Barry Swann R.I.P 1948-2015

BARRY SWANN 1948-2015

I’ve known Barry since the 1960’s, at a time when we both used to frequent a Tunbridge Wells café called “Toms” It was a favourite meeting place of local motorcyclists or “Rockers” as we were known in those days. I remember first being introduced to Barry at Brands Hatch. They had open practice on Wednesdays back then and if it was my half day at Philpot’s Motorcycle shop I used to go up on one of my bikes to watch.

This particular day Barry had come up on the pillion of some local hero that thought he could be world champion. Needless to say he went out in one of the practice sessions, crashed and ended up in hospital, wrecking his bike also. This left Barry stranded at the circuit with little money. Someone, I forget who, asked if I could give him a lift back to Tunbridge Wells, which I duly did. “Never again” I heard him mutter as he got off!

After that he took up an interest in trials, as had I, and we used to travel together sometimes to events. One notable event was the 1970 Isle of Wight 2day trial, but that’s another story!

He joined Tenterden and District MCC, and later the Owls MCC, sitting on the committee, and helping set out trials for some years.

In the late 60’s we both got married and started families, so other things occupied our time. We met again in 1973, when both moved into a new estate at Matfield where we have remained to this day.

After a few years we got back into pre 67 trials on Triumph Twins with some success. Barry also worked as a reporter for TMX, and covered many South East trials including national and internationals.

In the mid 70’s he started working as a mechanic at the Kawasaki Paddock Wood motorcycle business run by Paul Smart and Roy Francis, during the boom time for bike sales. He was a valued and well liked trials riding member of the staff.

One day he asked me if I would like to help out as a mechanic on Saturdays “you bet” I said! We had a lot of laughs there and made contact with several famous motorcycle racers at the time.

The years rolled by and Barry spent more with his other passions, fishing, train spotting and model railways, which I believe he kept up to very near the end.

Barry was a good looking lad with a great personality and always made a big impression with whoever met him.

We will all miss him a lot.

Tony Rout.

Mr Gordon Davis – R.I.P

The South Eastern Centre and trials has lost one of its ‘characters’ in the form of Mr Gordon Davis.

He died at his home in Bexleyheath on New Years Day at the age of 87.

Gordon has been a leading light in the South Eastern Centre trials scene for many years, a former Centre President and Management Committee member.

His funeral will be on Thursday 22nd January at 10:15am at Eltham Crematorium, Crown Woods Way, SE9 2AZ.

Everyone is welcome to attend and I’m sure that many will!

Gordon’s family have requested no flowers, but donations instead to Diabetes UK, for which Gordon raised donations by various means.  One for which he would enjoy relating was a ride on his 1955 BSA from Lands End to John o’Groats, where he even persuaded diners in transport cafes to part with some loose change!

Donations can be made on the day of the funeral, or a cheque (made out to Diabetes UK) posted to the undertakers, W. Uden & Sons. 6, Townley Road, Bexleyheath, DA6 7HL.  Please mention the donation is in Gordon’s memory and the date of the funeral.

EKTC Trial 11th January – Entry List

This weekend sees Round 1 of the 2015 East Kent Combine Championship (and our own club championship round) with a trial run by our friends from the GEST Club. Details and entry list below. Day entries accepted and all riders are eligible for championship points. For those that have never been there before this is an excellent piece of land to ride with some good banks, a rocky gulley, streams and usually plenty of mud!

1030am Start. Monkins Farm, Horns Cross, Northiam, East Suusex. Trial will be signposted off the A28 between Northiam and Broad Oak. Seceratry is Jen Heathcote 07541206131. Entries to date.


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Barry Swann

Sad news that former club member and correspondent for the Trials and Motocross News, Barry Swann passed away just before Christmas.

Some may remember him from working at Kawasaki Paddock Wood.

The funeral is on Wednesday January 7th at Tunbridge Wells Crematorium.

New Years Club Practice Trial – 31.12.14

A good turnout today for this relaxed practice event that was made possible by Colin allowing the use of his excellent land, which was in prime trialing condition. Pete with able assistance from Colin and  Dave H laid out 6 sections for all to play on and enjoy and it was a great way for everyone to blow off the cobwebs of the festive season and get some practice for the trials ahead…. And a huge thanks to the boys and Colin for putting this event on. Good fun was had by all and we hope to have few more similar events during 2015.  Happy New year. A couple of pictures below

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Where’s Wally??

Warm up Dunc style!

Warm up Dunc style!

EKTC Sittingbourne Cup Results December 2014

Sittingbourne ran the last EKTC Combine trial of 2014 at Wormshill. A decent turnout of Tenterden riders rode in what was an excellent trial run by our friends from the Sittingbourne club,  3 of the seven class winners were Tenterden riders!!! – well done boys.

Experts – Keith Francis 13ml, Matt Strank 19ml, Dave Strank 45ml, Rob Whorlow 67ml, Chris Anderson 83ml, Connor Dowling 89ml

Inters – Darren Bayfield 17ml, Fergus Campbell 22ml

Inter O/40 – Micheal Nutbrown 10ml, Adam Bell 10ml, Mark Smith 27ml, Graham Kemp 30ml, Mark Ridge 34ml, Mark D’Amico 49ml, Bradley Mears 63ml

Novice – Tony Whitcombe 9ml, Peter Fox 10ml, Neil Cozens 23ml, Gavin Horley 27ml, Dave Mears 36ml, Chris Still 47ml, Micheal Care 61ml, Steve Wormley 83ml

Youth Novice – Oliver Whorlow 24ml

Novice O/50 – Brian Cornelius 1ml, Graham Knowler 15ml, Peter Campbell 23ml, Debbie Kemp 23ml

Pre 67 – Neil Sinden 10ml

Yellow – Sarah Bell 11ml, Scott Hammond 46ml

Late Entries – K Dampier 32ml, S Ridley 47ml, M Cole 28ml, T Gray 24ml, J Smith51ml, J Hunt 58ml, J Millen 19ml, R Marsh 24ml, R Marsh 54ml, W Eves 32ml, C Gray 70ml, K Wells 28ml


Memories of Murray Brush – Tony Rout

MEMORIES OF MURRAY BRUSH by Tony Rout, typed by Sandra Francis.

Attending the Murray Brush Memorial Trial recently reminded me of an article I wrote for the Owls Club magazine some years ago

I recall an epic journey Murray and I took in January 1963, the year of the big freeze.

It all started one evening in Brenchley Working Men’s Club, when Murray asked me if I would like to accompany him to the Allan Jefferies National trial in Worcestershire on January 10th. Of course I said yes, being young and up for anything.

Now, the snows started on Boxing Day 1962 and by New Year were four or five foot deep all over the country and still coming down. Having driven with Murray to a lot of local trials in the past, I had every faith in his driving ability to get there and didn’t give it a second thought.

7am on Saturday 9th January and we were off in his nearly new Morris Minor 1000 pickup, J.A.H. Triumph Cub in the back with about 20 gallons of petrol, riding gear, spades etc. I had an overnight bag, wellies and a thermos flask with coffee and brandy in it and £1 in my pocket.

We set off in a blizzard with about 200 miles to go, but you must remember there were no motorways, bypasses, mobile phones, or salt on the road back then. Many telephone lines were down, so you were pretty much on your own. We made good progress through Tonbridge and Sevenoaks to the A25, but remember we were heading to a little hamlet in the wilds of Worcester and the Duck Inn. I was on the map which was useless as most road signs were buried under the snow! By about 10am we had made it to a transport café somewhere near Newlands Corner for breakfast. Some lorry drivers advised us not to continue beyond Guildford as the roads were impassable. Not to Murray in his “ Morry Thou”. Pressing on to the A40 it became apparent how bad it was, on one stretch it resembled the whoops section of an area motocross, 8ft high snowdrifts, telephone poles and power lines down etc. The only good thing was that there was absolutely no other traffic on the roads to block our path, so “Mo” could “give her the get on” as he used to say.

Around 1.30pm we arrived in Swindon and stopped a pub for a pint or two and a bite to eat. The landlord was a keen motorcyclist and showed us his Manx Norton racer. He wished us well and we drove on to Cheltenham, it was almost dark by now and still snowing old boots! Two young hitch-hikers asked if we would give them a lift to Gloucester. Murray thought this a good idea as we moved the “Road Closed” signs out of the way! He told them to hop in the back of the pickup. They would be able to push if we got stuck! We made it ok, just, and they knocked on the back window and jumped out somewhere in the town.

Pushing on past Bewdley we were on a very minor road and came to steep hill after a tight right-hander over a bridge and this was the only time there or back that I had to get out and push. Soon after we arrived at our destination, The Duck Inn. It was 9pm, the bar was almost empty, and so we ordered a pint and said we had driven up from Kent for the Trial next day.

Sorry the landlord said it’s CANCELLED.

After nearly choking on our beer our next question was” can you put us up for the night?” NO! Try back in Bewdley. As it was well past 9pm and 10 degrees below zero we did not fancy sleeping in the motor, so back to Bewdley where we were lucky to find a good coaching inn. I think it was the Kings Head. The only room available had a double bed and as I had never slept away from home before it was a bit strange to me.

We woke the next morning, Sunday to find the sun shining and the snow clouds gone, though it was extremely cold. After a good full English breakfast we set off for home at about 10am. Trundling along we were still about the only vehicle on the road but conditions were much better. At about 12noon we arrived at the The Air Balloon, Birdlip in Gloucestershire, where there was a warm welcome from the Davies family. Bill Davies, the landlord had been a star sidecar trials rider and his 2 sons, Mike and Tony were National Works supported riders at the time and well known to Murray. So after a good ploughman’s, several pints and much merriment we set off for home again at kickout time, about 2.30pm on a Sunday those days.

So, on the way back we came, stopping only to fill up the Morris from Mo’s “supply” in the back. It was dark by 4pm, but luckily I spotted a fish and chip shop open in one of the towns, it helped to soak up the beer! We still had a long way to go, but the faithful pickup never missed a beat, and we arrived home in Brenchley around 10pm., just in time for a quick one in the Bull. All that way and I still had change from my pound.

Sadly Murray has gone now, but we never forgot that journey, also a big thank you to Mr Dunlop for his town and country tyres!

Tony Rout