THE STREETS OF London will soon lose part of their motorcycling heritage with the closure of Reg Allen Motorcycles. The Hanwell shop is to close because of the semi-retirement of the longest serving servant of classic biking in the capital. Those bikes weren’t classics when Bill Crosby bought the Reg Allen dealership in 1958 at the age of 26. He kept the name, partly because the business came with an impressive neon sign. After decades dealing in everything from Excelsior two-strokes to Norton rotaries, Bill is now 86 and has decided to call it a day. He has been a prime mover in keeping the nation’s Triumph twins running and helping to establish Enfield India’s products on Britain’s roads. Although the shop is closing, Bill will continue to sell his classic motorcycle parts from a shed to be built in the garden of his newly-acquired bungalow in Old Windsor. A large number of second-hand parts will be available, as well as new ones. Visit www.reg-allen-london.co.uk
Bill is also renowned for setting up the London Motorcycle Museum, which houses a collection of 200 classic and historic bikes. The motorcycle museum, the only collection of its kind in the capital, will remain open at Ravenor Farm, 29 Oldfield Lane South, in nearby Greenford. Although the squeeze in local government funding has left the museum with an annual £40,000 rent bill to pay to Ealing Council, the motorcycle museum remains well and truly open. The trustees set up a Just Giving webpage in 2016 to help raise money and those wishing to support the museum can donate through their website, or by visiting the collection. Wealthy benefactors are also invited to get in touch. www.london-motorcycle-museum.org
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