AN INFORMATION board was this month unveiled on the site of the Home Bargains store in Cleckheaton, which was once home to Phelon & Moore motorcycle factory.

The firm made bikes including the popular Panther, which was sold across the world.

Around 30 Panther bikes and their owners turned up.

The information board was unveiled by Steve Rogers, President of the Panther Owners Club, which he founded in 1974.

Steve gave a speech and explained that, though the Panther name was not one of the elite ones in the motorbike world, Panthers were exceptionally reliable and well-engineered. As proof, solo Panther owners rode their machines on long distance trips with no mechanical back-up as early as the 1930s.

Examples of trips he gave were from Bejing in China to Arnhem in the Netherlands and from the USA to the tip of South America. 

The Panther Owners Club (POC) has held rallies in the USA and in New Zealand with UK owners shipping their machines over to take part and join with fellow-Panther owners in those countries.

Steve thanked Spen Valley Civic Society (SVCS) for collaborating to get the information board made and installed, and thanked Brett Watson-Davies, area manager of Home Bargains, who obtained permission for the board to be sited on what is now their car park, but was formerly the site of the Phelon & Moore factory. Brett was in attendance, representing the company.

Two Panthers with sidecars brought back happy memories for Eamon, from Gomersal. He recalled his parents and five siblings travelling in "one of those outfits", and Brian from Huddersfield, who remembered how he, his parents and three siblings took trips to the seaside and countryside.

Also present were Luke Duller, current chairman of the Panther Owners Club, who had travelled from Leicestershire, Tom Norman, former chairman of the Panther Owners Club, who had come from Hartlepool, Gordon North, SVCS and POC member and retired editor of the POC magazine 'The Sloper'.

Colin Berry, treasurer of SVCS and its secretary Erica Amende also attended.