Harold 'Sonny' Cleaver RIP

Words: John Miles

Sad news from Stroud Valley MC - Sonny Cleaver has passed away. John Miles has written a lovely tribute on the SVMC website, which is reproduced here:

"Harold Cleaver, Sonny to all his friends sadly passed away on Monday 10th December at the age of 89 after a lifetime love affair with all things motocycling.

Sonny was a long time Stroud Valley Member who competed in Scrambles in the 1950s and early 60s. He was a tireless worker a staunch supporter at the 3 scrambles the club ran every year. He could be found running the start, a job he usually did with John Ballinger.

My first recollection of Sonny was at Nympsfield where I asked for another roll of Chestnut paling around the start and this chap appeared over the top of hill with a roll on his shoulder having carried it from the bottom. That was Sonny. (most people struggled to lift one).

Living in Tetbury he was a skilled Cotswold roof tiler, a dying art, and his skills were always needed keeping him busy all the time.

As the scrambles side of the club declined Sonny started to join the informal, mostly trials, gatherings in Bisley where he found many new friends and became a popular member of "Team Stirrup Cup" going on regular trips to the TT and coming for a few years on the spring trip to the sun in the Canary Islands.

With the start of the Pre 65 movement He found a new outlet for his energies and was able to indulge his lifelong love motorbikes until quite recently. When I visited him a couple of weeks ago he was bemoaning the fact he could no longer kick-start his Gold Star.

To sum Sonny up, a great bloke, a good friend to have and in the words of another Stirrup Cup regular "One Of Us". Sonny Cleaver RIP." [on 17Dec2018]