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Chairman - Paul Loveridge
Please follow the link to the latest Newsletter from your:-
Chairman - Paul Loveridge
It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Ken Davies.
Ken was a stalwart of historic motorsport, always smiling and enjoying every minute of his rallying exploits.
These ranged from all over the U/K to New Zealand on the Silver Fern Rally and twice competed on the Midnight Sun rally in Sweden.
He also took part on scenic tour events always up for the crack and good humoured banter.
Ken was always keen to help others, financially or plain from the heart advice.
He will be sorely missed.
Our thoughts are with his family in these difficult times.
It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of Ken Davies, Ken was the MD of Hereford based KGD Services.
He was a great supporter of the Wyedean and Forest of Dean Motor Club, when we brought the event back to the Forest of Dean he approached me to say he would like to help with some sponsorship so he became an associate sponsor in recent years.
His actual rallying started back in 2013 after a meeting with Alan, his debut was the Motor Clubs Rally Time Trial at Sweet Lamb, with a very slow Volvo, which Alan described, as very slow uphill, bloody scary downhill, but Ken was always looking for ways to develop and improve the Amazon, together with Quick Motorsport they finally got it to 162 bhp.
Ken loved the Wyedean and his first experience of forestry was Sallowvallets and spectators would have been safer stood in the road, as Ken decided to attack the banks and undergrowth making them scatter in all directions, but in typical Ken style he found it funny.
2016 he under went a kidney transplant, but was soon back behind the wheel.
He made the trip to New Zealand in 2018 for the Silver Fern using a mk1 Escort plus a few outings on Wales Rally GB which always proved popular with spectators, but his favorite event was Sweden, s Midnight Sun Rally where he finished 2nd in class in the Cortina.
His Motorsport career started way back as a mechanic for an F2 competitor, but his love of bikes wasn't too far away with Motorcross, Speedway and Trials where he also sponsored a lot of people, he raced karts against the likes of Nigel Mansell, he built and raced Honda Pilot buggies winning 2 championships, but built a buggy for engineering guru Keith Duckworth of Cosworth fame, a man Ken held in very high regard.
But after a huge end over end accident, he decided to go rallying.
He really did enjoy his rallying but there was more to Ken than just rallying he was a very successful businessman he helped others with some sponsorship, but he was so enthusiastic about rallying and spoke with a lot of sense of where rallying needs to go to keep it clubman based and costs in check.
There aren't many competitors today who give back to the sport, but Ken was one, a true gentleman who always had a word and a smile, to say he will be greatly missed by us all here in the Forest of Dean is an understatement, Ken you are gone but won't be forgotten, it was a pleasure to know you.
The last word go, s to his co-driver Alan Jones. "In 48 years of motorsport my most enjoyable times were spent with Ken."
Finally to Ken's family his many many friends the Forest of Dean Motor Club offers its sincerest Condolences.
Members of the motor club will stand 'informally' outside the Forest of Dean Crematorium on Friday 16th October at 1.30 to pay their respects to Graham Cox as he makes his last journey.
If you would like to come along please observe social distancing and the latest government guidelines to funerals.
The local motorsports community lost one of its own two weeks ago with the passing of the well known and much respected co driver Graham Cox, who died after a short illness aged 66.
For many years he lived in Sling before moving to Milkwall.
A quiet, likeable, unassuming character he was very well organised, his unflappable nature made him ideal for the co-drivers seat a job he made look very easy, but was always available to impart his knowledge to others.
Graham’s motorsport interest started back in the 1970’s, he then joined the Forest of Dean motor club in 1973 and was a member for nearly 47 years.
His co-driving career started back in 1975 when he teamed with local police officer Kim Butcher in Saab 96 V4, one of the best results was finishing a very respectable 17th overall on the Moonraker Road rally a round of the Motoring News championship, more road rallies followed as he honed his excellent map reading skills, winning the Forest of Dean motor club’s BJ Price Trophy Rally with Kim, the event staring at Raglan Services.
He then teamed up with more local drivers for road events with the likes of John Cole, Mike Furnival, and Mike Wheeler.
It was with Mike on the Gremlin road rally one night that they took a trip into the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal, hence to say that was the end of their rally.
The Nicolet Stages in 1981 which ran in the Forest of Dean saw Graham team up with local haulier Barry Brandon and finished 45th.
In 1981 he teamed up for the first time with Dave Jenkins, this was the start of a partnership that lasted 35 years, with many highlights, finishing 2nd in the highly competitive BTRDA championship1600 class in 1985, they finished 9th on the 87 Wyedean, followed up with 6th in 1990, 4th in 1992 all in Escort RS1800.
But in 1996 the duo won the Wyedean, only the second ever local crew to win their local event.
They followed this up with 4th in 97,8th in 2009.
They teamed up once more for the 40th Wyedean in 2015 finishing 26th and 2nd Historic.
Graham also did some rallies with Nigel Jenkins and Adrian Williams, but in the later years he had a lot of success co-driving for Jason Gardner.
But his longstanding partnership with Dave Jenkins brought many successes and Dave never really gelled with other co-drivers, such was their trust in one another, Graham had this very laid back calm nature with exceptional map and pace note reading skills and has a team they worked very well.
"We started out together on road rallies, before moving to stage events, but Graham was always on top of his game and we had a lot of success together and fun with his dry sense of humour, there isn't many partnerships that lasted as long as ours, he wasn't only a great co-driver but a great friend and I will miss him dearly. "
But it wasn't only his co-driving skills which made him the well respected likeable character, he was always happy to help with any event, he was the Wyedean safety officer in 1983, when the motor club ran the Rally Time Trial’s and Dixies Challenge events in recent years he ran the ‘Service In Control’ role all by himself, such was his organisational skills.
But there was more to Graham than just motorsport, for many years he was involved with the scouts, a season ticket holder at Gloucester Rugby and family man.
One of the best stories was when he co-drove Nigel Jenkins on the Wyedean, and they lost the bumper on the Peugeot 309 GTi, Graham organised a Scouts trip out into the forest to look for Nigel's bumper.
Former Forest of Dean motor club chairman Paul Willetts said. "I knew Graham for many years not only from competing on events, but motor club activities and functions, he was always someone who was a voice of sense, always happy to lend a hand, and someone who if you gave him a job to do he just did it, no fuss no drama, it's a really sad news to hear of his passing he will be sorely missed. "
To his wife Margaret daughters Debbie and Joanne family and his many friends the Forest of Dean Motor Club offers its sincere condolences.
Forest of Dean Motor Club
There is a consultation from Forestry England that is slightly worrying. It is asking for the public’s view regarding the use of forestry for motorsport activities.
The contact web address is as follows.
Motorsport U/K are I
am told on the case, however the more replies there are, the better. I understand there
have been around 1000 responses so far but mostly they talk about rallying experiences
and are not addressing benefits that rallying brings to the local economies.
There needs to be mention of how the sport will look to be more sustainable in
the future. It is a hard one
to tackle given the short time scale and the gathering of information.
The Wyedean stages has a financial impact figure for the event, this includes competitors, service crew, officials etc and the amount of money that the event brings into the Forest. There is also the amount of money raised for local charities regarding car parks as well.
I find it annoying when the public moan about motorsport in the forest, a lot of them think we get the use of the roads for nothing.! At any weekend in the forest there are thousands of mountain bikers using the tracks for nothing.
National Resources Wales are also not issuing permits until next year. Let’s all hope that things will return to some normality in 2021 although I fear that we will not start stage rallying until well into the year.
The situation is not helped by the different rules in each country. It is a great shame in my mind that the different countries and political parties could not all work together instead of trying to score points.!
There has been concern recently regarding the use of Down Ampney as a single venue motorsport venue. I am pleased to report that an agreement has been reached for the venue to carry on being used. It appears that Emcos, Cirencester and Cheltenham MC are organising a stage event there at the end of October.
unfortunately has not been anything to celebrate regarding loose surface stage
rallying of late. It is very much a wait and see situation at present.
As you know the Wyedean stages rally had to be cancelled due to Forestry England withdrawing any permit application for motorsport events on their land. My thanks to all those who had pledged their support to the event, it will be back next year.!
The HRCR are hoping to run a test day at the Prescott Hillclimb course on Saturday 31st October. The day will include up to six runs up the hill if anyone is interested please contact Clive King on 07938236461.
Whilst on the subject of the HRCR, FODMC members are invited to a Snack, chat and drink evening at the Bespoke brewery Tap room in the Mews, Mitcheldean. The meeting will start at 7:30pm. Tables will be limited to a maximum of six people, there are other tables for smaller numbers. As always Covid 19 social distancing will still apply, however more importantly common sense will be required.!
Jason Gardner had an unfortunate incident recently whilst testing in Walter arena recently. The resulting damage to the Escort was quite extensive, A new shell has been acquired, hopefully it will return.
Whilst on the subjects of Jasons, I hear that Jason Morgan is currently working on an entirely new venture. That’s the spirit.???
Dave Jenkins has
been hard at work on various customers rally cars. He has been working on a
Triumph TR7 V8 for a change. The car has been painted black and looks stunning.
I will forever remember the growl of a flying TR7 through Sallow Vallets driven by Graham Elsmore years ago. His speed was something to behold, straight lining everything.!
It is a shame that Sallow Vallets has been lost to rallying, to many mountain bikers. I still consider it to be one of the best stages in the Dean.?
The Forest of Dean Motor club are sad to announce that the 2020 Wyedean Stages Rally has had to be cancelled.
The decision was made after Forestry England advised the Club that no motorsport would be permitted on their land in 2020.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the organising team and competitors who were supportive of the event running.
The event will be back next year on Saturday 16th October 2021.
Paul Loveridge Chairman & The Wyedean Organising Team