Old Bike Australasia
Under the Chequered Flag
A stalwart of the BSA Motorcycle Club and the motorcycle trade,
LEONARD “BLUEY” HILLMAN passed away on the 13th of September 2021, a month short of his 89th birthday.
The family later moved to Streaky Bay and then Whyalla when his father got a job with BHP. At 14, Bluey chose a job in a motorcycle shop over delivering telegrams on a pushbike for the PMG, and rode his first bike, a 1923 round tank BSA, to work and back for two years before he could do so legally. After completing his apprenticeship in 1952, he tried share-farming, not a great occupation for a fair-skinned redhead, and then worked on tractors, trucks and windmills, becoming the “travelling tractor service man”. During the 1950s he married Margaret and began a family.
Whilst on the West Coast he raced in scrambles, short circuit, speedway and time trials, both solo and as a sidecar passenger. After a head injury in a race at Kopio, the doctor told him he’d be unlikely to walk away from another crash. He was offered the management of Steve Hocking’s Motorcycle Shop before working with J.N. Taylor’s in both Port Lincoln and Adelaide when the family relocated in 1974. He said he was basically sold as the Workshop Manager along with the business when it became Carcycle and finally Peter Stevens Motorcycles. He
“retired” almost 24 years ago at 65, but was either out on a bike, fishing or repairing/restoring bikes for himself or others. When the Levis Club revived the Sellicks Beach races in 2017, Bluey came out of retirement to compete on his 350 BSA and 250 Velocette, the oldest rider there. He joined a group of us who got together once a week for lunch at Meadows and, on a ride with him after one occasion I, like his fellow members of the BSA Club, found it very hard to keep up with him. Ride On, Bluey. ■