The South West lost two stalwarts of motor cycle sport recently with the passing of the legendary grass track rider Lew Coffin, aged 93, and just last Monday, Bill Hartnell.
Whilst many will not know of Lew Coffin, some 60 years ago he was to grass track racing what Toni Bou is to trials these days. Quite simply he was the man to beat, and he held the top spot nationally for many years before he finally packed up his steel shoe and called it a day.
Even then he continued to be deeply involved with the development of grass track riders and also speedway riders both at the County Ground Stadium in Exeter and at Swindon Speedway. He had interest in all forms of bike sport and one of his memorable quotes when a newcomer to grass track was complaining about the stoney nature of the circuit, Lew would come up with the unforgettable remark: "there's no stones at the front boy!"
Bill Hartnell, who has died aged 72 after a very short illness, was the treasurer of the Taunton Club; Treasurer and Secretary of the South West Classic Club; Secretary to the Memory Lane Reunion bi-annual gathering and also the South West Centre Treasurer. He rode in many trials in his younger days and in later years was deeply involved in all forms of the sport but particularly classic and long distance trials and his passing after such a short illness has come as a great shock to all in the Centre. Bill's funeral is on Monday, March 23rd at 10.30am at Taunton Crematorium, Wellington Road.
With the Exmoor Two Day Classic Trial scheduled for Easter, Colin Dommett will take over as Secretary of the trial and he can be contacted on 078505 99505.