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British Motorcycles

Granville Bradshaw

Early motorcycle designer

The Star aircraft and its engine were designed by Granville Bradshaw, who was only 19 years old at the time. Granville Bradshaw also flew the Star plane at Dunstall Park and at Brooklands. He left Star and was appointed as Chief Designer for the All British Engine Co.

Granville Eastwood Bradshaw OBE, AFRAeS (1887-1969) was an English engineer and inventor who designed motorcycle and aero-engines.

Born in Preston, Lancashire, the son of William Bradshaw, a Jeweller and Optician, and his wife Annie.

Bradshaw's early work was involved with the pioneers of flight; he became an expert on stressing.

The Star aircraft and engine were designed by Granville Bradshaw. He flew the Star plane at Dunstall Park and at Brooklands.

On leaving Star he was appointed as Chief Designer for the All British (Engine) Co (later ABC Motors then Walton Motors) and (presumably) aroused their interest in aero-engines.

The ABC radial aero-engines designed and built during the First World War were extremely advanced and the government placed large orders for the Dragonfly. A number of aircraft were designed to use the Dragonfly but the engines were plagued by problems and failed to live up to the promise. The design was taken over by the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough to try and resolve the issues but with the end of the war it was abandoned.

1918 He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his war work in 1918. Following the war Bradshaw concentrated on motorcycles.

1919 Public company, Gilbert Campling, floated to acquire as a going concern the business and assets of Selsdon Aero and Engineering Co and of Gilbert Campling Ltd which held the sole rights for the ABC Skootamota motor scooter which the new company would produce and market. Engines would be made at Croydon and the assembly of scooters at a new factory at Somerton near Cowes purchased from J. Samuel White and Co

When ABC Motors re-organized in 1920, Bradshaw became a consultant which allowed him to sell his designs to other companies. He designed a number of engines for Panther motorcycles. His biggest seller was selling patents for gambling machines although he lost all the money he made in further business deals. He later concentrated on torodial internal-combustion engines. Bradshaw produced a long list of inventions and designs although very few achieved commercial success.

Personal History
In 1911 he married Violet Elsie Partridge in Wolverhampton, Violet petitioned for divorce in 1926. Bradshaw married again in 1927 to Muriel Mathieson in Kensington, London.
He died in 1969 at Hitchin in Hertfordshire.

A detailed account of his life and work is available in Granville Bradshaw - a flawed genius by Barry M. Jones. Review.

Sources Grace's Guide



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Private museum in Boston, MA, with many highly collectable vintage motorcycles for sale.