Blackburne Enquiry

Hi there, I am a long standing member of the VMCC, having been the OEC Marque Specialist for about thirty years. I recently acquired a fine early Blackburne engined motorcycle <> and with this bike came a dossier of papers including some correspondence from 1990 between the then owner, Michael Brown and the late Peter Groucott, in which he mentions owning an early Blackburne engine which he hoped to put into a suitable frame.

1922 Blackburne engined Hemmings - pic by Martin Shelley
1922 Blackburne engined Hemmings – pic by Martin Shelley

I realise that Peter died some time ago, but I wondered if his effects are still in the family or whether perhaps his collection has been passed on to other VMCCWA members. Maybe someone has his Blackburne engine or possibly a complete bike fitted with it! Its a 550cc 4 1/4HP engine from perhaps 1922, and is engine number E1841.

I myself have been interested in Blackburne-engined machines for a long time, and in the 1980s corresponded with the late Jake McConnville of Rockingham who had several such machines including Cottons and OECs himself. In the mid 1990s, I found myself seconded to work for DITAC in Canberra and spent a happy two years travelling the subcontinent and meeting up with many like-minded enthusiasts and racing Rudges belonging to well known Aussie enthusiasts, Rob Hart and Peter Scott.

One one occasion, I managed to fit in a visit to Jake but by that time he was fairly elderly and frail and although he was pleased to see me, his collection was mostly dismantled in in rather bad storage so was not what i had expected. I gather that his son inherited the collection but have not tried to find out whether they are still around in WA.

Hoping that you can help me get in touch with the Groucott family and perhaps solve another Blackburne related mystery!

Kkind regards

Martin Shelley
VMCC OEC and Blackburne Marque Specialist
Member VCC and VSCC