The Marjorie Cottle Collection

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Lot 213
The Marjorie Cottle Collection

Sold for £ 1,955 (US$ 2,558) inc. premium
The Marjorie Cottle Collection
comprising: 23 assorted medals and badges including BMCRC lapel complete with 1939 bar, UMS, FICM ISDT (July 12th-17th 1937), Sei Giorni Internazionale 1932, North Western Centre ACU (1925), various motor and motorcycle club medals, including West of England Motor Club (x2 inc. West of England Trial), Sutton Coldfield & North Birmingham Automoble Club (x5), Morecambe Carnival Motor Cycle Races ( x4), Midland Cycling and Athletic Club 24 Hour Trial, North Wales Centre ACU (x2), Birmingham Motor Cycle Club Victory Trail (x3); 7 various medals awarded to J Watson-Bourne; 3 International Six Day Trial plaques for 1934, 1936 and 1937, together with a silver 1936 Scottish Six Day Trial plaque; various embroidered and printed armbands and flags, including International Vase Team 2 1929, Auto Cycle Union British A Team, Auto Cycle Union British C Team, British Team C, ISDT Service 1933, ISDT Service 1938, 1933 ACU International Six Days flag and a 1931 Sei Giorni Internazionale; a leather document case embossed M.W.B. and containing 7 Scott Trial certificates for 1925 (Watson-Bourne), 1926 (Cottle), 1927 (Cottle), 1928 (Cottle), 1930 (Cottle), 1930 (Watson-Bourne), 1931 (Cottle); a signed 1930 Scott Trail programme with a total of 36 signatures including Monkhouse, Reed, Wright, Ryan; Scott Trial programmes from 1925 to 1929 and 1931 to 1933; 1929 ISDT Stewards' Report; 1928 copy of the Illustrated News covering Marjorie's 'Remarkable Endurance Run'; assorted paperwork, correspondence, newspaper cuttings and first hand written accounts by Marjorie a letter confirming the 'Round the Coast' route dated June 1926; a complete itinerary of a route with mileages, stops and press calls; Marjorie's personal diary and rally notes.


  • Marjorie Cottle

    The relative scarcity of female competitors in motorcycle sport has meant that those few trespassing in this predominantly male domain have always attracted considerable publicity, and during the 1920s and 1930s there was no lady motorcyclist more celebrated than Marjorie Cottle. Born in 1900, Marjorie Cottle is perhaps best remembered today for Raleigh's famous 1924 publicity stunt, in which she rode a 2¾hp solo model around the coast of mainland Britain - a journey of over 3,000 miles - while colleague Hugh Gibson rode a 7hp combination in the opposite direction. Two years later she completed another headline-grabbing exploit for the Nottingham manufacturer riding one of its 174cc unitary construction models, following a meandering route that wrote the word 'Raleigh' in script on the country's roads, a 1,370-mile journey that took 11 days. Industry journal 'The Garage & Motor Agent' declared that Miss Cottle was 'undoubtedly one of the trade's most useful propagandists.'

    Despite the fact that Cottle and other female riders had proven themselves the equal of male competitors, the Auto-Cycle Union announced a ban on women in road racing in 1925, citing the bad publicity that might ensue should one be seriously injured in a crash. The ban did not apply to trials and it was in this area of motorcycle sport that lady riders shone. In 1925 Cottle, together with Louie McLean and Edyth Foley, had won individual gold medals at the International Six Days Trial, an achievement that led to the A-CU grouping them in a semi-official national team for the Vase category in following year's event. They finished equal first with no marks lost, dropping to 3rd place after special tests to determine the winners. Promoted to full Vase status for 1927 but given no chance of success by contemporary commentators, the trio rose to the challenge by winning that category outright, beating Denmark into 2nd place with the all-male Great Britain team finishing 3rd.

    Marjorie Cottle rode for the Raleigh factory, marrying another of its trials riders, Jack Watson-Bourne. When Raleigh ceased motorcycle manufacture in 1933 Marjorie switched to Triumph and it was on one of the Coventry manufacturer's machines that she was entered in the infamous 1939 ISDT in Austria, which by then had been annexed by Germany. Despite the worsening political situation in Europe the German organisers went ahead with the event, which saw 61 British competitors make the start. Marjorie Cottle, riding a 250 Triumph, formed part of the Sunbeam 'A' club team, the other members being Geoff Godber-Ford (350 Sunbeam) and A A Sanders (350 Triumph). The trial commenced as scheduled on Monday 21st August with a run into recently occupied Czechoslovakia but within a few days the British competitors were becoming increasingly concerned. On Friday 25th the recall telegram arrived from the War Office in London and the remaining British contingent, including Marjorie Cottle, was escorted to neutral Switzerland and safety. Britain and Germany were at war nine days later.

    After the war Marjorie gave up competing and worked for BSA as a motorcycle sales representative. She died in 1987 leaving her trophy collection to a friend, on whose passing away they are now offered for sale.

Saleroom notices

  • SRN: The photograph in the catalogue of the Autocyclc Union cased Medal does not relate to Lot 213. It does however belong with lot 214.
The Marjorie Cottle Collection
The Marjorie Cottle Collection
The Marjorie Cottle Collection
The Marjorie Cottle Collection
The Marjorie Cottle Collection
The Marjorie Cottle Collection
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