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Research of wheel value to bike fans; HERITAGE: Museum's Damien produces history of city motorcycle making.

Byline: By Cara Simpson

COVENTRY Transport Museum worker Damien Kimberley has compiled a unique history of the motorcycle manufacturing industry in Coventry.

Damien, researcher and project officer at the Hales Street museum, has published a reference book cataloguing motorbike manufacturers in the city dating back to the 19th century.

The A-Z, entitled Coventry's Motorcycle Heritage, is the most comprehensive study to date and was funded by the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust.

Readers will be able to find out about world famous names such as Triumph, Humber, Ridge and Francis-Barnett, as well as details of the lesser known makes including Alert, Dart, Kingsway and Windrush.

It also features profiles of three key people associated with motorcycles and Coventry - Siegfried Bettman, co-founder of the Triumph Company, Bert Yates, an early motorcycle racer, and Muriel Hind, a pioneering female motorcycle rider and journalist.

Damien said: "It feels great to see my work finally in print.

"It's the culmination of many years' research and I came across many interesting stories along the way.

"Although it's factual book, it also tells the story of the people behind the industry. I've uncovered so much information around the subject I'm also considering writing other books about Coventry's cycle and car industry."

Damien's role, when he took up the post three years ago, was to start research for the book using the museum's records.

It was a task he completed while helping to put together the museum's extensive motorcycle exhibition.

The author also interviewed the descendants of key people in the industry to publish a timeline of key events dating back to 1895.

Peter Wheelings, British Motorcycle Charitable Trust chairman, said: "The book is an excellent account of the motorcycling industry in Coventry and the trust is proud to have funded the book.

"It is a unique publication which will help preserve the history of the motorcycle industry in the city for many generations to come."

Coventry's Motorcycle Heritage will appeal to anyone with a general interest in motorcycle heritage and to those with an interest in Coventry's social and industrial history.

The 160-page book is available to buy from Past & Presents museum shop.

The first 20 copies purchased will be signed by the author.


RIDE BACK IN TIME... Damien Kimberley launches his new book at the Coventry Transport Museum, Hales Street, Coventry. Picture: James Balfour JB030309BOOK-01
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 6, 2009
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