Freddie Sheene’s ultimate tribute Sammy Miller MBE founded a museum to preserve the planet’s two-wheeled history
Son Freddie rides an icon
The annual Barry Sheene Festival was held over the weekend at the world-famous Oliver’s Mount road circuit in North Yorkshire. While many of Bazza’s original race bikes have attended over the years, often being piloted by famous riders, it’s pretty hard to beat this year’s perfect storm. Not only was his original 1976 championship-winning XR14 RG500 in attendance, freshly restored by Sheene’s original mechanic Martyn Ogborne, along with restoration guru Nigel Everett – but it was ridden by his son, Freddie Sheene, alongside Barry’s 1977 team-mate, Steve Parrish. That’s as close to a real-life time machine experience as you’re ever likely to get.
“I’m a lucky man. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I left school and had a passion for them since I was seven. In the early days, I would ride trials in the winter and go road racing in the summer. I was fortunate enough to have a successful time with it, too. I won the North-west 200 three times on the trot – that’s when it ran over 200 miles, not like the sprint it is today. I also remember winning the Scottish Six Day Trial and the NW200 the week before! Overall, I won over 1482 trials events in 55 years.
“I’m still racing and going on ‘high-speed’ parade laps today, but what’s most important is my museum, which I started because of my passion for motorcycles, I’ve always loved them. The first bike in there was the Ariel GOV 132 – the most successful trials bike in the world. I then started a collection and made a little museum behind our workshop in Gore Road, New Milton, Hampshire.
“Since then it’s grown from a private collection to a public museum with over 400 motorcycles and is one of the premier collections in the world. I’m still working in there, too, starting at 8am and finishing at 5pm, six days a week. Bob Stanley and I are the only two working on restoring the bikes. We’re doers not thinkers and there’s definitely a lot to do.
“I love the Norton hall the most as it reminds me of my boyhood days. And the racing department, too, with all of the Moto Guzzi bikes. It all gives me so much pleasure really. It’s a great honour and I feel very privileged to have established the collection for everyone else to admire for years to come.”
‘Overall, I won 1482 trials events over a 55-year period’
His museum, in New Milton, Hampshire, is a destination well worth the ride
royalty Sammy Miller is motorcycle