Category Archives: People

Great Scots – Jack Williamson – Newtongrange

Born in May 1930, Jack Williamson was Scottish Trials Champion in 1962, 1963 and 1964, riding Greeves machines and was a regular competitor in the annual Scottish Six Days Trial. In the 1958 event, Jack rode a 500cc Ariel HT5 registered OSG443, an Edinburgh BC registration. The photo appeared on facebook recently which sparked off an interest in the machines history. The bike had been undergoing some restoration work at Loch Ness Restorations at Dochfour just outside of Inverness. The next to current owner, Terry Fullarton contacted Jack as the current owner, Phil Marshall wanted to know more about the bike’s history.

OSG443 - JDW - 1958 - Glen Ogle
Jack Williamson (Newtongrange) on ‘Glen Ogle’ section on the first day of the 1958 Scottish Six Days Trial on OSG443 Ariel HT5

The bike had at one time been the property of former Scottish Scrambles Champion, George Hodge of Abington, Lanarkshire and he used it regularly in the late 1960’s to check his flock of sheep on his hill farm for many years before selling the Ariel.

Williamson used the bike in the 1958 Scottish and at this year’s Pre-65 Scottish at Kinlochleven, Jack was re-united with the Ariel fifty-six years after he rode the SSDT on the same machine.

Former Greeves works rider, Bill Wilkinson, the last British rider to win the SSDT on a British built bike (1969) was on hand to witness the re-union of bike and rider.

OSG443 - 2014 - JDW - BW
Bill Wilkinson (left) checks over the details of the Ariel with Jack Williamson (seated)

Jack was delighted to be acquainted once more with his old trials iron and took it for a short ride around the old Aluminium factory grounds. In the meantime, The Guru has suggested that George Hodge be contacted as he will be instrumental in filling in the gaps of the machines history.

JDW - 2014 OSG443
Jack Williamson re-enacts his left hand turn, 56 years after the photo taken at Glen Ogle

More on Jack Williamson:

Jack or ‘Jackie’ as he was known in the trials world, was brought up in Newtongrange, Midlothian and worked in the family business as a TV and radio mechanic.

J Williamson and Son - Newtongrange 1971
Jack Williamson (left) with his father John Williamson in 1971 at the family business in Newtongrange, Midlothian, Scotland.

His first trials machine was a 350cc Matchless demobbed from the War department and converted for off road use. However young Williamson fettled the bike so well that he didn’t want to use it, so he sold it for a profit and purchased a genuine “comp” model in 1948, the year he started competing. His mentors were Tommy “Tuck” Robertson and Jimmy Hutchings, both respected trials and scrambles riders of the post-war era.

Bobby Neilson (350 Ariel) and Jackie Williamson (500 Ariel) at a trial around 1959

Jackie was a natural rider but he took competition seriously enough to practice every day, at lunchtime he would spend an hour on the “pit bing” of the Lady Victoria mine. As the years progressed, Jack became a local sporting personality in that mining town and occasionally a bus was hired to take his supporters to watch Jackie ride in a trial or scramble far a field.

Jimmy Hutchings - Gorgie
Jimmy Hutchings was one of Jack Williamson’s mentors and a great friend – Photo courtesy: Susan Stephenson, Edinburgh

By 1951, Jack had won the Scottish Experts Trial, which at that time was a qualifying event for the British Experts.

In 1961, Jackie Williamson (left) rode a 250cc Dot at the Manx Two Day Trial, here in company with local friend Bobby Neilson (350 Ariel)

Jack’s successes were constantly reported in the Edinburgh Evening News and in 1964 the paper did a feature on him by then, had won most of Scotland’s national fixtures and was three times Scottish Trials Champion, 1962, 1963 and 1964.

The amassed collection of trophies accompanying the article was quite breathtaking, fortunately his awards are preserved and we can show Jack in a recent photograph with them laid out with a magnificent shot of him in the 1963 SSDT on ‘Grey Mare’s Ridge’ as a centre-piece.

J D Williamson - Trophies
Jack Williamson with his array of trophies won during his riding career. The large photo of Jack in the SSDT in the centre is now looked after by Trials Guru.

1963, a good year!

In the 1963 season detailed below, Jack achieved the following results in that year’s events, 250cc Greeves mounted, it gives a fascinating insight into a rider’s year in trials competition. The events marked (TC) denote a championship round:

jdw - 1963
Jack Williamson (250cc Greeves) awaits the signal to start in the 1963 Spring Trial at Kinlochleven. Ian Pollock on the right was a driving force in this event which was re-named in his honour after his death.


January 27, Dundee – (Trial cancelled because of Snow)

February 17, Stevenston – Runner-Up

February 24, Perth – (Trial cancelled)

March 3, Edinburgh Southern Coronation Trial (TC) – 1st Equal

March 10, Montrose (TC) – 5th

March 17, Falkirk John Bull (TC) – Runner-up

March 24, Dunfermline – 7th

March 31, Lanarkshire Valente Trial (TC) – 5th

April 7, Kirkcaldy – Runner-up

April 14, Lochaber Spring Trial (TC) – Winner

April 21, Dundee – 3rd

May 6 to 11, Scottish Six Days – 36th & Best Scot, Best E&D member

May 19, Kinross – 4th

May 25 & 26, Lion Two-Day Trial – 3rd

June 9, Edinburgh St. George, Colonial Trial – Winner

July 28 Edinburgh St. George News Trial – (Restricted to Non Experts & Novice riders only – no entry)

August 18, Mercury Trial – (On holiday, no entry)

August 25, Lion Trial – (On holiday, no entry)

August 31 – September 1, Highland MCC Two-Day – Runner-up

September 8, Edinburgh St. George Mirylees Trial – (Unwell, no entry)

September 15, Loch Lomond – (Unwell, no entry)

September 22, Edinburgh Southern Scottish Experts – (Trial cancelled)

September 29, Perth (TC) – 3rd

October 1, CSMA Trial – Winner

October 13, Stevenston Ayrshire Trial (TC) – Runner-up

October 20, Dunfermline Campbell Trial – Winner

November 3, Kirkcaldy George Scott Memorial trial (TC) – 4th

November 17, Edinburgh St. George Plaza Trial (TC) – 12th

November 24, Glasgow Lion Trial – Winner

Overall, Jack won that year’s 9 round Scottish Trials Championship.

Jack competed predominantly in Trials but also was a successful scrambler and grass tracker. He even had a go at road racing, encouraged by the late Davie Lamb, Jack changed the handlebars and gearing on his trials A.J.S and raced at the Kirkcaldy Club’s Beveridge Park.

It was Jackie’s rides in the Scottish Six Days that are probably most memorable for Scottish trials fans. He rode the SSDT 25 times over a period from 1948 to 1975 and only failed to finish once due to mechanical failure when riding a 350cc Matchless.

The most unusual machine that Jack rode in the SSDT was a DMW two-stroke, twin cylinder, supplied by Edgar Brothers who were the Scottish agents for the Wolverhampton brand. Jack told Trials Guru: “The DMW was not very good in sections but it was quick on the road.” Even although it was unusual, Jack still collected a first class award on the DMW in the 1957 trial.

He was best Scotsman in the SSDT on no fewer than six occasions and best Edinburgh and District club member on more occasions than he cares to remember. Jackie rode a vast array of different machines in his career and always moved with the times.

Jackie Williamson on his 350 BSA Gold Star, KSF544 supplied by Alexanders of Edinburgh, the machine had the special ‘Daytona’ style frame. Seen here on Blackford Hill, Edinburgh near to the finish of the 1953 Scottish – Photo: Ray Biddle, print supplied to Trials Guru by J.D. Williamson

He commenced on a string of AJS, then Matchless, Ariel and BSA four stroke machines. When two-stroke dominance came in he switched to Dot; DMW; Greeves on which he had his three championship titles; Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa. He never owned a Norton but borrowed one from his friend Bobby Neilson to ride in a couple of trials after setting his AJS on fire when it fell over at a Perth event! Jack was a member of the Edinburgh Southern Motor Club which promoted both trials and scramble events.

Another shot of Jackie Williamson taken by Ray Biddle, Birmingham from the 1953 Scottish on his BSA Gold Star on ‘Conduit’ above Kinlochleven – Print supplied from J.D. Williamson’s private collection.

By 1968, the SACU had laid plans to field the British Vase team for the 44th International Six Days Trial to be held at Garmisch Partenkirchen, Bavaria in the following year. Jack was selected as one of the Scottish squad by Team Manager, George Baird.

Jackie was 38 years of age but still a fast rider on the rough and had a great depth of experience. Unfortunately the Montesa Scorpion he used broke its gear change selector spring and that put an end to his efforts.  His career as a sporting rider was refreshed in the form of what we now call enduros.

And In 1972 Jack, riding a 250cc Ossa finished with a bronze medal and was the sole surviving private British entrant and was awarded the Arthur Prince trophy by the ACU for his efforts.

ISDT Team 1974
1974 ISDT Left to Right: George baird, team Manager; Allan Forbes; Jimmy Ballantyne; Jack Williamson; Ian Millar; Stan Young; George Bryce, Fitness Coach. Photo taken at Meadowbank Sports Stadium, Edinburgh.

Jack’s final attempt at the ISDT was in the 1974 event at Camerino, Italy in which he crashed at high speed on a tarmac section suffering concussion, a broken nose and other injuries that would eventually signal the finale to his active riding career, which spanned 27 years, effectively three generations of competitors. Jack had ridden with grandfathers, fathers and sons!

Finally, our article on Jack finishes with a song! Written by enthusiast Harry H. Cook and entitled “Song of the Edinburgh Southern Motor Club, to the tune of Feet Up performed by Guy Mitchell:

“Feet Up, Keep ’em on the footrest, 

That’s how to win.

Feet Up, Keep ’em on the footrests,

When the front wheels in.

Ain’t seen a trial like this before,

So darned easy, gonna win some more,

Feet up, keep ’em on the footrests, That’s how to win.

Now I’ve been known to scramble,

And even win a Cup,

And there’s the time I had a spill,

And landed down side up.

And though my bike is not spring heeled,

Gonna beat them all without a fall,

‘Cos I want that shield.

Feet up, keep ’em on the footrests,

Take the section clean,

Feet up, keep ’em on the footrests at berdeen.

Williamson, Hutch and Neilson too,Go to it boys, it’s up to you.

So Feet up, keep ’em on the footrests,

That’s how to win

Jack celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday, 22nd May 2020

JDW - 90

© – Article Copyright: Trials Guru / Moffat Racing, John Moffat – 2020

The BSA that got away – POL540G

As mentioned in the Jackie Williamson article above, the Scottish ACU had been granted Vase B team status by the ACU for the 1969 International Six Days Trial at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The SACU is not directly recognised by the FIM as the ACU is their representative at council for the UK as a whole.

The SACU managed to negotiate some machinery from manufacturers, being Dalesman in Otley, Yorkshire for two 125cc Puch engine bikes and BSA for two 250cc Starfires.

The Daleman Puchs were funded by Jim Birrell of Markinch, Fife. Birrell was a haulage contractor and President of the SACU. These bikes were registered by Ernie Page of Page Motors Ltd, Polwarth Crescent, Edinburgh in August 1969 as PSG564H (ridden by Ian D.B. Miller) & PSG565H (ridden by Ernie Page – riding number 162).

The BSAs were supplied by the factory at Small Heath in Birmingham and had been used as marshal’s machines during the 1969 Milk Race which took place throughout the UK and funded by the Milk Marketing Board which was won by Dutchman, Fedor Den Hertog. The event is now known as the Tour of Britain.

SACU secretary & Treasurer, T. A. Moffat volunteered to collect the BSA Starfires from the factory, a round trip of some 600 miles from his home in Bathgate, West Lothian. Moffat had connections in the road haulage industry and British Road Services agreed to ship the Dalesman machines from Otley to their depot at Guildiehaugh, Bathgate for a nominal charge.

Miller and Page collected their machines from Moffat’s home and they set about preparing and running in their mounts for the September event, the machines proved to be too high-geared for the gruelling event. Page’s machine expired mid-week with clutch problems, caused by constantly slipping the clutch to maintain speed on the steep going. Miller also retired on day one with chain adjuster problems and a wayward back wheel.

The BSA B25 Starfires, registered by BSA Motorcycles Ltd on 12 March 1969 were to be ridden by Jimmy Ballantyne, a tax inspector from Newbridge who had ridden the 1968 ISDT at San Pellegrino in Italy, he was allocated POL541G and Jackie Williamson was allocated POL540G. However, Williamson was unhappy at having to convert a road machine into a Six Days trial machine in a short space of time. With a busy business to run in Newtongrange, Williamson went out and bought the Montesa King Scorpion as mentioned in his article. The BSA was subsequently returned to Moffat, unused.

Ballantyne persevered with the BSA and replaced the front forks and wheel with a complete Ceriani unit from his 250cc Greeves scrambler, and the fuel tank sourced from Edinburgh dealers, Edgar Brothers stock of AJS parts. He fitted an AJS Y4 motocross fibreglass unit which was lighter than the steel BSA component. He also had a compartment inserted into the rear of the twin-seat to carry tools and small spare parts.

Unfortunately his preparations were to be in vain, he suffered electrical problems in the event and the machine cut-out completely in a long forestry stage. It refused to start until, in a try-all effort, he switched the headlight on and the bike started. He tried to make up lost time, almost an hour when he was negotiating a long bend when he came face to face with a forestry forwarder machine which had been allowed into the forest thinking that all the riders had been through. Ballantyne threw the bike to the ground in an effort to avoid the huge machine, but suffered two broken legs in the process and the BSA went under the wheels, crushing it badly.

The only survivor from the Scottish squad was Derek Edgar (125cc Puch) who had ridden the 1968 event in Italy and having gained valuable experience, went on to win a silver medal for his efforts.

Post event, BSA insisted that the two machines were returned, POL541G was crated up with Ballantyne’s parts being removed and returned to him and the original front wheel, forks and fuel tank placed in the crate with the remains of the badly damaged Starfire. Williamson’s machine, POL540G was returned on the same lorry to Small Heath, arranged by Moffat.
Happily the ‘unused’ BSA was eventually sold by the factory and to our knowledge still exists as a letter was spotted some years ago in Old Bike mart magazine. The owner was seeking details of the BSA which of course had been registered by the factory and supplied to the Milk Race organisers and ‘Moffat of Bathgate’.

Williamson’s rejection was the effective saving of POL540G, the BSA Starfire, intact and the bike lives on to this day almost 50 years later!

© – BSA POL540G Article Copyright: Trials Guru / Moffat Racing, John Moffat – 2020


Scottish Trials Riders: Jackie Williamson

John Duncan Williamson

A short history of one of Scotland’s’ best known trials riders.

ISDT Team 1974
Jackie Williamson,(centre) with the SACU ISDT Team in 1974. Left to right: George Baird (Team Manager); Alan Forbes (MZ); Jimmy Ballantyne (Monark); Jackie (Ossa); Ian Miller; Stan Young (Jawa) and George Bryce (Team Fitness Coach)

It is very unlikely that, before 1975, there is a club trophy in Scotland that does not feature the name J.D. Williamson. A popular and stylish rider, he competed in the Scottish Six Days Trial for 25 years, only missing two events. In his 23 years competing in the SSDT he won no fewer than 14 challenge trophies.

Jackie, as he was always known, was born in 1930 and raised in Newtongrange, Midlothian. He came into motorcycling just after the Second World War. After two road bikes, a James twin and an ex-WD  Matchless, Jackie was introduced to the sport and into the Edinburgh Southern Motor Club in 1948 by his two friends, Tommy Robertson and Jimmy Hutchins, both famous names in Scottish motorcycle sport.

In 1948 the repainted Matchless was part exchanged for a genuine trials AJS 350 and Jackie entered the Evening News Trial for novices and non experts, finishing a close second to Ian Bell, later to be several times Scottish scrambles champion.

As was the custom of the time all the bikes of the 1950`s were pressed into service as a scrambler, grass tracker, hill climber and the AJS was road raced at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy. Although a great all rounder and with a fair amount of success, it was trials in which he ultimately excelled.

The SSDT beckoned, probably every trials riders dream, and on the AJS in 1949 he gained a second class award, followed by a first class in 1950 and a special first in 1951. He continued on the AJS until 1953, when he was entered by Edinburgh dealer, JR Alexander, on a BSA B32 “…a good bike but low and felt heavier than the AJS” winning the award for Best Scot, a performance he repeated in 1954. In 1955 Jackie collected a 1st class award, but Matchless mounted in 1956, he failed to finish and it was replaced by an Ariel.

The following year, entered by the DMW factory through their local agent Edgar Bros. Jackie rode a 250 twin, “Super on the road but hopeless in the sections.” By the 1958 Scottish, he was Ariel mounted which was ridden until the 1960 event.

SSDT 1958 - J D Williamson & TAM
Jack on his 500 Ariel in the 1958 Scottish Six Days on Glenogle section, Day one.

To remain competitive Jackie opted for a two-stroke DOT in 1961, but quickly changed to Greeves, which he rode until 1966. On his two-stroke bikes, he won 10 of his challenge trophies (The Sidney Latimer, The Allan Hay, The Jimmy Macgregor and the Henderson Challenge Trophies). It was with Greeves that he claimed the Scottish Trials Championship triple in ‘62,’63 and ‘64.

The Spanish invasion had taken hold and like most top riders, he jumped ship to Bultaco from 67 to 69 continuing his winning ways. In SSDT`s of ‘70 and ‘71 he rode Montesa. He ended his SSDT career on an Ossa winning his final Sydney Latimer Challenge Trophy in ‘73 but this was by no means the end to his motorcycling.

Jackie enjoyed speed and rode in the few timed events organised in Scotland. In a practice event for the International Six Days in `56, run by the Perth & District Club, he shared the premier award with Maurice Duffin of Dunfermline. Aged 39 in ‘69 Jackie, was invited to ride for the SACU Vase B Team in the International Six Days Trial (now ISDE) at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria. He was selected each year until ‘74, with the exception of ‘71 when pressure of business precluded him from competing at the Isle of Man. In ‘69 he competed on a Montesa Scorpion. Severely down on power against the Jawas; Zundapps and MZs he was forced to retire with a broken selector spring.

El Escorial, Spain in 1970 saw Jackie on a Jim Birrell of Markinch sponsored 250 Ossa. In 1972 at Czechoslovakia, Ossa mounted, he secured a bronze and was awarded the Arthur Prince trophy for being the only surviving British privateer. The USA hosted event in `73 which impressed Jackie greatly “…the organisation by the AMA was tremendous, the support people couldn’t do enough for the riders”. He rode the Welsh Two Day that year on his one day Ossa as his international bike was on its’ way to the ‘States. Crashing heavily and losing his helmet at San Pellegrino in Italy in ‘74 he suffered concussion and a broken nose, putting paid to any likely finish.

Using the Welsh Two Day trial as a proving ground for the ISDT he entered again in ‘75 but was compelled to retire due to back pain and headaches, obviously not fully recovered from his Italian excursion.

Musing over the various machines throughout his career Jackie considers his bike of choice was the Greeves, as it was on the Thundersley machines that he won his three Scottish Championships. He did ride again in the Scottish Greybeards in ‘86 gaining a 1st class award. By today’s standards 45 may seem rather young for hanging up ones boots but in Scotland of the early 70`s there were few over 40 years of age.

Although highly competitive, his jocular approach made him popular among his fellow trials riders. Jackie and his wife Rose are regular spectators at the Pre`65 and perhaps taking in a few days at the SSDT. A keen collector of films and photographs, in ‘86 he filmed the Pre’65 with really interesting interviews and great shots of Pipeline. Now living in retirement in Midlothian with beautiful views overlooking the Pentland Hills, we wish Jackie and Rose every happiness.

© – Trials Guru/Moffat Racing, John Moffat – 2014 (All Rights reserved)

Tribute: Allie ‘Beag’ Cameron – the quiet man from Fort William

Allie ‘Beag’ Cameron 1940 – 1998 – Photo: Jimmy Young, Armadale

Alexander John Cameron, known to the townsfolk of his native Fort William as ‘Allie Beag’ or just ‘The Beag’, this Gaelic nickname means ‘Wee Allie’.

At the Parade Garage in Fort William, where he served his apprenticeship as a mechanic, there were two ‘Allies’ so there had to be a distinction and it stuck with him for the rest of his life. Allie was originally inspired by watching the Scottish Six Days and ventured into trials at eighteen years of age, when he could afford a James Commando in 1958. This beginner bike soon made way for a brand new 20TA Greeves, purchased from Duncan’s of Brechin a year later.

Allie progressed to a 250 DOT in 1961, which, he rode for only one year.

A J Cameron - Triumph
Allie Cameron on the 150cc Triumph Cub in the 1962 SSDT on Tyndrum – Photo: Ian T. Robertson

Next season, Allie bought the ex- Jimmy Hutchings Triumph Tiger Cub and had it reduced in capacity by the factory at Meriden, near Coventry with the intention of winning the 150cc cup at the Scottish, which he did. Henry Vale, the competitions manager at Triumphs had a Terrier 150cc barrel fitted to reduce the capacity accordingly. That particular Cub had a twenty-one inch front wheel and a widened swinging arm to accommodate a full four-inch section trials tyre at the rear.

Allie Beag1
A smiling Allie gets ready for an event at Todholes Farm, Fintry in 1963 – Photo: Jack Williamson, Rosewell.

His Scottish 150cc capacity win on the Triumph soon attracted the attention of the Greeves factory at Thundersley, Essex and Allie received factory support in the shape of a 149cc bike (XWC 264) for the 1963 Scottish.

Cameron lifted the cup a second time for the loss of 120 marks with his closest rival being Gordon Farley, on a Triumph supported by Jock Hitchcock, who dropped 174 marks. Greeves were happy with the result and used it to best effect in their adverts in the motorcycle press for many months later.

1963 Allie Cameron Achintee
On his special Greeves 149 (XWC264) winning the 150cc cup at the Scottish for his employers, Greeves Motorcycles of Thundersley, Essex; seen here on Achintee in the 1963 Scottish Six Days Trial. Photo: Mrs Florence Cameron, Fort William.

The same year Allie was runner up in the Scottish Trials championship, two points behind Jackie Williamson. By 1967,  ‘Beag’ had two special firsts, four first class and four capacity class wins to his credit in six rides in the Scottish Six Days Trial.

Allie was offered a job as mechanic in the competitions department at Thundersley, preparing the factory trials and scrambles machinery for the works riders. He also prepared many of the special ISDT machines including those supplied to Thames Ditton dealers Comerfords. Allie worked in company with John Pease on the ISDT bikes.

1965 Allie Cameron
An accomplished mechanic, Allie fettles his 150cc Greeves factory machine at Gorgie Market in May 1965 (NEV5C). He won the 150cc cup on 169 marks. Photo: Mrs Florence Cameron, Fort William.

Pease who as well as working at the factory was selected on many occasions as a British Trophy team member. The duo fabricated the special engine cradles to carry centre stands, rock guards and the various brackets to carry headlamps, number plates and compressed air bottles for tyre inflation.

Allie became friends with Don ‘D.R.’ Smith who came up to the factory once a week for testing and development discussions. ‘Beag’ would go practising at Kelvedon Hatch near Brentwood with Smith who was one of Britain’s top trials riders, by then, European Champion.

1968 LEP Allie Cameron
Allie Cameron on Loch Eild Path in the 1968 Scottish on his factory Greeves (XHK14F). Allie won the Henderson Challenge Trophy for the best performance by a member of the promoting club. – Photo: Alistair MacMillan / West Highland News Agency, Fort William (with permission of current copyright holder: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William – All rights reserved)

‘Beag’ knew all the ‘works boys’ and was highly regarded as not only an excellent spanner-man but as a handy rider in the Wessex Centre ACU. He spannered for Bryan Goss and many of the other factory motocross riders.

In 1971, Allie decided to return home to Fort William and took up a position with the area’s largest employer, The British Aluminium Company (‘BA’ for short). He wasn’t home long when he received a call from Jim Sandiford offering him a job at Sandiford’s Montesa import business. Allie thought long and hard but decided to stay at the BA.

1971 SSDT – Allie ‘Beag’ Cameron (247 Montesa Cota) on Loch Eild Path. Allie took home the ‘Henderson Challenge Trophy’ for the second best performance by a member of the promoting club, and was 24th position in the trial with a special first class award on 126 marks. – Photo: Ian Robertson, Midlothian

Having been diagnosed as having Hodgkin’s disease, the Beag had to restrict his trials riding but never lost his enthusiasm for motorcycling. He rode up until the late 1970’s and was a willing observer at both the annual Ian Pollock Memorial Trial and Pre-65 Scottish.

Sadly, Allie died in the November of 1998. His funeral at the Duncansburgh Church, Fort William was filled to overflowing, such was the popularity of the little man known affectionately as ‘The Beag’ to the towns-folk.  Many modern day competitors and “old hands” converged on the Fort to pay their last respects.

Allie Beag
Allie Beag at home in Fort William in 1996 with the trophies he won during an accomplished career in trials. Photo: John Moffat

Article: Copyright – John Moffat -2005


  • Jimmy Young, Armadale
  • Alistair MacMillan / West Highland News Agency, Fort William (with permission of current copyright holder: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William – All rights reserved)
  • Mrs. Florence Cameron, Fort William
  • John Moffat / Trials Guru
  • Jack Williamson, Rosewell

For more on Scottish Six Days Trial click: Here

Tribute to: DAVID PAGE – Scotland

DAVID PAGE - Scotland
David Page (Yamaha) taking part in the 1992 World Trials Championship UK round at Glen Nevis, Fort William – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

DAVID PAGE – Eldest son of Ernie & Elizabeth Page; Ernie being a former Scottish Scrambles Champion and motorcycle dealer from Edinburgh, Scotland. David started out competitively on a Montesa Cota 49 with a Yamaha TY80 motor installed.

David Page with his Monyam which was built by his father, Ernie Page – Photo: Page Family Archive

He was quite small for his age as a child, but soon mastered the art of trials at an early age. He became unbeatable in Scottish Youth events. David progressed to an experimental 80cc Fantic provided by Roy Carey Of South Essex Leisure, the Fantic importers.

David Page Fantic Jpeg
David Page on the pre-production Fantic 80 which he developed with his father Ernie – Photo: Page Family Archive

This machine went into production using much of David and Ernie’s feedback to the Fantic factory. David then started to ride in adult trials on the Yamaha TY250R on which he made a name for himself, winning the 1992 Scottish Trials Championship.

Cleveland 1992 - David Page
The Cleveland Trial in 1992 David on the TY250R Yamaha – Photo: Page Family Archive

He was without doubt in the league of Jarvis and Colley and was a young man to watch as he was a natural rider.

David Page - TYZ British Champs 1993
David Page on the Hamilton Yamaha TYZ in the British Championships in 1993 – Photo: Page Family Archive

Sadly, when on a trip to an Italian world round with his father, David started to feel ill and was rushed home to Edinburgh to be diagnosed with the adult form of Leukemia to which he succumbed in late 1993.

The trials world and his family were cruelly robbed of a highly talented competitor and an exceptionally polite young man who is missed by those who knew him, to this day. His funeral and subsequent burial at Hillend Cemetery, Dalgety Bay was attended by a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the trials world.

A cortege of trials riders and their bikes, escorted the funeral procession all the way from Bathgate, West Lothian to Dalgety Bay in Fife.

April 1992 - World Champs - Jordi Tarres - David Page
April 1992, David Page with World Trials Champion, Jordi Tarres – Photo: Page Family Archive

To read more about David Page and his father, Ernie, this has been achieved in the book, ‘Motorcycle Competition: Scotland 1975-2005’ by John Moffat

Available: HERE