1947 NOR­TON IN­TER­NA­TIONAL MODEL 30

Classic Bike (UK) - - LOT STUFF -

Cho­sen by: Alan White­head, Lan­cashire con­sul­tant Sold at: Lon­don Olympia sale 2007

Sale price: £29,900

Ge­orge Formby re­mains a leg­endary fig­ure in the en­ter­tain­ment world – the UK’S top box of­fice star from 1938-44. His film No

Lim­its, a spoof on the 1935 TT, is fondly re­garded by many bike fans. He was a keen rider and when he trav­elled to the Nor­ton fac­tory in Birm­ing­ham in 1947 for the ra­dio show Work­ers

Play­time he was ‘pre­sented’ with this Model 30 In­ter­na­tional – al­though he had al­ready owned it for sev­eral weeks. Bonhams con­sul­tant Alan White­head – whose par­ents were friends of Ge­orge Formby and his wife Beryl – owned the ma­chine for many years be­fore sell­ing it at the Brooks sale at Stafford in 1996. The bike was in fully re­stored con­di­tion and sub­se­quently went on dis­play in the Na­tional Mo­tor­cy­cle Mu­seum. When the time came for the owner to move the bike on in 2007, Alan helped out through his re­la­tion­ship with Bonhams. The bike is still at the NMM.

“My fa­ther was the res­i­dent drum­mer at the Palace The­atre, Manch­ester where Ge­orge played two or three times a year. Ge­orge al­ways gave him a lift home to Bolton af­ter­wards. It’s the most oiltight In­ter I’ve ever seen.” Alan White­head

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