Some of the world’s rarest motorbikes were on display in Medway during this year’s Dickens Festival, in a special event organised by the British Two Stroke Club.

Riders taking part in their World Motorcyle Meeting at Brands Hatch drove their machines to Rochester on Sunday June 5, 2011 where they were parked in the Vines from 10.30am until 3pm.

Many of the vintage bikes have rarely been seen in Britain because the domestic motorcycle industry overshadowed foreign production until the the 1950s, and very few foreign machines were imported. Among the marques featured were the Tempo and the Tornax, which were never sold in Britain, together with the Universal, Motosacoche, Allegro and Condor from Switzerland, the Jawas from the Czech Republic and the Zundapp and DKW from Germany.

Many of the machines were ridden to Britain from mainland Europe by their owners. During their visit to Medway the riders went to St James Church, Cooling, to see ‘Pip’s Graves’ from the opening chapter of Great Expectations.

Verne Sanderson, Medway Council’s Operations Manager for Festivals, Arts,Theatres and Events said: “This is a real treat for motorcycle enthusiasts. It’s very unusual to see so many rare machines in one place and we are delighted to welcome them to the Dickens Festival.”

The Dickens Festival took place from Friday 3 to Sunday, 5 June. Now in its 33rd year it is one of the most anticipated highlights of the summer in Medway, attracting around 60,000 visitors every year with a vibrant array of Victorian themed attractions, music and costumed characters.

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