Mike Jackson was called in as a consultant for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), after the management of the Vincent-HRD Owners Cub attempted to convince them (and John Lumley’s Executors) that Lumley’s motorcycles, worth an estimated £1 million, were only worth £75,000.
His collection included Broughs, almost every imaginable kind of prewar and postwar Vincent HRD and all sorts of other mythical machines, including a Coventry Eagle Flying 8, collected over the decades because they had something special about them, such as a race history.
In the weeks following John Lumley’s funeral (April 21st 2009), HMRC received at least two tip-offs from concerned VOC members.
The Revenue took the unusual step of ordering the legal firm acting as John Lumley’s Executors to reopen their late client’s Estate, and the search began for the forty or more missing motorcycles. “That was the first time, the only time, that I have seen this happen.”, said Mike Jackson, who was engaged by John Lumley’s solicitors and Executors Thackray Williams to assess and value any motorcycles that could be traced.
Keep in mind, the govt revenuers weren't acting from charity, to help the inheritors recoup the missing bikes. Actually, they were acting on behalf of the crown, who demands 40% of the inheritance (a million pounds sterling, roughly) and since the bikes had been stolen immediately after the death of the owner, the govt couldn't prove the claim, nor, could the inheritors pay up on the missing fortune they might have gotten from selling the collection
More ex-Lumley machines would surface in the coming years, including a Series C Black Shadow with a Manx TT race history and a Scott found in Australia with one of John Lumley’s laundry bills in the toolbox
The new owners claimed variously that the dying John Lumley had gifted them his motorcycles on his deathbed – a claim that infuriated the hospice management and staff – or gifted them to the Vincent HRD Owners Club for posterity
That John Lumley (heavily sedated on morphine) had not in fact given away his collection (but his sister-in-law did), was treated as an irrelevance under the Law. Justice of a kind was served, however, when Revenue man Ray K–––––– made sure that the beneficiaries of John Lumley’s alleged deathbed philanthropy were penalized to the fullest extent possible, for failing to declare their ‘gifts’ in line with tax laws. The Revenue got its due and the miscreants got hit in their pocketbooks.
In the end, though, the rightful heir lost half or more of the value of his inheritance.
For the other side of the story, how 20 people stepped in to "help" the widow by taking away the boxes of parts and old motorcycles, https://www.vincentownersclub.co.uk/index.php?threads/the-estate-of-the-late-john-lumley-and-the-vincent-h-r-d-owners-club.10051/
But don't just take what I've posted as the only other side of the story: http://www.biker.ie/forum/archive/index.php?t-138538.html toward the bottom