DF (Dave) Mason

Words: Tony Noel, Ben Falconer.

Dave Eeles at Mamore

Dave Mason, a long standing member of the Cheltenham Homme Guard MCC has died this week. Dave, who started competing in scrambles whilst doing his National Service and on moving to Gloucestershire competed on a DOT and then a Greeves.

Later he was a regular successful rider in Long Distance trials. Working with Marc Kirby he was much involved in the early Sphinx long distance trial run by the Cheltenham Home Guard club. Always cheerful Dave will be much missed by his friends and fellow competitors.

We would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Jackie and his family.Tony Noel, ACU Western Chairman

Dave will be sadly missed by his many friends in trials, both on two wheels and four. As well as scrambles, he rode grasstrack on his scrambles bike (being careful not to let on on the entry form that he was riding a scrambler - the grasstrack riders didn't like racing against them). He later rode Bantams in classic trials and was in at the start of the long distance trials movement in the 1970s. A winner of a coveted Triple Award in the MCC events - you have to clean every section in the Exeter, Land's End and Edinburgh Trials, some in the dark - he campaigned a Suzuki TS185, a Honda MTX200, and a Yamaha Serow.

Dave Mason at Bull Banks

Riding with CHG teamsters Andy Gaunt, Tony Noel, Roy Savery and Tony Falconer among others, he scooped many team awards in the MCC events, and was at the right end of the results in trials including the Bristol Phoenix events, the Tamar, and Wyegate.

One edition of an MCC trial evaded him however, when he arrived 24 hours late for the start of the Land's End - it starts on Good Friday evening and he's not the only rider to make this error! For years after, being late to a CHG event was known as 'doing a Mason' and Dave took this with good grace and humour. He was also highly amused to be mistakenly pulled over by police, on the way home from an event, who were looking for youngsters without the required documents. Seeing his flash new MTX, they thought they had struck gold but realised their error when he took off his goggles - 'I can see you're of more mature years sir' - and let him on his way!

A great travelling companion, he formed part of the large CHG and Western Centre contingent to Scotland for the Pre-65 and SSDT. He was a flag marshall for CHG grasstracks and regularly picked up an observers board at CHG events.

Dave Mason at Mechanics Trial start

In later years he took up car trialling and was the the owner of two very tidy Marlins - always well prepared cars, and regularly competed in Stroud and District MC's Cotswold Clouds Trial. After persuading his son-in-law Jon to passenger, Jon became a Marlin driver too.

He spent part of his early life in Watledge, Nailsworth, the home of one of the most famous car trials sections in the UK, the Nailsworth Ladder, which he cleaned many times (photo, external site).

It was always a pleasure to be with Dave, and he will be deeply missed. Ben Falconer, ACU Western Gazette Editor

[on 21Nov2020]