Tag Archives: Pre’65 Scottish

Peter Mitchell – a trials character

PETER MITCHELL – a Scottish Trials Character – 1942 – 2011.


Peter Mitchell – 1942-2011


Words: John Moffat, Isobel & Duncan Mitchell

Photos: Eric Kitchen; Jimmy Young, Armadale; Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven; Colin Bullock/CJB Photographic, Solihull; Anthony MacMillan, Fort William*; Richi Foss, Inverness; Mitchell Family Archive.


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Peter Mitchell having a cautionary dab on his 250 Suzuki at a Forfar event around 1980. Photo: Jimmy Young

One of Scottish trials best-known characters was Peter Mitchell.
Born in the granite city of Aberdeen on 20th July 1942, he was the youngest of six children with four sisters and one brother, also a trials rider.

Peter Mitchell on elder brother Colin’s 16c AJS at Skatie Shore in 1962

Elder brother Colin competed in the SSDT and many events having been demobbed from his national service in 1959 and purchased a new 350 AJS 16C from Comerfords at Thames Ditton, a machine that Peter would ride on occasion.

Elder brother, Colin Mitchell seen here on his Beamish Suzuki in 1979

Peter attended school in Aberdeen, firstly at Mile End primary school and then Stonehaven’s Feteresso and Mackie Academies.
Married to Isobel, they had four children, Duncan, Derek, Stuart and daughter, Alison. His nephews were Alan and Richard, Colin’s two sons.

Peter’s elder brother Colin seen here in 1979 with his Beamish Suzuki. Colin was a car body repair specialist and rode many events together with Peter Mitchell.

Isobel recalls: “Peter started scrambling as a member of Bon Accord MCC at the age of sixteen at a meeting at Findon near Aberdeen. Although I did not know him at the time, I used to go along to the scrambles to watch the racing, but never thought that on the 28th of December 1966, I would be married to him”.

Peter Mitchell scrambled a BSA Gold Star at one time, but a bad crash put him out of scrambling and he decided to concentrate his motorcycle efforts into trials, like his elder brother Colin.

Peter on his BSA Gold Star scrambler – Photo courtesy: Mrs Isobel Mitchell

Young Mitchell worked in various jobs as a builder, digger driver, lorry driver and with a demolition company. At the weekends he also worked at his brother Colin’s garage, where he would dismantle cars for parts reclamation and sales, this was before the advent of large vehicle dismantlers such as Overton Dismantlers. The beyond use parts were sent away to the scrap yards for crushing.
Dismantling work was always done on a Saturday when his four sons were also involved, by donning their boiler suits to work at removing parts from the cars. Lunch times involved a trip to the Cammachmore public house where pie, beans and chips and a few pints were called for, while the children got a game of pool and a soft drink.

The camaraderie of Scottish trials is shown in this photo of Peter Mitchell at the 1988 SSDT start. If you look closely to the left, the man reaching forward with his hand to his face is Jimmy (J.D.) Morton of Sorn, Ayrshire – shouting ‘words of encouragement’ to Peter as he is piped away!

Son Duncan Mitchell, also a trials rider: “We used to get to drive the cars around the fields until they broke down, crashed them, or ran out of fuel, then we used Uncle Colin’s Land Rover to recover them, syphon the petrol from the cars so we could all use our bikes to race about the fields next door”.


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Duncan Mitchell now rides Peter’s 350cc BSA B40, which he called his ‘secret weapon’ when it was first built. Duncan believes in keeping his Father’s memory alive in Pre’65 events, seen here at the Highland Classic on Alvie Estate, near Aviemore – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Peter was also a supervisor at George McGowan civil construction, operated by the brother to Rodger McGowan, who ran the Aberdeen bike shop ‘McGowan Motor Cycles’. After McGowan closed his company, Peter was made redundant and started out as self-employed, setting up a building company simply called Peter Mitchell Builders. He had the assistance from all his children on weekends and summer holidays to assist with any jobs they could undertake.

Duncan: “I remember this one time we built a wall and set the coping stones on it, then put the scratch coating on it all in one long day, Dad then said to me ‘great job let’s wash out the mixer’. He said to me to put some stones in the drum to knock off the mortar from it, so that is what I did, this was a ‘tow behind’ mixer so you can imagine where the stones came from, the wheel chocks! Well it took off down the hill and went clean through the wall, I’ve never ran so fast”.

Mind on the job in hand, Peter Mitchell (Beamish Suzuki) at the 1980 Aberfeldy Two-Day Trial – Photo: Jimmy Young

In 1998 Peter had a heart attack and was forced to give up his company. After he had some rest and was finished all the bikes in the garage he got a job with Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC Group) at Durris Quarry where he was in charge of the batching plant. He had a good easier job there and had a shed there where he could tinker with his bikes, also had a folding seat that he could sit outside when he was not too busy.

In 1982, Peter Mitchell rode and finished with this 238cc Bultaco in the Scottish Six Days.



Duncan Mitchell: “When the RMC company closed the Durris plant, Dad then got a job working driving skip lorries for a living, he was in his element here as many a good thing was discovered in a skip was what he told me. Many a tool and other things used to come home”.

1988 Scottish Six Days with Peter taking a hefty dab and advertising the ‘YAMSCOT’ support as he gets the TY250R Yamaha up the big step at ‘Witches Burn’

Eyes front and concentrating hard, 1993 Scottish Six Days on the TY250R Yamaha – Photo: Colin Bullock/CJB Photographic, Solihull
Family Man:

Peter was a real family man; he was Grandfather to Nicole and Callum, Katy and Iona, and father-in-law to Fiona, Pauline, Willie & Jill.  He was also a Step Grandfather to Leanne, Darren and Liam with Great grandchildren, Tony and Sol.
Son Stuart was not captivated by motorcycles, preferring football and golf as his sports.

Family man! Peter on his 1969 Bultaco M.27 Sherpa with his children Duncan, Derek and Alison.

Family was important to Peter Mitchell, seen here with son Duncan, daughter-in-law Jill, and wife Isobel at the finish of another SSDT for Duncan on the TYZ Yamaha.

Derek did both trials and motocross and also car rallying, autocross and hill climbs. He also took part at the Alford Museum popular moped race on a Yamaha DT50 and won this several times including the first year it was organised. Derek worked at Shirlaws Motorcycles for many years.

Waving a precautionary right foot, Peter Mitchell was a regular competitor at the Loch Lomond ‘Dan Stewart Memorial’ 2 Day Trial, seen here at the 1980 event on his 250cc Yamaha TY ‘Yamscot’ – Photo: Jimmy Young, Armadale

Alison was also a trials rider and rode for many years and only gave up competing to have a family and start a new business.
Duncan Mitchell still rides trials most weekends, with the moped racing at Alford in September. He also assists the Bon Accord club whenever possible, the SSDT, Loch Lomond Two Day and at club trials. He was also the Bon Accord trials and enduro convener for a number of years and also set up the 2 Day events at Ballindalloch, where the barn dances were epic many a good weekend spent there.

Scottish Six Days in 1989 with Peter Mitchell on a Fantic 305 on Ben Nevis.

Peter Mitchell played Football for a local team in Cove Bay, until he got struck with the ball and punctured his lung. He was also an officer in the Boys Brigade 1st Cove Juniors.

Never one for sitting polishing his machines, Peter weighs in his well used 240 Fantic for the 1984 Scottish Six Days Trial

Peter was a member of the Bon Accord MCC for over 50 years, and other various clubs through Scotland and England from Rogart in the north of Scotland to Somerset in the south of England. He took part in scrambles, grass track racing, trials, enduro and also stock car racing.


Peter loved country music and also loved to go to the speedway racing, especially Cradley Heath when on holidays in the south.
Peters motto in life was “Love me, love my bike – have bike will travel” and so the whole family joined in for many happy and enjoyable years, trekking up and down the country and making lots of friends along the way.

John Dickinson, formerly Editor of T&MX News: “I was minding my own business one day at home when I looked out of my window and suddenly there was Peter Mitchell and family walking outside my house, he had called into Kendal on holiday, knowing I lived there and began searching for me just to say hello”.

Hard riding Peter on his BSA B40 on Cameron Hill in the 2009 Pre’65 Scottish – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Duncan: “In 2009 we had a great holiday, we flew to Birmingham, hired a car and went to Cardiff to the world speed way cup and also visited the Sammy Miller Museum which was a place my Dad wanted to visit for a long time. We then watched the speedway racing at Eastbourne and then on to a meeting at Wolverhampton before handing back the hired car with over 1,000 miles on it”.
“We had a great holiday, but little did we know what laid ahead of us. Sadly in the following April, Dad was diagnosed with cancer the week before we were heading up to Fort William. He rode the Pre-65 trial at Kinlochleven, but sadly this would be his last. He loved the area and loved the events there, after a long battle, he passed away on the 13th February 2011”.

Peter Mitchell enjoys a post event chat (and beer!) at the Scottish Six Days with (from left): Rab Paterson, Derek Mitchell, Peter, Duncan Mitchell and Alan Johnston.

Trials Guru’s John Moffat: “I was extremely privileged to be invited by the Mitchell family to speak at Peter’s funeral in 2011. I had known of Peter and his brother Colin before I started riding trials in 1974. Peter was a great character, he always greeted you with a broad smile and was always keen to chat about the sport whenever he met you. Never a shrinking violet, he was a hard rider, but had a heart of gold. The kind of guy that you could rely upon”.

No time to look at the scenery in 1984, Peter Mitchell tackles Laggan Locks in the morning sunshine of the Tuesday, 8th May on his 240cc Fantic.

Peter took part in many events and won many trophies over the years. He was Best up to 250cc in the SSDT, best Scottish rider in the Pre’65, Best over 350cc in the Pre’65 trial.
Peter had ridden the Pre-65, then the SSDT, followed by the Lochaber Invaders trial which was the equivalent to nine one-day trials on the trot.

Duncan: “He was proud to show me the way around the hills of the SSDT course, not many people get the chance to do things like this with their fathers. I was so proud to have known this man for the time I did, I have so many experiences and great fun with him. He was to me a great man, missed by us all”.
Peter also was one of a few that rode all of the Loch Lomond Dan Stewart Two-Day Trial up to the events’ 25 years celebration. It is believed that it was Ian Abbot and Peter were the only two to have ridden them all.

He annually rode the Forfar & Perth & District Club’s Aberfeldy Two-Day trial and along with a few others received a long-time rider award, this was a special motorcycle trophy made by a local artist, constructed from spark plugs, gears and bolts.
In 2008, Peter received a life time achievers award for services to motorcycle sport from the Scottish ACU.

When undergoing treatment for cancer, Peter had numerous chemotherapy sessions but he still managed to ride the Scottish AMCA Over-40 series and finished the season by winning the championship. Sadly, he died while he was a reigning champion and never got the chance to defend this title.

Peter Mitchell’s career highlights:
Pre 65 Scottish:  1989-2010
Started the event as number 1 in 1994
Best finish was 4th overall in 1995
SSDT: 1978-1997
Started the trial as number 1 in 1998.
Getting his time-card from the official guest starter in the 1988 Scottish Six Days, Peter on his Yamaha TY250R at the start in Fort William, issued with number 1 – Photo: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William*
Peter rode for the Aberdeen based Yamscot team in 1978 won the ‘Eigg Cup’ for best performance on a motorcycle under 250cc, riding a TY 175 Yamaha, he rode with Jock Fraser and John Winthrop.
Peter Mitchell in his first SSDT in 1978 on the TY175 Yamaha on Blackwater
Peter rode a variety of machines in the SSDT, Yamaha TY 175, TY 250, Beamish Suzuki, Bultaco, Fantic, Yamaha TY 250R Mono, TYZ, Gas Gas, and completed his last SSDT on a TYZ model Yamaha.
A fantastic shot of Peter Mitchell on his Yamaha TYZ climbing ‘Garbh Bheinn’ in the 1997 Scottish Six Days Trial, watched by Richmond clubmen, John Fraser and Andrew Kearton – Photo: Worldwide copyright – ERIC KITCHEN – (all rights reserved).
In 1994 Peter was in the winning team which were awarded the ‘Jackie Williamson’ trophy for the best Scottish team with Duncan Mitchell and Neil McGregor for the Bon Accord club, this was the first time the trophy was presented.
Grimacing with the effort of concentration in the 1998 Scottish Six Days, Peter Mitchell on the 250 Gas Gas at Piper’s Burn.
On the lighter side, Peter raced in the ‘Team Kwackersaki’ for McGowan Motorcycles with son Duncan from 1991 -1995 where they won the Scottish moped racing crown on several occasions.
Peter enjoys a pint and some grub after a hard day on the bike!

Peter Mitchell Memorial Trophy:


The Peter Mitchell Memorial Trophy, the trophy which was made by Inverness artisan, Richi Foss, the base was made by Peter’s eldest son Stuart.

After his death, Isobel Mitchell approached the Inverness based welder/fabricator and artisan, Richi Foss to commission a special trophy in Peter’s memory. It was to be presented to the Edinburgh & District Motor Club Pre’65 committee for the oldest finisher award at the annual Pre’65 Scottish Trial.

Foss undertook the commission and the first winner was none other than seven times TT winner, Mick Grant. Foss was delighted to hear that news, being a motorcyclist himself.

If you look at the Peter Mitchell trophy you will see that the rider is climbing his machine over a large granite out-crop, this is significant, as it represents the granite from Peter’s homeland of Aberdeen and also that he was always regarded as a ‘hard rider’.

Being an artisan, Foss contacted a ‘person’ who knew Peter Mitchell well and questioned him closely about Peter’s life and his career as a trials rider. Foss took all this information he had gleaned from the fellow enthusiast and thought about it long and hard before forming his ideas as to how the trophy would look. He also studied some photos of Mitchell in action, noticing that he rarely rode with a crash helmet with a peak fitted for example.

Foss wanted to capture the ‘spirit’ of Peter Mitchell in the finished article. This he achieved and the trophy was greeted with great pleasure by the Mitchell family when it was handed over to them by its’ creator.

Richi Foss has achieved the impossible when you realise that the wheels carry no visible spokes as they are spinning too fast for the eye to see, thus giving the piece the impression of ‘motion’.


The specially commissioned trophy for the oldest finisher in the Pre’65 Scottish Trial in memory of Peter Mitchell. Made by the Inverness artisan, Richi Foss of Foss Fabrication and Welding

The Peter Mitchell trophy rear view – Photo: Richi Foss

Detail of the tank – Photo: Richi Foss

Nearside view – Photo: Richi Foss

More on Foss Fabrication’s work: HERE

Trials Guru is indebted to the Mitchell family for their assistance in compiling this tribute to a true character and sportsman of Scottish motorcycle trials.

* Alistair MacMillan / West Highland News Agency, Fort William (with permission of current copyright holder: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William – All rights reserved)

The Yamscot Team in the 1985 SSDT – from left: Peter Mitchell; Alan Fender and the late Ian Fender who lost his life in a road accident during the 1991 event.

Article copyright: Trials Guru/Moffat Racing 2016

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Pre’65 Scottish Trial Entries Open

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Toshi Nishiyama (Japan – BSA B40) Pre’65 Scottish 1999, watched by Mick Wilkinson on far left and Robert Woodfield on right centre – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Entry forms and regulations are now available for the 2017 Pre’65 Scottish Trial on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April.

The event has been running since 1984 and is limited to 180 competitors. It is expected to be over-subscribed which necessitates a entry ballot which is drawn just before Christmas.

The 2017 event is sponsored by Hope Technology of barnoldswick in Yorkshire and is in memory of part founder, Simon Sharpe who died this year and was a regular competitor in the event.

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‘Team Sharpe’ son and father: Sam & the late Simon Sharpe at the 2016 – Photo courtesy: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

Here are the entryform and regulations for the 2017 Pre’65 Scottish:


Fifteen Minutes with Carlos Casas


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Carlos Casas in a familiar place, the parc ferme of the Scottish Six Days Trial – Photo: Trials Media/John Hulme

An addiction in life usually needs a fix, something to make your life feel good. Motorcycle trials becomes an addiction for many people, be it young or old. They may need a new machine, maybe some new riding kit, who knows? In many cases the older you become the more the addiction takes hold as more time becomes available in your life. Many years ago a Spanish motorcycle trials rider by the name of Carlos Casas came to ride in the Scottish Six Days Trial. A foreign adventure to the ‘Highland’ trial. The pleasure and enjoyment of riding in this location became so strong that over thirty years on, this enthusiastic man returns every year to the ‘Scottish’ for his fix to feed his addiction for motorcycle trials. 

John Moffat of Trials Guru was the SSDT secretary in 2002 and that year at the Highland Council reception in Fort William, Moffat introduced  Carlos Casas to guests and councillors as “the Ambassador for Spain for the Scottish Six Days.

Words: John Hulme with Carlos Casas

Photos: Carlos Casas Collection – Trials Media – Eric Kitchen – Kim Ferguson/Kimages

Carlos Casas has had a long association with the Montesa brand, seen here in 1978 on a Cota 348 – Photo: Carlos Casas Collection

Why the Scottish Six Days Trial? 

Carlos: “For many reasons, it’s the biggest trial in the world, I love Scotland, the scenery, I love trials, good sections, friendly people as riders, observers, public, organisers and friends  from all around the world…and all of this I can meet in the SSDT. This is my favourite event by far and my best holiday every year”.

Trials Guru’s John Moffat interviews the SSDT Ambassador to Spain for Nevis Radio during SSDT week – Photo John Hulme/Trials Media

How well do you remember your first trip to the ‘Scottish’?

Carlos: “My first trip to ride the SSDT was in 1979. I was the winner of a challenge/competition for the best private rider at the Santigosa Three Days and Cingles Three Days trial in Spain. We travelled with the Montesa factory riders who were Jaume Subira, Miquel Cirera, Pere Olle and Josep Jo. I remember that we travelled by car and van and it was a long trip from Spain”.

Watched by observer, the late Bill Reid, Carlos Casas in the 1979 SSDT on the Montesa 348 Cota.

Was the week’s competition a tough one?

Carlos: “I rode a Montesa Cota 348 and the weather was horrible as each day the route was very long and it was extremely cold with rain and snow. At the end of the week I was happy about the experience and finished in the top fifty with a Special First Class award”.

Carlos climbs Pipeline in the 1979 SSDT, the first of many to come

When you returned home did many people ask you about the event?

Carlos: “Yes, all the trials riders and many people asked me about the SSDT – I was a minor celebrity – Carlos laughs at this! This event is very popular in Spain and for many trials riders it is like a dream. It’s incredibly expensive to travel and compete from Spain but at every event we are always talking about the ‘Scottish’. It’s an event that you’ll love or hate. I always say that every trials rider must ride this event at least once. The problem could be that if you then enjoy it, you’ll repeat the experience every year and that’s when the addiction begins or as I always say, an incredible experience”.

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Camaraderie at the SSDT – Paul Nicholson, Gary Pears and Carlos Casas carrying a fellow competitors mount through a swollen river – Photo: John Hulme/Trials Media

Did Montesa support you in the early days?

Carlos: “I have always had good support from Montesa. I have never been a good enough rider to make a wage from the sport but I won the Spanish Veterans class over twenty eight years ago, a championship I have won fourteen times. I have also had some other good results and based on this and my loyalty to the brand, they are always happy to loan me a machine. I think of Montesa as family”.

How good did it feel to win the Best Foreign rider award?

Carlos: “I can remember it like it was yesterday, the first time I won the Best Foreign rider award. I have won this award four times and my highlights from the event are two thirteenth place finishes. The last time I achieved this result I had tears of joy in my eyes on the last sections on Ben Nevis I was so happy”.

The Spanish are keen supporters of the SSDT and Casas has encouraged even more to come, hence his nickname, “The SSDT Ambassador”

You continued to support the event even when it went back to full ‘No-Stop’ in the nineties.

Carlos: “Yes, I like the ‘No Stop’ rules at this event and I believe it was the correct decision”.

Carlos: “The last years of the event when they were using the ‘Stop’ rules the sections became tighter, difficult, dangerous and boring because of delays at the sections. Each year less competitors entered and I think the SSDT committee made a good job and the decision to go back to ‘No Stop’ was correct for the future of the event. Since then the SSDT is oversubscribed every year and it needs a ballot. One year I suggested to the committee that there should be two SSDT trials, one in May and one in October – Carlos laughs again as he explains he just loves the event!”

How important in Spain and to Montesa was the win of Amos Bilbao in 2002?

Carlos: “It was very important for Montesa/Honda to win the SSDT as it’s a very prestigious event, classed by many as nearly as important as the World Trials Championship. Montesa won the SSDT in 1979 (Rathmell), 1980 (Vesterinen), 1983 (Toni Gorgot) but for both Amos and Montesa/Honda the victory in 2002 was more important because it was a Montesa Honda machine and Dougie was contesting the World Trials Championship”.

1995 SSDT Carlos Casas on the Honda powered Montesa Cota 315

Have you ridden all your Scottish Six Days on Montesa/Honda machines?

Carlos: “I have ridden the Montesa Cota 348, Cota 314, Cota 315 and Cota 4RT, twenty four times in total. I rode a Gas Gas one year because there was no support from Montesa. My good friend Manel Jane loaned me his Gas Gas. It’s very important for foreign competitors to know that the manufacturers, through the importers, have full facilities available”.

When did you first ride the Pre-65 Scottish?

Carlos: “My first year was 2004 and since then every year after”.

Carlos loves the Pre-65 Scottish as much as he does the SSDT

What machines have you ridden in the Pre-65 Scottish?

Carlos: “I have always ridden a Triumph Tiger Cub usually loaned from my good friend Walter Dalton, but one year I used a ‘Cub’ loaned from Peter Remington. I love all the machines and one year I’d like to ride in the event on a rigid”.

Many people think you can win the Pre-65 Scottish – Is this your dream?

Carlos: “Around twenty riders could win the Pre-65 Scottish. It’s one of my dreams to win it but the most important thing for me is to be there and enjoy every section and every minute of this fabulous event – you would not believe the smile on his face when we talk about the Pre-65 Scottish”.

We know you are very good friends with the Vertigo brand owner Manel Jane. How do the Spanish trials riders feel about Vertigo?

Carlos: “People in Spain waiting patiently for the Vertigo to arrive because they understand that it would be well made, good quality, lighter and perform well. They were not disappointed. Manel is a real trials enthusiast and his dream was to build his own machine and build a good strong team”.

Manel Jane and Carlos Casas have been friends for many years

Why the loyalty to Montesa?

Carlos: “Because the motorcycles produced are always superb quality, very reliable and nice to ride. The people from the Montesa factory are always very good, friendly and professional”.

How much longer will you come to Scotland and compete in the Six Days and Pre-65 events?

Carlos: “As long as my body allows me to! I love both events and every year the memories are with me forever. I am getting old but the addiction just gets stronger”.

Carlos Casas negotiates Ba House in the 2000 SSDT on his Montesa 315 – Photo – worldwide copyright: Eric Kitchen

Before we finish; the question that gets asked so many times – Stop or No-Stop?

Carlos: “For me as a rider, No-Stop, it is without doubt correct. But sections whatever the rules must be well thought out to make them challenging and interesting, you must try to always make the rider think about the challenge”.

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Carlos Casas, the “Spanish Ambassador to the SSDT” – Photo: Kim Ferguson/Kimages

This article was generated for Trial Magazine issue 50 in April/May 2015 and we at Trials Guru thank John Hulme for the use of his article on this website.

Why not subscribe to Trial Magazine or Classic Trial Magazine, contact: www.trialmaguk.com

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Simon Sharp dies

It is with regret that Trials Guru intimates that Simon Sharp has died on Monday 4th July, 2016 aged 53 years.

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‘Team Sharp’ – son, Sam with Simon at the 2016 Pre’65 Scottish Trial in April – Photo courtesy: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

A founder of Hope Technology Ltd at Barnoldswick, he was a keen trials rider and mountain bike rider.

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Simon Sharp in the 2016 Scottish Six Days on Cnoc-a-Linnhe – Photo courtesy: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Simon had considerable input to all Hope Technology’s products over a thirty year period.

Friend and work-colleague Owen Hardisty spoke to Trials Guru and said: “I can say he was a life long friend who was admired by me and many, more than he ever knew. I have great memories of Simon and will miss him terribly”.

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Simon Sharp (300 Vertigo) on Lower Mamore, 2016 Scottish Six Days – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

He is survived by his widow, Alison and three children, Sam, Katherine and Heather. Trials Guru send sincere condolences to the Sharp family.

: : : Simon Sharp’s funeral will be on Friday 15th July, 2016 at Barnoldswick Holy Trinity Church at 12.00 noon

: : : Simon’s son Sam would like to thank everyone for their kind messages and supportive comments which the Sharp family have found comforting at this saddest of times.

Simon Sharp 1962 - 2016 - Hope Technology Ltd
Simon Sharp 1962 – 2016 – Photo courtesy of Hope Technology Limited, Barnoldswick, England.

Photos by kind permission:

: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland

: Hope Technology Limited, Barnoldswick, Lancashire, England

2016 Pre’65 Scottish Photo-Review!

Here is Trials Guru’s 2016 Pre’65 Scottish Photo Review in glorious colour.

All images provided for your pleasure by John Hulme of Classic Trial Magazine UK …

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David Moffat (350 Matchless G3C) in the parade on Friday morning – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Father and Son duo, Dave and Dan Thorpe at Upper Mamore checking the line – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Carl Batty from Kendal on his 250 James tackles Upper Mamore – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Upper Mamore – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK
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David Dench (250 James) on Upper Mamore – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Sandy Mack (BSA) on Upper Mamore – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Michael Irving from Kendal on his Ariel – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Eric McMeekin from Belford (BSA Bantam) makes use of a long dab – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Norman Shepherd (BSA Bantam) – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Sam Sharp from Barnoldswick on his 230 Triumph Cub) – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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David Coughlan with Guy Martin at the 2016 Pre’65 Scottish, both are accomplished racing motorcyclists – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Carl Winstanley from Chorley on his 250 James – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Graham Atkinson (Villiers) Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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David Coughlan (1966 Bultaco Sherpa) on Upper Mamore – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Guy Martin (Ariel) at Upper Mamore 3 – Photo – John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Scott Dommett (250 Dot) on Upper Mamore 2 – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Martin Murphy from Kinlochleven (400 Triumph) on Upper mamore 1 – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Nicholas Paxton (343 BSA B40) – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Philip Wiffen (350 Matchless) retired with a broken gearbox – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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William Weatherhead from Midlothian on his Triumph Cub – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Clive Dopson (500 Norton) watched by James Lampkin – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Lee Granby (Ariel) – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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David Moffat (1959 350 Matchless) takes a steadying dab on Upper Mamore – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Javier Cruz from Madrid on a BSA Bantam – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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2015 winner James Noble (500 Ariel) – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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James Lampkin had a great ride on his father’s 1966 SSDT winning BSA 250 – Photo: John Hulme Classic Trial Magazine UK

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John Moffat enjoying his first outing on the ex-Gerry Minshall BSA 250 on Upper Mamore – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Alan ‘Chips’ Crayk from Inverness on his Cotton 250 – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Alex Carmichael from Inverness comes to grief on his BSA B40 – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Graham Du Feu from Jersey, Channel Islands on his Ariel – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Tony Swindenbank on his Drayton Bantam from Kendal Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Carlos Casas from Olot, Catalunia, Spain on his Triumph Cub tackling Pipeline – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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David Moffat storms Pipeline on his father’s 350 Matchless – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Alan Fender from Stromness on his father Alex’s Greeves on Pipeline – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK 

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Darren Walker (BSA) takes a steadying prod on Pipeline – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Rockshocks supremo, Gary Fleckney tests his products to the limit on Pipeline – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Winner of the T.Arnott Moffat Quaich for best overseas rider, Mark Harris (Ariel) from Ireland – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Ben Butterworth from Bury on his Ariel tackles Pipeline – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Valenti Fontsere from Barcelaona, Spain on his James – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Mike Watson (BSA) – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Winner of the 2016 Pre’65 Scottish – Dan Clark – Triumph – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Robin Luscombe on his Triumph – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Calum Murphy on the Willie Stewart constructed 200cc BSA Bantam – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Eddie Aitken on his Triumph twin – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Winner in 2013 James Harland on his Triumph twin – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Mark Smith on his Ariel – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Murray Whittaker was third place man on his Triumph Cub – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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Three times World Trials Champion, Yrjo Vesterinen enjoying his Pre’65 Scottish on his very fine BSA Bantam which took him to best Over 60 award – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

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‘Team Sharpe’ Sam & Simon – Photo: John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK

With special thanks for the co-operation of John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine UK on this photo-review on Trials Guru – All images copyright, all rights reserved.

A Trials Guru special feature

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Sid is a great Guy!

Bryn Matton - Cheryl Matton
A.R.C. Lampkin (left) presents a finishers award to 68th placeman, Bryn Matton from Kent – Photo courtesy of Cheryl Matton.

The Pre’65 Scottish Trial concluded on Saturday 30th April with Dan Clark winning on three marks lost.

The original ‘guest of honour’ Guy Martin couldn’t make the presentation of awards at the Kinlochleven Community Centre, but his place was taken by none other than 1966 Scottish Six Days winner, Alan R.C. Lampkin.

It was an excellent choice as ‘Sid’ is a great supporter and enthusiast of the sport and his 1966 SSDT winning machine, 748MOE was being ridden by his son James to commemorate the achievement, 50 years previously.

James won the Lampkin Trophy for the best performance by a rider on a machine not exceeding 250cc losing a miserly seven marks.

Sid recounted the 1966 event which only used Town Hall Brae on the Saturday and finished in Fort William.

As for the 250 BSA C15 it has survived almost 100% intact since its sale in 1967. It was registered in 1964 by BSA motorcycles and has a Victor frame and swinging arm and of course a full factory machine.

James rode very well on a very standard 1964 motorcycle.

Trials Guru’s John Moffat was ‘master of ceremonies’ at the presentation.

Pre’65 Scottish Trial News

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Guy Martin picks up his 350 Ariel that he will use in the 2016 Pre’65 Scottish Two-Day Trial on 29/30 April from Hope Technology’s designer Owen Hardisty – Photo courtesy of Hope Technology.

With the 2016 Pre’65 Scottish Trial about a week away, the committee would like to thank our sponsors – Putoline, Hope Technology, Kia Motors and REH Forks for their support, without them we would not be able to add the finishing touches to the event that help to make it the trial it is today.

The first 15 lucky reserve riders have been successful in gaining a place so if you are still waiting, please don’t give up hope yet.

The parade which was started for the 30th anniversary as a one-off has now become an annual part of the trial. It takes place on Friday 29 April 2016 at 9.30am and will be headed by Guest of Honour, Guy Martin. We are very excited to have Guy at the event, not only to be our Guest but to ride as well and we hope he enjoys the experience and the challenge.

New for 2016 is a Shuttle Bus to take spectators out to the sections along the lochside. This is a venture by Kinlochleven Primary to help raise funds for the school as well as help the trial by easing the congestion and parking problems experienced at these sections. The cost of a return trip is only £3 or £5 for an unlimited trip ticket which we think is excellent value. Details are in the programme and local posters will be in the village. We wish them every success with this new and exciting addition to the facilities offered for the trial and hope that spectators will make good use of this service.

The 2016 range of merchandise and programmes will be on sale during sign-on in the Community Centre as well as in the Start areas each day. Please go along and have a look at the excellent selection on offer.

All the observers have been contacted but if you volunteered and have not heard, please contact Doreen on dstratford@live.co.uk

She is still looking for a few more volunteers for Saturday if anyone wishes to help out.

Secretary, Anne Gordon is walking the 96 miles of the West Highland Way from Milngavie, near Glasgow to Fort William at the end of May 2016 and is raising money in support of Glencoe Mountain Rescue. She would be delighted if everyone could make a small donation to this very worthwhile cause which several riders have had assistance from over the past few years. We never know who will be next to need them so she would appeal for you to donate in the charity buckets in the Trial Office and on the Merchandise Stand during the event or if you prefer, you can donate online at www.justgiving.com/Anne-Gordon2 More information can be found in the programme.

Other charity appeals during the event that we know of are from Mark Kemp who has been one of our backmarkers for a good few years and is currently riding his BMW round the world to raise awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust. To support Mark you can donate online at www.justgiving.com/Mark-Kemp3 .

Graham Lampkin will be selling raffle tickets at the Pre’65 Scottish Trial in aid of Cancer Research UK and the following is a small piece from him:

“If you haven’t yet bought your raffle tickets for T-shirts signed by Jeff Smith, Sammy Miller and six Lampkins (from Arthur to Dougie), don’t despair. Graham, of the ‘Lampy goes 2 L n back’ charity trip for Cancer Research UK, will be at the start area of the Pre’65 Scottish on Saturday selling them. Ring him on 07989 446131 if you can’t find him. He’ll also be at the weigh-in for the SSDT on Sunday.”

There will also be a stall within the start areas each day to support the charity AFB (Armed Forces Bikers) for veterans from all three armed forces. Please take the time to visit their stall.

Special Trophy in Scotland – By Richi Foss


We are always trying to bring you something different and unusual from the sport of motorcycle trials. Here we have a specially commissioned trophy, presented annually for the oldest rider at the Pre’65 Scottish Trial.


Commisioned by Mrs Isobel Mitchell of Portlethen, near Aberdeen in memory of her husband, Peter Mitchell a long time rider and member of the Bon Accord MCC and was a well known competitor in Scottish trials and latterly at the Pre’65 Scottish.


It was made by Inverness based artisan, Richi Foss who runs a fabrication and welding business at Dochfour, just outside the Highlands capital city.


Foss: ” The trophy was commissioned by Peter Mitchell’s wife in his memory and presented to the oldest rider to complete the Scottish pre 65 trials. It was slightly overshadowed at the time by a rather large steel Eagle I was also making at the same time which is now on a roundabout near the Police headquarters. It’s hard to believe that this actually took more time to make and brought me far more enjoyment”.


“To top it all, the first winner of the award was a boyhood hero of mine, Mick Grant”


Richi Foss produces much one-off work and is a motorcyclist himself owning a rather unique Norton ‘flat-tracker’ which won an award many years ago at the Kent Custom show.


Foss Fabrication and Welding can be contacted on 07761 286112 and is based at The Old Sawmill, Dochfour, By Inverness, IV3 8JG.


Photos Courtesy of Foss Fabrication & Welding, Inverness & Mrs Isobel Mitchell, Portlethen.

Article on Peter Mitchell in ‘Great Scots’ on Trials Guru: HERE

Richi Foss is an Inverness born artisan craftsman.

Pre’65 Scottish 2016 – Entries Open!

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Famous Scottish Six and Pre’65 Scottish section, Pipeline – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

The entries are open for the 2016 Pre’65 Scottish Trial which takes place on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th April, 2016.

If you would prefer to a set of forms posted out to you, please send a large, stamped, self-addressed envelope to Mrs. Anne Gordon, Secretary Pre’65 Scottish Trial, Fairshiels, Blackshiels, Pathhead, Midlothian, EH37 5SX. Please note: that e-mail entries or late entries will NOT be accepted under any circumstances.

A new machine eligibility guidance booklet has been produced this year by Willie Stewart, the event’s machine examiner, which gives clearer guidelines on what is eligible for the annual highland classic. Anyone who is unsure of any component is welcome to contact him for clarification using the email address provided in the booklet. Please take the time to read these guidelines and the accompanying notes to ensure that you are aware of the regulations and remember to send two clear A4 (297mm x 210mm) colour pictures with your entry form. If your pictures are not clear then your entry will not make the ballot process so please be aware.

Click on this link to download the entry forms:

Pre’65 Scottish Trial Entry Form

Motorcycle Competition Scotland 1975-2005 – By John Moffat

Cover shot MCS

 – Foreword by 8 times TT winner, JIM MOODIE –
Yoomee Ltd is proud to present this superb semi-hardback book which covers the history of Motorcycle Competition in Scotland from 1975 – 2005 by John Moffat. With foreword written by eight times TT winner, Jim Moodie, it is presented with a mixture of exciting, and in many cases un-seen, colour and black and white images, this book is in A4 size format with over 100 pages of informative and interesting text.

This is a book which explores and describes in words and photographs, competitors and enthusiasts from motorcycle sport in Scotland and more! It’s about people, places and events from this era, the endeavours and performances by motorcycle sports most respected riders, who were either born or brought up in Scotland.
A book which will convey you back to a time-period when Scotland produced not only British, but World championship contenders. Riders who endeavoured to create performances, which proved they were serious competitors in racing, trials, enduro, and motocross.

This is a publication aimed at the motorcycle enthusiast.
Payment can be made securely by ‘Paypal’, debit or credit card
Full details of price, how and where to buy Motorcycle Competition Scotland 1975-2005 is available … Here
UPDATE: Initial reports indicate that there has been healthy demand for this publication. Many thanks to all in the UK who have ‘pre-ordered’ and therefore saved on UK postage! However there are also a number of readers who have already placed an overseas order, thank you very much for your support!