Murray’s Motorcycle Museum

Nobody needs an excuse to go to the Isle of Man, especially during the first week in June, but Dave Manning knows that there’s a place away from the Mountain Circuit that is a hidden gem.

Many folk will know of Murray’s Motorcycle Museum from when it was located at the Bungalow, nestled into the folds of Snaefell Mountain, although when rental costs on the Snaefell museum rose significantly, the museum’s curator – Peter Murray – decided to sell some of the exhibits and move what remained to his home in the village of Santon, close to the popular tourist spot at Fairy Bridge on New Castletown Road.

The entrance to Peter’s palace of delights!

The museum had originally been started by Peter’s father, Charlie, when he bought a 1903 Coventry Eagle back in 1954, just a year after the Murray family moved to the Isle of Man from Warwickshire, and the collection rapidly expanded to a near-uncountable number of bikes, parts, memorabilia and ephemera.

The collection had originally been at the family home in Santon, before being relocated after 10 years to Christian Street in Peel on the island’s west coast. However, restrictions on advertisements in Peel meant that a new venue was desired after only another five years, with the well-known Bungalow building being the end result.

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An eclectic mix of racing machinery, from Yamaha two-stroke twins to V4 Hondas.

The museum was located there for 37 years before the rates rise and lease renewal brought about another relocation, back to the family home in Santon. In the run-up to the move in 2006, nigh on 80 motorcycles were sold, although you’ll struggle to conceive that so much was sold when you stroll into the very full building that is to the rear of Peter’s house, although some of the money raised from the sales was reinvested into the museum in the form of more modern race machinery.

Read more and view more images in the June 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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