Welcome to the website of the Cotton Owners and Enthusiasts Club.
The goal of this website is to introduce the Cotton Motorcycle Marque to a worldwide audience, as well as to provide an on-line presence for the membership of the Cotton Owners and Enthusiasts Club.
In Gloucester during the 1920s Cotton was ‘the bike’ and Frank Willoughby (Bill) Cotton was ‘the man’. Legendary TT rider Stanley Woods’ racing career started on Cotton in 1922, quickly followed by a winning ride in the Junior TT in 1923. This success launched Woods as a rider and the Cotton as a class leading motorcycle design. Further TT success followed with Cotton taking the top three places in the 1926 Lightweight TT, the winning team including Works Manger and top rider Fred Morgan.
Bill Cotton was masterly at promoting his unique motorcycles, but was less than keen to take to the limelight himself. The late thirties and the war years were difficult times for Cotton but he just managed to keep the company in business.
In the early ‘50s local business men Pat Onions and Monty Denley bought the almost dormant Cotton Company and launched a new series of road bikes. Every local Gloucester boy’s ambition was to ride a Cotton and many did. In the 1960s, the company branched out, producing both road and competition off-road bikes. The Villiers-engined competition bikes, including the road racers, scramblers and the trials bikes were especially successful through the 1960s, notably with Derek Minter and Bill Ivy on the Cotton Telstar and Peter Inchley on the production racer Conquest.
In 1975 a young entrepreneur from Liverpool, Terry Wilson, invested in the Cotton company and subsequently became managing director. The focus changed to developing a range of bikes around engines supplied by the Austrian company, Rotax.
In spite of its small size, Cotton scored many impressive victories and captured the imagination of generations of Cotton enthusiasts. Cotton lasted into the 1980s, marking over 60 years of motorcycle production.
This website is dedicated to the growing number of Cotton enthusiasts everywhere.
This video, extracted from ‘Gloucester: The Crossroads of England’, is reproduced with the kind permission of 1st Take and provides a brief overview of the marque. Please visit the Club Merchandise page for further details.
In the 1990’s, following a series of successful exhibitions mounted at the Gloucester Folk Museum, the Cotton Owners and Enthusiasts Club (COEC) was formed. The club has an international membership and holds an annual summer Rally at the Museum.
The goal of the club is to promote the use and preservation of the Cotton Motorcycle.
We welcome all new and returning members; the membership year starts in July but we welcome new members at any time. As well as a quarterly magazine your membership will help maintain the interest in, and memory of, this famous manufacturer that produced motorcycles in Gloucester from 1920 to 1976.
Annual Fees are UK £15, Europe £18, and beyond £20
Pay by cheque or PayPal (email@example.com – select ‘Friend & Family’ option)
Membership Joining form 2021-2022
All members are welcome to attend the committee meetings which are held at:
The Royal British Legion, Green Lane, Hardwicke, Gloucestershire, GL2 4QA
Please refer to the sidebar for the date of the next meeting.