FORMER RAF BOMBER PILOT SELLS HIS 1930 NORTON MOTORCYCLE TO SAVE LOCAL CHURCH
Bill Southcombe, an erstwhile crack RAF airman, is finally parting with his 1930 Norton CSI motorcycle to raise funds to save his local church in Stoke-sub-Hamdon in Somerset. The Congregational Church, which is grade 2 listed, was built in 1866 by Bill’s ancestor Richard Southcombe and, unless £100,000 is raised it to buy it, will be sold off probably to be demolished or developed. Bill has already donated funds raised from two of his other bikes, but is still going as he and the community battle to save this piece of architectural history which has a personal connection to his family.
The bike will be sold at auction by H&H Classics on April 7th at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham and is estimated to sell for £25,000 to £27,000.
A Rare Beast
Bill’s 1930 Norton is one of the very first Arthur Carol designed CS1 Norton’s ever made. It left the Norton factory on the 20th of December 1930 and was registered for road use in 1934 after possibly starting out as a race bike. It’s an unusual motorcycle with a three-brace frame only used in 1930/1 for CS1’s, a left hand exhaust port, and a factory four speed Sturmey Archer gearbox (Daytona ratios) and it still has its original high lift cams 76 1-1/6. Bill bought it in 1969 and the engine was restored in 2003 when Bill retired, by well-known Brooklands tuner Francis Beart’s mechanic Keith Manning.
With the very sad current news about Norton going into administration, this beautiful piece of British engineering may be even more of a piece of history than it already was, so let’s hope it will go to a good home, be appreciated and maybe even get out on the roads once more!
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