It is with deep regret that we have to report the passing of another trials friend, Italian Ettore Baldini, who has died as a result of a heart attack.
Ettore was a competitive rider who started his trials career on a Montesa Cota 247, taking second place in the Italian Trials Championship at the tender age of 19. In 1977 he won his first national title for Bultaco, repeating this again in 1979 again on the Spanish machine. Baldini left Bultaco in 1979 to join American, Bernie Schreiber at Italjet.
Ettore signed for Montesa, which he rode until the end of his career in 1985. He was many times in the top 15 in the world trials championship.
Realising his development skills, Ettore was employed by Aprilia to develop their model ‘TX 311’ and then the ‘Climber’ model which would become the world championship winning machine in 1992 in the hands of Tommy Ahvala.
Latterly Ettore worked for Ducati.
Trials Guru extends our sincere condolonces to the Baldini family.
Photo courtesy and copyright of Claudio Pictures/Jean-Claude Commeat
We set out to find out what made Skipton trials rider, James Moorhouse want to ride the the 2016 Scottish Six Days Trial on a 35 year old motorcycle.
Moorhouse: “Ever since I got the 340 Bultaco I call ‘El Donkey’ – I jokingly said I would do the Scottish and it just snow-balled from there. After breaking down on the Tuesday last year I knew I had to come back and finish what I started.”
What preparations had he to do to the bike prior to the Six Days:
Moorhouse: “Just about everything you can think of, the piston, main bearings, wheel bearings, chain and sprockets, brake shoes, tyres. All of these components were replaced by my ‘factory mechanic’ and friend, Robert Barber.
We sent the rockshock dampers to be serviced and stronger springs fitted by manufacturer, Gary Fleckney in Bedfordshire and InMotion/Bultaco UK in Egham, Surrey both were very helpful, they have a fast postal service”.
“I had fitted fat-bars to an adapted top alloy yoke some time ago and the snaky exhaust pipe.
Because of last year it was always in the back of my mind it could go bang, but I knew we had done everything we possibly could so if she didn’t make it then it was simply wasn’t to be and I wouldn’t waste an entry on it again. Fortunately the entry wasn’t wasted!”
“Tuesday afternoon over the moor, she got some water in the carburettor and would only run with the choke on. At the next section I drained out the carb, it must have whiskered the spark-plug so I had to replace that too – luckily I had a plug on me, in fact I carried a lot of spares in my bag”.
Running repairs through the week long event included: Welding the exhaust pipe, welding a snapped rear brake arm and fitting a new rear tyre on Friday morning. The rear tyre and plug were the only components replaced during the week.
It was noticeable that James rode with a broken front mudguard:
James: “It didn’t affect the way it rode so thought I’d save some weight!
I thought on Friday she was running a bit weak but on Saturday she felt as good as new”.
When asked if he would do it again, James replied:
“I have achieved what I set out to do, it’s time to retire her from the SSDT, but I will compete again but next time on a modern bike”.
Many thanks to James for allowing Trials Guru to publish this article.
Tribute to H.M. Lampkin – By Colin Bell (former Irish Trials Champion)
In 1977-78 I found myself living in Silsden, It was not by accident that I wanted to live and compete in Yorkshire with some of the best trials riders in the world.
Martin knew I was coming from Belfast so it was a great relief when I arrived late one evening in the dark that Martin was there to soften the transition and get me settled with digs.
Although we had only met a few times at a couple of events we immediately hit it off, he was so generous to give me the time to show me the ropes . I got to know Ping, Sid and Martin who pointed me in the right direction, I was soon learning the local dialect and was introduced to words I had never heard before like beck, fettle, Buffs, Tetley’s and Geoffrey Boycott – it was a crash course in Yorkshire-isms for an Ulster man.
I was soon trained to say- ‘All right lad’- and I was given the nickname ‘To be sure’.
1977 was an amazing year for Martin he seemed to win everything that year The Scott, The Scottish and The British Experts and more. I remember the morning after the British Experts, I hadn’t heard the results but met Martin outside the engineering workshop in Silsden washing my bike when he came up with a smile on his face and congratulated me on a 6th. That was typical of Martin even though he had won the event he still had time to say well done and offer encouragement. Martin was a larger than life person, a true and proud Yorkshire man for whom I had great respect and admiration. I send my sincere condolences to all the Lampkin Family and the wider Trials Community – He will be sorely missed – Colin Bell
Tribute published with kind permission of M.C. Rathmell, Harrogate (8 April, 2016):
“It is with the greatest sorrow and one of the saddest of sad days when I received the ‘phone call to say Martin was no longer with us. We have been mates almost a lifetime, about fifty-three years to be more precise.
I want to say at the very start of this article, that I have written it in the spirit of how Mart would have wanted me to be. Our whole life together was full of banter and he would not have wanted me to write this in any other way now.
We first met as young lads running around the local scramble tracks. Mart was there with his brothers, ‘Ping’ (Arthur) and ‘Sid’ (Alan) who were both top scramblers. I just used to go with anyone who would take me, he always had it easy. The rivalry had already started!
We got to know each other well in the mid to late 1960s when we were both riding local trials. We played cricket for Blubberhouses, darts for the Hopper Lane pub and dominos in the Lion at Silsden. Two common things here, competition and pubs!
Through the late 1960s, we played hard but we also learned all the basics of competition on motor bikes, trials; scrambles; grass track and Mart even dabbled in speedway. Then we started ten plus years of our intense rivalry in the British, European and World Championship but what a fantastic time it was. Tense and cut throat through the event, then all was forgotten and a couple of beers at night.
Around 1970, Mart had this bright idea to buy a coal round. He didn’t really like his job and I was on the verge of getting the sack from the forestry for having so much time off riding. Seemed like a good plan and all went so well we added a second round. All was great for the first few months when we were at home but then the championship started. We hadn’t thought about that when we discussed it over a few games of dominos in the Lion at Silsden and it didn’t seen such a great idea once the Trials kicked off. So off we went to the European Championship for a few weeks. We had a lot of very cold customers and had to pay someone to do it for us!
The memories that spring to mind in all our years of travelling have to be the fishing in Finland to see who could catch the biggest fish, the boating in Sweden where he tried to drown me (I can’t swim), the girls in Czech (he s*** himself!), the cars in the US. We got the biggest car we could find on our first trip to America, but I once sent him to buy a pizza and it was so big he couldn’t get it in the bloody car. The troubles in Northern Ireland (he hated it); the poverty in the Eastern bloc where you had to change a certain amount of their money on arrival but there was nothing to spend it on. We once brought back forty-five pairs of desert wellies justto spend the money. In France when he set the van on fire making chips and then all the brilliant times we had at the factories in Barcelona with the Bultaco and Montesa families. It’s really just impossible to list every memory, I would need a book and if ‘H’ was here there would be a lot more I have forgotten.
After we both retired from riding, I bought a hotel with Rhoda in Grassington and Martin and Isobel bought a pub at Greenhow, a mere five miles apart. Well we figured we had both lived in hotels for twelve years and had certainly spent a lot longer in pubs, so it seemed the ideal answer to what we did in our retirement.
We should have known then that motorcycling was in our blood and it wouldn’t be long before we were back involved with it again.
So after our stint in ‘The Real World’ just a few years later, it all started again with another ten years plus where Mart was with Dougie and I was with Graham only this time we could have more beer!
Some of my greatest memories through this time have to be the Trial Des Nations where against all the odds we managed to pull off the wins with Mart and myself leading the troops, so to speak!
Our first win was in the Isle of Man in 1997 but 1999 was a classic as the organisers had mistakenly thought Steve Colley had a five on the last section but in fact cleaned it. The guy at the end had put a five as that was his riding number! I just remember Mart standing on a chair with a huge jug of beer singing ‘We are the Champions.’ We followed this in 2002 in Portugal and 2003 in Italy; the memories of those wins, against all the odds, where Mart and I worked together with our GB team were unforgettable.
To any outsiders Mart came over as a big, rough Yorkshire-man. In some ways he was. He didn’t stand fools, but found one in every bar we went in but he had the biggest heart and the softest spot possible. A great, great friend and a brilliant mate and an exceptional competitor (but I usually won)! You have to remember that if ‘H’ had written this it would have been the total opposite of what I have said. That’s how it was between ‘H’ and me. The friendship I had with him was special and unique. It didn’t matter if we were seeing how many stones we could throw into a bucket at the SSDT waiting for Doug and Graham or whether it was to see who got to the pub first when we were out having a meal in later years, it was a competition. However, it was a competition which we both hold in great respect of each other and that one thing that can never be taken from me, ‘memories’ which will stay with me forever.
Mart will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him but especially by his close friends and family. The Lampkins are known for their closeness and I can’t imagine the affect this will have but they are strong and will hold together throughout this sad and cruel time. My love to all of you.
God bless and rest in peace mate. I’ll see you up there”.
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