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Charnwood Classics, the sidecar specialist, has a new team at the helm. Roy Workman dropped in to meet them…
Charnwood Classic Restorations used to be based at Coalville in Leicestershire, and it had been run by Jim and Rose D’arcy for the last 25 years. They built the business up to be one of the leading sidecar dealerships in the country, and in later years they also became a Royal Enfield main dealership as well. Rowena enjoyed a ride in one of Jim’s outfits when she was doing her Round Britain Ride back in 2005 (www.real classic.co.uk/rbr). Jim and Rose decided to retire this year and go out and ride their bikes more often.
The business is now owned by Jez and Jude Beswick, and it has been moved to new premises in Gelders Hall Road in Shepshed near Loughborough, only a few miles from the original site. Jez and Jude are lucky in that the staff from Coalville have come with them; this means that the knowledge and expertise built up over the years is still there.
Jez and Jude recently held an open day at the new premises on the Loughborough Trading Estate. The unit is a purpose-built one in a block. It is of a good size – allowing for a double-storey office, a workshop and a display area, together with a separate show area for the Royal Enfields.
The weather forecast for the open day suggested a bright and sunny day, but unfortunately they got that wrong again, and dull and overcast was more the mark. However, there was a steady stream of riders turning up, mainly on outfits and Royal Enfields. Members of the Moto Guzzi Club and FED sidecar enthusiasts were among the people who came to see the new premises and meet the new owners.
Jez and Jude told me that they are getting plenty of interest in sidecars and they are going to make the Charnwood Royal sidecar again. This is their ‘flagship’ model and there has been some interest in this particular one. Other sidecars in their range include the streamlined Meteor, which comes in two sizes and is particularly suitable for classic bikes, or the Sport – a popular choice for more modern machines.
Jez and Jude were delighted to continue being a main dealer for Royal Enfields. They carry a large selection of spares and accessories for these machines. They hope to have their own MOT testing station on-site in the near future. They have full workshop facilities for servicing, modifications and repairs. There is a large concreted outside area which is useful for visitor parking.
The Zundapp Bella scooter that I had seen previously at Coalville has now been mated up with a period Watsonian Bambi sidecar; the sidecar needs colour matching to the scooter and this will then make quite a smart outfit.
They have several new Royal Enfields for sale. The Enfields, when fitted with a sidecar, make a really nice outfit. A couple of the guys that I was talking to quite liked the military army green painted one. There was also a selection of secondhand bikes for sale. All bikes of over three years old are sold with a full MOT.
Enfields on Now…
Jez and Jude and their staff were very helpful and answered lots of questions; they also supplied a nice buffet and drinks for the day.
I wish them all the very best for the future.
See Charnwood’s website for opening hours, prices, stock, services provided, etc: www.charnwoodclassic.com