part of the Spen Valley Stories exhibition at the now closed Red House Museum in Gomersal. It now takes pride of place in Tolson Museum’s transport gallery.
Cllr Graham Turner (Kirklees Cabinet member for Corporate Strategy, Cultural Policy and Asset Strategy) said: “We are delighted to have this beautiful example of an early Panther on display in time for the Motorbike Show. I’m sure it will be admired and appreciated by the many motorbike enthusiasts we are expecting that day. I welcome this wonderful addition to its new home, the excellent transport gallery in the museum, and I am sure that it will be admired by the many visitors to Tolson Museum in the coming years.”
More than three thousand 3.5 H.P. motorcycles were made at the Phelon & Moore factory between 1914 and 1920, with forty a week being made at the height of production. They were used by the Royal Air Force for their dispatch riders. The machine on display in the museum was saved from a Sussex scrapyard in 1947 and was acquired for Kirklees Museums’ collections in 1991.
Exhibited alongside the motorcycle is a sectioned Panther M100 motorcycle engine. It is a showroom example of the famous “Redwing 100” model manufactured by the Cleckheaton firm between 1950 and 1960.
These two permanent exhibits are added attractions to the Motorbike Show event which will have a wide range of makes and models, from classic to modern, on show. The motorcycles will be lined up in front of the museum in Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Road, Huddersfield from 11am to 4pm.
The Motorbike Show, which has been organised by the Friends of Tolson and Ravensknowle in conjunction with Mollsprings Motorcycles, Honley, is part of Heritage Open Weekend events in Kirklees.