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Stanley Glanfield about to embark on his epic global tour

Stanley Glanfield was a former motorcycle sales agent who took part in a successful world tour on a Rudge combination in the late 1920s.

On the 2nd July 1927, Stanley T. Glanfield along with Flight-Sergeant S. W. Sparkes set off from London with the aim or riding their 3.5hp Rudge motorcycles around the world in just 120 days. The journey would take them through 22 countries and cover 17,000 miles.

The project was sponsored by the Board of Trade to demonstrate the reliability of standard British motorcycle combinations, whilst also to study trade conditions overseas with regards to the motorcycle industry.

The journey first took them through France, Germany and Hungary, then on to Austria and Bulgaria. By August 19th they had reached Constantinople, and then made their way through Basra to Bombay. They faced many hazards and perils along the way, both through a range of primitive road surfaces, and in some cases having to make swift escapes from hostile natives.

Sparkes had not been well, so he left for home from Bombay leaving Glanfield to finish the rest of the trip alone. Glanfield reached Calcutta on October 10th after covering 1,800 miles in Monsoon conditions in just 6 days. After being shipped to Australia he went from Darwin to Sydney covering 3,700 miles across the central Australian Desert – the first motorist ever to complete the journey alone.

Once in America he crossed the continent in 13 days covering a further 3,700 miles, joining up again with Sparkes in London on March 4th 1928.

The actual 3.5 Rudge Combination Glanfield used for this amazing achievement now stands in the Motorcycle Galley here at the Museum.
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