Category Archives: Obituaries

Barry Robinson 1931 – 2023

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of photojournalist, Barry Robinson of Ilkely, West Yorkshire today, Sunday 26th February 2023.

Barry Robinson tests the factory Bultaco Sherpa of Malcolm Rathmell in 1974. This is the rare Model 133 of which there were only 13 ever made and were supplied to factory riders only. Photo: M.C. Rathmell

Barry was one of the first to report for the fledgling Motor Cycle News in 1957. Barry became a member of the National Union of Jounalists (freelance division) and reported on many trials and scrambles events over six decades for the daily newspapers as well as the motorcycle press. He also reported on the many Yorkshire trials for Trials & Motocross News from 1977.

Barry Robinson, John Moffat (Trials Guru founder) and Eric Kitchen, shortly after Barry’s 90th birthday at the Scott Trial.

In a statement issued by his daughters, Liz and Sarah on social media, it read:

“Barry Robinson – FINAL POSTIn true “Robbo” style, “I am not retiring” was his most recent post. True to his words he did not – Barry’s last parting words from this mortal world were “bring me a notebook and pen when you visit tomorrow in case anyone rings with results” from his hospital bed at Airedale.

Unfortunately this is the one deadline he will never make!

Barry Robinson NUJ 19-Oct-1931 to 26-Feb-2023. RIP Dad – we love you and you will be missed by your family, friends and the motorcycle community which you served for 64 years.”

Trials Guru send sincere condolences to the Robinson family at this difficult time and thank the late Barry Robinson for the use of some of his photographs since the website was formed in 2014.

Barry Robinson’s Funeral Arrangements:

The funeral of Barry Robinson will be held on Thursday, 23 March 2023 at 12.30pm at Skipton Crematorium with refreshments at Herriots, Broughton Street, Skipton thereafter.

Barry Robinson captured by John Hulme.

Barry Robinson Feature

Barry Kefford

We have learned from Trials Guru reader, Geoff Bridgwater that trials sidecar designer and competitor, Barry Kefford from Sutton Coldfield, has passed away recently. Geoff was Barry’s passenger during the period between 1967 and 1972 when they were successful in sidecar trials. The pair also did sidecar racing and sprints. 

Kefford will be remembered by many as the brilliant designer of some of the earlier lightweight trials outfits known as BKS, which influenced many other competitors and won British Trials Sidecar titles. The earliest example was a BSA B40 powered outfit which used Reynolds 531 tubing and clever triangulated framework, later moving onto the BSA 440 victor and eventually a lightweight Kawasaki KT250. 

British Sidecar Trials Champions, Adrian Clarke & Mike Bailey on their Honda/BKS outfit. BKS stood for Barry Kefford Sidecars – Photo copyright: Mike Rapley

Barry Kefford was also a brilliant engineer who built scale model traction engines and a scale steam lorry and later went into building steam trains. 

BKS chair in action with the Clarke/Bailey pairing using a 349 Montesa

Barry Kefford’s funeral will be at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium Wednesday, 15th March 2023 at 3.15pm. 

Ian D.B. Millar 1947-2023

It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Edinburgh born trials rider, Ian Douglas Buckley Millar on 21st February 2023 at Periana, Andalusia, Spain, where he had emigrated to with his wife Marjory some years ago.

I.D.B. Millar (centre) with his father (left) and Grandfather (right) in 1950

Ian Millar began his trials riding career at 16 years of age in 1963 on a 250cc Greeves, a member of the Edinburgh St. George MC, following in his father’s footsteps as a trials competitor. His father was William John ‘Ian’ Millar and was a well known master slater, having been a member of the family business of William Millar and Sons Ltd, based in Scotland’s capital. Ian’s first machine was a Francis Barnett.

Ian Millar aboard his 250cc Greeves at the end of the 1965 SSDT in Edinburgh.

Ian Millar went on to compete in the Scottish Six Days Trials on several occassions from 1965 and also took part in the 1969 International Six Days Trial as part of the Great Britain/SACU Vase B team on a 125cc Dalesman Puch, and then again in 1974 at Camerino, Italy.

1974 Scottish ISDT squad for Camerino, Italy, Left to Right: George Baird (Team Manager), Allan Forbes; Jimmy Ballantyne; Jackie Williamson; Ian Millar; Stan Young and fitness coach, George Bryce.
Ian Millar with his new 244cc Bultaco Sherpa in 1967

Photos courtesy of Mr. Graeme Millar, Edinburgh.

Ian Millar receives a trophy from Mrs. Betty More at an Edinburgh St. George awards dinner in the 1960s.

Trials Guru extends sincere condolences to the Millar family at this time, particularly Ian’s widow, Marjory and their son Darren and Ian’s younger brother Graeme.

Tony Bingley 1940 – 2022

On the same day as the British nation lost their Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the sport of motorcycling lost a veritable character and all round sportsman, Beetham born, Kentmere raised, Tony Bingley.

(Main Cover Image courtesy of Eric Kitchen)

SSDT 1980 – Tony Bingley on his 325 Bultaco tackles Muirshearlich (Trotter’s Burn) – Photo: Iain Lawrie

Known throughout the trials world as ‘Bing’, he rode many Scottish Six Days Trials on Bultaco machinery. ‘Bing’ became good friends with Sid Lampkin and Malcolm Rathmell and he gained some support from Shell during his trial career. He also took up racing in his motorcycle sporting career.

Sid Lampkin got to know ‘Bing’ as teenagers when Sid competed in trials up in the Lakes: “Tony was an infectious character, everyone liked him and he was good company. He used to bring Libby’s products with him when he visited us, when he lived near their factory at Milnthorpe.”

Tony also competed in classic racing on a 496cc Seeley G50 Matchless and was no slouch at the tarmac game, posting an 88.72 mph lap in the 1994 Manx GP Classic Senior race. However, Tony suffered a major accident at Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount circuit which, having a physical impact, curtailed his activities somewhat.

He was also a keen supporter and eventually became a director of Carlisle United Football Club, at one time their Commercial Director. But his main occupation was at Leyland Motors in Lancashire and most of his working life was motor trade based.

Tony on the Harrison Montesa 200 in 1981 (Photo: Jimmy Young)

Tony Bingley was a friendly character, he enjoyed interacting with fellow competitors and organisers, it is true to say he was a likeable individual with an outgoing personality.

Tony’s son Gary was also an accomplished trials rider and in May 2022, Tony had great pleasure watching his Grandson, Jamie Bingley riding the Scottish Six Day Trial. Over a 50 year period, the Bingleys had a Grandfather, Father and Son competing in the same event.

Photo courtesy: Bingley Family, Carlisle.

Death of Mike Davies

Suddenly, after a short illness, Michael Cyril Davies died on 13th June 2022.

Mike contacted Trials Guru and offered his photographs that he had taken as a schoolboy for display on the website.

Mike Davies in action on Grey Mare’s Ridge in the 1964 SSDT on his Triumph Cub.

His friend John Davies wrote:

Mike davies from Rhayader, Mid-Wales has passed away after a short illness which he failed to overcome. Mike was a very keen Motorcyclist and handy with a camera and competed right up until recently and was also a very competent cyclist and had a famous son Tim Davies who was world class and rode for the Alpine Stars team.

His funeral will take place at Aberystwyth Crematorium (No Church service) on Wednesday, 29th June 2022 at 2pm.

Mike’s photographs can be viewed HERE

Death of Dick Walker (WES Exhausts)

Statement by WES Exhausts, Madrid, Spain:

It is with deep sorrow that we inform all the trials enthusiasts about the passing of Jeremy Richard ‘Dick’ Walker, founder and Honorary President of WES silencers, on 20th June, 2022 at Brecon, Wales.

Dick was a pioneer in the development of special parts for motorcycles.

A trials rider from his youth, he started his business in Birmingham in 1973 producing special silencers and other components, such as mudguard stays and brake arms, all in aluminium alloy, for the trials motorcycles of the period.

In a short period of time, the success of the silencers took him to specialise in these parts that became a reference for the improvement of any trials motorcycle.

From Birmingham he then moved his ‘WES silencers’ business to premises in Brecon, Wales in the mid-eighties, until his retirement when he sold the company to ARS Trial Parts, his Spanish importer from the beginning of the nineties.

Dick continued then with the new company as design and quality adviser and is made Honorary President.

His passion for trial sport continued for the rest of his life. After a large number of participations in the SSDT, some with works supported Kawasaki machines, he continued spectating at the competition annually, both the six and two day events.

He was also a regular visitor to the Telford Show.

His friendship with the Spanish importer took him to many trials in Spain, namely several editions of the Robregordo Two-Day, a name that he never reached to pronounce properly.

With a very independent character and great vitality, Dick was also a big enthusiast of steam railways and he travelled the world chasing them with his camera.

It is remarkable his countless trips to China for this reason. He experienced firsthand the explosive development that this country has experienced recently… and the disappearance of the steam trains.

José Franqueira, CEO of WES Silencers: “We are going to miss very much the powerful and beloved personality of Dick Walker. One year before celebrating the 50 years of the beginning of WES silencers activity, I think that the best tribute that we can offer him is, to be guided, when we start a new project, by his preferred requirements, simplicity, efficiency and strength.”

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

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.

Derek Rickman

Derek Rickman of Rickman Brothers fame on his Royal Enfield Bullet – Photo: Ron Custard

Derek Rickman, one of the brothers who created the Metisse brand of bespoke motocross machines in the late 1950s has died today, 3rd July 2021 after a short battle with cancer. He passed away peacefully at Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington in the New Forest.

The Rickman brothers, Derek and Don were dominant in 1960s European motocross and developed their own purpose built machines using both Triumph and Matchless engines, having raced for Royal Enfield previously.

Dave Gittins in his book The Rickman Story captured the whole saga perfectly and their machines are classed as collector’s items in the current period.

Photo credit: Ron Custard

Ludo More 1937-2021

Lewis ‘Ludo’ More from Currie, Midlothian has passed away at the age of 84 years after a long illness. He was a long- standing member of the Edinburgh St. George Motor Club and competed in Scottish Scrambles and trials from 1954 until 1972.

Known universally as ‘Ludo’, he was Scottish 250cc Scrambles Champion in 1958 on a Francis Barnett when he was 21 years old and first worked as a salesman in the Edinburgh motorcycle trade in 1952, when he joined the large Alexanders dealership in Edinburgh. Eventually being told to quit scrambling as he may become injured, and the company would not pay for him being off work.

Undaunted, Ludo quit scrambling at the age of 25, simply continued to compete in Scottish trials instead and that seemed to satisfy his employers terms.

Ludo worked for Messrs. Alexanders, Tommy Hughson at Meadowbank; Reid Allan & Paterson at Broughton Place Lane and Ernie Page Motors in Polworth.

Ludo was to become famous with the Golden Jubilee Scottish Six Days Trial in 1959 as he was a team member of the Lambretta scooter team which included Alan Kimber and Geoff Parker.

1959 – Lambretta scooters fielded a team of three riders: From left: Geoff Parker; Lewis ‘Ludo’ More and Alan Kimber, seen here at the Gorgie Market start area.

The trio finished the event intact, which was a feat in itself as they must have ridden the most unsuitable machines ever to have entered the trial.

The three Lambretta Li models were entered for the 1959 SSDT as a publicity stunt to highlight the reliability of the Italian made machines. These were imported into the UK by Lambretta Concessionaires, which eventually became part of the Suzuki importer ship headed by Peter Agg.

In later years, Ludo had become a bit of celebrity in scooter circles due to the many cine films that were made at the time of the SSDT effort and in recognition of his achievement in 1959, was invited by the SSDT Committee to present the prizes at the awards ceremony in 2015.

Ludo is survived by son Colin and daughter Sandra.

Funeral Arrangements:

Ludo More’s funeral will take place on Friday, 2nd July at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh at 11am. Attendance will be by invitation only and available online, see below.


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