William Webster

man on a motorbike with small cases on the back

William Webster on his motorcycle

William and Lillian Webster and the Liverpool Imperial Motor Cycle Club (LIMCC)

The Museum of Liverpool has an unusual and interesting collection of personal items belonging to William Webster, a motorcycle enthusiast and member of the Liverpool Imperial Motor Cycle Club. The collection was very generously donated to the museum by William Webster's niece, Joyce Roberts.

William Walthew Webster was born in Fazakerley on 7 February 1914. In 1926 the family moved to Daneville Road, Liverpool where he lived until 2001. Before the war he worked as a driver for various firms in Liverpool, but had to leave the city in the late 1930s to find work. He was called up for National Service and worked as a dispatch driver and motorcyclist with the Royal Engineers. It was during this time that William developed a life long passion for motorcycles. After the war he returned to Liverpool and trained as a joiner, working for FC Bloomfield and Co Ltd.

William joined the LIMCC in the mid 1950s and it was here that he met Lillian Allsopp. Lillian was born on 26 April 1920 and lived at Farnworth Street, Liverpool. She worked for Wingrove and Rogers Ltd, an engineering company. William and Lillian not only shared a love of motorcycles, but of jazz and dancing as well. They were often to be found at the Vale House Ballroom Dancing Club on Lark Lane. They fell in love, were married at Christ Church, Kensington on 9 September 1961 and lived together at Daneville Road.

Man and woman in helmets and long overcoats standing with their motorcycles by a deserted track in a hilly landscape

William and Lillian Webster on holiday on the Isle of Man

The LIMCC had a large membership in Liverpool from the early 1950s and appears to have been incorporated into the larger North Western Centre Auto Cycle Union in the mid 1960s. Its headquarters on Prescot Road was a place where likeminded motorcycle enthusiasts could meet monthly to exchange ideas and plan social events. The annual subscription was 10 shillings and all prospective members had to be proposed and seconded by two current members. Both William and Lillian became life members in 1963. William was eventually made an honorary member in recognition of his commitment to the club. The collection contains LIMCC membership cards and driving licences for both William and Lillian.

The LIMCC organised and took part in numerous rallies, rambles, races, tests, trips and competitions throughout the year. In our collection we have excellent examples of the wide range of activities the LIMCC were involved in, including

  • a poster and programmes for the LIMCC's annual Southport Sand Races event
  • a plaque commemorating the LIMCC's success in the 'Quarry Trophy' which they won in 1953 and 1957
  • examples of some of the stringent sets of rules and guidelines for the 'Quo Vadis Rally', the 'April Ramble' and the 'Taurus Rally'
  • a copy of the rules of membership for the LIMCC which placed great emphasis upon road safety and motorcycle maintenance
  • photographs of William and Lillian being presented with Road Safety Awards by the Auto Cycle Union at ceremonies in 1959 and 1965

Badge design with Liver Bird on a winged, crowned shield and text 'Liverpool Imperial MCC'

Liverpool Imperial Motor Cycle Club transfer