Peter Beardmore

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS - Ar­ti­cle: Peter Beardmore and John Hulme

As I am sure you can imag­ine, the tele­phones at the of­fices of Clas­sic Trial Magazine are al­ways ring­ing and re­cently it was the voice of a very old friend of mine at the other end, Peter Beardmore. We first met in the early sev­en­ties and have both been mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts for many years. What I did not know was that Peter was also a very keen am­a­teur pho­tog­ra­pher. I knew for many years that he was in­volved in the ACU in many dif­fer­ent of­fi­cial ca­pac­i­ties, but not of his pho­tog­ra­phy col­lec­tion. His pic­tures tell a story of his mo­tor­cy­cle ex­ploits and places he has vis­ited over many, many years of trav­els. Here we look at his var­ied and in­ter­est­ing life as a true mo­tor­cy­cle ambassador.

Soon, in both Clas­sic Trial Magazine and Trial Magazine, you will see his pho­to­graphs come to life in var­i­ous ar­ti­cles, which we are sure you will en­joy as much as we have. Here in his own words, Peter talks of a life he has filled to the limit with ex­ploits and ad­ven­tures.

Early Days

I was born on 8th Au­gust 1944 at Ash­bourne Hospi­tal, so you will ap­pre­ci­ate that I played a very lim­ited role in the demise of the Third Re­ich. My fa­ther John Beardmore was in the army, the REME, based at Wool­wich and came to see me for a brief visit. I did not see him again un­til I was three as he was sent to serve in Pales­tine. I went to school at Chea­dle County Pri­mary School on Tean Road at the age of four. On my first day at school, I ab­sconded – go­ing to my aunty’s, who lived nearby. Not a good start to my aca­demic ca­reer, I am afraid! My brother Les­lie was born on 6th March 1951 at home at 82 High Street, Chea­dle. I even­tu­ally passed my 11 plus exam and went on to Thomas Al­leyne’s Gram­mar School at Ut­tox­eter, trav­el­ling the 10 miles each way by bus. I was an av­er­age pupil and left school at 16 with six GCSEs.

On the 2nd Jan­uary 1961 my school­ing days we over and I started work as a Civil Ser­vant for the Post Of­fice Tele­coms in Manch­ester, trav­el­ling to Manch­ester early each Mon­day get­ting a lift with a lorry driver friend of dad’s, and re­turn­ing on Fri­day by train. I stayed in var­i­ous digs and scruffy flats in the Chorl­ton area. With my par­ents’ help, I bought a small mo­tor­cy­cle in 1962 and oc­ca­sion­ally, when my lift was un­avail­able, rode it to get there. On the whole, I en­joyed my first ex­pe­ri­ence of work and liv­ing in the big city. It was a big change from sleepy lit­tle Chea­dle, but the trav­el­ling and lack of cash due to hav­ing to pay for my ac­com­mo­da­tion etc. took the shine off it some­what! My first month’s pay was just £25.00, and digs and travel took a big slice of that.

In 1964 I man­aged to get a trans­fer to the Tele­phone Man­ager’s of­fice in Han­ley, where I re­mained for over 20 years do­ing a va­ri­ety of jobs, get­ting pro­moted to man­age­ment level dur­ing that time. I pur­chased my first house at 29 Dane Grove, Chea­dle around 1976. I mar­ried Kay Lo­vatt at St Giles RC church on 9 De­cem­ber 1978. We moved to 39 Park­lands Road, Tean, in 1979 where my daugh­ter Vic­to­ria was born on 26 June 1980. How­ever, af­ter a long ill­ness, Kay died on 21 Jan­uary 1986.

I then trans­ferred to the BT Tech­ni­cal Col­lege at Yarn­field where I was in charge of the pur­chas­ing group for the whole of the BT Train­ing Divi­sion, and where I was fur­ther pro­moted to a se­nior man­age­ment role un­til the group moved to Wolver­hamp­ton in 1991. I en­joyed my time at Yarn­field as the col­lege was a nice place to work and the peo­ple were pleas­ant with a good so­cial life, but I did not en­joy the move to Wolver­hamp­ton. With the ex­tra work­load and the daily grind of com­mut­ing, I de­cided af­ter three years that it was time to take early re­tire­ment, which I did in 1994. This was a good move as it en­abled my sec­ond wife Mar­garet and me to en­joy a new life and to travel much more than had been pos­si­ble be­fore, as well as do other things we wanted. I mar­ried Claire Mar­lene Jones (Mar­garet) on 13 Au­gust 1994 at Chea­dle Methodist Church, and we re­main mar­ried to this day, en­joy­ing more than 23 years of mar­riage. We lived at Tean for a cou­ple of years un­til 1996, be­fore even­tu­ally mov­ing to our present bun­ga­low at 8 Ash Tree Hill, Chea­dle in 1996 where still live to­day.

Mo­tor­cy­cling I be­came in­ter­ested in mo­tor­cy­cling with a 175cc BSA Bantam in 1962 and bought a 250cc Ariel Golden Ar­row a cou­ple of years later. This was my pride and joy – a lovely mo­tor­cy­cle! The life­long in­ter­est in the sport started in 1962 with vis­its to Oul­ton Park and to the Isle of Man TT, which has con­tin­ued to this day, in­clud­ing mar­shalling at the TT in 1968 for about 12 years. My mar­shalling be­gan at Dar­ley Moor in 1965, and I have re­tained an ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship with the club to this day. I started to mar­shal at Mal­lory Park in 1967 where I even­tu­ally took over as Chief Mar­shal in the 1980s. My af­fec­tion with the Isle of Man has seen me of­fi­ci­ate at many road races and tri­als on the is­land ever since then in­clud­ing Chair­man of the Ste­wards at the Manx Grand Prix — 2002, 2008, and 2009, the South­ern 100 races at Castle­town, as well as nu­mer­ous na­tional and in­ter­na­tional tri­als.

My tri­als rid­ing ca­reer started in 1973 on a 125cc Sprite. I took over as Tri­als Sec­re­tary of Chea­dle Auto Club in 1974 and then as the club Sec­re­tary a cou­ple of years later, a post which I held un­til 2017. I was made Life Pres­i­dent when I re­tired in 2017 and re­main an ac­tive mem­ber of the club. Over 25 years I rode in all of the lo­cal East Mid­land tri­als as well as a cou­ple of out­ings in the Na­tional Bem­rose trial, win­ning a cou­ple of club awards in the process. Dur­ing that time the Chea­dle club pros­pered. We or­gan­ised many na­tional Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship events such as rounds of the Ladies and the Youth Na­tional se­ries as well as a full pro­gramme of lo­cal events and un­til I re­tired in 2017. I joined the East Mid­land Cen­tre Ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee in 1989 where I held sev­eral po­si­tions in­clud­ing the Cen­tre Sec­re­tary, which I did un­til I re­tired in 2015 when I was made an Honorary Life Mem­ber. In 1991 I was elected on to the ACU Na­tional Tri­als and En­duro com­mit­tee and re­mained on it for the next 13 years.


Rep­re­sent­ing the ACU and the Bri­tish rid­ers as a Ste­ward and mem­ber of the in­ter­na­tional jury at many World and Euro­pean cham­pi­onship tri­als was very re­ward­ing, as was be­ing ap­pointed Na­tional Ste­ward at nu­mer­ous na­tional cham­pi­onship events. I also took on the job of Chair­man of the ACU Train­ing Com­mit­tee and ran the Youth and Ladies Na­tional tri­als squads for over ten years.

The Youth and Ladies tri­als squads was a par­tic­u­larly en­joy­able episode in my time with the ACU. When I took over as Chair­man of the Train­ing Panel, Dave Smith from the MX com­mit­tee and I ap­proached the Board of Direc­tors for some money to form the squads, which to their credit was read­ily granted, and the Tri­als and MX Squads were quickly es­tab­lished. For the next ten years, I was for­tu­nate to be able to help with the de­vel­op­ment of many of our young rid­ers, in par­tic­u­lar, the ladies sec­tion which up un­til then had not been con­sid­ered to be worth both­er­ing with. With some ex­cel­lent in­struc­tors such as Steve Saun­ders, Wayne Bray­brook and Martin and Michael Phillip­son we or­gan­ised sev­eral train­ing ses­sions and en­cour­aged the squad mem­bers to branch out and ride in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships. With the help of Dave Lus­combe, we also sent them to the Lille­shall Train­ing Academy, which is used by all of the top Bri­tish ath­letes, and proved to be of enor­mous ben­e­fit to all of the squad who at­tended. The suc­cess of the squad can per­haps be judged by the suc­cess of its mem­bers, with James Da­bill and Michael Brown be­ing the most notable of the boys and we took the ladies from a mi­nor role in the tri­als scene to be­ing World Cham­pi­ons in the Trial des Na­tion. This was a very busy and re­ward­ing pe­riod, and it meant that Mar­garet and I trav­elled to tri­als all over Europe, as well as most parts of the Bri­tish Isles in­clud­ing the Isle of Man and Ire­land.

We bought the first of our two mo­torhomes and drove it to many events. It got us to parts of Europe that few tourists have vis­ited and met lo­cal peo­ple and of­fi­cials that we would not oth­er­wise have been able to do, as well as be­ing taken to dine with them at many un­usual and very fine restau­rants in their lo­cal­i­ties. When the lo­ca­tions were not suit­able for driv­ing, we flew and hired a car. The trip to the trial at Tossa de Mar was very good, and un­usual in that some of the sec­tions were on the seashore and we were taken to see them by boat – and treated to a cham­pagne af­ter­noon tea!

Meeting many fa­mous names on the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional scene over a very long pe­riod, in­clud­ing Ge­off Duke, Martin and Dougie Lampkin, Sammy Miller, Jordi Tar­res, Thierry Michaud, Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen and many oth­ers was a plea­sure. I think that we have trav­elled to al­most every part of Western Europe. Dur­ing that time I also stew­arded many Na­tional road-race cham­pi­onship races all over the coun­try. This in­cluded the Manx Grand Prix, the high­lights of which in­cluded be­ing taken on some high-speed laps of the course in the course car, gar­den par­ties at gov­ern­ment house and meeting Ge­off Duke and BBC sports com­men­ta­tor Mur­ray Walker as well as the Gover­nors of the Isle of Man!

2004 was a very special year as we were in­vited to a gar­den party at Buck­ing­ham Palace, where we were in­tro­duced to Prince Phillip who is a Pa­tron of the ACU. An in­vi­ta­tion to join the Board of Direc­tors of the ACU fol­lowed in the same year, where I re­mained un­til I fi­nally re­tired in 2016.


Af­ter Kay passed away, I spent many years hav­ing the dif­fi­cult but very re­ward­ing task of bring­ing up my daugh­ter, Vic­to­ria, alone un­til I met and mar­ried Mar­garet. I met her fam­ily too; Julie, Nigel and, grand­daugh­ter, Natasha. We en­joyed many fam­ily hol­i­days to­gether, usu­ally in car­a­vans and trav­el­ling around the coun­try in our vans, and in the static car­a­van, we had at Porth­madog. In 2005 Rozie the Sch­nauzer joined us, trav­el­ling with us ev­ery­where both in the UK and Europe in the mo­torhome. She was one of the very first dogs to have her own Pet Pass­port. We later had Phoebe, a Westie, and even­tu­ally our lit­tle Bi­jon Frize Bobby. When car­a­van­ning be­came more hard work, we bought our sec­ond home in Skeg­ness, where we still en­joy the sea air.

In April 201,5 I was very proud to walk Vic­to­ria down the aisle when she mar­ried Se­bas­tian in Manch­ester. We have also en­joyed spend­ing a lit­tle time with my step­son Christo­pher and step­grand­daugh­ter Amelia, who un­for­tu­nately live away from us in Sur­rey. I am very proud of how all of my fam­ily have turned out and am so pleased to have had their sup­port over the years.

I have also been priv­i­leged to be in­volved with the lo­cal com­mu­nity around Chea­dle for many years, fol­low­ing my in­ter­ests in mo­tor­cy­cle sport and pho­tog­ra­phy. We have al­ways had a keen in­ter­est in the the­atre, es­pe­cially mu­si­cal the­atre, and reg­u­larly went to see the top shows in Lon­don and lo­cally.

Af­ter I re­tired from BT, I worked part-time at the The­atre Royal in Han­ley, help­ing in the pub­lic­ity and pro­mo­tions of­fice, when we got to go to all of their pro­duc­tions. Mar­garet and I were founder mem­bers of the Chea­dle U3A in 1997 with her act­ing as Press Of­fi­cer and me as their first Trea­surer, un­til we both re­tired in 2005 hav­ing served eight years on the com­mit­tee. After­wards, I was per­suaded to take on the post of Trea­surer of the Chea­dle Homelink scheme, which I did un­til 2011.

In June 2014, I was very proud to be awarded the Bri­tish Em­pire Medal in the Queen’s Birth­day hon­ours list for ser­vices to mo­tor­cy­cle sport and the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

John Hulme: “De­spite my best ef­forts to get this into print, Peter sadly passed away be­fore it was fin­ished. I take some com­fort in the fact that he worked on the draft copy with me and ap­proved of the text. I was very priv­i­leged to be able to spend some time with Peter and rem­i­nisce over our times to­gether be­fore his un­timely death”

Daugh­ter Vic on a char­ity cy­cle ride in 1985 at Mal­lory Park in aid of the ACU benev­o­lent fund. Peter on the left at the 1992 Ital­ian World round, rep­re­sent­ing the ACU. Mick An­drews tries to con­vert daugh­ter Vic to tri­als rid­ing. Tri­als re­sults...

His tri­als rid­ing ca­reer started in 1973 on a 125cc Sprite, and he took over as Tri­als Sec­re­tary of Chea­dle Auto Club in 1974. This well pre­pared 250cc Ossa MAR found its way into the garage. Over a pe­riod of around 25 years he rode in all of the lo­cal...

Peter has a very pleas­ant mem­ory of spend­ing an af­ter­noon with Jordi Pratt the Span­ish Team Man­ager at a Euro­pean trial at Ripoll in Spain. Jordi had brought a bot­tle of wine and an ex­cel­lent Span­ish ham, which they ate while he taught Peter how to...

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