Cotton repatriated

James Robinson
February 6, 2014
John Kidson aboard the Telstar at the formal handover to Folk Museum curator Sarah Orton and Gloucester City Council member Colin Organ

The machine – frame No. 5 – surfaced in the USA some years ago and was restored by Bultaco West of Kentucky before eventually passing to John Lawless from Philadelphia. In time, John let the Cotton Owners Club know he might be willing to sell the Telstar, and in view of its significance both parties were keen to see the bike returned to the UK. The club put John and the BMCT in touch and a deal was rapidly concluded, with the clincher being the willingness of the Gloucester Folk Museum to accept the machine on long term loan – the museum is across the road from the site of the old Cotton works on Quay Street, Gloucester. The museum is situated at 99-103 Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2PG.

For more information about the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust go to or contact the secretary, Andy Bufton, on 07754 880116 or email

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