Category Archives: Obituaries

Neil Crosswaite dies

It is with sadness that we have to report the death of Neil Crosswaite, former Scorpa importer and entrepreneur. Mr. Crosswaite sustained a brain haemorrhage from which he did not recover and passed away on Friday, 1st February 2019 at seventy years of age. 


A lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, his passion for trials riding would see him travel all over the world where he would meet so many people who all had respect for his honest and open opinion. His world was his family. 

For many years Neil was in partnership with the late Martin Lampkin as joint promoters of the annual Sheffield Arena Trial held in January. 

The funeral arrangements will be held at Nab Wood Crematorium, Bingley Road, Shipley, Bradford, BD18 4BG on Thursday, 14 February at 13.20, and afterwards at the Busfield Arms, Keighley where everyone is welcome. 

Martin Crosswaite said: “The Crosswaite family would like to thank everyone for all your messages of support; it really means the world to us as a family that my Dad was held in such high regard by so many people”. 

John Hulme, Editor in Chief of Trial Magazine commented: “Neil Crosswaite was an inspiration when we started the magazine with his enthusiasm for anything motorcycle trials. His constructive criticism was always welcome as were his new ideas. His handshake was his word and I for one am going to miss his phone calls to find out was going on in the world of trials. All our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time”.

Trials Guru conveys it’s condolences to the Crosswaite family at this time.


SACU stalwart Adam Brownlie passes

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Adam & Mary Brownlie (centre) at an SACU awards function in 1990 – Photo: Alastair Henderson

Adam Moore Brownlie, a stalwart of the Scottish ACU passed away peacefully on Thursday 3rd January, 2019.

A. M. Brownie was a Life Member of the SACU and was active in Motorcycle Sport since the mid 1950s. Adam was a former Chairman of the SACU and took over from T. Arnott Moffat as SACU Secretary in 1987. Brownlie became the first salaried official of the SACU when it became a limited company by guarantee in December 1989 as Company Secretary. For many years, Adam ran the office function at Bathgate, Whiteside, then Uphall and was a director of SACU Ltd until 1998.

His main occupation before retirement in 1990 was with the Rolls Royce aero engines plant at East Kilbride and was an avionics engineer.

Brownlie was for many years an SACU steward at many rioad race meetings and the Scottish Six Days Trial, he was a long standing member of the Avon Valley MCC.

Adam was also the ACU Benevolent Fund Officer for Scotland and spent a lot of his time fund raising at motorcycle events.

Details of Adam Brownlie’s funeral are: Saturday, 19th January 2019 at 11:45 am at South Lanarkshire Crematorium – 31 Sydes Brae, Blantyre, Glasgow G72 0TL.

Our sincere condolences go to his widow Mary and son Gordon.


Mr PJ1 passes away

Richard Thorpe (left) with Rob Shepherd and Craig Holmes at the Off-Road show at Telford.


Richard Thorpe from Batley, better known in the world of trials as ‘Mr. PJ1’ has died aged 72.

Richard was a keen trials rider and in later life was an enthusiastic supporter of the Pre’65 movement and a very well-known face in paddocks across the country and beyond. Yorkshire-man John Reynolds was a long time supported rider of the UK PJ1 concern, in fact he rode Richard’s Suzuki in a Kia championship round this year and won his class on the machine.

For many years the UK representative of the USA based chemical manufacturer PJ1, Richard was in effect the ‘face’ of the brand for dealers and customers alike within the United Kingdom.

Richard Thorpe lost his battle with cancer on the morning of 21st December 2018, his wife Christine was with him at the end. He was in Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield when he died.

Trials Guru wish to record sincere condolences to Richard’s family at this difficult time.


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Richard Thorpe on his Montesa Cota 4RT – Photo: Barry Robinson

Harry Lindsay dies at 92

Harry Lindsay 1953

Popular motorcycle importer and rider, Harry Lindsay passed away on the morning of 11th November 2018 at the age of 92 years.

He was the third generation of the Lindsay family involved in the motorcycle trade.

His grandfather, Robert Lindsay, was already a motorcycle manufacturer in 1898 producing the famous ‘Celtic’.

Robert Lindsay was also fundamental in developing the pneumatic tyre along with his close friend John Boyd Dunlop, eventually convincing him to set-up the first tyre factory in the world on Golden lane, a mere 50 feet from Lindsay’s own business premises.

The first pneumatic tyre prototypes were actually tested on Robert Lindsay’s racing bicycles, winning many all the races they entered.

Born in 1926, Harry’s grandfather Robert and later his father James, traded from premises in Ship Street, Dublin. Lindsay’s was one of the oldest motorcycle businesses in the British Isles, founded in 1897, although prior to that date they were already assembling bicycles and producing steel cart wheel rim casings.

Harry’s passion for motorcycling took priority over everything else and was still riding well into his 80’s. He was a generous sponsor with many riders coming under his support over the years. His sons Alan and Ralph were both accomplished trials riders.

Lindsay was the official Bultaco importer for Ireland and had very strong connections with the Bulto family in Barcelona. He also imported the ‘Super Ser’ brand of gas heaters made by the San Adria de Besos company.

His ongoing relationship with the Bultaco brand led him to enter a Bultaco team in the 1967 Production 250cc TT, with riders Bill Smith and Irishman, Tommy Robb placing 1st and 2nd.

Harry had also been Ireland’s agent for Vincent motorcycles and as such laid claim to being one of only a handful of people fortunate enough to ride Reg Dearden’s supercharged Vincent Black Lightning.


Harry Lindsay’s funeral will take place at St. Mary’s Church in Blessington, Co. Wicklow on Friday, 23rd November at 2 pm.

Kenny McKee

Kenneth “Kenny” McKee

16 December 1948 – 6 November 2018

Kenny Mckee

Kenny McKee was born into a motorbike mad family on 16th December 1948, the youngest child of eight.

Known as ‘King Kenny’ to many, his love of bikes was destined to be, given that his father and his big brother Bobby “RJ” were full on petrol heads.

Growing up around bikes he had a passion for all aspects of the sport, but trials was his true love.  Bobby was riding trials from the early 1950s and Kenny followed him all over the country watching and eventually competing.  He rode trials through the 1970s and into the early 1980s and made long lasting and enduring friendships.  Many nights were spent in the company of good friends reminiscing about all the old boys and the “good old days”.


Bikes were second only to family and Kenny had two sons who took his love for all things bike into trials as well.  Once Warren and Terence started riding in the early 1980s, Kenny put all his enthusiasm and effort into supporting them, taking them all over the country.

His absolute dream event, as with thousands of other was the Scottish Six Days Trial, travelling over for years to watch and also competing in the Pre’65 event a few times too.

A joiner by trade from his teenage years, he was so driven by trials that many a job was put back while the bikes to centre stage.

Latterly Kenny and his wife of almost fifty years, Blossom travelled all over Ireland and GB with Terence, competing in local events, Nationals and the SSDT as well as the Lakes, Loch Lomond and the Isle of Man events.


Sadly Kenny passed away peacefully in his sleep at home this morning, a few weeks short of his 70th birthday.  His loss will be felt by a great many people, not just family, but also the bike family.

The sport has lost a good friend today, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things trials

Kenny is survived by his wife Blossom, sons Warren and Terence, daughter Sharon.  Daughters in law Karen and Natalie as well as grandchildren Jordan, Erin and Oliver, and especially by great granddaughter Katie, who has also been bitten by the bike bug and will no doubt follow those well-trodden footsteps of granda Kenny.

Funeral arrangements:

The service is Friday the 9th November at Clarkes Funeral Home, 12 Court Square, Newtownards, NI, BT23 7NY at 12 mid-day. After the service interment will be at Movilla Cemetery off the Movilla Road for 1pm.

Refreshments will be available afterwards in The Ivy Bar which is across the road from Clarkes and friends are most welcome to call in.

Trials Guru sends sincere condolences to the McKee family at this difficult time. Kenny McKee was an enthusiastic supporter of ‘Trials Guru’ who demanded a supply of Trials Guru decals when he met John Moffat at the SSDT this year.

Photo courtesy of friend, Chris Sharp

Jim Pickering

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Jim Pickering on one of his Drayton creations – Photo: Chris Sharp

The trials world was saddened to hear of the passing of Kidderminster’s Jim Pickering on October 4th 2018, best known as the man behind the ‘Drayton’ brand special framed machines that have come to dominate Pre’65 classic trials over the past few years. Jim bravely fought cancer which did not preclude him from riding in trials, the sport he loved.

A talented engineer, always full of enthusiasm and advice, Jim was a regular competitor at classic events countrywide and was overjoyed when Scotland’s Gary Macdonald was the first Scotsman to win the Pre’65 Scottish in 2017 on a Drayton Triumph.

John Moffat of Trials Guru said: “I bought a frame kit from Jim to house a spare BSA B40 motor I had lying under the bench. He could not be more helpful with advice. He was a very friendly, open gentleman who I enjoyed very much conversing with when we met. He will be greatly missed in the sport.”

Trials Guru send it’s sincere condolences to his widow, Jayne and the Pickering family.

Jim’s funeral will take place on 18th October, 2018 at 15.30 hrs at the Wyre Forest Crematorium. The family have requested casual dress code with jeans acceptable. Please, family flowers only. Donations if desired, to West Midlands Air Ambulance & Millbrook Suite , Kidderminster Hospital.

Andrew Dignan trials enthusiast

The Scottish trials world was saddened by the news that Lochaber man, Andrew J. Dignan, father of three trials riding sons David, Kevin and Simon and also Mike and Graham, passed away on Thursday 19th July, 2018 aged 84 years.

Andrew for many years, with his wife Grace, were stalwarts of the Lochaber & District MCC and  after Grace’s death in 2001, the club has run an event in her memory every year since.

Trials Guru’s John Moffat said: “Andrew Dignan was a man who always met you with a cheery smile and a good firm handshake. He was a true trials enthusiast who never competed but put a lot into the sport, having observed and officiated at the SSDT and local trials which he helped organise with his wife Grace.”

Moffat continued: “On a personal note, I had a lot of time for Andrew and we could chat for many hours when we met. I valued his friendship highly and I will miss him greatly”.

Andrew’s funeral took place at Noon on Saturday, 28th July 2018 at St Margaret’s Church in Roy Bridge, near Fort William. The R.C. church was filled by neighbours, friends, family, shinty and trials enthusiast from far and near.

His son Graham read a eulogy and his grandson, Cahal Dignan had written a special poem which he read  out.

As already mentioned, Andrew’s wife and sole-mate, Grace passed away in 2001 and part of Andrew died with her, they were a very close couple. They are now buried together in Cille Choirill cemetry high on the hill overlooking the road to Fersit where the Grace Dignan Memorial trial is held.

Young Sandy Cameron from Fersit played the pipes as Andrew’s coffin was carried from the church, the tune being ‘Sands of Kuwait’.

Andrew was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by the Scottish ACU in 2014 in recognition of his dedication to Scottish trials over 30 years as an observer, parc ferme marshal and time check controller at the SSDT and his work for the Lochaber & District MCC. Many of their members were at Andrew’s funeral. He also won recognition from the local Lochaber Cammanachd club for services to Shinty.

On a lighter note, the priest commented that the family had all mentioned that Andrew always had a can of WD40 close by, as he believed it sorted most things that had gone wrong, even his arthritic knees!


There was a collection for the local Belford Hospital – Ward One, endowment fund.

We send our sincere condolences to the Dignan family.

Photo courtesy of the Dignan family