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Honorary Members of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club

Honorary Members past and present since 1948. *Deceased.
Please bear in mind that this list is nowhere near complete, and is simply work in progress.
If you're able/willing to help research and update it, please contact Graham Smith by clicking HERE.

The following article entitled "The Missing Honorary Members" was written by Jacqueline Bickerstaff and published in MPH xxx.

Having covered the Presidents and Vice Presidents, it should be time to run through the Honorary Members, which I had expected would take a few months. However, in MPH 686 George Spence managed to cover the subject in one brief go. Sometime, perhaps, it may be worth filling in a bit more detail on the Honorary Members he listed, but that time is not now.

As George told us, it was only in 1956 that the Club decided that Honorary membership should be bestowed for life – there was obviously some worry about the yardstick used even then, which continues to be a problem 50 years later! Prior to 1956 Honorary membership was something that was bestowed from year to year at the AGM. Furthermore the listing of HMs in MPH only began in 1958. As a result it is relatively easy to track down those HMs from post-1958, but not so easy for those whose tenure had ceased, for whatever reason, before that. A second reason why an Honorary Member might not be picked up is that it has not been the practice of MPH to list Vice Presidents who are also HMs a second time inside the front cover. Not all Vice Presidents have been Honorary Members, Ted Hampshire being a case in point, but under the rule changes of 1967 and 1984 subsequent VPs have also been Honorary Members as well – Vice Presidency being an Exec. function, but Honorary Membership ‘the highest honour the Club can bestow’. Some of these have never appeared in the Honorary Member list, because they retained Vice Presidency until their death, or in some cases until resignation, whilst one has not appeared in the list, nor died nor retired.

See MPH 840 P46, MPH686 March 2006 page 20

A
Andrews, John
••Require Further Information••

Aucott, Eugene*
Elected 1974. From Philadelphia, as a young ex-serviceman he became Vincent’s first dealer in the U.S.

B
Baille, E.G.
Although not elected until 1968, without this man most of us would not have our Vincents. As the Official Receiver, he was the man who was persuaded that the Company was worth saving. If your Vincent has the Vincent Engineers (Stevenage) Ltd trade mark on it, then it owes its existence to his perspicacity. He was also very supportive of the Club in its earlier years.

Barker, Jack
Elected 1994. Ever popular Social Secretary 1979 to 1994.

Baxter, Glyn & Marion
••Require Further Information••

Biberman, Sid (Big Sid)*
Elected 2002. From Kentucky, USA and universally known as 'Big Sid' he joined the VOC in 1953 and has been racing, riding and restoring Vincents ever since.

Bickerstaff, Jacqueline
Elected 1990. Founded the Rarity Section in 1970, Rarity Section Organiser till 1986. Overseas Representative 1986, Cadwell Scrutineer and writer on Vincents, amongst many other activities including epic rides on her vintage H.R.D.

Blackwell, Robin
Elected 1991. Spares Secretary 1978 to 1991. Played a major part in setting up The VOC Spares Company Limited.

Brown, George
Elected 1949 when he was a Vincent tester by which time he was already well-established as a successful racer with many successes on Gunga Din, amongst other Works Vincents. He left Vincents in 1951 to open his own motorcycle shop in Stevenage. He then built Nero from a burnt out wreck and went on to dominate the British Sprint scene with it and latterly with Super Nero, on which he established many National and International records. George Brown had been offered Honorary membership – such was his reputation even then. But in MPH2, it was announced that George Brown, and H.K. Mainwaring had both accepted, to become the Club’s first two Honorary Members.

Burnley, Irene
See Ulver, Irene.

Burns, Robert (Bobbie)
Elected 1955. After setting the British Empire sidecar record at 145.8mph on the Ohaka Tram Road (New Zealand) with his modified and streamlined Rapide, Russell Wright (q.v.) offered him the use of his new Black Lightning. Using this machine he subsequently broke the World Record at 152mph.

C
Chapman, Brian
Elected 1978. Started sprinting in 1967 at Duxford with a much modified Comet which was later developed into Mighty Mouse followed by the supercharged Super Mouse. Invited to America to demonstrate his bikes over there, they could not believe the performance he was getting.

Charlton, Roy
Made an Honorary Member in 1955, presumably just for the one year, as he does not appear in later listings as would be the case for all Honorary Members from 1956 onwards. Roy was a very successful sprinter, amongst other things capturing the course record at Brighton against competition such as George Brown, and also beating the best cars. At this time he was also proposing an attack on the standing mile, and other records, using the Brabazon runway at Bristol, although this eventually ‘proved to be unsuitable’ and fell through.

Cook, R.A.B.
Elected as an Honorary Member at the Club's 1968 Annual General Meeting, he was immediately re-elected as Vice President, and so not recorded in the Honorary Member listing. In 1984 R.A.B. and Bruce Main-Smith resigned the Club. See the Vice President entries for further information.

Cox, R.A.
Elected 1972. As Social Secretary, Dickie Cox was the life and soul of every rally and famous for always organising fine weather.

D
Davies, Eugene
Elected 1955. Another Stevenage stalwart who became Chief Development Engineer for the Series 'D’s, Ted was better known at the time for his exploits racing a Black Lightning sidecar outfit.

Davies, Howard Raymond
Elected 1968. Founded H.R.D. Motors Ltd., Wolverhampton in 1924, Won the 1925 Senior TT on a 490cc H.R.D.

Dickerson, Marty*
Elected 1976. A legendary Bonneville rider, subject of an in depth interview in MPH684 et seq.

E
Egli, Fritz
••Require Further Information••.

Everett, Andrew
••Require Further Information••.

F
Free, Rollie
Elected 1950. Holder American National Solo Record at 150.313mph achieved wearing only bathing trunks and gym shoes on a tuned Black Shadow which Phil Vincent christened in retrospect the “Black Lightning” model for advertising purposes.

G
Goodson, Mark
Elected Vice President 1995. On standing down at the end of his second term in 2005, he remained an Honorary Member. Mark was Hon. Treasurer from 1986 to 1992 and Chairman from 1992 to 1995. A widely travelled ambassador for the Club.

Griffin, Frank
Elected 1998. A long-standing Club Member who not only was great help to.••••MISSING TEXT HERE••••

H
Hampshire, Ted
Elected 1952. Ted had been with Vincents from the earliest days, was ever present at Club functions and the first port of call for advice on pre-war models and Vincent history.

Hancock, Bill
Elected 1985. Bill was Technical Services Officer from 1967 to 1969. He continued to write in MPH and then became Spares Secretary at the end of 1969 until 1978, when he became Secretary. He held that post until 1983 when work pressures meant he could not give the time which this posts demands. Extremely popular despite his forthright manner, his passing in 1985 was mourned by all, and the Riders Rally renamed in his memory.

Higgins, Neville
Elected 2000. Latterly best known as a regular contributor to MPH (The Prof’s Piece), Scandinavian Section Organiser and sprinter of some renown with Jindivik.

Hindes, Bill
Elected 1959. Immensely popular Chairman of the Club from 1953 to 1959, he had the very difficult task of taking over following the death of the first Chairman, Bernard Cribb, in a road accident.

Hooker, Somer
••Require Further Information••.

I

J

K
Kemp, Ron
Elected 1995. Long time active Club Member and spare parts stockist.

L

M

Main-Smith, Bruce
Elected as an Honorary Member at the Club's 1968 Annual General Meeting, he was immediately re-elected as Vice President, and so not recorded in the Honorary Member listing. In 1984 Bruce and R.A.B. Cook resigned the Club. See the Vice President entries for further information.

Mainwaring, H.K.
The first two Honorary Members were probably not elected at all, the Club being in the process of formation at the time. In MPH1, founder Alan Jackson mentioned that••••MISSING TEXT HERE•• H.K. Mainwaring was the Sales manager at Vincent H.R.D., and was stated to have been very helpful to the Club in these formation years. His HM status was renewed annually at least until 1952.

Manning, Geoff
Elected an Honorary Member in 1952, but MPH says nothing about his exploits. G. Manning is also listed in ‘HR Deeds’ having retired in the 1949 TT, but winning or being placed in various short circuit events.

Matson Dave
Elected 1989. A regular competitor at Bonneville on a Vincent, established a class record of 225.643mph in 1988.

Milhoux, René
Elected 1950. Belgian rider who rode Gunga Din to beat the World standing start records at Jabbeke. Also took other national records and took part in other record attempts.

N

O

P
Palmer, Carleton
••Require Further Information••

Phillips, Bryan
Elected 1967. Hon Secretary 1960-1964, Social Secretary 1964-1966, temporary Treasurer 1965, Chairman 1967 (until 1991), Current President.

Prince, Terry
••Require Further Information••

Pritchard, Alwyn*
Elected 1963. “Pritch”, Highly enthusiastic Editor of MPH from 1955 to 1959.

Procter, Vic
Elected 1949. Holder of the South African National Speed at 136.26mph (achieved 166mph on nitro in 1954).

Q

R
Richardson, Paul
Elected 1951. Son of a Scottish father and French mother and brought up in Holland he became Vincent’s Service Manager after a colourful war in the British Army. Author of Pearson’s “Vincent” Motor Cycles, in the second edition of which he is described as formerly Technical Information Manager, this colourful approachable person had a number of roles at Stevenage in which his multi languages were a great help.

Richmond, Alan
Elected 1967. Editor of MPH 1961-62. Chairman 1963-66. Took over the Chair during one of the Club’s periodic upheavals and restored some much needed stability.

Rose, Antony (Tony)
Elected 1969. A private detective accustomed to doing high mileages he bought a new Black Shadow in November 1951 and proceeded do a 100,000 miles on it in by 31st January 1953. He was assured by P.C.V. that it would do that mileage without major overhaul or decarbonisation. At around the mid way stage, after it had been run with a broken oil pipe, Vincents lifted the heads for examination and replaced two broken pistons rings and a valve spring, but no other work was done on the engine and it was not de-coked.

S
Savage, Ian
••Require Further Information••

Seymour-Smith, Nigel
••Require Further Information••

Schupp, Kurt
Elected 1996. Kurt had been German Section Organiser since 1975.

Shriver, Glenn
Elected 1980. Chicago Section Organiser, fervent supporter of both the marque and the Club.

Spence, George
Elected a Vice President in 2004 (see Vice President entry for further details). This election, under the current rules, also confers Honorary membership, but as a current VP, George’s name does not appear in the HM list.

Stafford, Robert (Bob)*
Elected 1978. Bob had already been Series 'A' Section Organiser for 15 years, filling the additional acting-unpaid•••• * •••• roles of Series 'A' mutual aid officer and Series 'A' Spares secretary.•••• * ••••British military rank, meaning self explanatory.

Stevens, Eddie M.G.* Elected 1965. Mutual Aid Officer (1000cc) 1961-65. Responsible for the additional of the word ‘Stainless’ to the Vincent owner’s vocabulary, he brought a scholarly approach to the technicalities of the marque. The series of articles on the subject which appeared in MPH from 1964 onwards subsequently appeared in book form as Know Thy Beast, and is still in print by popular demand. •••Eddie Stevens (q.v.) in preparing the latest edition of Know Thy Beast but also at the time of writing is well on his way to producing working drawings of all post-war Vincent spares as the leading member of the drawings project.••

T

U
Ulver, Irene
Elected 1986. Now married to John Ulver, Irene was Hon. Treasurer from 1982 to 1986. Skilfully managed the Club’s accounts at a period when the Club finances were becoming more complex.

V
Vane, Ron
Elected 1997. Ron is best known for his record breaking three-wheeler ‘The Thing’, a turbocharged Twin, which set various records in the 1970s.

Vereker, John P
Elected an Honorary Member in 1968, and immediately re-elected as a Vice President. See his Vice President entry for further information. John continued as a Club Vice President until his death in 1998, and so never appeared in the Honorary Member listing.

Vincent, Elfrida Mary
Elected 1955. Following their marriage in 1953, Mrs Vincent frequently accompanied PCV to Club functions.

Volkers, Peter
••Require Further Information••.

W
Webber, John
Elected 1981. Editor of MPH who at the time of his election had already edited over 100 MPHs and would go on to edit a total of 334, from the Club’s Silver Jubilee to its Golden Jubilee.

Wright, Russell
Elected 1955. After Bobbie Burns (q.v.) had broken the world sidecar record on his Black Lighting said he wouldn’t mind having a go at the world solo record himself. Eventually this was achieved with a speed of 185mph. After being shown at the 1955 Motorcycle Show at Earls Court, it was shipped to Bonneville where higher speeds in their respective classes were achieved by both Burns and Wright, but these were not ratified by the FIM (198.3mph solo one way).

Warton, Les
Elected 1950. Leading Australian sidecar racer whose Australian national speed record of 122.5mph was later beaten by Bobbie Burns (q.v.).

X

Y

Z

Any corrections or additions to the information in this series would be welcome – if the VOC do not remember and record their own then who will?
  • Published
    5 May 2020
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