Frank Hildrick, from Helmsley, North Yorkshire, died at York Hospital, on Sunday, 8th November, aged 75.
On leaving school, Frank fully intended going into journalism but, for whatever reason, he got side-tracked and worked as a travelling mechanic for the Forestry before beginning his own garage/taxi business. He then worked at Perry Slingsby Systems building underwater equipment until retirement.
His passion for motorcycles, especially off-road, lasted his entire life, competing first at grass track on a C15, then a full blooded 500cc J.A.P. Speedway and sand racing followed with a fair amount of success before joining the trials scene.
Pete Clements, a close friend relates a tale which describes Frank`s appetite for riding. Frank and his wife Sally had gone to watch Pete ride his first trial and on his last lap, Pete went a right purler, his ankle swelling up like a football. Pete, thinking Frank was going to help him, couldn`t believe it when he pulled the wellies on and finished the lap. They got a second-class award.
A marvellous bike builder, he fettled a little Minarrelli road race/sprinter, competing at the Isle of Man Ramsey Sprint not that long ago. Later in life Frank slipped off and broke a hip at Scarborough. Before anyone reached him he`d ridden side saddle back to the pits. Typical Frank, hard as nails.
I`m sure motorbikes were invented for the likes of Frank Hildrick. Always riding, helping, fettling, plotting sections, or supporting son Richard, he just loved being involved. Clerk of Course for the famous Colonial in the seventies and eighties, he then became major course plotter for the Scarborough Sporting Weekend almost thirty years ago. He and his loyal helpers made it into a must ride event.
One of the finest pleasures derived from the trials scene is meeting larger than life characters such as Frank Hildrick. The best of company to be with, a great storyteller with the sharpest of wit. A man whose optimism and enthusiasm for the sport rubbed off on many. He will be greatly missed.
Frank was a loving husband to Sally, father to Rachel and Richard and grandad and great grandad to his four grand-children and great granddaughter.
2 thoughts on “Frank Hildrick dies”
I met Frank when I rode at the Pye 3 day and at the Scarborough 2 day a nice guy .he built some nice Triumph twins and was willing to give you advice on them which was good for me being a twin rider at the time .RIP Jock.
Very sad to hear of the passing of Frank hildrick. I have perhaps known Frank for 35 years or more. One of my earliest recollections is of an eboracum club trial one day when when riding my newly acquired T20 cub. Narrowly beaten into second place by Frank on another cub or C15 if memory serves me I jokingly ( but seriously) vowed to beat him in the next round. Frank with his cheeky, uber friendly laugh replied with a shake of his head and the wink of his eye and said…. You won’t yer know!!
It wasn’t a boast… This time he gave me a good hiding into second place. We laughed about it and Frank would no doubt have made it a hat trick if I had not stripped my motor for a rebuild after that day.
That motor has sat rebuilt, filled with oil and boxed up in my loft for over a quarter of a century since those duels.
When I get round to putting the bike back together and kicking it back to life I will take my first ride on it again in your memory Frank.
A lovely bloke. … R. I. P.