Memories of Trevor Roberts

Memories of Trevor Roberts by Allan Durham

Trevor’s death reminded me of a story going back to the 1976 Ribble Rally, I’d been on the road rally scene since 1967 and kicked on the door a few times with top ten or the occasional top five result, but never won a rally, I teamed up with navigator Andy Milner (Quick Mini driver Bernard Griffins usual navigator) for a one off rally. Off we set on the Ribble rally and by petrol halt we found ourselves with a narrow lead over Trevor & Ian, the second half was nip and tuck as I pushed my Twin Cam Escort as hard as I could, the last competitive section was Abbeystead white and on over the Trough of Boland to finish at Dunsop Bridge. The Trough was always my nemesis, I never felt comfortable over there and I knew Trevor would be coming after me…and sure enough it wasn’t long before I saw those dim “yellow” headlights getting bigger in my rear view mirror, it was pointless trying to hold him off, so first chance I got I moved over and let him past, we completed the section somewhat dejected, I thought that’s it they’ve beaten us and taken the win. At the finish it was discovered that a very uncharacteristic mistake Trevor & Ian had missed a passage control board and therefore picked up a fail and handed us the win!

I sheepishly (while trying to disguise my obvious joy at winning my first ever rally) apologised to Trevor for the circumstances in which we’d won the rally, Trevor’s response was, “You’ve nothing to apologise for, you won fair and square, you and Andy got it right we didn’t, congratulations, I’m made up for you”.
That was the man Trevor was always courteous and respectful even in defeat.
Gentlemen of Trevor’s ilk are what made the sport a pleasure to be involved in. RIP Sir

Allan Durham

 

Memories of Trevor Roberts by Steph Mason

I have been thinking that Trev needed a Mull anecdote, so here is a snippet:

It won’t be relevant to everyone, but for those of us ‘who were there’, hope it raises a smile and fond memories.

We had been members of Clitheroe Motor club for a few years, when Trevor asked if I would like to navigate for him on the Mull Rally. This was, I knew, a week long shindig with a rally on narrow Island roads as the highlight. What fun!!

On arrival, Trev was eager for me to get used to using pace notes instead of a map and suggested we drove across the island. He needed to thank a couple who had rescued him the previous year when he rolled the rally car. We duly arrived at the home of Jimmy and Janette Milne and amidst great happiness, were invited in for ‘a wee half’ (Wee half of what I wondered!) Half full tumblers of a clear, light brown liquid was the answer. It was a chilly evening and the contents warmed the cockles very nicely! Much chatting and ‘the other half’ later, any attempt to read the pace notes on the way back was futile. Upon enquiring from my driver, what the glasses contained, he suggested my education was lacking if I couldn’t identify malt whisky unadulterated by water.

Jimmy played the guitar and would entertain us during the week with (in the main) Scots ballads. During these sessions, Trevor often got up to regale us, deadpan, with his special version of ‘My Bonnie lies over the ocean”, accompanied by hilarious hand actions. He just stood straight faced and sang, whilst the audience was in hysterics.

Oh Trev. You will be sorely missed by so many people. The rally scene was but one of your ‘hats’ in a long and caring life, where your motto ‘age is a state of mind’ will be engraved on ours for ever.

Rest in peace our dear, dear friend.

Steph, Sasha and Sam Mason xxxxxx

Trevor Roberts Eulogy

Stephen Dugdale at Trevor’s Funeral

Good afternoon! Here are some of the memories I have of Trevor over the 60 years of our friendship – they may have inaccuracies, due to the passage of time, and my failing memory, for which I apologise in advance.

John Trevor Roberts was born on the 21st April 1932 in Burnley the son of Stan and Marion Roberts and he, together with his sister Brenda lived there until the end of the Second World War. After peace was declared the family, minus Trevor, went over to Wilhelmshaven in Germany as Stan was in The Military Police as part of the army of occupation. Trevor stayed in this country, with his grandparents for one year to finish school before joining his family. He and Brenda then went to the British Forces Prince Rupert School to complete their education, as coincidentally did three of my cousins. They played with German children and Trevor could still speak German and used it to good effect on our various holidays in Europe. He and Brenda still kept in touch with fellow students and they attended reunions, together with the dutiful Ann, every year without fail. Ann did have an ally with Brenda’s husband Dennis until he tragically died many years ago.
On return to the UK Trevor undertook National Service with what is now The Queens Lancashire Regiment based in Lancaster. He was promoted to Sergeant, unusual in national servicemen, and was by his own admission a very strict disciplinarian. He was very proud of the regiment all through his life.

One of his first jobs was collecting eggs for Sutcliffe’s of Burnley which he got from various farms in the area. He vividly remembered the vans and trucks he drove at that time.
However, his first love was cars and he started work for Hattons of Burnley and rose through the ranks of the sales team there.

In 1959 he applied for a job as Sales Manager, subsequently Director with W. and F. Dawson at Primrose Garage in Clitheroe and spent the rest of his working life with the company. He was totally committed to Primrose and the Dawson family. He still organised an annual gathering of past employees, the last one in January of this year.

In March of 1982 Ann and Trevor were married, albeit after a very long courtship and this reticence carried forward to the wedding. As the ceremony was about to start he found that he had forgotten Ann’s wedding ring and I was despatched to look for it in his sock drawer back at Brook Villas. At the same time Wayne, who was driving Ann was told to drive round the block once more until I returned with the said ring. Needless to say they were “Happy ever after”.

Today we are saying goodbye to one of the world’s greatest enthusiasts – everything Trevor did was with 110% commitment and I will review just a few.

He sold Austin and Morris cars with Primrose, including the iconic Mini, with great success to many people in this area and beyond. There were very few car owners in the Ribble Valley Trevor did not know. Even when the company became British Leyland and the cars were not always the most reliable or popular he continued to sell cars to loyal customers. He sold cars to me for our representatives from A35 vans, through to Morris Marinas, the latter being a great test of our friendship.

His second enthusiasm was sailing, which he adored and he had at times boats on Burwaines Reservoir and latterly Lake Windermere. He was a past Commodore of Windermere Cruising Association and sailed in the very cold winter series until not many years ago.

Ann and Trevor still have a caravan in Abersoch and he used to take a dinghy down there for a number of years.

His next enthusiasm involved yet again cars and was rallying. In the 1960’s we used to charge around local roads with great bravado without any such thing as roll cages and sump guards etc. What was known as plot and bash, with a fair bit of the latter. A lot of the cars used then were the same ones that took us to work on a Monday morning. Trevor had great success over many years competing in events from Wales to the Isle of Mull. By now the cars were more specialised and some of you will have seen the famous Mini Cooper S 24 FTE that led Trevor to his committal earlier today and is parked outside. That was his last rally car and had many an adventure, especially on Mull where he and the late Roy Honeywell and Ian Grindrod had various excursions into the heather. This car has been in storage for many years and recently Mini Sport brought it back to life and resprayed it with Trevor’s name on the side and his various navigators on the passenger side. He was surprised only a few weeks ago when it was secretly brought back home and was in his garage when he passed away. One of his early navigators was Steph Mason who now resides in South Africa and Trevor and Ann visited Steph and Fred, her late husband, a number of times over the years.

Linked to this enthusiasm we come to Clitheroe and District Motor Club, of which he was the last surviving founder member, I joined a year later. Trevor was CDMC from the start until his death he was totally committed to the club and the furtherance of Motor Sport.
He was Chairman for too many years to remember, from its start at The Starkie Arms, via the Brown Cow and the Pendle Hotel in Chatburn to the Low Moor Club and finally to its current home in Waddington Village Club. He steered the club though some difficult years and some better ones with total dedication.

He followed the late Roy Honeywell as President of the club and attended meetings with great regularity until Covid struck earlier this year. His guidance and wisdom will be greatly missed. He was Clitheroe Motor Club but he leaves it in very good hands with the club going from strength to strength.

He was also a member of the 2300 Club and still attended their monthly meetings.
His next enthusiasm was with the various Service Clubs in Clitheroe. Firstly he joined Clitheroe Round Table until he, like us all, had to retire due to reaching 40years of age. On leaving Table he joined 41 Club and enjoyed the social events over many years. The last time Trevor, Ann, Sue and I were away was last March at a 41 Club weekend in the North East only the week before lockdown, little did any of us know what was to come.
Trevor and I joined Clitheroe Rotary Club in 1983 and before very long Trevor was President of the club and I followed three years later.

He was a dedicated Rotarian and was always involved in whatever the club were doing right up to the lockdown, collecting at Sainsburys only last December. He was the driver of “Youth Speaks” and has run it since its inception. He held local heats to find both winners of juniors and seniors and always took the teams to the District finals in Windermere each autumn. Again he took the teams a year ago and was a great advocate for this part of Rotary’s youth programme. He was Youth Speaks so far as Clitheroe was concerned.
Both Ann and Trevor helped form Pendle View Rotary Club and devoted a great deal of time supporting the membership. They awarded Trevor a sapphire pin in addition to his Paul Harris Fellowship already awarded by the Clitheroe Club. This is the highest award given in Rotary.

Three or four years ago I took Trevor, my Uncle Billy Dugdale and the Late Jim Parker, who only died three weeks ago, aged 99 and three quarters to Rotary Meetings. Now it’s down to one!

His next enthusiasm was the Charity Crossroads Ribble Valley where he supported Ann and helped as a member of the fund raising committee for many years. Only two months ago he was pushing fliers though West Bradford letterboxes asking for support for a virtual Balloon Race, which raised vital funds. He ran the bar at the Village Hall at Crossroads annual Quiz night for many years only stopping when the village hall took over the running of the bar last year.

His next enthusiasm was for football. His first affiliations were for Burnley who he supported for many years having been friends with some of the players, however, his loyalty changed, possibly with help from Bob Lord and he joined me at Ewood Park supporting Blackburn Rovers. I and our family together with Tom Rylance had been going for many years when Trevor took over one of the seats. As with everything Trevor did he was a very keen supporter and any talk of us not renewing our season tickets was quickly banished by Trevor. He read everything he could about the Rovers and listened to all the away match commentaries on the radio. He shamed me as I sometimes was not as up to date with events which he couldn’t understand.

His next enthusiasm was for the family, his sister Brenda, her late husband Dennis and their daughters Katy and Suzie together with their families, Wayne and Bernie, Joe and Toby. Bernie’s father George, who passed away very recently, being part of the extended family. I am not quite sure that Trevor did not still think that Wayne was “that boy” even though he is in his fifties.

Now for his last and greatest enthusiasm, his devoted wife Ann whom he worshiped and loved beyond measure.

They were inseparable and her devotion to Trevor especially in these last few months was beyond imagination. Together with Wayne, and with help from neighbour Joan Willock they made sure that Trevor’s last weeks were as comfortable as possible in their home in Brook Villas here in West Bradford.

Over the sixty years we had known each other we have been on numerous holidays to many places, both before and after our respective marriages. We have had a great deal of fun together with our family and we will look back on these times together with great fondness and affection. We will all look after Ann, which is what he wanted, and we are all better from having known Trevor.

Ann and Trevor have worshipped here at St. Catherine’s for many years and they have supported both the church and the village in all ways possible. I am sure the community will be a support to Ann in these difficult times. Until Covid struck they organised the seniors lunch in the village hall again something they both undertook with great enthusiasm.

He was my best man, on our marriage and I was his on Ann and Trevor’s wedding a few years later.

I am sure you will all agree “He was the best of men and may he now rest in Peace”

God Bless Trevor!

Stephen Dugdale September 2020

Trevor Roberts Obituary

It is never an easy task to write some words about a person who has recently passed away, do I consider his early life, about which I know virtually nothing, his working life, which I know only a small part, or the part of his life which I was privileged to share?

Trevor Roberts, rally driver, motor club chairman, and committee member is the part of his wonderful life that I knew best and the part that I feel is the only one that I am qualified to speak about.

I first met Trevor, when as a 18-year-old, I joined Clitheroe Motor Club in 1968. Trevor was the chairman at the time and went out of his way to make any new member feel most welcome. Trevor and his navigator at the time, Roy Honeywell, were regarded as one of the leading lights of the Northwest road rally scene, so to me they were heroes. I did the usual rally apprenticeship for a few years, competing on as many rallies as possible without much success, when due to Roy’s decision to navigate for son Bill, Trevor asked me to take over the hot seat in his MiniSport sponsored Cooper ‘S’.

We enjoyed the best part of 5 years competing together in which time he taught me so much about the sport, and we managed to win a few events along the way. The thing that was very apparent was the way that Trevor was so well respected by all who knew him in the motorsport scene, his friendly manner and easy going nature was so evident, and people just loved him for it.

Of course, I made plenty of mistakes on rallies with Trevor, but he always accepted them with grace, later drivers I went with did not. One time I told Trevor to take a slot left down what was shown on the map as a white goer, dutifully Trev slotted left and shot down the white, as we progressed at some speed, the grass got longer and longer the further we went, and it became obvious that no one had ventured down this track before us. Eventually the sump guard beached itself on the centre of the road and we could go no further. Trevor didn’t shout but just said “No problem I have a shovel in the boot”. Oh great, I thought we’re saved. Trevor appeared with said shovel which was of a size very similar to that of the type you kept on a little stand next to the fire at home. I think I shouted some obscenity at poor Trevor. That was one of the differences between Trevor and me.

Trevor’s seating position in the mini was virtually in the back seat because of his height over 6ft., his seat was that far back. This helped to save us on an event in Wales, where we came across a very irate farmer blocking the road and gesticulating franticly. We stopped the car and the farmer came charging towards us, that is until Trevor opened his door and uncoiled his tall frame from the car like a jack in the box, whereupon the farmer with total shock and then some fear, ran to his tractor and shot off leaving the road clear. Trevor hadn’t needed to say a word.

I used to make fun of some of the quirky things on his mini, namely it’s A35 sidelights and especially the fact that it ran a dynamo rather than an alternator. Spectators could always tell when we were coming by the dim headlights and spotlights compared to everyone else. Trevor didn’t worry about such things, he used to say that the lights would be better if it got foggy and to be fair, he was pretty quick in the fog.

In later years Trevor became a steward on the Tour of Mull and subsequently a valued committee member of the 2300 Club. His wisdom was exceptional.

As well as rallying, Trevor’s other sporting passion was sailing, and I even trusted him to take me on a trip on Windermere. I certainly wouldn’t have trusted anyone else to transport me in a wooden vessel over water.

In his working life Trevor worked at Primrose Garage in Clitheroe, a dodgy second-hand car salesman, I used to call him, but that was far from the truth. I don’t think there has ever been a more trustworthy salesman you could possibly buy a car from. Indeed, I bought a few new cars from him over the years, and in that role his wonderful personality shone through.

The years of navigating for Trevor helped me on the way in my rallying career, for which I shall be eternally grateful and probably I never fully thanked him for. Sadly, now I never will get that opportunity, but I hope that he was proud of what he did for me.

To his wife Anne and all his family, my sincere condolences. To his many friends in the rally world, in the business fraternity of Clitheroe and the Rotary Club, we have all lost a true friend and an absolute gentleman.

RIP Trevor.
Ian Grindrod, 2300 Club

Sad News: 2020 Andy Mort Tour Will Not Run

Sadly, the 2300 Club has today decided that the 2020 Andy Mort Tour will not run. We were confident that the changes that we had made for 2020 would allow the safe running of the event. The new restrictions that become law on Monday, regarding larger gaterings, mean that we now see continuing with our plans as being irresponsible. We apologise to all our many friends who were looking forward to the October 17th. We hope to see you in 2021 when the work that we have done in 2020 will bear fruit.
2300 Club, 9th September 2020.

2300 Club overwhelmed by response to Andy Mort Tour

The announcement earlier this month that the 2020 Andy Mort Tour will go ahead has been greeted with eager anticipation by enthusiasts. After months of uncertainty because of the Covid-19 crisis, the 2300 Club was only able to launch the event, which takes place on Saturday, October 17, two weeks ago. But in that time, the club have been overwhelmed by the reaction to the Tour going ahead.

“We’ve had an amazing response from everyone,” said club chairman Neil Molyneux. “The feedback we received from a mailshot sent to previous entrants was 100 per cent positive, and after making the public announcement on our website on August 7, we have had numerous enquiries from drivers new to the Tour.”

“After so much inactivity in the last few months, I think people just want to dust off their cars and have a great day out.”

The entry to the 2020 Andy Mort Tour will be limited to 50 cars, and the regulations and entry form will be published on this website early in September.

Early finish for Tindall on the M-Sport Stages

Ewan Tindall’s return to rallying lasted just ten miles, when he was forced to retire from the M-Sport Stages on Saturday.

The current 2300 Club John Easson Award winner suffered water pump failure on his Fiesta R2 in stage two at GreystokeForest. Despite a five-month break from the sport, Tindall and co-driver Andrew Roughead were quick off the blocks, setting a very promising second fastest class time on the opening test.
“After so long away from the car competitively, I was ready to give it a good push”, explained Ewan. “The first stage went well and we started to feel comfortable in the car, the pace looked good but nearing the end of stage two the water temperature light came on. I switched off straight away and pulled over so that we didn’t inflict any damage on the engine. From a quick inspection, it looked like the water pump had failed, so that was us out. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t our day, but we’ll get the car sorted and come back stronger.”
The M-Sport Stages was won by Matthew Wilson, son of M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson, who was in a class of his own over the six stages in Greystoke, winning by 36 seconds from M-Sport drivers Rhys Yates and Adrien Fourmaux, who were second and third respectively. However, all three crews withdrew at the end, handing victory to Frank Bird and Jack Morton in their Focus WRC.

The video of the whole stage is avaialble HERE: Stage 2 from M-Sport Return to Stages Rally 2020 held in Greystoke forest onboard with Ewan Tindall/Andrew Roughead in their Fiesta R2 1600.

*Ewan Tindall would like to thank all the organisers and marshals for their hard work in getting rallying back in the UK, to dad Lee and Stephen Lee for their efforts in trying to get the car back out on the stages, and to the 2300 Club of Blackburn for their support this year.

Andy Mort Tour – some more details …

THE 2300 Club of Blackburn is pleased to announce that the 2020 Andy Mort Tour will take place on Saturday, October 17. The event will comply with all current Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines issued by the Government and Motorsport UK. The organising team, led by Walter Bateson, have devised a 125-mile route which promises to be both picturesque and enjoyable, utilising some of the best driving roads in the North West.

“We are looking forward to seeing friends old and new in October,” said Cliff Simmons, assistant clerk of the course. “The current Covid restrictions means that this year’s event will be very different from previous years, to ensure the safety of everyone taking part.”

The start and finish venue has been moved from West Bradford village hall to the Hanson Cement car park in Clitheroe, which will allow cars and crews to meet up safely. As well as portable toilets, there will be a catering van in attendance serving breakfast.
“We are very grateful to Gary Young and Hanson Cement for their generosity in allowing us to use their facilities,” added Cliff.

The 2300 Club will also be adopting an online entry system only, with crews printing their own roadbook and time card to ensure there is no physical contact with officials at the start venue. Owners will also have to self-scrutineer their vehicles using a supplied form.
As a Touring Assembly, there is no competition element to the Andy Mort Tour, although crews will be required to follow the tulip road book and visit the codeboard checkpoints – some of which will be marshalled – to ensure the correct route is adhered to.

The entire route takes place on sealed roads and can be safely driven in a standard road car, there is no need for special modifications. A lunch halt has been arranged at the Bridge House Tea Rooms at Wray, where refreshments will be served, again in strict accordance with Covid-19 regulations. There will be no fun driving test at the finish, a signature of recent Tours, and no guest speaker to round off the day. As in previous years, the entry limit has been set at 50 cars.

Said Cliff: “It will not be the same Andy Mort Tour as people know it, but we hope that it will still be an interesting, enjoyable and safe day out for everyone. The 2300 Club are working very hard to ensure that this goes ahead and we hope everyone will support it.
A mailshot has been sent to previous entrants, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re expecting a high demand for places.”

Entry fee for the 2020 Andy Mort Tour is £50 per car, with breakfast and lunch included. There will be a full refund if the organisers are forced to cancel at late notice. The regulations and online entry form will be available from early September on this website

Andy Mort Tour 2020 is Going Ahead

First run in 2016, the Andy Mort Tour has become something of a fixture in the Annual 2300 Club Calendar and in 2020, despite the challenging times this year, we intend to go ahead – all be it with some changes to ensure that everyone is safe. So, the date for your diary is Saturday 17th October 2020

Paddy Hopkirk Mini on AMT 2019

This year will see another fantastic route, with measures in place from MSUK and Government Covid19 guidlines to ensure a safe event for all. Sadly at this time there will be no evening meal or speaker – just a good old fashioned navigational run with great cars & great people. There will of course be a full refund If we have to cancel the event. If there is enough initial interest we will proceed with an online entry system. Keep an eye out for details soon on Facebook, Instagram & here for more details. Not our usual event but still organised at our usual high standard!

John Price RIP

The 2300 Club’s Ian Grindrod shares a memory

I first met John in the bar of the Misnish on Mull in 1972. I think because he had an Alpine Renault, my all time favourite rally car, I casually asked him if I could co-drive for him. He  a star name and I was still a nobody trying my best to climb the rallying ladder. He took one look at me and turned his back, continuing to drink his pint. I couldn’t blame him because he must have thought “Who the hell does this long haired scruff think he is?”
Over the years I never let that tale drop with John on the many occasions our paths crossed. He was good humoured enough to tell me that it was maybe a regret on his part. I told him that as soon as he got rid of the Alpine Renault, then I wouldn’t have been interested anyway. He said that as he then had a Metro 6R4 he presumed I might have found a ride in the very same model with Jim McRae and that ignoring me was him doing me a favour. Good lad JP. RIP