Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Captain Tom Moore: Veteran's motorbike found by Bradford museum

source - Telegraph & Argus

Captain Tom Moore: Veteran's motorbike found by Bradford museum

By far and away on of the best things to come out of the coronavirus crisis and the story that just keeps on giving is that of the emergence of centenarian Captain Sir Tom Moore, whose incredible fund-raising 100 laps of his garden resulted in a staggering total donation of £33m for the NHS.  For this heroically altruistic effort he was rightly honoured with a knighthood, the Yorkshire Regiment Medal (as well as the rank of Honorary Colonel of Army Foundation College), the Freedom of Keighley (his home town) and of London, Honorary [Life] Membership of the England Cricket team and the M.C.C., a birthday flypast by the BBMF's Spitfire & Hurricane - not to mention having several trains, buses, boats and even animals named after him.  On top of all that he also became the oldest person to have a UK Number One single with a cover version of You'll Never Walk Alone sung with Michael Ball.  The man once even appeared on Blankety Blank, for heaven's sake!

This is before one even takes into account his military service during World War Two in the Burma Campaign, one of the harshest theatres of the war, where he served in Royal Armoured Corps and survived getting Dengue fever.  Truly his has been a remarkably well-lived life and never was the phrase "cometh the hour, cometh the man" more apposite - clearly even approaching 100 years old he still had his mark to make.

source - KentOnline

Motorbike once ridden competitively by Captain Tom discovered in Bradford museum collection 

One of the many photographs brought out to show his varied life (soon to be in print as an autobiography) shows him - properly suited and moustached, of course - astride a vintage 1920s motorcycle which he used to indulge in one of his favourite hobbies when a young man in the 1950s, that of competitive club racing.  Judging by the trophies he's holding he was rather good at it too!

Captain Tom's motorbike in pride of place at museum

Now comes the marvellous news that this same motorbike has been discovered sitting in a Bradford museum, having been loaned to its collection by the son of a former owner.  The history of the motorcycle and in particular its manufacturer - the locally-based Scott Motorcycle Company - is as equally fascinating as to how to came to pass through Captain Tom's ownership, on to another enthusiast and thus to his son before eventually coming back to prominence in this wonderfully serendipitous manner.  One can well understand the obvious pride displayed by the Bradford Industrial Museum in now being able to update its history to include ownership by a local and national hero and I'm sure it will now take pride of place in its collection, as part of the endlessly rewarding story of one man's remarkable life.


  1. A fantastic find! I've been following Capt. Moore ever since his walk hit the national news here in the States.

    1. It's a good news story on top of an already extra-special good news story, isn't it. Of course, I should have said Captain Sir Tom is an international hero now - glad to hear his amazing achievement made the headlines over in the States too.


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