Tom’s Bike at Bradford Industrial Museum

As more details began to emerge about the background and long life of Colonel (now Sir) Tom Moore, we were all pleased and proud to learn that he came from Keighley.

The young Tom had an interest in motorcycles, particularly those designed, built and sold by Alfred Angas Scott. Scott Motorcycles Ltd of Shipley was at the peak of its power and influence during the 1920s and 30s. 

It’s unclear how long Tom had ownership of the Scott Flying Squirrel DN3612 but it was certainly long enough to have competed in local club events.

The 1912 Scott as it is now
The 1912 Scott as it is now

Fast forward to the 1950s and Bradford’s renowned commercial photographer, C.H. Wood, retired motorcycle champion and also Scott enthusiast, began to get the itch once more:

‘“In that sad period between one’s active youth and second childhood, I had let my pet Scotts go, and gave up riding completely. Then, like so many others, when the ‘vintage’ craze began to grow some years ago, I began to rummage in my lumber rooms for spares; bought a 1920 Scott and the mutilated 1912 model, and from them compiled my present machine.”

C.H. Wood, ‘Yowl’ (magazine of the Scott Owners’ Club), November 1961

As the bike was a rebuild it had to be re-registered. C.H. wanted an original number of approximately correct vintage and approached the Bradford authorities, requesting the old catalogue ‘gimmick’ number – AK222 (two cylinders, two-stroke, two speeds). It was available.

C.H. Wood riding AK222 in the Ilkley Veteran Trial, early 1950s
C.H. Wood riding AK222 in the Ilkley Veteran Trial, early 1950s

Now it has come to our attention that the aforementioned ‘mutilated 1912 model’ is none other than the DN3612 ridden by Tom! This has emerged following research by Scott expert Mr. Maurice Rispin of Leeds. Well into his nineties, Mr Rispin has clear memories of Tom either buying or borrowing the bike from speedway champion Oliver Langton. 

Matching plates! C.H. Wood with two 222's!
Matching plates! C.H. Wood with two 222’s!

Though the bike continues to be owned by David Wood, son of C.H., it is currently on long term loan at Bradford Industrial Museum.

Get your art, culture, history and architecture fix, without leaving the comfort of your armchair. Here’s our guide to the best Bradford Museums exhibitions online.