Brian Valder RIP

Words: Ben Falconer, Tony Noel, Tom Welch. Photos courtesy of Brian's daughter Amanda and Jennie Jones.

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a great servant of motorcycle sport who put in more than he got out over seven decades.

Brian Valder will be deeply missed in Gloucestershire, where he threw himself in to volunteering at hundreds of events, after moving to Quedgeley in 2004. Prior to that he had been involved in motorcycle sport in the High Wycombe area since the 1950s.

He died aged 83 on May 23 and on Sunday Cheltenham Home Guard MCC held a minute's silence and applause before their Hazleton trial, and Zona 1 MCC posted up a photo of Brian at section one of their evening trial on Wednesday, May 24.

He also marshalled at 62 Kingsway Parkruns, where his daughter Amanda and grandson Declan run.

A very capable rider he placed fourth and fifth in the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1955 and 1956 and rode a Greeves in scrambles - he was a key organiser too and in January of this year was presented with the ACU (Auto Cycle Union, the sport's governing body) Medal of Honour for his lifetime of service to the sport.

He started competing in the 1950's on a DOT motorcycle. He progressed to a Greeves, which became his preference and occasionally borrowed an Ariel which he enjoyed riding. Known as 'The Manager' by his club, Wycombe District Motorcycle Club, he organised their team in the South Midland Inter Club Trial which they won. He once finished the Scottish Six Days on the Saturday and headed home to ride in a major trial on the Sunday.

Such was his enthusiasm that when he stopped riding in the 70's he became a steward in the ACU South Midland for trials and motocross. He later took on several roles, co-ordinating the centre stewards for 12 years, he was course recorder, and along with his wife Bridie, senior sound meter operator for the centre. Otherwise almost every week they could be found organising the paddock at local and national motocross events held in the ACU South Midland centre.

For many years, Brian was a respected member of the South Midland Competition Committee, and earned a vice presidency there. Brian was a member of the ACU panel of adjudicators for the sport for many years.

When he moved to Gloucester in 2004 he immediately became involved with ACU Western activities. He became a delegate for the Gloucester and Cotswold Motor Club, also a steward once again for his new centre and an observer at trials most weekends.

He was so much in demand that on one occasion he conducted a ballot to choose between two clubs who had asked for his services as an observer. He was awarded the Dick Wyatt trophy, an award given only for exceptional hard work for ACU Western events. He was also made a vice-president of the centre.

"It is difficult to imagine someone who has consistently put so many years into ACU sport in different parts of the country, helping to ensure that our sport takes place," said ACU Western chairman Tony Noel.

ACU Western vice chairman Tom Welch said: "He was a true gentleman, respected by all who knew him. Thoughtful, caring, willing, he never grumbled, was considerate, inspirational to the youth riders, he has left a legacy of fairness and abiding by the rules.

His life was extremely well spent. He will be sadly missed, however we have some very fond memories that will be everlasting."

Terry Golds of the South midland Centre tells us; "I have been talking to John Cox, a friend since 1957 (Brian's friend. ed.) and he has some good memories of Brian. This one is repeatable. Brian was a bus driver and inspector almost all of his life and in the 60s John Cox was his mechanic. It was not uncommon for the number 46, with full compliment of passengers, to stop outside John's workshop while Brian went inside to ensure his pride and joy would be ready for the weekend's fray. Ten minutes later he would come out and continue on to the depot."

The funeral was held on Friday, June 9 at 12.30pm at Gloucester Crematorium. Family flowers only with donations in lieu for the ACU Benevolent Fund or The British Heart Foundation c/o Beechwood Funeral Services Ltd, 7a Highfield Place, Gloucester GL4 4PB.