Biker takes 12 classics to War and Peace Show

PUBLISHED: 12:24 03 July 2007 | UPDATED: 22:54 28 May 2010

Lee Mitchell with one of the bikes

Lee Mitchell with one of the bikes

A CLASSIC motorbike enthusiast is planning an epic journey to transport his beloved bikes, all 12 of them, to the biggest military spectacular in the world. Military BSA enthusiast Lee Mitchell is having to hire a truck to take his rare motorcycles on the

The impressive collection of bikes

A CLASSIC motorbike enthusiast is planning an epic journey to transport his beloved bikes, all 12 of them, to the biggest military spectacular in the world.

Military BSA enthusiast Lee Mitchell is having to hire a truck to take his rare motorcycles on the 250-mile trip to the 2007 War and Peace Show, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The show, held over five days from July 18 to 22, near Tonbridge, Kent, welcomes about 5,000 military vehicles of every size, shape, period and type from across the world. The spectacular attracts about 100,000 visitors.

Mr Mitchell, 48, from Chatteris, said: "The motorbikes represent my personal collection - a fascination that began 30 years ago when I purchased my first ex-military BSA.

"Ever since then I have been buying more B40s with the aim of preserving these unusual motorcycles in as near their original military war department livery as possible while also keeping them in regular use and raising awareness of their military work."

This is the third year Mr Mitchell has attended the show but the first time he has plucked up enough courage to take his entire collection down to Kent.

The BSAs in Mr Mitchell's collection, which he maintains with the help of his father Richard, 78, were the post war replacements fore the British Army's BSA M20s and Matchless GL3s and represented the height of motorcycling sophistication at the time.

Show organiser Rex Cadman said: "It's going to be great to have Lee and his BSA WD B 40s joining us. I don't think there have been so many of these unusual bikes in one place at one time since they were retired from military service in the 1980s.

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