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Captain Tom Moore's motorbike found by Bradford museum

Captain Tom Moore's motorbike found by Bradford museum

Published by May Norman at 7:53am 5th June 2020.

Captain Tom’s bike in museum collection

  • A museum has discovered that one of the motorbikes in its collection was raced by a young Captain Tom Moore.
  • Bradford Council's museums and galleries service said the fundraising veteran raced the Scott Flying Squirrel in local club events.
  • Capt Tom, who is originally from Keighley, West Yorkshire, won numerous motorcycling trophies.

Staff at a Bradford museum have discovered that one of the motorbikes in their collection was once ridden by national treasure Captain Tom Moore.

Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Service have realised that the Scott Flying Squirrel motorbike at Bradford Industrial Museum was one used by Keighley born Captain Tom – who once rode competitively.

The bike, with the registration number DN3612, was ridden by Captain Tom using the number 23 and can be seen in a photograph of him sitting astride the machine clutching several hard won trophies. It is thought the photograph is from the late 1950s.

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Captain Tom, who was recently promoted to Colonel for his charity work, has raised millions for NHS charities by walking the garden of his care home during lockdown.

He has since achieved a Number 1 single, a duet with Michael Ball, and heard that he will be knighted for his services to charity.

The young Tom had an interest in motorcycles, particularly those designed, built and sold by Alfred Angas Scott, and he competed in numerous club meets.

Captain Tom bike

Scott Motorcycles of Shipley were at the peak of their power and influence during the 1920s and 30s.

Fast forward to the 1950s and Bradford’s renowned commercial photographer, C.H. Wood, retired motorcycle champion and also Scott enthusiast bought a mutilated 1912 model and rebuilt it. As the bike was rebuilt it needed to be re-registered and the registration number was changed to AK222.

That could have been the end of it, but Scott expert Maurice Rispin of Leeds, who is well in to his nineties, has clear memories of Tom either buying or borrowing the bike from speedway champion Oliver Langton – who was a member of the Bradford and District Motorcycling Club and raced for the world famous Belle Vue Aces speedway team in Manchester in the 1920s and 30s.

Though the bike continues to be owned by David Wood, son of C.H., it is currently on long term loan at Bradford Industrial Museum in Eccleshill.

The museum is home to numerous classic vehicles, including trolleybuses and several models of Jowett.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said:

“We couldn’t believe it when we found out that one of the bikes that we have on display in our Bradford Industrial Museum was once rode competitively by Captain Tom.

“Our Museums and Galleries service is really proud to possess this small but significant link with a true national hero of our times.”