Brian Trott Obituary
Brian Trott by Mike Naish
I would like to tell you about someone who has ridden in Competition sport continuously for over 60 Years. A man who has enthusiastically embraced his chosen sport of trials so that it pervaded every waking moment, and in a lot of ways influenced his whole working career. A rider who has built many models of bike from the frame upwards and ridden and sold them successfully. A person who had been under the surgeons knife a few times when his life has hung by a thread. An artist/painter of scenes in watercolour . A man who had celebrated his 88th Birthday this year but passed away on the 24th November. It is of course Brian Trott.
Brian was born at Hawkchuch near Axminster in 1927. The family moved to Harberton near Totnes when he was 8 where his Dad was a Gamekeeper working at the Dundridge Estate. His Dad received no pay but they dined well and enjoyed life.Brian picked up some of his father’s expertise and was very close to the countryside. It seems his family had either been in Game-keeping or Mechanics. Brian went to school in Harberton Primary and then later in Totnes.
His first interest in bikes was whilst he was doing his apprenticeship in Totnes at WH Jordan, a Morris Cars and BSA agent at the top of the town. The motorcycle was in a garden not far from there. The lady had it jacked up with a belt on it fixed to a tool bench- Brian showed so much interest in it she gave it to him. He took it apart and took it back to Harberton on a pushbike bit by bit. Eventually he got it going and ran it for a couple of years.
His next encounter with bikes was in the RAF which really started his lifelong passion with Motorbikes. It was very strict training which is where he got hismachining experience. He had been in the Air Training Corps up at RAF Locking near Weston Super Mare on Anson’s, so was accepted into the RAF and I did 3 years as a fitter working on Harvard’s with Pratt & Witney Radial engines in Egypt, that was in 1945. When he got there they asked him what my interests were. He said Motorcycling, so they sent him for some DR training (Despatch Rider) at a camp in Ismailia just outside Cairo. He met a man called Ivan Kessell from Cornwall, he was involved in speedway. They arranged a Speedway match between the RAF and the Army and they put him on a 350 WD Matchless. In his spare time, and as part of the training, he would get these bikes ready for the next meeting.
When he came out in 1948-49 he got a job with Reed & Co, a Ford distributor. He ran the Agricultural side mainly on Tractors. He said that had a brilliant life with a mobile workshop and travelled all over the South West on the farms- he loved it but he had a bad accident with a tractor. The caterpillar tracks ran over his pelvis and smashed it up, it affected his bladder amongst other things. He was in Torbay Hospital for a year.Luckily he met a good surgeon who came to Torbay and he did a good job on him.
In the early fifties he was a member of Dartmouth & district MC & LC Club and rode a couple of Grass Tracks on a Velocette GTP with an outside flywheel. Then he rode a 197 James in Scrambles purchased from John Crook Motorcycles.
Pat and Brian got married in 1954 and he carried on in local scrambling riding a 250 BSA then a 500 Triumph converted speed twin. He had an accident on a Tiger Cub at a Devonport scramble over the border in Cornwall and injured his knee putting himout for the rest of the season. He started trials when it was better, to get himself fit for the next scramble season, but he liked Trials so much he never went back to Scrambles. He felt that trials was a lovely sport and it had a lovely lot of people, that’s what he liked.
Brian went to work at John Crook Motorcycles and had sponsorship from Greevesthrough the shop. He rode Greeves for 10 Years and used to normally get first or second class awards in local trials.
Brian opened up his own shop in 1979 whilst he was working for John Crook. He hadworked for him for 12 years and when he took on a new Ford car agency they dictated that he had to give up all his other outlets in Trials bikes, so Brian said ‘In that case I’ll take it on’. That was in 1979. He eventually became a five star Honda dealer. It was hard work but as a family they all worked together and it worked well.
Brian used to go to the Nationals like the John Douglas and the Kickham and of course South West Centre Nationals at Otter Vale and the West of England. He said healways went to the 2 day in Cornwall- the Tristan da Cunha and the Kernow and also did the Jersey 2 day.
Brian took up Pre-65 Trials in 1983 and rode in the first South West Classic 3 day Trial and carried on from there. Pre 65 sport had given him a new lease of life not only riding but making Bantams and he specialised in them. He tooled up and they became quite a large part of the business. He made the frames and did the engines up and sold the bikes making about 25 in all.
Brian had never managed to get to the Scottish but in 2006 he got special permission and rode the Tandon along the Mamore Road with Dave Cole to see the sections.
It was a marvellous weekend and one he remembered with great affection and enthusiasm.
Brian had said that had no regrets in his life and would do the same things again. Even the accidents he had made him realise that life was worth living and that it gave him a positive attitude. He also wanted to give a lot of credit to his wife Pat who has supported him through his entire career and his times in hospital.
That was the nature of Brian, a friend to all in the South West Centre and held in great affection by all riders. He had suffered from failing health in the last few years and Pat was a tower of strength for him, and he died with his family at his bedside. He will be remembered as a good rider and excellent engineer, something he has passed on to his son Roger. We in the South West give our heartfelt condolences to Pat, Roger and family in their loss. Gone but not forgotten not by a long way. He will be marking out the sections for us that follow in our own time. Until we meet again, Rest in peace Brian.