Alan Ketley death

The trials world on the south east was saddened by the death of well-known trials rider, Alan Ketley.

Alan was an accomplished rider in the SE ACU centre and at one time worked for Comerfords/Bultaco UK as a sales representative, looking after the many Bultaco agencies throughout the UK.

Alan Ketley (325 Bultaco) – Photo: Mike Rapley

He had been sufering from Parkinson’s Disease for some years and was from Erith, South East London..

Details of Alan’s funeral arrangements are:

Friday, 29th October 2021 at Beckenham Crematorium at 09.30 am.

Trials Guru wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to his daughter at this very sad time.

Tribute to Alan Ketley from his friend Bob Adams:

The passing of Alan KETLEY “ Ketters “ is a huge loss to the trials scene. We travelled the UK & continent in his mini pick-up as well as tackling National trials. His most remembered achievement was beating Sammy Miller to win his first National.

Al rode for the South Eastern Centre team many times but the North Kent combine was his favourite scene. He was a champ in every class, Ariel, James , B40. He was a wiz on long steep hills where throttle control was key. He was truly a class act Brands Hatch in 1965.

Al was asked to ride the Bultaco Sherpa and rode it brilliantly. His dad only ever came to one trial, Weavers Down, and Al finished on clean THATS the way to show your dad how good you are! He worked for Comerfords in his younger years selling Bultacos all over the UK and servicing the dealers. Parkinson’s put paid to a trials return in the last decade. Al leaves a daughter “Amanda” and two grandchildren.

Bob Adams

Scott Trial 2021 Programme out now

The Scott Trial official programme which is sold to raise money for the local Scott Trial charities is now on sale, priced £5.00 per copy.

Edited by Michelle Wilkinson, it is packed with information for the event and is a must have for any Scott Trial follower or enthusiast.

Copies are now on sale at the following outlets:

Brookes Garage, Richmond, Neeps & Tatties, Richmond, Reeth Post Office, Reeth Paper Shop, Copper Kettle Cafe, Reeth; CB Inn, Arkengarthdale; The Red Lion pub, Langthwaite; CJ Tennants, Richmond and X Lanes Store, Richmond.

The event is being held on Saturday 16th October 2021, starting from Feldom Ranges, Sturdey House Lane, Richmond, DL11 7LS.

Planners come down hard on trial venue

In an open letter issued on Monday 27th September, 2021 to Croft Trials Club and local enthusiasts of the sport, Croft Club Chairman, Bob Pickersgill has made an appeal following action taken by a neighbour who lives near the AMCA affiliated Croft Club’s trials ground, who is obviously opposed to the sport of trials.

The implications could be far reaching if the requirement for planning permission to change the layout of sections is imposed country wide.

Pickersgill’s open letter urged members to take immediate action and read as follows:

“Dear Member and supporter of Croft Trials Club,

You may be aware that the Club has been on the receiving end of a number of complaints, primarily from our neighbour at Clervaux, Mrs Sarah-Jane Burns.

Since she moved in about 6 years ago, she has been haranguing members, telling us that we wouldn’t be riding there much longer, and making numerous vexatious complaints to Richmondshire Council, the Environment Agency, the Public Rights of Way Officer, the Parish Council, the Police, the Woodland Trust etc. She even attempted to take possession of the land and caused criminal damage in doing so, to which she admitted and settled out of court.

Because of this, the Club has now been required to formally apply for Planning Permission for the creation of four new sections and the maintenance of the existing sections. If not granted, the facility could be under threat. Any support would be much appreciated. Supporters have until Friday 15th October to email: planning.enquiries@richmondshire.gov.uk or write to the Planning Manager at Mercury House, Station Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 4JX.

Please see below suggested points, but submit in your own words.

Croft Trials Club has been established in its location at Dalton Woods for the past 40 years. At its inception it was granted a Certificate of Lawfulness from Richmond District Council. – It is an important facility for members of all ages from 4 to 70+. There are more than a dozen female riders and many family memberships. It is one of few locations in the north east to offer off-road practice for youngsters who might otherwise use unauthorized public grounds. All riders must display their photo ID cards on their bikes and are fully aware of the need to respect our neighbours, not ride their bikes outside the grounds or run them in the car park. The club is fully regulated and affiliated to the AMCA, and is one of hundreds of clubs in the UK. – Trials riding is a popular low-speed motorsport which requires dedication, balance and skill, and enables its participants to spend time outdoors with their families and meet other riders. – Indeed, Yorkshire has produced the 8-times World Champion, Dougie Lampkin. The world champion female rider, Emma Bristow, who started riding at the age of 4, has been champion since 2015. – The Club is seeking approval for four new sections, out of more than 100 existing sections in its 66 acres. It is the only club in Yorkshire (and probably the UK) to be required to apply for planning permission for the creation of new sections with natural rock, which blends perfectly with the naturally occurring rocky sections already existing in the grounds.

Many thanks for your support.

Bob Pickersgill – Croft Trials Club – crofttrials.uk “

40 Over and Out

The Scott Trial is a test of man and machine, on observation and time. It is regardest as the toughest one day trial in the UK and to compete in it year after year takes committment.

Graham Tales at the 2016 Scott Trial at Orgate Falls – Photo Barry Robinson copyright.

One such Yorkshire man has taken part in the annual event 39 times and 2021 will be his final attempt at the famous event.

His name is Graham Tales from Ilkley, West Yorkshire and 2021 will be his fortieth and final Scott Trial.

A painter/decorator by trade, Graham still loves his trials but feels that 40 attempts at the Scott is plenty.

He has had quite an innings: Graham has 19 Scott spoons; 16 certificates; 2 mechanical retirements and twice outwith the time limit.

We wish Graham well in his fortieth Scott and hope to see him at the finish line on October 16th.

Main photo: Graham Tales (Photo: Barry Watson)

Scott Fever 2021

The Richmond Motor Club (Yorkshire) Ltd’s Scott Trial committee have been working hard behind the scenes to kick start the return of the annual time and observation event which will make a welcome appearance back on the trials calendar on Saturday 16th October.

The event has been cancelled twice, due to the global pandemic and returns with a new Clerk of the Course, Nathan Stones who has been part of the organising team for many years. He will be ably assisted by Bruce Storr, himself a former Scott Trial Clerk of Course.

The event is run on behalf of the Yorkshire Centre, ACU by the Richmond club and 2021 marks 30 years of the club’s involvement, having taken the organisation over from the Darlington & District Motor Club in 1991.

Marjorie Cottle’s 1926 Scott Trial Finisher’s Certificate when riding for Raleigh Motorcycles. At this time, the Bradford & District club organised the Scott Trial. (This certificate forms part of the ‘Marjorie Cottle collection’ of memorabilia which is privately owned).

There is always a lot to do in the organisation of this prestigeous event, with much negotiation with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the many landowners, farmers and estate management representatives who give permission for the event to take place.

It is hoped that the usual Scott Charity auction will also make its return, prior to the prize-giving at Richmond School on the Saturday evening.

Entries closed on Friday, 10th September.

For more information on the famous Scott Trial, click HERE

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

SSDT End of an Era

Gorgie Market – Photo: Google StreetMap

The Scottish Six Days Trial used to start and finish in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.

The start, up until 1976, was organised at Edinburgh’s Gorgie Market in the Slateford area of the city and finish at Blackford Hill, near to the Royal Observatory.

It has recently been announced in the Scottish press that the iconic landmark of the old Gorgie Market would be demolished to make way for student accommodation to cater to satisfy the demands of housing for a vibrant university city.

Currently occupied by ‘World of Football’ and ‘World of Bowling’, the bulding dates back to when it was used as a Corn Exchange and livestock market when animals and grain was transported into the area for the various markets up until the mid 1970s. Currently it provides indoor soccer pitches on a Astroturf surface.

Latterly part of the original Corn Exchange, the buildings were converted to a night club and entertainments centre, suitably called ‘Edinburgh Corn Exchange’ at 11 New Market Road.

The London based property developers, Watkin Jones, have applied to Edinburgh City Council for permission to demolish the site directly behind the Corn Exchange to make way for student accommodation. The site housed the large covered sheds which held the animals for market and also the ‘Weigh-In’ for the annual Scottish Six Days Trial from around 1955 to 1976.

SSDT 2022

Scottish Six Days Trial 2022 Dates Announced:

The following press release was received from the SSDT Committee this morning. Regardless of the ongoing Covid pandemic, the club and committee have forced on with their plans to restart the annual Highland sporting holiday.

Riders and enthusiasts alike will rejoyce in the news.

A lot has changed over the two years that missed out on an SSDT, which includes the Covid outbreak and ‘Brexit’ which has caused its own issues, such as increased travel costs and also accommodation prices. The SSDT Committee statement reads:

Following the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 Scottish Six Days Trials, the Edinburgh & District Motor Club have confirmed that the 2022 event will be held from 2nd to 7th May 2022 centred around Fort William.
The organising team have already started preparations and, although some work was completed for the 2020 event, there will be a lot of work required to make sure that the six daily routes over hundreds of miles are in a fit state to run the event.  
The Edinburgh club look forward to getting this historic event back on the calendar and cannot wait to meet all of the competitors and fans in May 2022.

Hamish Combe 1935-2021

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Scottish Trials rider, Hamish Combe a member of the Dunfermline & District Motor Cycle Club, he was aged 85 years.

Hamish was an active trials rider in the 1950s and 1960s and while not a Scottish Champion, he always finished well up in the championships and was a Scottish national trials winner.

He was the Scottish Experts winner in 1961 when the event was a qualifier for the ACU British Experts.

He owned for a time an ex-factory 250cc Francis-Barnett trials machine, MWK498.

Hamish was an active member of the Scottish Six Days Trial organising committee after retiring from competition. He was responsible for restoring the ex-Ron Thomson/Duncan Smith 500cc Triumph Trophy twin GAM686 which eventually became the property of Mike Bell.

His funeral will be held at Falkirk Crematorium on Monday, 23rd August 2021 at 2.30pm.

Main Photo: Scottish Clubman January 1959, shows Hamish Combe being presented with his winnings at an Edinburgh Southern MC award ceremony.

Suzuki Made in Canada

The title is perhaps a little misleading, but here we have a custom-built 125cc Suzuki trials machine which has been made in Japan, re-engineered in Canada, by a Scotsman.

The machine is the proud possession of exiled Scottish superenthusiast, Stuart J. McLuckie who lives in Thunder Bay in the province of Ontario, Canada and it is probably better described as the Mark 2 version of a machine he built and developed in the early 1970s when riding trials in his native Scotland as a member of the Edinburgh based Melville Motor Club.

Born in 1951, Stuart studied on day release at the old Napier Technical College in Edinburgh and took up employment at St Cuthbert’s Co-operative Society in the city. In fact the same company that gave Sean Connery of James Bond fame a job as a milk delivery boy!

Stuart worked as a mechanic on the company vehicles based at their Fountainbridge headquarters. At the time he lived in the Comiston district of Edinburgh and took up trials riding in 1968 riding a Greeves at the annual Edinburgh St. George Evening news Trial, progressing to a Cotton. He shared transport to events with Douglas Bald and on occassion, Ernie Page. He rode the first of his Scottish Six Days Trials in 1970 on a 247cc Montesa.

Stuart met his wife to be, Wendy Kingon-Rouse at the RAC/ACU Motorcycle training scheme at Edinburgh’s Gorgie Market, the scene of many SSDT first day starts. Wendy was a keen motorcyclist and was learning to ride on an Excelsior scooter, then progressed to a brand new 125 Suzuki, supplied by Graeme P. Chatham’s Abbeyhill dealership. Stuart also took up riding motocross in 1970 on a 250cc CZ.

The outgoing, effervescent McLuckie was also one of a gaggle of trials, speedway and motocross riders who took part in Scotland’s Ice Racing venture in 1972. Using modified 175cc Greeves/Puch Pathfinder trials machines, sourced from dealers in Scotland, they raced indoors at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Ice Stadium and at Aviemore. Wendy and Stuart eventually married and emigrated to Canada in 1974.

Around 1971, Stuart had struck up a friendship with Edinburgh dealer, Graeme P. Chatham, who was the main promoter of the Scottish Ice Racing venture along with Trevor Hay. It was from this friendship that spawned the special Chatham Suzuki trials machine, developed from the 1972 TS125 Trail model.

Stuart McLuckie: “We took a brand new TS125 from Graeme’s showroom in Abbeyhill, it was registered YWS11K and loaded it onto my Mini pickup and I set about stripping it all down at home. The bits I didn’t need were returned to Chathams and sold off as spares or used in their workshops to repair damaged machines.”

The TS125 was powered by a 123cc five speed motor which pushed out a creditable 9.7 BHP at 6,400 RPM.

Handily, the TS125 came with 21 inch front and 18 inch wheels which was ideal for trials use, but the little Suzuki had steel rims as standard, so an Akront flanged rim was fitted which took a 4.00 section trials tyre on the rear and an unflanged mudshifter style Akront with a 2.75 section up front. The original metal side panel ‘125’ badge was retained fitted to hand made alloy side panels and the original TS125 fuel tank was gifted a couple of sculpted indents at the nose to allow for tighter full lock turns.

McLuckie: “I admired what Peter Gaunt had achieved with his first Suzuki based on the 120cc Trail Cat, then another later version using the TS125 and I wanted one just like it, the TS125 was easily sourced and I got to work making a trials bike out of it.

The idea also came from a Suzuki (JOV198E) that Trevor Hay had from 1968 until 1971 which came from Suzuki GB and had been an ISDT bike converted at Chathams for one-day trials use.” Trevor handled Chatham’s advertising, so that was the original Chatham connection I suppose.”

McLuckie rode the Chatham Suzuki, called the ‘TC125’ in all the Scottish national events including the Loch Lomond Two Day trial. He made improvements constantly and the bike created much attention at the time and useful publicity for the Chatham dealership.

Time goes by and Stuart makes his living as a skilled machinist in Canada, but retained his love of all things motorcycling and embarked on various projects, building trials specials to amuse himself over the years. But there was a hankering to recreate the little Suzuki he enjoyed riding in his twenties in Scotland. Over the years, he kept a vast photographic collection of his engineering exploits and is always happy to show them to those that have an interest in trials machines.

The original Chatham Suzuki has long since disappeared having been sold into private hands in the mid 1970s.

How the ‘Mark 2’ Chatham Suzuki was created:

Having retired from the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company working as a machinist for thirty-seven years, the winters can be long at Thunder Bay and Stuart McLuckie gets restless if he hasn’t got a project to keep him busy.

So, to keep him out of mischief, in 2019, a worn out 1973 Suzuki TM125 motocross machine was sourced as the supply of TS125 model was, by now, virtually non-existent in Canada. This was to be married with a 1976 TC125 motor which was pretty much worn out. The TC motor had a four speed high/low gearbox.

McLuckie: “The frame has been modified front and rear,  steeper fork angle, and the rear subframe this all new. The wheels and hubs are original, rebuilt with stainless spokes and a lot of polishing. The forks are original but need some work on them, a wee bit on the stiff side. I hope that Peter Gaunt is up there smiling as he was the original inspiration?”

Stuart sourced the opaque white plastic mudguards from the UK through InMotion in Egham, Surrey as they looked better than other plastic guards on the market. The original Chatham Suzuki sported the popular VF (Vaccum Formers) black plastic guards of the period, now unobtainable.

Finished in a lovely metallic blue, as a nod to the Mark 1 Suzuki of the 1970s, Stuart has adorned it with tasteful decals which reflect the Scottish/Canadian connection and his trademark ‘Up Yer Kilt’ decal is on the front number plate.

A small decal on the tank spine, proclaiming ‘Made in Japan, Re-engineered in Canada’ is typical of the fun-loving Scotsman who is known for his quick witted, highly amusing comments.

Without a doubt, the Chatham Suzuki Mark 2 is a stunning little trials machine and if it performs as good as it looks them Stuart J. McLuckie’s time has not been wasted. No doubt this will not be the last of his winter projects, because you can’t keep a good Scot down!

UP YER KILT!

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