A VINTAGE motorbike that once belonged to a popular Oxford personality is now back on the roads.

Motocross racer turned TV presenter Barry Nutley inherited the 1933 Velocette bike from his old friend Viv Kirk following his death in 2004.

Over the following decade he restored it to its former glory but was missing the registration number, so in 2016 launched an appeal via The Oxford Mail to enable him to legally ride the vehicle.

Mr Kirk, a manual labourer for the Post Office, was a minor celebrity in Oxford from the 1970s onwards because of his collection of steam-powered traction engines and vehicles which he kept largely hidden from the public on several acres of land then known as The Gullet – now the Wolvercote Lakes nature reserve.

Stan Lewendon, who was also friends with Mr Kirk, spotted the appeal on the Oxford Mail website earlier this year and realised he may be able to help.

He said: "I'd been left in charge of sorting through Viv's things and he had a lot of old documents and records but I eventually found the original logbook and licence.

"It was so long since the original story though that the contact information for Barry didn't work anymore."

After a bit of detective work via social media, Mr Lewendon eventually tracked down to presenter.

The 42-year-old said: "I found a number and left a message. He must have been eager because he called me back almost straight away."

The pair met up last week at the JS Plant Ltd in Garford for Mr Lewendon to hand over the logbook and both to ride the bike.

He thought his friend would be 'over the moon' with the restoration of the bike to its original 'oily rag' condition, which is how it would have been when Mr Kirk rode it around Oxford.

He added: "It is exactly how Viv would have done it. It was great to ride it after it has been so fantastically restored because I'd had no idea what happened to it after Viv's death."

Mr Kirk, who lived in Walton Well Road in North Oxford, was regularly seen riding his 1899 steam-powered tractor Blossom to the Red Lion pub in Wolvercote for a pint.

But he would also buzz around town on his 1933 Velocette bike which has now been restored to its former glory.

Viv Kirk inherited the Wolvercote Gullet from his family and from the 1950s onwards used it to store his extraordinary collection of traction engines, steam tractors and vintage fairground caravans which he displayed at fairs and steam rallies around the region.

He died on March 27, 2004, aged 81, following a stroke at home. His coffin was borne to his funeral by a 1913 steam tractor.