Trial Magazine - - NEWS -

One of York­shire’s best known and most re­spected busi­ness­men, Colin Ap­p­le­yard, has died aged 79. Colin started his ca­reer in 1951 work­ing as a mo­tor­cy­cle me­chanic for Allan Jef­feries, in Ship­ley. By the time he left in 1970 to set up his own deal­er­ship in Keighley he had risen to be­come Sales Di­rec­tor. Over the next few years with the help of his wife Peggy the busi­ness grew into one of the coun­try’s lead­ing mo­tor­cy­cle deal­ers. Var­i­ous ma­jor fran­chises were taken on, in­clud­ing Suzuki, and it was on the back of the suc­cess of selling their ma­chines that the Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer asked Colin to launch Suzuki cars in Great Bri­tain. From those mod­est begin­nings in 1979 the com­pany has grown to be­come the UK’s largest and most suc­cess­ful Suzuki car deal­er­ship, with show­rooms in Keighley, Hud­der­s­field, Ash­ton-un­der-Lyne and Ship­ley. It em­ploys over 120 peo­ple, has a turnover in ex­cess of £35 mil­lion, and in 2013 also ac­quired the Nissan deal­er­ship in Keighley.

As well as start­ing and run­ning a suc­cess­ful busi­ness Colin was also highly re­spected in the world of mo­tor­cy­cle sport, and it was for his life­long ser­vice to this sport that he was awarded an MBE in the 2013 Queen’s New Year’s Hon­ours List.

His in­volve­ment in mo­tor­cy­cle sport stretched back over 70 years. As a young man he joined the Brad­ford and Dis­trict Mo­tor Club, go­ing on to be­come their youngest com­mit­tee mem­ber and later serv­ing as pres­i­dent be­fore he was given the hon­our of be­ing made a life mem­ber.

His mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing ca­reer spanned two decades, re­tir­ing in 1969 to con­cen­trate on man­ag­ing the suc­cess­ful rac­ing ca­reer of son Robin who went on to win the Bri­tish 125cc Cham­pi­onship on five oc­ca­sions and ride in 92 Grand Prix. Over the years Colin served as a di­rec­tor of the Auto-Cy­cle Union’s gov­ern­ing body and for a time sat on their road-race com­mit­tee.

De­spite fail­ing health Colin re­mained ac­tive in the busi­ness un­til his last few weeks. Above all, how­ever, Colin was a de­voted fam­ily man. Hap­pily mar­ried to Peggy for 55 years he was ex­tremely proud of his daugh­ter Ju­dith, son Robin, and grand­chil­dren Cassie, Lau­ren, Jack and Ben plus great-grand­daugh­ters Louis and Ivy. He also leaves a daugh­ter-in-law Diane and son-in-law Gary.

He died peace­fully on Tues­day 30th June in the York Suite of the Brad­ford Royal In­fir­mary, sur­rounded by his fam­ily. He will be very sadly missed.


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