Spade strikes old motorbike
Keen gardener Karen Amor got more than she bargained for while digging her vegetable patch.
The Three Kings resident found a vintage 1920s motorcycle buried under 10cm of dirt.
“The wheels and the motor have corroded but other than that it’s in pretty good nick,” she says.
Ms Amor and her partner were digging up the lawn in the corner of the yard last week when her spade hit a metal spring.
Her partner was using a rotary hoe and hit the back of the bike at the same time.
“We thought there was a lot still there so we got out the smaller spades and brushes and uncovered it.”
When they realised it was almost a complete bike they dug it up.
“Our neighbour has lived here for 64 years and she’s never seen it. She thinks it might have been there since the war,” Ms Amor says.
She has shown the bike to colleagues at Turners Auctions but they have not been able to identify it.
A friend who restores old motorcycles also had a look.
“He thinks it might be an Ivory Calthorpe, which is really rare,” Ms Amor says.
“He thinks it’s from 1929 to 1931 but we can’t be absolutely sure because some of the defining features are no longer there.”
Remnants of green paint on the bike have prompted speculation that it might be an Indian Chief, used by the army.
“It would be nice to know exactly what it is,” says Ms Amor.
The bike’s number plate is still faintly readable but has different numbers on each side.
Ms Amor can’t trace it because national records do not go back far enough.
Motat’s road transport volunteers say the bike is British and was likely made in the mid-1920s, but definitely before 1930.
It also has a gate change which means the gears were changed by hand rather than by foot.
But the volunteers could not say what make it was.
“After much discussion it was decided it is either a BSA, a Royal Enfield or an Ariel,” says Motat marketing and events coordinator Bridgette Johanson.
Some of the volunteers have taken away a picture of the bike to research further.
Buried treasure: Karen Amor found this 1920s motorcycle buried in her backyard.