Feilding Herald : December 29th 2011
10 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2011 NEWS Phone (06) 327 8562• Fax (06) 327 5280 firstname.lastname@example.org Dementia Care now available 4251652AA We wish all of our clients and their humans the peace and joy of Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year Open hours: Christmas Day and New Years Day: CLOSED Other Days: 8am to 6pm Phone (06) 323 0685 Email: email@example.com www.petstay.co.nz 4254854AA ED D D D KENNELS & CATTERY 4261495AB Depar ng Daily at 1.30 - NZs only PADDLE STEAMER For a unique maritime heritage experience: PS Waimarie departs from the Whanganui Riverboat Centre & Museum 1a Taupo Quay, Wanganui Ph06 347 1863 (Freephone0800STEAMER) firstname.lastname@example.org Book on line now www.riverboats.co.nz Sit back, relax and cruise for 2 hours on the Wanganui River Each bike has a story to be told Rider: A model dressed as a 1920s rider stands among motorcycles of that vintage at Thomson's Motorcycle Museum. Harley man: Peter Thomson, vintage motorcycles and history are his passions. Photo: BOBBIE NICHOLLS By BOBBIE NICHOLLS There are no signs marking Thomson's Motorcycle Museum at Kopane. Those in the know value the huge collection of mainly early motor- bikes and memorabilia, all beauti- fully displayed in their original con- dition. Peter Thomson grew up with vin- tage motorbikes. His father Andy was a keen rider who was unable to buy a modern motorbike following World War II so he bought an old bike instead. Long before farm bikes and quads became available, Peter's father was riding around their sheep farm on a pre-war Harley Davidson. I learnt to ride that Harley at about 12 years old.'' Along with Leslie Lemon of Hawke's Bay and Andrew Anderson in Christchurch, Andy was among the first of New Zealand's vintage vehicle collectors. It was an era when cities and towns were celebrating jubilees with parades and vintage vehicles started to become appreciated. Dad, Ken Wright and Bryan Wycherley of Palmerston North were the first three North Island members of the New Zealand Vin- tage Car Club. Dad was a founder member when the Wanganui Vin- tage Car Club was founded in 1954. Vintage was more than 30 years old, so most of his collection was pre-1920s. As kids, we used to drive with Dad all over the New Zealand look- ing in old sheds. That is why my collection is one of the best pre-1920s collections of motor bikes in the world,'' Peter said. I married into it,'' Jennifer Thomson said. Fortunately, she is a keen genealogist and appreciates the history of the bikes. The collection has been extended to include memorabilia and more modern bikes which all have a story. Peter can talk about the past owners and history of almost all the hundred or so bikes in the collec- tion, like the 1925 Norton bought by Chris Hausman of the Feilding Bacon Company. Two years later he bought a sidecar so he and his new wife could drive it to Auckland for their honey- moon.'' Harley Davidson motorbikes are Peter's first love and he and Jenni- fer spent eight years organising a trip to America to the celebrations of the Harley Davidson centenary in 2003. Seven vintage Harleys from 1924 to 1944 rode from Vancouver to Chicago, which was a real surprise to the Americans, he said. Biker's search for bike ends -- in another country ONE of the best stories from Thomson's motorcycle museum is of a 1941 Norton which was raced new in the 1942 Manx race by Reg Dearden who sold it to William Holden, sponsor of Bill Doran. Doran used it as a practice bike, then raced it in preference to his new bike and came in second in the 1948 Isle of Man Senior TT. When Doran signed as a works rider for AJS, Alan Yates bought the Norton and raced it in England. When he went to the Korean war he left it in the care of a motor bike shop which went bankrupt. Frank Widdop bought it and emigrated to New Zealand where he sold the bike to Jack Burns who sold it to Peter Thomson. When Alan Yates returned from Korea he went looking for his bike. Eventually he too emigrated to New Zealand but every time he returned to England, he continued the search for his bike, about seven trips in all. In 1992, when the bike museum was opened for the PanPac Rally, Beaded Wheels published an article on the bike, and Mr Yates phoned and said You've got my bike''. When he came to the museum he was so pleased to be reunited with his bike and I thought he would claim it. He sat on it, with tears pouring down his face. But he was happy to have found it being cared for and appreciated.'' Peter Thomson said the only questionable part of this story was whether the bike was the actual one which Doran rode to second place. In England, Peter and his wife Jennifer were given access to archives about Doran and search through hundreds of photos. They found a photo of Doran on the bike, and on the back was Doran's name and the occasion and even the engine number of their machine. I don't know why the photographer wrote the engine number on the photo but it proves we have the only genuine Manx TT Norton in New Zealand with a podium win.'' Thank you Thank you to all the generous people who left the huge number of Christmas gifts and food under the Feilding Herald Christmas tree. All of the items were received with thanks by Manchester House and distributed to families in need.
December 22nd 2011
January 12th 2012