The Battlesbridge Motorcycle Museum is a top destination whatever the weather
‘Not many bike museums can boast three Broughs’
I dropped in to visit this museum on a cold Sunday morning in January and was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. Although it was early there were already a dozen or so regulars gathered around the entrance - I’d barely got my helmet off before someone wandered over with a cheery hello and no sooner had I got inside than there was the offer of a hot cuppa to warm my chilly bits.
The packed sheds feature a dazzling array of classic and vintage machinery, with up to 40 bikes at any one time. The inventory is somewhat fluid as everything on the floor is either road legal or at least a runner and as such they regularly come and go; I spotted a Manx Norton, an Ariel Square Four and a 1921 Evans Autocycle among others, but at one point recently there were no less than three Broughs – not many museums can boast that.
It feels more like a clubhouse than an attraction and owner Dave Evans explained why; “It’s a focal point for local guys who know that every Sunday they can come down to spend a few hours sitting around drinking tea and having a general chinwag. Everyone’s welcome and you can stay all day until whoever’s on duty says they’ve had enough and tells everyone to bugger off.”
This relatively undiscovered gem of a hangout is located at the heart of Battlesbridge Antiques Centre and among the numerous stalls, sheds and emporia are several places to grab a bite. I recommend the Willow Tea Rooms in the Old Granary; it’s on the top floor of five and features unrivalled views of the surrounding countryside, not to mention an eagle eyed perspective on the many and varied bikes that stop by.
There’s a well attended Classic Bike Show and jumble on July 2, but don’t wait until then; this wonderful museum is waiting with open arms on every Sunday and Bank Holiday throughout the year.