ABOUT THE CLUB
Yearly subscription in
2012-13 is £20 (£23 non-UK) plus an initial registration fee of £2 for new
members. The subscription year runs from 1st July to 30th June.
Members receive a quarterly,
colour journal called 'BEAMING.
The club organises the annual
Marston Sunbeam Rally in
Wolverhampton in June / July for cycles and motorcycles.
Its members are also
initiating regional events in the UK.
In partnership with the
Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club, the MSC&R organises a weekend
Testers' Run in August - a recreation of the factory testers' route from
Wolverhampton into mid-Wales and back.
The 1995 Testers' Run was
filmed and is available as a one hour DVD.
It also assists in the
organisation of the annual
Festival of Black Country Vehicles
at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley.
The Marston Wolverhampton
Heritage Trust also runs its motorcycles regularly at the
Black Country Living Museum. Contact the
Museum for details.
It's worth joining the club
if you are not already a member. Its objective is simply to keep fine old
Sunbeams up and running.
CLUB & REGISTER
Marston Sunbeam Club & Register
(abbreviated as the MSC&R) is the club for the owners of Sunbeam motorcycles
made by John Marston Ltd of Wolverhampton ... and fine credentials it has
Just as Graham Walker
in 1924 established the original
Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club whilst employed by John Marston Ltd, the
MSC&R too sprang from employees at Marstons. In its case, it was a group of
enthusiasts employed by
IMI Marston (for a short time in the 1980s, Marston Palmer) the successor to John Marston's original company.
The company continues as HS Marston
The original Sunbeam
Motor Cycle Club, shortly after its inception, went on to become an all-make
club and now caters for all veteran and vintage machines. The MSC&R is the
marque club exclusively for owners and enthusiasts of Marston-made Sunbeams.
BSA acquired the
Sunbeam name after the Second World War and produced a very different
motorcycle in the flat twin Sunbeam S7 and S8 models. These are
catered for by the well-established
Sunbeam Owners' Fellowship.
The MSC&R also
welcomes owners of Sunbeam motorcycles and cycles made by Associated Motor
Cycles (AMC) of London following its take-over of the Wolverhampton works in
1937. During AMC's brief period of ownership between 1937-40 a number of
machines were assembled by AMC using Wolverhampton-made parts - notably the
side-valve models. AMC also produced its own OHV Sunbeam designs in 1938-40
- known as the 'high cam' Sunbeams. These represent the end of the direct
PHOTO - Awaiting the start of
the Testers' Run from Marstons, August 2003
SUNBEAM REGISTER' BECOMES THE 'CLUB & REGISTER'
The Marston Sunbeam
Register started in 1982 as an informal club, supported by the Marston
Palmer / IMI Marston factory and run by Marston employees. Its main aims
were to compile a register of all surviving machines and bring owners
together. Many of those involved had fathers, grand-fathers and close
friends who had worked on motorcycle production at Marstons prior to the
Second World War. The Marston company's support for the Register provided a
clear link with its past and the time when it had produced Sunbeam cycles and motorcycles.
In July 2010 the
Register expanded its role to become a traditional marque club with a formal
constitution as a self-supporting entity. Again, its aim is to provide
greater support for owners and riders of Marston Sunbeams. Its new name as
the MSC&R reflects these changes whilst not losing sight of its origins.
MSC&R poster spreading the news
about the expansion of the 'Register' to a more formal 'Club & Register'
(provided by the MSC&R)
The Register, with the
support of the Marston Palmer / IMI Marston company, initiated an annual
Marston Sunbeam Rally in 1983
- in its early years held at Marston's social club. The annual rally
continues as one of the main events in the club's calendar.
There is also a
recreation of the route taken by the original Sunbeam factory testers into
mid-Wales, initiated in 1993.
The 'Testers' Run' is a two-day event held in August. The club also supports
the 'Festival of Black Country Vehicles' - an annual event held at the Black
Country Museum in Dudley.
The Register also did
much more: It published an annual newsletter - now enhanced as a quarterly
magazine called 'BEAMING; through the Register it established worldwide
contacts to create a database of surviving Sunbeams; It gathered together a
collection of machines, many restored by the Register's dedicated 'home
team'. Much of this collection is now with the
Black Country Living Museum in
Dudley in the UK where they are regularly run around the museum site. The
expertise gained in restoring and maintaining Sunbeams has been made
available through a number of technical experts. In 2007 the Register
celebrated its 25th anniversary - a silver jubilee.
The MSC&R is also
relaxed about involvement with Marston's Wolverhampton-made rivals, notably
AJS (1909-31) and the subsequent Stevens machines (1934-38). Most Register
events seem happy to include these machines. It was always a very civilised
rivalry with the 'opposition'.
MSC&R TECHNICAL ADVISERS & SPARES
Members of the MSC&R have access to
a panel of technical advisers, a number of whom provide e-mail contacts.
- Malcolm Webster - e-mail:
- Peter Yates - e-mail:
- Brian Cowen - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Cowen, Charlie Dodson's
1930 Senior TT 'Beam and winding Welsh roads (from Lumic's DVD of the
Brian Cowen, a third-generation Marston man known for giving
Charlie Dodson's 1930 Senior TT machine a good outing on past Testers' Runs,
provides technical advice for MSC&R members, along with Malcolm Webster,
who commenced IMI Marston's restoration programme of Sunbeam motorcycles,
and Peter Yates who is still with Marstons - now HS Marston.
If you have any technical queries about your 'Beam, drop Brian, Malcolm or
Peter an e-mail. Be prepared for them asking if you are a club member!
Charlie Dodson with the 1930 Senior TT 'Beam (from Lumic's DVD of the
The MSC&R has recently commenced a spares
scheme for club members to help keep Sunbeams up-and-running. Full details
are included on the club's
MARSTON SUNBEAM REGISTER ON FILM!
to know what the folk at the MSC&R get up to? An insight is provided by the
one-hour film of the Registerís 1995 Testersí Run.
The run was filmed by Lumic of
Kingswinford, UK and released as a video entitled, 'Classic British
Motorbikes: AJS and Sunbeam - The Testers' Run'.
film is 60 minutes long, as the cameras accompany the modern-day Ďtestersí
on the route taken by their 1920s and '30s predecessors. Poignantly, many of
the riders were IMI Marston employees at the time.
motorcycles sound and look great. The dramatic appearance of the Sunbeams
emerging from the famous Paul Street gate at Sunbeamland, Wolverhampton is
to be savoured. The camera follows the riders through the picturesque
Shropshire Marches and mid-Wales countryside, enjoying a rider's-eye view of
the scenery - literally the view from the motorcycle saddle. You almost feel
you are there with them soaking up the bumps on the trusty girder forks.
good array of some 18 Sunbeam and AJS machines - both flat-tank and
saddle-tank - are featured. Everything from the most sporting Model 90s to
solid side-valves and combinations. The testers share their thoughts, as
well as their enthusiasm for the bikes. They complete over a weekend what to
the original testers was a 200-mile journey to be completed during a working
DVD version is now available from Lumic or through this website. The cost is
£9.00 plus £1.80 packaging and postage (UK). E-mail the web-site for
PHOTO - Marstons and the
Sunbeam, still names very much linked together
Extracts from the Register
The Marston Sunbeam
Register produced an annual newsletter until 2009, prior to the
introduction in March 2010 of the first issue of 'BEAMING.
The website is currently
compiling a full archive of all 28 newsletters. If you have newsletters
from the 1980s or early 1990s I would welcome the chance to arrange for a
copy to be made for the archive.
Follow the links as entries