Warrington History Society members may recall the Fairfield Motorcycle that Andrew Spicer of auctioneers Dee, Atkinson & Harrison brought to one of our 2018 lectures prior to it being auctioned off.
Built in Warrington by Alfred Forster (pictured above) in Howley in 1914, its appearance created quite a stir and we’re delighted to say a gentleman called Barrie Fairfield has been in touch to introduce himself as the person who purchased the machine and yes, one of the reasons he bought it was the motorcycle shared his surname!
Says Barrie: “The motorcycle was by no means in working order and it did not run. However after much fettling, cleaning and repairs mainly to the Armstrong gear hub and clutch it was restored to full working order, as good as it was when the machine was first made by Alfred back in 1914.”
Barrie reports that the machine is completely original other than a few consumables he needed to add such as control cables, brake blocks and drive belt (the original items he removed he has kept for historic keepsake).
Adds Barrie: “The machine is completely reliable, starts relatively easy and runs without missing a beat. I have ridden it on numerous occasions and entered into the 2019 Banbury Run – the largest gathering of pre-1931 motorcycles and three-wheelers in the world – which I completed without a hitch apart from running out of fuel once!”
Barrie says a unique point about the machine is the fact it has a three compartment tank, one section for oil for engine lubrication, a second for petrol to start the engine and warm it up and a third for paraffin to run the machine. He says he knows of no other motorcycle of this veteran period manufactured to run on paraffin.”
To assist with our records and archives Barrie has sent us some photos of the Fairfield motorcycle (included on this page complete with its Banbury Race number of 189) to show its present condition.
Barrie has a collection of five motorcycles, three old Classic Nortons from 1959, 1961 and 1976 and two Fairfields, the 1914 model discussed here and a 2020 Fairfield he has just built using the frame of an old mountain bike.
May we take this opportunity to thank Barrie for updating us on this important piece of Warrington history. To view our original Fairfield Motorcycle article click here.
Can you help? Barrie has asked if anyone has any further information on the three wheel cars Alfred Forster built after the first world war which would now be 100 years old. If you do, please contact the society at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass on your message.