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Discovery of huge fuel-can stash reveals 500 rare artifacts

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from https://www.hagerty.com by Charlotte Vowden

A shedload of surprises: Discovery of huge fuel-can stash reveals 500 rare artifacts

Editor’s note: In the interests of preserving the authentic whiff of petrol that pervades this remarkable story from our U.K. colleagues, we have made only slight concessions to an American lexicon. All quotations remain untouched.

Alan Pooley’s pursuit of petroliana was purely sentimental, but the collection of more than 500 automotive artifacts that he amassed during three decades of buying for love not money is so remarkable that it could fetch up to £65,000 (roughly $88,600) at auction. Including over 250 oil cans, 60 two-gallon fuel canisters, and dozens of enamel signs, oilers, and pourers, it is set to go under the hammer later this year.

“The important thing about this collection is that it is completely fresh to the market, but the exciting bit about it is that no one really knew about it,” says Tom Godsmark, an associate and vintage specialist at Cheffins auction house, the agency managing the sale.

“It’s a big collection in terms of scale, but it’s the extensiveness that’s so interesting because it ranges from little items such as lapel badges, old match boxes, and advertising pencils for Rudge bicycles to a fully restored petrol pump.”

Among the pieces which the late Mr. Pooley carefully stored, restored, and displayed in sheds at his home in Norfolk is a two-gallon fuel can that, to the untrained eye, stands out because of the large lightning bolt and bold lettering embossed on its side. Those in the know will recognize it as one of the few surviving examples of a limited-edition run of Shell Racing cans that were produced in the 1930s. With an estimated value of £400 to £600 (approximately $545–$818), it’s one of the rarest pieces of memorabilia to have been discovered in its original condition.

An automotive body finisher by profession, Alan, who passed away in 2020, was equipped with the skills and patience to rejuvenate items in a state of distress and spent a great deal of his spare time doing so. “It could be quite a long process, but he was a master of the art and was able to bring them back up to a really good standard, it gave him a huge buzz,” explains Alan’s partner, Karin Burleigh.

His penchant for rescuing fuel canisters from ruin (originally known as “motor spirit” cans) extended to vessels produced by the Scottish Oil Agency, Mobiloil, Alexander Duckham & Co Ltd, and Anglos Taxibus Spirit. “If it wasn’t for him, some of those cans wouldn’t be in existence anymore, they would have just rusted into a little heap on the floor,” says Burleigh, who considers the “best” of the three sheds Mr. Pooley used to house his automotive memorabilia is the one in which he arranged his favorite pieces—on every available surface.

From to floor to ceiling—where oil pourers, Shell-branded hard hats, and Castrol Racing baseballs caps hung on hooks that he had fastened into the timber beams supporting the roof—Alan had curated his own at-home exhibition that showcased the containers, canisters, tins, tools, and signs that he treasured the most. “You name it, it was all there,” says Godsmark. “My first thought was Crikey! I imagine he liked going in there and just admiring it. I suspect it was a bit of a sanctuary for him.”

As a boy, Burleigh reveals, Alan cherished the time he spent with his grandfather, and as a man, the tools and Francis-Barnett water cycle that he inherited from him held huge nostalgic value. It’s this relationship and those heirlooms—which are not for sale—that she believes sparked Alan’s passion for automobilia and subsequent apprehensiveness to let any of it go. “He may have sold one or two things, but the majority stayed here,” she says. “Looking at the collection it looks like we spent our whole time at boot sales and auto jumbles, but honestly, we didn’t.”

With so many items in need of a new home, the collection will be divided into lots and auctioned gradually so as not to flood the market. “Collectibles such as gas pumps, fuel advertisements, enamel or tin signs are continually seeing a growth in value as the market continues to gather pace,” says Godsmark. “Values can be hugely varied, ranging from a few hundred pounds for a good example of an oil can right up into the tens of thousands for the best of class in petrol pumps.”

Of the six vintage motorcycles found in Mr. Pooley’s collection, Godsmark tips the 1937 499cc Norton Model 18 and 1966 649cc 650SS Norton as the ones likely to attract the highest bidders due to their condition, low mileage, and thorough documentation.

Making the decision to part with Mr. Pooley’s collection has been incredibly difficult for his three grandsons, who were entrusted with its care upon his passing, and the family’s biggest hope is that each of the items will find their way to “someone who will love it like Alan did.”

The Flying Wrens: Sisterhood of Motorcycling Heroes

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All-Female British dispatch riders of WW-II

Originally, the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was formed in 1917, during WW-I.

Riding on narrow British roads in all weather conditions can be a dangerous enough occupation. Doing so around the clock during WW-II with the German Blitz going on around you required steel nerves.

The bikes used were mostly small, single-cylinder affairs, built specifically for military use.

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Motorcycle Live returns to the NEC this weekend

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Motorcycle Live returns to the NEC this weekend and you can still get tickets

The two wheeled extravaganza runs from 16th – 24th November

by Scott Dickinson from https://www.birminghammail.co.uk

Strap on your helmets because the UK’s largest motorcycle show rides back into Birmingham this weekend with even more attractions for the entire family.

The biking exhibition, in association with Bikesure Insurance, proved very popular last year pulling in 103,702 fans and over 40 of the world’s leading manufacturers.

Motorcycle Live runs from 16th-24th November 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham

This year’s attendance is set to spike with the introduction of brand new content for the little ones. This includes the Arenacross Toddler’s experience for kids too young for an electric bike, but still want to get involved. The show is also introducing a Live Treasure Hunt that will encourage under 10s to explore the show, answering questions and winning prizes.

Motorcycle Live has notoriously always had family at heart, ensuring the day of biking is a thrill for people of all ages. This year 4-12 year olds can get in gear and ride an electric bike on a learner-friendly track. Those aged seven or over can try out OSET machines in the ACU Try Trials.

However, the Moto-Cirque Arena proves the main attraction for most families, showcasing professional riders performing incredible aerial FMX stunts. The neon spectacular remains a treat for the senses, and motorheads across the UK can’t wait to see it.

The Social Hub is also set to reappear following its overwhelming success last year, inviting attendees to meet their favourite moto-vloggers, bloggers and media personalities. The space is theirs to do what they please, so get ready to creatively interact with some of your online icons!

With all of this, incredible competitions and even cheaper parking than 2018’s show (£10 when booked in advance and £12 on the door), the exhibition is unmissable.

With free entry for kids under five and just £1.00 entry for 6-16 year olds (excluding admin fee), other tickets are priced at £10.80/ £12.00/£17.55/£19.50/£25.00 (excluding admin fee).

They can be purchased now from The Ticket Factory official bookings page here!

The perfect day out: Motorcycle Live 2019

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by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk

Build your own experience at the UK’s biggest bike show

BRITAIN’S biggest motorbike show returns to the NEC, in Birmingham, next month.

Promotion for this year’s Motorcycle Live features a design based on the plastic model kits of aircraft and bikes we used to build when we were kids.

The idea is that the show provides visitors with everything they need to build their own “perfect day out”.

Show MD Finlay McAllan told Mirror Motorcycling: “We pride ourselves on being a show that offers everything under one roof and we place a lot of importance on making sure there is something for everyone.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve been riding for 40 years or you’ve not got your licence yet, Motorcycle Live is a great place to visit.

“We know that visitors make the show their perfect day out – we just aim to give them the tools to do that.

“Whether you’re bringing your great grandparents or a toddler, there’s something for everyone.”

Mr McAllan added: “There are retail bargains and the chance to try on kit, interviews with riders, chat directly with manufacturers on their stands and much more.”

The show features all the new machinery for 2020, as well as classics, customs and examples from the motorsport world.

There are also no fewer than 10 different opportunities to actually get on and ride something – all for free.

The MCIA Try Ride offers visitors the chance to take a first step on two wheels, with a 20-minute taster session on a 125cc scooter or motorcycle.

For those who want to experience the feel of riding and try out the controls, but don’t want to go the whole hog, both the BMW Rolling Road and the Harley-Davidson Jumpstart offer the chance to get behind the bars of a motorcycle on a rolling road.

Try out some of the latest bikes in the Test Ride Zone, or have at go at off-road riding in the Adventure Zone or the Try Trials zone.

There are even three different riding experiences for children aged from two upwards.

As always, the show also offers the opportunity to meet and be entertained by some of the biggest names in motorcycle sport.

These include recently crowned British Superbike Champion, Scott Redding and five-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea, four-time World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty and three-time BSB Champ John Reynolds.

For further information and advance tickets, visit motorcycle live.co.uk

Classic motorcycle show to rev into Ipswich

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by Andrew Papworth at https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk

The annual event, organised by the Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club, has been running for nearly 30 years, with a chance to see bikes old and new up close.

There are also dozens of displays for true petrolheads to see the capability of some of the world’s best bikes, with thousands of people set to enjoy this year’s extravaganza.

When and where does it take place?

The 28th Copdock Motorcycle Show, which this year is sponsored by CAM Rider specialist motorcycle training centre, is being held at the Trinity Park Showground, in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, on Sunday, October 6.

For those travelling from further afield who are not familiar with the venue, it is signposted from the A14.

The gates open at 9am and the revs don’t die down until 6pm, when the gates close.

What is there to see?

There is a full range of entertainment at the 2019 event, with the Dave Coates Stunt Show, the Tigers Children’s Motorcycle Display Team and Ken Fox’s Wall of Death all providing the opportunity for many “oohs” and “ahhs”.

There are arena displays of pre-1965 bikes and an “all things custom” marquee.

There are also several owner’s club exhibitions in the Club Village, along with many motorcycle traders.

Is there a special guest to look forward to?

This year’s guest of honour is Allen Millyard, creator of several high performance bikes, who is bringing along some of his creations.

Other than bikes, what else is there to do?

The Copdock Motorcycle Show is billed as having “something for all the family”.

This year’s event has live music, real ale, food and entertainment – and is family-friendly for those looking to bring children along.

How many people are going?

The event is set to be popular – 1,400 people have said they are going on the club’s Facebook page, with another 4,500 saying they are interested in attending.

Organisers can certainly expect several thousand people to turn up on the day.

What does it cost?

Advance electronic tickets, priced at £8.50, are available from the Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club’s website at www.copdock-cmc.co.uk

Tickets on the day are £10 for adults, with children aged 14 and under getting in for free – provided they are accompanied by an adult.