Pension holders lose out amid the crash of Norton Motorcycles

It is one of the great names of British motorbike manufacturing.

Norton's heyday was long ago but more recently the brand was thought to have been resurgent.

Norton was the Motorcycle in the film the Motorcycle Diaries and it even had a walk on part in the Bond film Spectre.

Norton's owner, Stuart Garner, bought the business 10 years ago.

Last summer Garner told ITV News he thought Norton was Brexit-proof but on the eve of our departure from the EU the company has been put into administration by its bank.

Norton owes a lot of people a lot of money.

Elisabeth questions how the business can take her money and not give it back. Credit: ITV News

Elisabeth Pitcairn, a 55 year-old former HBOS branch worker from Cowdenbeath in Scotland, is one of 228 savers who were advised to invest their pension pots in Norton.

She asked Stuart Garner to return her savings of £56,000 a year ago but she hasn't seen a penny back and it's now at risk.

"I think [Garner] has behaved atrociously," she told ITV News.

She added: "How is it in this day and age with all these checks that are in place he can have my money, basically take my money and not give it back. and they'll be no penalty to him?"

"I've no respect for the man whatsoever... He should not do that to ordinary working people."

She asked Stuart Garner to return her savings of £56,000 a year ago. Credit: ITV News

The pensions ombudsman says it has received 31 separate complaints about the conduct of the three Norton pension schemes since 2012 and it is scheduled to hear a case later next month, which has been brought by 30 complainants regarding the conduct of Garner in relation to the schemes.

It has also published three determinations directly criticising Garner, who was a trustee of the plans until being replaced by the Pensions Regulator last year.

Many Norton customers are also complaining they've paid for bikes they've never received.

Norton was the Motorcycle in the film the Motorcycle Diaries. Credit: ITV News

Tony Smith handed over £22,000 for a Norton Dominator last August.

The company said it would be ready the following month and he's since been told it hasn't been built.

"I don't expect to get the bike and emotionally I've written the money off," he told ITV News.

"I'm genuinely furious, I'm furious that good honest people, buying the bike of their dreams, have been misled by these people."

Norton has also had millions of pounds of support from the government.

George Osborne endorsed the company when he was chancellor and other ministers have since done the same.

A year ago, Stephen Barclay, the outgoing Brexit Secretary, said Norton was an example of a "great business" that would thrive when Britain leaves the EU.

Stuart Garner has said he has lost everything. Credit: ITV News

In a statement on Thursday night, Stuart Garner said: "I'm devastated at the events over the last 24 hrs and personally have lost everything, however my thoughts are with the Norton team and everyone involved from customers, suppliers and shareholders at this truly difficult time.

"Without dialogue Metro Bank appointed BDO administrators yesterday, we are now working positively and pro actively with BDO to ensure Norton has the best possible chance to find a buyer ASAP.

"It has become increasingly difficult to manufacture in the UK, with a growing tax burden and ongoing uncertainties over Brexit affecting many things like, tariffs, exports and availability of funding.

"A heartfelt thank you to all those who have sent kind messages of support for British manufacturing and Norton today."

Norton is insolvent and tonight administrators continue the searching for a buyer.

The challenge they face is the scale of the company's debts.