Great Scots! – Trevor Hay

Born in Edinburgh in 1943, Trevor Hay attended Leith Academy, thereafter Edinburgh College of Art. He started working in 1958 as a commercial artist in a small advertising agency in Scotland’s capital.

He moved to a larger agency in 1972 as Accounts Executive and formed ‘Hay Smith Advertising’ in 1977. Many motorcycling accounts were handled including Kangol Helmets, J. Barbour and Sons, South Shields; Feridax and Hein Gericke, as well as many automotive accounts. The business ran until 2013.

Motorcycling began for Trevor in the early 50’s when taken by his father to the Old Meadowbank in Edinburgh to watch the Speedway.

Later in the 1950’s, the Edgar family took him to see Road Racing at Errol Airfield in Perthshire. At that time, Norman and Derek Edgar and Tommy Milton Jnr all became friends with Trevor and went scrambling on pedal-cycles before getting to the licence age to ride competition motorcycles. Hay was the last of the four to get a trials machine but Tommy Milton Senior used to drop his son Tommy Junior and Trevor at Standburn scrambles course on Sundays where they shared a 1937 Ariel 350 Trials machine for many happy apprenticeship hours until Tommy Junior got a new Greeves for being best academical at his school.

Hay couldn’t afford his first trials bike until 1963 when he bought an ex Willie Pitblado 250 Greeves (WWS415) and he campaigned that until 1965 when it was replaced with a new TFS Greeves 250. The Pitblado bike is still in existence, now owned by Willie Robertson, Clerk of Course Pre’65 Scottish. Over those years Trevor made progress in the sport and gained a number of respectable results.

He rode only once in the SSDT in 1965 and didn’t enjoy it too much, as he listened to every rattle for the entire week thinking it was going to pack up and lose his investment in the entry fee! Hay did finish with a first class award.

NWS415 - Greeves - Trevor Hay
Trevor Hay on the ex-Willie Pitblado Greeves 250.

Trevor then vowed to enjoy himself as an SSDT back-marker for many years with so many great adventures. In 1968, the E & D organisers gave him an ex-Mick Andrew Suzuki Super Six 250cc twin which was a real flying machine, claiming that Hay was the only one ‘daft enough’ to ride it!

That prompted him to ask Edinburgh dealer Tommy Hughson who was the Suzuki dealer in Edinburgh as he wanted one of those to ride in the ISDT that year.

After a few meetings with dealer Graeme Chatham, who had acquired the four Suzuki team machines from the 1967 Welsh Three Day Trial. They were 125cc rotary valves which were very fast, but wide and heavy so they moved to a switch-gear six speed P100P which turned out to be much slower than needed for climbing the Italian Alps. Hay’s first ISDT in 1968 ended on Wednesday when he collided with an Italian spectator head on on a big Moto Guzzi V-twin on a narrow mountain path. Fortunately, the president of the jury had explicitly forbidden him to ride down that path and Hay was exonerated of the blame.

The liason with Graeme Chatham developed into building JOV198E the Chatham Suzuki 125 trials bike which Trevor competed upon for a number of years until 1971.

Suzuki - Colour - Trevor Hay
JOV198E, the ex-ISDT Suzuki converted to trials use by Graeme Chatham.

The frame and engine came from the ISDT machine with new trials wheels fitted. He did manage a number of respectable wins on the little Suzuki.

Hay was also a director, committee member of the Scottish Clubman magazine.

Dalesman - Atholl Motors - 1971 - Trevor Hay
Trevor Hay samples a 125 Puch-engined Dalesman for the Scottish Clubman magazine in 1972. The bike was suppied by Atholl Motors. Photo by the late Fred Stevens – Scottish Clubman copyright.

In 1971, as Melville secretary, Trevor, in the company of Kenny Birch, negotiated permission with landowner, Tom Pate and opened the East Fortune Circuit near Haddington and Trevor ran the first race meeting as Secretary and Clerk of Course.

Hay rode in several further ISDT events, 1970, 71, 72, each a rather sore retirement, but in 1974 he returned to ride a very standard Suzuki 250 Trail model and managed a bronze finish and was awarded ‘The Arthur Prince trophy’ as the best British privateer. The following year he was given a 250 Beamish Suzuki which split its exhaust, hence another retirement.

For 1976 Hay switched to the popular 250cc KTM GS at Zeltweg in Austria and the 400 KTM for 1979 in Germany, both netted him silver medals. The 1979 ISDT was his final attempt. His last enduro was in 1981 at Newton Stewart, finishing second to Nigel Finnigan, but Hay had fallen heavily and broke six ribs in the process!

1976 ISDT in Austria, Hay on the 250 KTM on his way to win a silver medal.

While all this was going on, Trevor was deeply involved in promoting and organising enduro and other events.

In 1972, he was joint promoter with Graeme Chatham of a four month series of Indoor Ice Racing or as some called it, Ice Speedway. Hay stopped riding trials in 1973.

In the mid 1970s, Hay plus others of the Melville MC ran the Melville Two-Day enduros which gained British Championship status for many years.

Trevor also continued to develop the event into the World Championship Two-Day Enduro in 1998.

From the mid 1960’s to the 2000’s as the Melville MC Secretary and later President, countless scrambles, motocross, trials and one day enduros all helped the years to fly by.

Text Copyright: Trials Guru / Moffat Racing, John Moffat 2015

Photos: Courtesy of Trevor Hay, North Berwick.

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