Allan Johnston 1933-2017

OBITUARY:

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Allan Johnston 1933-2017

It is with sadness that Trials Guru has to announce the passing of SSDT enthusiast and former competitor, Allan Johnston.

Educated at George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh, Allan was a well-known figure in the parc-ferme area of the SSDT in more recent years, being a machine examiner on the team led by Chief Machine Examiner, Archie Plenderleith.

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Allan Johnston checking machines in the Parc Ferme at the SSDT – Photo: Heather Mead, Dingwall

Johnston who lived in Longniddry, East Lothian was father to Scottish trials riders, Keith and Paul and rode in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He leaves a widow, Thelma.

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Allan Johnston’s eldest son Keith was a former Youth Scottish Trials Champion seen here on a 320 Majesty Yamaha prepared by Allan at Edinburgh St. George, Lauder Trial. – Photo: Jimmy Young

Allan also assisted Team Yamscot in the 1970s and 1980s when the Aberdeen dealers Shirlaws Ltd were promoting Yamaha off-road and racing machinery under the Yamscot moniker. He was a member of the Edinburgh Southern MC and worked as a Telephone Engineer firstly with Post Office Telephones and latterly BT.

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Allan Johnston (right) working with SSDT Clerk of Course Jeff Horne in 2013 – Photo Heather Mead, Dingwall

Allan had a passion for anything on two or four wheels and owned a dark blue and black, 1926 Morris ‘Bullnose’ Oxford which was owned previously by a retired Doctor. Unfortunately it was involved in a minor collision with another vehicle and such was his sense of perfectionism, he wouldn’t allow the insurers have it repaired at a garage because: “I would never have been happy with a repair I hadn’t done myself”.

As well as preparing his son’s trials machines and tuning Karts for racing, Allan obtained great pleasure from his work as a volunteer at the East Lothian based ‘Museum of Flight’ at East Fortune where he helped restore Concorde for display and also maintained the models and displays.

SCOTT 2017 – OPEN

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‘The Scott Trial’ logo is copyright Richmond Motor Club (Yorks) Ltd.

The famous Scott Trial, the toughest one-day motorcycle trial of them all and over 100 years old will take place in Swaledale, North Yorkshire on Saturday 21st October 2017.

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Geoff Duke (Ariel Colt 250) gets a helping hand to extract his machine from the waters of ‘Washfold Splash’ in the 1957 Scott – Photo: Charlie Watson, Hull

The entry forms and regulations have now been released for this annual classic of motorcycle trialsport, organised in the last 26 years by the Richmond Motor Club (Yorkshire) Ltd.

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Ben Hemingway (Beta) captured by the lens of ace photographer, Barry Robinson at the 2016 Scott. – Copyright: Barry Robinson (NUJ)

Entry forms and regulation smay be obtained by visiting the official club website: http://www.richmondmotorclub.com

or follow this direct link to the page where you can download the documents: HERE

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James Dabill (Vertigo) winner of the 2016 Scott Trial – Photo copyright: John Hulme/Trial Magazine 2016

The event limits riders to 200 combatants.

Photos: Courtesy and copyright of Barry Robinson (NUJ); John Hulme/Trial Magazine & Charlie Watson

 

Claude Coutard 1928-2017

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Claude Coutard 1928 – 2017 – Photo Trial-Club.com

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of a great enthusiast of the sport, Claude Coutard from France.

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1998 Claude Coutard (250 Greeves) on Loch Eild Path – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

He was a well-known rider who competed on Greeves machines in the 1960s. He was father to multiple French Trials Champion, Charles.

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Claude Coutard watches his son, Charles Coutard (Greeves) on Loch Eild Path in 1998 – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

French super-enthusiast Oliver Barjon spoke to Trials Guru about Claude’s passing:

I first met Claude Coutard in the seventies, at the world rounds when his was helping his son, Charles. We talked a lot, as Charles was very focused on his riding.
I will never forget Claude’s blue eyes, until his last years.
Claude discovered trials in the nineteen-fifities, in the woods near Paris (St Cucufa), it really was the beginning of trial sport in France. From that time, his life was dedicated to our sport.
Firstly as a rider, he was the vice French champion behind Christian Rayer, and as ‘the’ French promoteur of our sport  for over 50 years, until recently.
I was 30 years and and one week younger than Claude, sometime on the trials we wish each other ‘happy birthday’.
After Greeves, he rode Bultacos and had a shop in Lyon named ‘Coutard Service’.
We will all miss Claude and our hertfelt sympathies go to his widow, Josette, son Charles and all the Coutard family.”

 

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Claude Coutard and his beloved Greeves in 1994 at Mons, Belgium – Photo: Oliver Barjon

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Claude Coutard (Greeves) – Photo: Jean-Claude Commeat (Photo by Claudio)

Olga Kevelos in print

Playing with the Boys

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Olga Kevelos (1923-2009) was a star of the UK motorcycle scene from the late 1940s until the 1960s, excelling best in the trials scene, but trying out both road racing and scrambles, both of which were largely denied to women at the time. She was well known in the ‘Scottish’ (SSDT) and ISDT events, competing in both over many years, with some success.

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But Olga was more than just a motorcycle sportswoman – she was glamorous, adventurous, fearless and, above all, independent in nature. This book traces her life from its’ beginnings in the family home in Edgbaston, Birmingham, through her unusual wartime service with a small group of women volunteers on the canals, her motorcycle years, and finally, her time as a pub landlady and quiz expert.

Along the way the reader will learn about her vivacious personality and those who most closely shared her life. In order to provide context, a chapter covers the place of women in motorcycle sport in the pre and post war years. An appendix gives brief detail on some of the motorcycles most closely associated with Olga.

This A4 size 160 page book has over 250 illustrations, many of which have never been published before and many in colour. The author has self-published the book and it’s initial availability is limited. Copies cost £20.00 and P&P in the UK is an additional £4.00. Further details can be found on the Facebook page:  HERE or from the author : ctur282388@aol.com

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Highland Classic gets its own section

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Jean Caillou (Honda RTL360) brought some of his collection of factory Hondas to the 2017 event – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.

The very popular Highland Classic Two-Day Trial gets its’ own section here on Trials Guru.

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IDMCC club member, Ashleigh Davison (Yamaha) – 2017 HC2DT – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

With the event now a firm favourite with riders across the UK and beyond, information and photos are now here on Trials Guru.

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Harry Stanistreet (Ariel/Zundapp) – 2017 HC2DT – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Photos from Iain Lawrie and Lorna Brakenridge (Feetdown Trials) are featured.

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British Motocross Champion in 1974, Vic Allan (148cc MV Augusta) – 2017 HC2DT Guest Rider – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Have a look! HERE

Greeves Re-discovered

Sometimes, Trials Guru is approached by individuals who have found a trials motorcycle and are keen to discover it’s history.

We are not always able to assist due to the complexity of the task, but here is an instance where we were able to help, almost immediately upon receiving the request for assistance!

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Tom Milton Junior on his Greeves TE250 in September 1963, winning a Loch Lomond trial

Words: Mark Morris
Assistance and Co-operation: Tom Milton Jnr (USA)

I came into contact with John Moffat at the Trials Guru website, via the Greeves Riders Association after seeking information regarding my newly acquired TE 250. John provided the key information necessary regarding its’ history, allowing me to find out more about the Greeves Scottish in my possession.

The story of my search has its roots in my long ago interest with the Greeves marque.

When I was a teenager back in 1978, my best friend had a Cotton trials machine which I admired from afar. I was keen to find something similar and after trawling the pages of the ‘Exchange and Mart’ found what was described as a ‘Greeves Scottish’ close to where I lived. The bike was great fun to ride and I always regretted selling it.

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Mark Morris with his Greeves Hawkstone back in 1978.

Many years passed and different bikes came and went but the Greeves always had a place in my heart and at the back of my mind I knew that I would like once again to own one, but realistically thought it would not be possible.

With no particular thoughts in mind I went along to the Telford Off Road Show back in February 2017.

As I walked down the line of Scramblers on the Greeves Owners Association stand, I stood back in disbelief, when I saw before me my old Greeves. It had stood in a barn for many years before being bought by its current owner. Furthermore I learned that it wasn’t actually a Greeves Scottish but an early ‘Hawkstone’ scrambler (I later was told that the gearing was similar enough in both Scottish and Hawkstones for the Hawkstone to be used as a rudimentary trials bike).

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Mark’s old Greeves Hawkstone taken at the Telford Show in February 2017 – Photo: Mark Morris

After returning home I found myself wishing more than ever that I had kept the Greeves when I was younger.

Unfortunately later that month a relative died, but had left me some money in their will and so it was with this incentive that I went out to look for another Greeves to own.

I decided that I wanted a ‘Scottish’ because not only could I fit lights if need be but I would have less trouble getting it through an MOT.

My search started on ‘e-bay’ and I soon found a bike I could afford. This was a 1962 model TE 250. Once delivered I put it through an MOT which it passed first go (despite having been stood unused for many years in a shed) I then joined the Greeves Riders Association and VMCC.  The GRA managed to trace my frame and engine number back to the date the bike was originally sold and it brought up an interesting anomaly. The bike had been purchased directly from the Thundersley factory by the ‘Scottish Clubman’ magazine. This was unusual insomuch as it was routine for bikes to go from the factory directly to agents or dealerships.

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The original TE250 which was Tom Milton’s first trials machine, 7030SF as it is today – Photo: Mark Morris

I was piqued and intrigued to find more about my bikes slightly unusual history.

My next stage in finding the bikes history was to ask if anyone could help on the GRA forum. It was from there that I was given John Moffat’s details by enthusiast Brian Catt.

Amazingly, John had a recollection of the bike from the registration (I luckily had the original logbook) and in no time at all, he had put me in contact with the original owner Tommy Milton Jnr. who lives in the USA.

Tommy’s father appeared in a recent article on the Trials Guru website entitled: “Great Scots, Tommy Milton – or NOTLIM, if you prefer” and it was this bike that was mentioned in the article as being given to Tommy Jnr as an incentive to excel at school.

Tommy very soon got back in contact with me to happily confirm that it was indeed his first trials machine dating from 1962 and he recounted how his Dad had rashly promised to get him a new bike if he buckled down at school.

Tommy Milton Senior was a director of the Scottish Clubman Ltd., a monthly magazine for car and motorcycle sport enthusiasts run by amateurs, and he had agreed a deal with Greeves for the bike at a favourable price in return for an article in the magazine after a few months use. Tom Junior and Senior travelled down from their home in Edinburgh to Thundersley to pick it up, which they did on a Friday afternoon. (Apparently, there is a picture of delivery being taken with a Greeves sales executive and also Robbie Allan, older brother of Vic, who was working for Greeves at the time).

On the following Saturday, Tom Jnr rode it part of the way north to run it in, and when he got home, he took off the lights and got it ready for the CSMA trial near Gifford, East Lothian the very next day. Although he was only a novice he got the best non-expert and a first class award. Two weeks later he got another first class and was then classified in Scotland as an expert. Tom Jnr also went on to win the Pinhard prize trophy for trials in 1967 – his name appearing on the trophy alongside John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Grahame Noyce, Dave Thorpe and many other notable motorcyclists.

Tom Milton on his 1967 Pinhard Prize win: “Regarding the Pinhard, I think it is true to say that, while ‘Trials’ is shown against my name on the Sunbeam Club list, it was really a combination of other factors, such as being a long-time committee member of the Melville Motor Club and a co-organiser of their scrambles and trials events, as well as one of the youngest ever members of the Scottish ACU Management Committee, and as a result being a Steward at other club’s scrambles, that contributed to the award”.

In September 1963, Tom won his first trial, at Loch Lomond. The photograph of Tom was taken during that event – the bike has a different tank fitted now although the original is still with the bike and was obviously changed at some point to save weight.

Apparently, an article on the bike was written for the Scottish clubman magazine, and it would have appeared in one of the 1963 issues. When the magazine was wound up, a full set of back issues was lodged with the National Library of Scotland in George IVth Bridge in Edinburgh.

The next stage for me is to try and get the bike re-registered back into its original number, thereon I hope to restore it to as close to its original condition as possible. As the lights were taken off straight away I would be grateful for any suggestions as to what type of lights were fitted. Originally the bike has rock guards fitted also.

If anyone has any photos of the bike at Greeves with Robbie Allan and the Greeves staff or records showing its review in the clubman magazine I would be very grateful to hear from you via John Moffat and this site.

Mark Morris

For more articles like this one or do you have one to share? Then have a look through Trials Guru – Dedicated to the Sport.

Use this contact form to send your message to Trials Guru:

 

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Kia go Vale of Towy

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Kia series, Round 5 at Newgale, Pembrokeshire

Words and photos: Gillian Lawson

Vale of Towy MCC did themselves proud, promoting the Kia Twinshock series round 5, which was set in the stunning countryside of Pembrokeshire on the 18th June.

The Club, have been working tirelessly for weeks clearing a lot of new ground as well as some of the existing favourite parts of what is a great venue, around a 6 KM lap with varied terrain.

The weather was very good this weekend and especially for Wales.  It reached up into the 30s, so as well as the tough sections to contend with the riders also had to contend with the heat making it a very challenging experience.

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Dan Sanders (Yamaha TY250R) Photo: Gillian Lawson

Quite a few people came down on the Saturday and camped overnight as it was a six-hour drive for most, but this gave them the opportunity to explore the stunning area as well as have a gathering with friends for a beer and catch up.

Land owner, Peter Gwyther is a lifelong trials rider and he graciously allowed us to camp on his land.   No one else would have let us cut swaths of wheat and grass to ride the course.

I was told by Eirian Davies, Peter had ridden the Scottish Six Days Trial an exceptionally nice person.

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Rockshock manufacturer, Gary Fleckney on his RTL Honda – Photo: Gillian Lawson

The club was established around 1976, which started as a scrambles club and its founder Member, Glyn Jones, is still active and sometimes still competes. The club is based in Carmarthenshire but also has a presence in Pembrokeshire as well.  It runs trials only at present, but in more prosperous times enduros and grass track racing as well.

It has the largest membership in South Wales and is also one which suffers the least politics, as they involve all riders in from all organisations, which seems to work exceptionally well.

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Glyn Ridley (Fantic) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

Membership of the club is around sixty people and at the Kia event, thirty-four attended either riding or observing so a very good turnout and great support. Eirian said he has to blow his own trumpet and said: “We all have a lot of fun together and have social evenings without the bikes, but the trials is the main hook.”  The club used to have a very strong schoolboy section, but found once they hit 18, other pastimes seemed to take over, however they ran two very successful schoolboy nationals a few years back.

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Robert Faulkner (Yamaha) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

There were seventy entries for the Trial which was down on the usual one hundred & twenty  on a Kia round, but the long travel appeared to have put some people off, which is a great shame after all the hard work from  the organisers in hosting the event.  A special mention has to go to Fredina Minshall, Gerry Minshall and team who run the Kia series and without their efforts would not be possible.

I also must mention a young man called Jim Waters. Jim has been riding since the age of fourteen when he started on a TY80 and now at the age of twenty, he is riding the TY175.  Without doubt he is a star in the making and as I said in my first article, one to watch for.

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Jim Waters (Yamaha) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

 

Jim is from Lincolnshire and rides at all his local clubs, with his dad Kim Waters who is also a rider in the Kia series.

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Kim Waters (Yamaha) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

He travels to all the Kia rounds. On Sunday 18th June 2017, round 5 Vale of Towy MCC Pembrokeshire they travelled six hours to take part where Jim won the clubman class, dropping only 4 marks throughout the day on 2 out of 20 sections of varied terrain and approximately 6KM of a lap.

It was another fantastic weekend, so a big thank you to all involved.

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For more information about Lincolnshire and East Midlands trials, see our special section: East Midlands Trials

 

Banovallum Celebrate perfect 10

Banovallum MCC – Two-Day Trial

Words and photographs: Gillian Lawson

The Banovallum Motorcycle Club was established in 1948 and has numerous members all of whom speak passionately about it. The weekend of 10th -11th June witnessed the club celebrating its 10th anniversary trial at the Withcall Trial, set in beautiful Lincolnshire.

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Louise Alford (Gas Gas) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

At the event, there were some extremely tough testing sections, which proved very challenging for all riders, however everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy them.  The weather was very good all weekend which made it even more enjoyable.

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David Smith (Gas Gas) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

I helped by observing on day one on a stream section which was one of the more difficult sections for the riders and managed to get completely soaked and covered in mud courtesy of two riders who shall remain nameless, but all part of the fun of trialling.

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Chris Alford on his Gas Gas – Photo: Gillian Lawson

The first day had thirty-nine riders, but that number increased to fifty-eight on day two showing the popularity of the event.   On Saturday evening the camp fire was set following the first days trialling and the riders had tents and camper vans all around the field.

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Victoria Traves – Photo: Gillian Lawson

The club erected a marquee for the band who played throughout the evening, as everyone sat around the camp in chairs with a beer and chatted about the day, discussing how it had been for them personally and discussing the next day.

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Roger Sanderson – Photo: Gillian Lawson

The atmosphere was very friendly and enjoyable with some people getting up to dance whilst others just relaxed around the fire.  The weekend was enjoyed by all and credit to the organisers who worked very hard to set everything up and ensure everyone had fun.   A special mention to Rosemary and Tim Hawcock who were always on hand to help anyone with any questions they might have.

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John Fox – Photo: Gillian Lawson

Can’t wait for the 11th anniversary!

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Donna Fox (Beta 4T) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

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Kim Waters (Yamaha) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

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Tim Hawcock (Montesa 4RT) – Photo: Gillian Lawson

For more on the Lincolnshire and East Midlands trial scene, visit our special section: East Midland Trials on Trials Guru.

Highland Hits High Notes

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Rob Shepherd with the ex-factory Honda at the Highland Classic 2017 – The Honda Edition – Photo: Jean Caillou

Photos: Jean Caillou & Lorna Brakenridge

Tracing their events’ roots back to 1950, the Inverness & District MCC, Scotland’s most northerly trials club are delighted that their annual Highland Classic Two Day Trial was voted a great success by those whose opinions really count, the riders!

The club have been flooded by e-mail messages by grateful competitors who enjoyed a weekend of great sport at the Alvie Estate, just four miles south of Aviemore on 10/11th June.

The Highland Classic is fast becoming the premier event to ride in Scotland whether you have a Pre’65 or twin-shock machine. This year the theme was ‘The Honda Edition’ and the Guest of Honour was former British Trials Champion, Rob Shepherd, a rider whose name will always be associated with the Honda marque.

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Nick Jefferies was Special Guest and kept the riders entertained with his witty banter and facts about the Honda trials effort back in the 1970s – Photo: Jean Caillou

Special Guest was Nick Jefferies, a man who not only talks about trials but can ride as well, having picked up the B Route Two Stroke award on a BSA Bantam borrowed from Rob’s brother Norman. Jefferies hasn’t really ridden a trial since 2003, but showed that he indeed ‘still has it’ in the words of Norman Shepherd.

Part of Nick’s winnings was a brand new MICHELIN rear tyre which he immediately promised to friend Norman Shepherd for the loan of the machine.

Jefferies told Trials Guru: “What a great event, the organisation is absolutely first class and everyone is so friendly, it really lives up to its name, the Friendliest Classic Trial in Scotland. What a wonderful place to hold an event, this is all due to the landowner, Laird Jamie Williamson who welcomes such events onto his land, what a breath of fresh air”.

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Full reports are expected to appear in both Classic Trial Magazine and Classic Dirt Bike over the next few months.

The Honda connection was supported by French Honda enthusiasts, Jean Caillou and Olivier Barjon who travelled many hundreds of miles to get to the Alvie Estate..

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Jean Caillou, Rob Shepherd, Olivier Barjon, Yrjo Vesterinen and Nick Jefferies soak up the atmosphere at the 2017 Honda Edition of the Highland Classic.

Caillou: “I really enjoyed the experience, I have ridden Alvie before and it is a true classic event which has grown over the years”

Competitor, Darren Walker told the Inverness club secretary John Moffat: “I think I have died and gone to trials heaven, how do you manage to get permission to ride in a beautiful place like this?”

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Alvie Estate hosted the Honda Edition of the annual Highland Classic which is the ‘must do event’ in Scotland – Photo: Jean Caillou

The Inverness club put a great effort into the event which was thought up by club Chairman, Malcolm Smith, who is originally from Dunsfold in Surrey. The event began on 2003 as a one day trial, but spurred on by Scottish super-enthusiast, Jock McComisky, it evolved into a two-day affair in 2004.

The relaxed but sporting atmosphere at the Highland Classic has raised the bar in Scotland with many saying openly that it is simply the best in Scotland now. Unfortunately this has meant over-subscription of the 150 rider limit.

Club and Company General Secretary John Moffat said: “We had a number of very good younger riders enter this year, but the club are keen to retain the level of severity that accommodates the bulk of the entry. We will not be raising the bar as far as section severity is concerned, we have hit an optimal solution of two routes, the easier B route is designed with Pre’65 machines in mind. What we have been striving to do is raising the bar on the infrastructure, this is without doubt the ‘Friendliest trial in Scotland’ now and we intend to keep it that way and develop that mantra further. We have the riders to thank for making it so as many travel hundreds of miles to take part. If we got it wrong, it would be so easy to ride somewhere a bit more local. The observers who are invaluable, many of those are coming up to help us, it’s fantastic”.

The event was supported by Putoline Oils UK; Apico Factory Racing and Classic Trial Magazine who provided both product and promotional material for the event, much of which went direct to the competitors and observers. The club also ran two observers’ prize draws during the event.

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Honda 2017 moves over for Montesa 2018 at the Friendliest Classic trial, the Highland Classic – Photo: Lorna Brakenridge

Entries will open on 1st February for the 2018 Highland Classic Two Day which will be the Montesa Cota Edition, celebrating fifty years since the original ‘Cota’ was launched in 1968. No doubt the organisers are already investigating which guest of honour and guest riders they will have with MONTESA connections. The event will be held once again at Alvie Estate on 9/10th June, 2018.

 

Brian Valder – Western Stalwart

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Brian Valder (left) receives his ACU medal of honour in 2016

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Brian Valder at Tower Hill Paley Cup Trial in 1961

Words: Ben Falconer, with Credit to: ACU Western Centre

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a great servant of motorcycle sport who put in more than he got out over seven decades.

Brian Valder will be deeply missed in Gloucestershire, where he threw himself in to volunteering at hundreds of events, after moving to Quedgeley in 2004. Prior to that he had been involved in motorcycle sport in the High Wycombe area since the 1950s.

He died aged 83 on May 23, 2017 and on Sunday Cheltenham Home Guard MCC held a minute’s silence and applause before their Hazleton trial, and Zona 1 MCC posted up a photo of Brian at section one of their evening trial on Wednesday, May 24.

He also marshalled at 62 Kingsway Parkruns, where his daughter Amanda and grandson Declan run.

A very capable rider, he placed fourth and fifth in the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1955 and 1956 and rode a Greeves in scrambles, Brian was a key organiser too and in January of this year was presented with the Auto Cycle Union, the sport’s governing body, Medal of Honour for his lifetime of service to the sport.

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Brian Valder riding a scramble on his Greeves

He started competing in the 1950s on a DOT motorcycle. He progressed to a Greeves, which became his preference and occasionally borrowed an Ariel which he enjoyed riding. Known as ‘The Manager’ by his club, Wycombe District Motorcycle Club, he organised their team in the South Midland Inter Club Trial which they won. He once finished the Scottish Six Days on the Saturday and headed home to ride in a major trial on the Sunday.

Such was his enthusiasm that when he stopped riding in the 70’s he became a steward in the ACU South Midland for trials and motocross. He later took on several roles, co-ordinating the centre stewards for twelve years, he was course recorder, and along with his wife Bridie, senior sound meter operator for the centre. Otherwise almost every week they could be found organising the paddock at local and national motocross events held in the ACU South Midland centre.

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Brian Valder (Greeves) in the 1961 Manx Two Day Trial.

For many years, Brian was a respected member of the South Midland Competition Committee, and earned a vice presidency there. Brian was a member of the ACU panel of adjudicators for the sport for many years.

When he moved to Gloucester in 2004 he immediately became involved with ACU Western activities. He became a delegate for the Gloucester and Cotswold Motor Club, also a steward once again for his new centre and an observer at trials most weekends.

He was so much in demand that on one occasion he conducted a ballot to choose between two clubs who had asked for his services as an observer. He was awarded the Dick Wyatt trophy, an award given only for exceptional hard work for ACU Western events. He was also made a vice-president of the centre.

 

ACU Western chairman Tony Noel commented: “It is difficult to imagine someone who has consistently put so many years into ACU sport in different parts of the country, helping to ensure that our sport takes place”.

ACU Western vice chairman Tom Welch said: “He was a true gentleman, respected by all who knew him. Thoughtful, caring, willing, he never grumbled, was considerate, inspirational to the youth riders, he has left a legacy of fairness and abiding by the rules.

His life was extremely well spent. He will be sadly missed, however we have some very fond memories that will be everlasting.”

The funeral will be held on Friday, June 9 at 12.30pm at Gloucester Crematorium. Family flowers only with donations in lieu for the ACU Benevolent Fund or The British Heart Foundation c/o Beechwood Funeral Services Ltd, 7a Highfield Place, Gloucester GL4 4PB.

Mike Rapley wrote for Trials Guru about Brian Valder:

I was sorry to learn of the passing of Brian Valder recently. When I was a kid, I lived in Slough and observed at many South Midland Centre trials with my dad at Wycombe Club events where Brian was a stalwart of the organisation. Indeed, Wycombe organised many great trials using favourite venues that I knew well called Common Hill Wood and Great Wood, places of which I have fond memories.

He rode a Greeves in those days and regularly rode in all SM events as well as setting out his own club’s trials, and as a kid he was very much one of my local favourites as I took photos of riders in those days and tried to sell them for 2/6d

When I moved to the South West aged 19, I lost contact with the Wycombe Club and Brian and it wasn’t until the winter of 2015 that I took a phone call at home one evening with Brian on the line saying that he had heard that I intended to ride in a Western Centre trial that coming weekend.

I did ride that trial, having heard that it was a good event and Brian was there observing. We had a good long chat about his trials that I had observed nearly 50 years earlier, with the roles reversed, me riding and him observing on that December day 2015. It was very good to meet him again and now the sport has lost a great ambassador, who served the South Midland and Western Centres with enthusiasm.