Hobbyist Garry Dann has been left 'bewildered' after his prized and much loved restored 1924 TS Douglas motorbike was stolen from his Roma property. The fuel tank is the only part he has left.
Hobbyist Garry Dann has been left 'bewildered' after his prized and much loved restored 1924 TS Douglas motorbike was stolen from his Roma property. The fuel tank is the only part he has left. Tom Gillespie

“It was like a member of the family”: Roma hobbyist left ‘bewildered’ after vintage bike theft

ROMA hobbyist Garry Dann spent 23 years building and restoring his beloved 1924 TS Douglas motorcycle. To him, it was like a member of the family.

Now Mr Dann has been left ‘bewildered’ after thieves entered his property, broke into his garden shed and stole the bike.

The vintage motorcycle appeared to be the only item the thieves stole from his property on Whip St, ignoring more easily-stolen items to bust open the padlock and remove the vehicle.

The only item remaining from the bike is the fuel tank, which Mr Dann took off to repair.

Having been given the frame and half the engine by two friends who have now passed on, he said the motorbike was irreplaceable.

“I started it off when one of our past members (at Roma and District Historical Car Club) gave me a frame, and I’ve been making parts ever since,” Mr Dann said.

“It took me 23 years to find and make parts for it. I managed to get it all done, restored it and registered it and it ran okay.

“(I’m) just bewildered – I could’ve sold it quite a few times (to people who wanted to buy it), I’ve been on the pension before and money can be tight.

“But I never ever wanted to sell it; there are some things in life that are unobtainable.”

The motorcycle had been insured, but Mr Dann said it would do little to replace a vehicle he first fell in love with as a child.

“It was one of those things I was very passionate about,” he said.

“I was reading a book as a kid and I always liked vintage cars and I saw a photo of one of these Douglas’ and I thought one day I’d own one.

“It’s like losing a member of the family – we didn’t always have a shed so I would keep it in our bedroom.”

The motorbike which was stolen from Roma.
The motorbike which was stolen from Roma. Contributed

Douglas was a British motorcycle manufacturer from 1907-1957 based in Kingswood, Bristol, owned by the Douglas family, and especially known for its horizontally opposed twin cylinder engined bikes and as manufacturers of speedway machines.

Anyone who may have seen the motorcycle, which has a licence plate of S1908, is urged to contact Crime Stoppers today on 1800 333 000.


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