Friday, 19 August 2011

A Brough Superior SS100

This blog has been initiated by seeing a photograph on the BBC website of a motorcycle, which is to be auctioned off in California. It is a Brough Superior SS100 and the last machine that the company ever made, each motorcycle was tailor-made (designed) by George Brough to each customers specification and the last one was made in 1940.

A Brough Superior SS100

TE Lawrence [Lawrence of Arabia], the British army officer famous for his role in the Arab Revolt during the World War I, owned seven of these motorcycles and it was on one of those that he was killed in a road accident in1935 aged 46.

Now part of my time as young boy was filled with reading the account of Lawrence of Arabia's deeds in the desserts; much of which I have now forgotten, but never the man himself.

This is T.E. Lawrence's motorcycle on exhibition in the
Imperial War Museum

In 1988 I was living alone in Bournemouth and working in Poole, Dorset. After having my evening meals there was that gap of free time to be filled before going to bed, I have never been one to watch the TV much, so I used to go on reasonably long drives and sometimes just to tour around the New Forest. During this period I had heard that Lawrence was buried in Dorset and so on a summers night I decided to visit his grave. Where I found much to my surprise a very modest headstone that gave no mention of this mans great deeds.

The Grave of T.E. Lawrence


I think that I ought to point out that it is not T.E Lawrence's motorcycle that is being sold!

For those of you who are interested to learn more of T.E. Lawrence please visit


  1. Wow, that bike looks like a serious piece of work. I can just see the local bikies in my town taking that one under their wing.

  2. We too "looked" Lawrence up when we were in Dorset, we'd visited the tank museum earlier in the day.

  3. Miranda Cookson said :-

    On your travels round Dorset you seem to have missed St Martin’s Church in Wareham .This lovely old Saxon Church, complete with Saxon period wall paintings, also houses a very beautiful marble carving of T.E. Lawrence .I cannot recall who the sculptor was. However the story goes locally that this carving was intended for a memorial in Salisbury cathedral. Whoever was in charge at the time refused to have it. The reason??? Lawrence was the only westerner to have been allowed into Mecca and some people wondered whether he had secretly converted to Islam .So no statue of this remarkable man in a place of Christian worship .Sad!

  4. This brings back so many special things to me, Mel. I was at university in Bournemouth and lived in Poole, but also, my family came from Dorset (Bishop Richard Poore, who built Salisbury Cathedral (!) being one of the first of us, was born and buried in Dorset) and I grew up with the stories of Lawrence of Arabia, as my father was a great admirer. I haven't seen his gravestone, but am now curious. One day I'll go back to the county of my origins...I have to! I love Dorset.

  5. I absolutely love motorcycles, this looks like a great bike to have...ever ridden one of these?

    Val, come visit when you do! We go to Salisbury Cathedral often... ;-)

  6. A Brough 'Superior' - you've got to admire the balls of a lad who takes the name of his Dad's motorbike company and adds the word 'Superior' before making his own bikes.


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