Big Billy Maxwell 1942-2018

Billy Maxwell - JY
Billy Maxwell, seen here Bultaco mounted in the Aberfeldy Two Day Trial in 1980 – Photo: Jimmy Young, Armadale

It is with great sadness that Trials Guru reports the death of North-East trials rider, Billy Maxwell.

Born on the 14th December 1942, Billy was a big man with a big character and a very good rider in his day. Originally from Biggar in Lanarkshire, he emigrated to the North East of England in 1966 and set up in business as a demolition contractor in 1972 as Maxwell’s Demolition.


Maxwells Demolition

As well as riding in his ‘native’ north-east he regularly rode in Scotland especially the Loch Lomond and Aberfeldy Two Day events. His best friend was John Noble of Candie-burn, Biggar.

Maxwells Demo
Billy Maxwell’s Atkinson with Cummins Diesel engine and a Tasker four-in-line low-loader trailer – Photo: Maxwell Demolition, Newcastle

Trials Guru’s John Moffat knew Maxwell for over 40 years and said: “Billy was a great guy, always willing to help an unfortunate rider. This he demonstrated to me as a young rider when in 1975, I rode my first Loch Lomond 2 Day and had not adjusted my drive chain properly, it kept coming off the rear spocket when traversing the moor. Billy arrived with Jimmy Ballantyne close behind. They stopped and Billy got wired in about my stricken Bultaco and properly adjusted the chain cams and soon I was on my way. When I came into the finish, he came over and rechecked the chain and asked if I got round alright.

JY - Billy Maxwell
Billy Maxwell (Montesa Cota 247) at Scottish Experts & National Trial, Achallader, Bridge of Orchy 1978 – Photo: Jimmy Young

Moffat continued: “I once asked Billy why he didn’t properly buckle up his Alpinestar trials boots, he always seemed to ride with the straps flailing about. He said in his Geordie accent, ‘It’s simple John, they don’t make boots wide enough to get around me calves’. I looked and sure enough Billy had the thickest calves I have ever seen and there was no way they could ever have buckled up properly.”

Billy owned a number of classic motorcycles, an Ariel HT5 which he rode in the Pre’65 Scottish and the ex-Ron Thomson Gold Star BSA, PFS916. He certainly loved his bikes.

Ron Thomson 1964SSDT Achintee
Ron Thomson in 1964 at Achintee Farm on the 500cc BSA Gold Star PFS916, which many years later became the property of Billy Maxwell – Photo Courtesy Mrs Ron Thomson, Fort William.

Moffat added: “Billy Maxwell was a big built, tough hard working man, but he also had a heart of gold there is no mistaking, he was one of the sports true enthusiasts.”

Here’s to you Billy!

Maxwell - Billy

Funeral Arrangements:

The family have asked Trials Guru to include the following intimation.

Bill Maxwell’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, 14th March at 1.15 pm at the West Road Crematorium, Newcastle Upon Tyne – NE5 2JL. Followed by a celebration of Bill’s life at the South Gosforth Club, Gosforth, -NE3 1RS

One thought on “Big Billy Maxwell 1942-2018”

  1. Top guy Billy, got to know him when riding a few pre 65 trials and when I was working at the MOD ranges in the North East. Hell of a good rider f
    and very agile despite his larger than life frame. Sadly missed RIP Billy

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