As if the global worries about COVID-19 weren’t enough to make business owners shudder, recent flooding in Coleham Head created even more problems. The River Severn spilled over its banks in late February, creating the worst flood that residents had seen in the past 20 years. Many homes and businesses are still trying to clean up after this event.
The owner of a house clearance company, Brian Taylor, was in the area working on cleaning up in the aftermath of a flood when he unearthed a massive horde of vintage motorcycle parts in an underfloor compartment with one of the antique shop’s workers.
He didn’t know the extent of what he’d found. When a Matchless classic bike enthusiast saw the image that he’d posted on Instagram of the find, the potential value of the collection became apparent.
Taylor thought the materials were scrap. Although the value of them is not high, the historical perspective the parts offer is incredible. Some of the items are over 100 years old.
It Was a Chance Discovery for the Items
When Taylor was worked at the House Clearance Emporium to clean things up, he noticed that a trap door was present that hadn’t been realized in the past. The original floor had been covered with plywood that needed to be removed because of the flooding. Then the business owners had placed carpeting on top of that as a way to hide what was presumably seen as an ugly floor.
Once the carpeting was out of the way, the two men could see a floorboard where it was apparent a hiding space existed.
As they got the wood pried up, Taylor found a brick box underneath the flood that was about four feet wide by three feet long. It was utterly filled with motorcycle parts.
Experts took a look at the photograph that the Shropshire Star posted of the discovery, and they found numerous treasures waiting for documentation. There were some Rudge 4 valve heads in the foreground, some pre-World War II parts that included blackout masks, and several other components of a forgotten world.
Taylor is now working on getting the motorcycle parts cleaned up and professionally assessed before putting them up for sale or having them donated.
Some people posted on the image that they could see a 3-speed Sunbeam gearbox in the collection. There were pre-1928+ AJS side valves in the collection, along with some web-style forks from a Triumph.
JAP crankcases have also been identified as being part of the collection.
It is an incredible collection of British motorcycle history that could have been in storage for decades without anyone touching the items. This discovery might even be the best thing to ever come out of a home after a flood recovery – especially if you love motorcycles!
Before the location became an antique shop, it has been a motorcycle store for the community. They’ve pulled license plates and vintage tools from the pit since its discovery. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be a profitable find, the interesting items still make for a great story.