Barnstormer contributor Steve Wynnes purchase of the 1905 Brown motorcycle at the recent Webbs Motorcycle Auction (see here for report) was inspired by a photograph given to him by his grandmother over 50 years ago. Steve picks up the story –
The photograph shows my grandparents Jack and Mary Sherman in 1904/05 on a Brown motorcycle with trailer. Although I never met my granddad, he was a motoring pioneer opening up a service station in 1900 in the Manchester area of England. Granny gave me the picture 50 years ago and told me that they used to travel regularly from Manchester to Cambridge (about 160 miles) on the Brown. When they arrived she would be covered from head to toe in dust, oil, smoke and horse poo! You can see why.
It is my belief one inherits talents and interests from grandparents, not parents, so this is my way of getting in touch with the grandfather I never knew. From my as yet one short run I can only be impressed, and he must have been an Olympic athlete to have started the motorcycle with granny in the trailer!
Apparently in 1903 Mr Brown offered a prize for the first bike home on a 200 mile run, his bike came in third. In 1904 he offered it again, this time winning his own prize. You will see now why I am so pleased to have bought a similar bike at the recent Webbs Auction and why my first trip must be at least 200 miles. I may even make it down to Barnstormer Central, but with no brakes, no clutch and no gears I will have to develop my swerving and avoidance techniques to get over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Please enjoy the photograph as I have done over the last 50 years.
Many thanks for your contribution Steve.