Tag Archives: Sammy Miller

Trials Guru – So much in it!

Welcome to 2020!

If you have only looked at our front page, you will only have seen a small proportion of the total content of Trials Guru.

We have been putting information, photos and articles on this website since March 2014, which is almost six years and the content is considerable, thanks to the photographers, article writers and professional journalists like John Hulme and Sean Lawless to name but two.

Use the search facility to find out more, please give it a try:

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We have covered most of the top flight riders of their era, riders such as Yrjo Vesterinen; Nigel Birkett; Sammy Miller; Rob Shepherd; Lampkin of Silsden; Bernie Schreiber and many more.

TRIALS GURU ~ Dedicated to the Sport

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SSDT – Where are they now?

Where are they now?

1966 - SSDT - Sammy Miller Bultaco EAA60D - 2
1966 Weigh-In at Gorgie Market, Edinburgh – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa 252cc (EAA60D) – Photo courtesy: Kenny McNamee, Motherwell

The Scottish Six Days Trial is one of those events that every trials rider not only wants to take part in at least once in their lifetime, but to win it, well that is something really special.

Motorcycle manufacturers have entered works machines to the event with the sole aim of achieving victory, pure and simple.

Tommy Sandham, who has written four books on the subject, has asked me to undertake a tricky task – to find out how many SSDT winning machines still exist!

2011 - 187BLF- GOV132 - IL
SSDT Centenary 2011 – Two of the most famous trials machines, of all time – 187BLF (350 AJS) which won the 1961 SSDT ridden by Gordon Jackson losing only one mark. GOV132 (500 Ariel) Sammy Miller’s famous machine that won the SSDT (1962 & 1964) – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

We know of a few that are still around, these are as follows:

1946/47/48 – HughViney’s 350 AJS (HXF641)

HXF641 - 2 - David Lewis photo
Hugh Viney’s AJS with some details painted on the front plate of HXF641 as it is to this day – Photo: David Lewis, London

HXF641 - 1 - David Lewis photo
Hugh Viney’s factory AJS HXF641 on which he won three successive SSDTs post-war – Photo: David Lewis, London

1957 – Johnny Brittain’s 500 Royal Enfield Bullet (HNP331) – National Motorcycle Museum.

1962/64 – Sammy Miller’s 500 Ariel (GOV132) – Sammy Miller Trust.

1961 – Gordon Jackson’s 350 AJS (187BLF) – Sammy Miller Trust.

1963 – Arthur J. Lampkin’s 249 BSA C15 (XON688) – Owned by A.J. Lampkin.

1965 – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa (669 NHO) – Owned by Sammy Miller Trust.

1966 – Alan R.C. Lampkin’s 249 BSA C15 (748MOE) – Owned by A.R.C. Lampkin.

1967/1968 – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa (EAA60D) – Owned by Yrjo Vesterinen.

1969 – Bill Wilkinson’s 250 Greeves – (WWC 169F) – Owned by Bill Wilkinson.

1981 – Yrjo Vesterinen’s 349 Montesa Cota – Owned by Yrjo Vesterinen.

2005 – Sam Conner’s 290 Sherco – Owned by Paul Rays

So where are the rest?

Some SSDT winning machines – but where are they?

1954: Artie Ratcliffe’s 350 Matchless (OLH721)

1959: Roy Peplow’s Triumph Cub (RUE923)

1970-1971 : Mick Andrews’ Ossa (B775073 – Barcelona registration)

1972 : Mick Andrews’ Ossa (B-1681-C – Barcelona registration)

1973: Malcolm Rathmell’s 250 Bultaco (XWW34L)

1974: Mick Andrews’ 250 Yamaha (CRA33L)

1975: Mick Andrews’ Yamaha (JGF729N)

 

Use the Trials Guru CONTACT page to let us known – HERE

Sammy Miller now on Trials Guru

Sammy Miller 2014 - Telford - Jake Bee
Sammy Miller developed the Bultaco Sherpa T -Photo: Jason Batsford

At last Trials Guru has a ‘section’ which pays homage to the world’s most famous trials rider of all time, Samuel Hamilton Miller.

Read about the man who changed the face of trials, the first true ‘professional’ rider.

Go straight to the section which will be updated over time ... HERE

Tommy Robb, not just a road racer

Tommy Robb Bultaco
Tommy Robb was a keen trials rider in his youth and also in later life as a racer to keep fit over the winter months

Tommy Robb is a well-known Ulsterman who rode for Honda, Yamaha, Seeley, Bultaco and a whole host of private sponsors, including Terry Hill in a career that started in 1950 and went on until the mid 1970s.

1st Ever Trophy
Tommy Robb’s first ever trophy, won on 3rd November 1951 a time trial in Ireland

In 1962, Robb was the first non-Japanese factory rider to be signed by Honda, the year he was runner-up in the 350cc World Championships. He is a five times winner of the North-West 200 and has won the Lightweight 125cc TT in 1973.

Hurst Cup 1953 DOT111
Tommy Robb in the Hurst Cup Trial of 1953 on his DOT

He wrote an autobiography called ‘From TT to Tokyo’ a fascinating recount of a works riders life on the ‘Continental Circus’

TT to Tokyo
From TT to Tokyo – Tommy Robb’s autobiography

Tommy been friends with Trials Guru representative John Moffat for some years now, having been interviewed by Trials Guru at the Scottish Motorcycle Show near Edinburgh.

USE Trophies
Part of Tommy Robb’s impressive collection of trophies, yes those are Isle of Man TT replicas! – Photo copyright: Tommy Robb

What is not generally known is that Tommy was also a keen trials competitor both in his youth and in later years to keep fit when not travelling the world racing motorcycles.

Tommy Robb in 1967 on Bultaco Scrambler
Tommy Robb on a Bultaco Pursang in 1967 at an Irish International motocross event – Photo courtesy: Tommy Robb Private Archive

Recently Tommy had a very pleasant surprise and contacted Trials Guru.

Here is what Tommy sent Trials Guru:

“Hi Big John, – A very happy New Year to you, your family and Trials Guru’s everywhere! 

I thought the attached Certificate (Factory Rider) would be of interest to you. This arrived on the 2nd January 2016, from the DOT Motorcycle Club, whilst all the major personalities were getting their Knighthoods, MBE’s, and OBE’s I was delighted to receive this award, from 1954 -1958 and inscribed:

‘Special Award made to Tommy Robb, from the DOT Motorcycle Club in recognition of your Achievements as a rider representing the DOT Motorcycle Factory in the Golden age of British Motorcycle Competition’.

This, believe it or not, dates back to the mid-fifties when I rode factory 196cc and 250cc DOTS in grass tracks, scrambles (in those days) and trials in Northern and Southern Ireland. When Burnard Scott Wade was the MD of the Company.
It was a pleasure to receive this recognition some 62 years after the period concerned when I was 18 or 19 years old at the time. To have it in my trophy cabinet at 81 years of age, amongst my TT Replicas is indeed a surprise and an honour”.
 
DOT Certificate
The certificate presented to Tommy Robb by the Dot Motorcycle Club in 2016
We are always looking for something different, special or  unusual at Trials Guru, so we thought Trials Guru readers would enjoy this.
SMCS - T Robb
Trials Guru’s John Moffat (left) with great friend, Tommy Robb at the Scottish Motorcycle Show at Ingliston, Edinburgh – Photo: Trials Guru/Jean Moffat
Words – Copyright: Trials Guru & Tommy Robb – 2016
Images – Copyright: Tommy Robb Private Archive & Trials Guru/Jean Moffat – 2016.

Scott Trial Page on Trials Guru

Dedicated to the hardest motorcycle trial riders can take part in, the Scott is regarded as an annual classic. One route for all, fastest rider sets standard time. All in the Swaledale, North Yorkshire.

So, This is Yorkshire!

Ben Hemmingway - 2015

The Scott Trial page is now live on Trials Guru

Scott Trial on Trials Guru

Mortons Media – Check out the links page

Here is a link for you to explore the wonderful world of ‘Morton Motorcycle Media – Archive’.

An archive that incorporates ‘Nick’ Nicholls photographs. Have a look here.

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One Dab - Mortons Motorcycle Media Copyright
For advertisement purposes only in low-resolution – Image available from Mortons Archive (c) – 1961 Scottish Six Days Trial. G.L. Jackson on Grey Mare’s Ridge losing the solitary one mark to win! ‘Jackson’s Dab’ – This photo should not be reproduced without permission from Mortons Motorcycle Media Limited who own the world-wide copyright to this and other images in their archives. The image was taken by Peter Howdle, at that time a staff journalist with Motor Cycle News.

Part of the Mortons of Horncastle Limited group, Mortons Media Group Limited is a commercial operation which produces a large range of magazine titles in classic & modern motorcycle areas, scootering, heritage railways, heritage transport, lifestyle and farming.

They have an extensive archive of motorcycle images and own the late Brian Nicholls Collection, which is a large trials and off-road motorcycle sport collection. Many of the stars of yesteryear are captured in action, many in black & white but also colour images taken over 100 years of motorcycle sport.

The archive is a combination of staff photographs taken by photographers of The Motor Cycle, Motor-Cycling and many other titles over the years. All these images are now copyright Mortons Media Group and may only be used by express permission and payment of fees.

Trials Guru thoroughly recommends viewing this archive, there is a search facility to find riders or machines.

You can order prints on line without the protective water-mark and these are of high quality.

Site Recommended by Trials Guru – Dedicated to the sport of Motorcycle Trials.

More photos now on Trials Guru

Trials Guru is always looking for something new or old, unseen or forgotten….

Kimages
‘Kimages’ photographs are copyright: Kimages/Kim Ferguson, Fort William.

We have just added two new ‘selections’ on the front page which link into photo collections of ‘Kimages – Trials Photos‘ and ‘Heather Mead – SSDT Photos‘.

Both are female photographers who have built up a sizeable archive of trials photographs over the last couple of years, particularly at the Scottish Six Days as these are Scottish based photographers.

Kim has lived in the Fort William area most of her life and has a love for motorcycle sport and trials in particular having grown up with the SSDT passing her door-step. Her brother rode in trials too, so there are family connections.

Heather became involved taking photos at the Parc Ferme in Fort William, a place that is usually inaccessible to spectators, so we can see SSDT competitors preparing for their daily battle with the terrain and elements.

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SSDT 2013 An official goes over the route card with rider 20, Ian Thompson – Photo Copyright: Heather Mead Photography, Dingwall.

Heather Mead and Kimages (Kim Ferguson) have recently given Trials Guru permission to display their handy-work. Please remember photographs are copywritten and are the property of the photographer, so please be respectful of that. There is no implied permission to post these images anywhere else unless by express permission of the copy-holder. This also applies to our other photographers, Jimmy Young, Armadale; Jeremy Whittet; Neil Sturgeon; John Hulme; Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven or any other images on this website.

Trials Guru have used some individual photos, which are the property of Mortons Media, Hornchurch this was done with their prior and express permission, for legal reasons, these are not for onward publication.

Links to Trials Guru Photographer Collections:

Jimmy Young Archive

Iain Lawrie Collection

Heather Mead SSDT Collection

Kimages Trials Photos

Justyn Norek

Jeremy Whittet