Mark Kemp - RIP

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that my long time friend and employer Mark Julian Fitch Kemp, (Baron von Mylius) passed away this morning (Saturday Feb 13 2022)at his home.

I met Mark when he was about 14 and he used to come to trials with Denis Saunders, Bob and I, often bringing his push bike on the trailer with our bikes.

Mark went to the well known Public School, Harrow and then studied engineering at Oxford University. He had a trials bike from about that age and when he was home from school he lived on it often getting his mother and father to bring it to our home where his parents would have a cup of tea with our mother whilst he practised with us.

Mark's first trial was the SVMC Minchinhampton Cup Novice trial just before his 16th birthday, he was beaten by another local western centre starlet, one Andy Roberton, I was 3rd. With trials at that time being mainly confined to winter months he did not have too many rides for a year or two because school got in the way. At Oxford he had a lot more freedom and soon became a force to be reckoned with in the centre.

With Denis Saunders living in the gatehouse to the house that his parents were wardens at and Tony and Malcolm Davis a couple of miles up the road he had plenty of stars to learn from.

When he left Oxford he became a difficult person to beat in the local centre's and was a consistent award winner and Championship points scorer in National trials. Besides the hundreds of OTC trials and time trials he won he was also successful in winning a number of nationals as well as the Cingles 3 day trial in Spain, The Clubmans International, and the Southern Experts.

When he came down from Oxford he started doing mail order trials spares from home and often used to come into Cheltenham and join me for lunch. One day he said I am going to open a shop and would like you to manage it, I was surprised but agreed to go with him to look at some premises the next day in Stroud which became the original "BVM Moto" and with the salary on offer it was a no brainer. We started with Montesa and Ossa trials bikes and Fantic Mopeds.

Eventually we sold all makes of trials bikes and for 8 consecutive years were one of the top 10 BMW dealers in the UK. (I will write a full history of BVM in a week or two)Mark had been suffering from cancer for a few months and it finally caught up with him this morning. My thoughts are with Tracy, Emma, Fiona and Ralph in this sad time.

Bob and I feel privileged to have known Mark for 55+ years and worked with him for 30+ years. A sad day.

John Miles, ACU Western Vice-President

[on 12Feb2022]