The late Bert McCook’s collection of motorcycle road racers’ helmets and tyres has been generously donated to Ballymoney Museum.
The collection includes over 100 helmets worn by famous riders, past and present, including Joey Dunlop and the Armoy Armada, Robert Dunlop and his sons Michael and William, Alastair Seeley, Phillip McCallen, Jeremy McWilliams, Bruce Anstey, Ray McCullough and Richard Creith. The museum plans to have a selection of the helmets on permanent display in the coming weeks, with the full collection on display to the public next summer.
Mr McCook, from Armoy, followed road racing all his life. He was friends with many of the riders on the local circuit and began gathering helmets and other memorabilia several years ago. Since then, he became a familiar sight at various bike shows, exhibiting his collection to help raise funds for the Injured Riders’ Welfare Fund.
His charity work attracted support from many riders who regularly donated material as his collection grew. Following the passing of Mr McCook, his family announced that the treasured collection would be presented to Ballymoney Museum.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan invited the McCook family to Riada House for a private reception to thank them on behalf of Council. Following meeting the McCook family, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan said, “Being that the Borough is host to the International North West 200 and Armoy Road Races, this generous contribution to the museum is very meaningful.
“It is a pleasure for everyone who follows this exciting sport to see these helmets and tyres used by some of the world’s most famous riders on display. This collection is one of the most important donations to the museum service has received in recent years. It will be a legacy for Bert McCook which shows just how much he loved road racing and will be shared and enjoyed by many generations to come – not only by residents of the Borough but by race fans from across the world who visit the museum every year.”
Ballymoney Museum is located at Ballymoney Town Hall, Townhead Street. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday & Saturday 9am until 5pm, and Friday 9am until 4.30pm. Admission is free. For further details visit telephone Ballymoney Museum on 028 2766 0230 or visit www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk.