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Macleay Island artist, Darren Goleby, has two real loves in his life!

One is his artwork; and the other is bringing ‘barn find’ historic motorcycles back to their former glory.

“I have been active in both art and antique motor cycle restoration all my life.”

One of Darren’s signature artworks is the big turtle that literally welcomes people to Macleay Island as you walk off the island ferry jetty.

Darren’s latest effort in motor cycle restoration is a 1925 Villiers Mk ll Excelsior which is known in the motor cycle world as a ‘Black Hornet’.

You would have thought the old machine would have been found ‘out West’ somewhere, but not so.

“I actually got it from Russell Island. It was given to me in pieces because the people knew that I restored old motor cycles,” Darren told The Friendly Bay Islander.

After Darren sorted out all the bits and pieces, he discovered there was a fair bit of Excelsior missing.

“I have had to track down parts from it from all over the world.

“I got most of the engine bits I need from a collector in Essex in the UK.

“The bits I needed for the frame and chain were found in Canada.

“It has been a bit of a search, but I managed to track down everything I needed,” Darren added.

With only a bit more work to be done on the front wheel, the lovely old machine is set to go!

“I have already fired up the engine and it goes really well, although it is very noisy.

“The original bikes did not have baffles in the exhaust back in 1925.

“However, if I am going to ride it on the island, I will have to fit one to the exhaust system,” Darren concluded.

The Villiers Black Hornet is one in a long line of old motor cycles Darren Goleby has restored.

Among some of the old bikes he has brought back to life are a 1956 BSA and a unique 1912 Harley Davidson.

Another two-wheeler that will soon attract his attention is a 1980’s Italian Vespa scooter.

Keep an eye out, you just might see Darren whizzing by with leather helmet and goggles flapping in the wind!

(Wouldn’t that be a great scene for Darren to apply to canvas!!)

• Darren Goleby and the 1925 Villiers Excelsior Black Hornet.

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