26 January 2021


A member of the BSA Bantam Club attended the Newark Showground in January 2020 where the club had a stand at the Classic Bike Show. Richard Vernon was displaying his 1952 BSA Bantam D1. Read Richard's story below.

On Friday the 13th November 2020, I had to undergo abdominal surgery. On Saturday the 14th, I was sitting at home feeling sorry for myself after the operation.

"I got a phone call from a guy with a Welsh accent, asking if I remembered buying some raffle tickets at the Classic Bike Show, Newark Showground back in January. I said yes, and he said that I had won first prize, the lovely 1965, BSA Bantam D7 Deluxe. The Welsh Guy was, in fact, our events organiser Mike Kilvert.

They drew the raffle at his home. To say that the news of me winning this incredible machine cheered me up was an understatement. The only drawback was the bike was in Wales, and I am in Lincoln, so due to the Covid lockdown, I could not take delivery of the bike for a couple of weeks.

This bike was originally sold by "Victor Horsman" of Liverpool. Here is a 1950's photo of the shop. Our local Bantam club rep, Ian Jones, told me he bought a scooter from them many years ago.  What makes winning this bike so special to me is that back in 1965 when I was 17, I bought an identical bike brand new. I had it on HP with my dear old mum being the guarantor. I didn't have the bike for more than nine months when a 2-ton laundry van hit me broadside. I suffered cuts and bruises, but the bike was severely damaged."


1950's photo of Victor Horsman shop


"Worst of all, the insurance company I was with went broke and me not being able to afford to repair the bike, I sold it for scrap. Winning this bike and riding it (when the weather improves) will take me back to the fun I had when I was 17. I can't wait to give it a blast along the roads of Lincolnshire. At the moment, the bike is snug and warm in my front hallway."

Thank you, Richard Vernon, for sharing your classic motorcycle story! 

If you have any interesting stories or memories of a classic vehicle, please send these in to news.views@footmanjames.co.uk for a chance to be featured in the next newsletter.