Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,469 pages of information and 245,911 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Burney and Blackburne

From Graces Guide
(Redirected from Blackburne)
September 1920.


September 1920.
February 1922.
June 1924.
December 1929.
June 1930.

Burney and Blackburne of Tongham, near Farnham, maker of motorcycles and engines.

of Bookham, Surrey

The company was formed by Cecil Stanley Burney and Alick Burney, two motor engineers, who bought the rights to the De Havilland engine. They involved Harold Blackburn, a test pilot, in their entreprise, adding an "e" to his name for their Blackburne motorcycles and engines used in motorcycles and light aircraft.

Blackburne motorcycles were produced from 1913 to 1922.

1913 The first Blackburne model entered the market early that year. It had a 499cc 3.5hp sv engine with a large outside flywheel and a one-piece forged crankshaft. This combination made it one of the smoothest running engines of the period. It also had a belt-driven three-speed hub gear and Saxon forks. Late that year the company moved to Tongham, Surrey.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917 Red Book

1914-1915 The model adopted a three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox, chain-cum-belt drive and Druid forks. A single-speed TT model was also listed.

1916 Both models were still listed that year and then joined by a 3.5hp model with three speeds.

Post World War I. Manufacture of motorcycles went to OEC at Gosport, Hampshire.

1919 There were three models and the 1916 machine now had all-chain drive and was rated at 4hp. The other two were a 2.75hp two-speed single and an 8hp V-twin combination. The company then sold its own rights to OEC

1920 Stanton Wilding Cole, managing director, awarded OBE[1]

1920 Advertising motor cycles for the Motor Cycle Show [2]

1921 Only the V-twin combo and 4hp single were listed that year.

1922 The twin alone was in production. With the involvement of OEC, the company names combined, and thereafter Blackburne concentrated on producing engines for other companies, which continued well into the next decade.

Burney motorcycles

1923 Burney motorcycles were produced from 1923 to 1927; firstly at the John Warwick works in Reading, Berkshire, followed by Twyford and finally from Shalford, near Guildford

The design came from Edward Alexander Burney who had designed the original Blackburne engine before World War I and the four-stroke Wrexham-built Powell machines post-war.

1923 By now Burney was in partnership with Captain Oliver M. Baldwin who was a great success at Brooklands. A new machine was produced with a 495cc sv single cylinder engine with outside flywheel, and a three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox with all-chain drive. The machine was neatly assembled to provide a solo with sporting appearance.

1924 With a few alterations, the single continued to be produced. Centre-spring replaced the Druid forks and a more comfortable spring-top saddle was fitted. Manufacture was on a small scale and the quality of finish was very high. This meant that it was expensive compared with a similarly sized BSA and sales were limited.

1925 Production had ceased.

1926 A stylish new machine was announced. This had a V-twin 680cc sv JAP engine. Sporting in appearance, this new Burney had Brampton forks, girder frame construction, eight-inch front and rear Enfield brakes and 'twistgrip' control for both ignition and the Binks carburettor.

1927 Although the machine was listed that year and was of fashionable design, it was not sufficiently successful to allow such a small company to continue.

Aero engines
Burney and Blackburne of Bookham[3]

Produced engines for light aircraft:

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Edinburgh Gazette 1 April 1920
  2. The Times, Monday, Nov 29, 1920
  3. Flight 09/09/1926
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [1] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9
  • A-Z of Cars of the 1920s by Nick Baldwin. 1994. ISBN 1 870979 53 2