A Valleys family motorcycle business will be looking to rewrite history as part of Yesterday TV’s national television series, Secrets of the Transport Museum.
Mark Wardill, owner of the Rhondda Cynon Taff-based Wardill Motorcycle company will be retracing his Grandfather’s tracks in a reenactment of a 1927 test-ride of the original Wardill Motorcycle at the famous Brooklands Museum – a venue synonymous with British motorsport.
Initially established by Mark’s great-grandfather as a maintenance and repairs company in Surrey, 1903, the Wardill Motorcycle company developed into a prominent figure in British motorsport, with its Wardill 3 featuring a patented supercharge engine.
Now with the Wardill 4, Mark has stuck to his family roots, building on the quality and vintage-style that made the brand so popular.
The original test ride at the museum, which took place almost a century ago, was to prove the prototype to a number of potential investors who had travelled from Boston to see the machine in action. On a rainy October day, at the Brookland’s famous race and test track, Mark’s great-grandfather was met with disaster, as the bike crashed in the poor conditions, and with it, his hopes of investment.
Now, with the fourth edition, Mark will seek to banish the demons by running the race again, aiming to prove the power and design quality of the vintage bike – this time in front of a national television audience.
Mark said: “It was surreal to be riding the very track that my great-grandfather demonstrated the Wardill prototype on so many years ago. As well as showing how the revived Wardill would cope – it was also about exorcising the demons from the initial investor demonstration. People will have to tune in to see how it went, but it was certainly an emotional experience for me.”
Since re-launching in 2020 the business has steadily grown, with sales and demand for the built-to-order bikes increasing.
Mark continued: “We’re really proud of how the company has developed. The Wardill brand has such a rich history and we’ve really tried to capture that in everything we do – from the style of our bikes, through to the feel and design of the ride – it all has to be just right. The Wardill 4 is really starting to take off, and featuring on such interesting programmes like this will help us reach out to the motorsport enthusiasts looking for their next passion piece.”
Andrew Walmsley, Executive Producer of the show, said: “Filming at Brooklands has been an incredible opportunity to look back through time to the dawn of motor racing.
“To meet Mark, a genuine ancestor to one of the early pioneers in the world of motorbikes, with a direct link to Brooklands, was incredible. And to see him keeping his great grandfather’s dream alive in such an impressive way was a privilege”
The programme featuring Mark and the Wardill 4, will be broadcast on Yesterday TV at 8pm on Tuesday 8th March.