With regret we have to announce the passing of John Coles on Saturday 20th June.
John was well known in the sport of motorcycling as a kind and fair person he would have been known to many as Clerk of the Course and Steward at National events and at many regional events all over the country but particularly in his home South Midland Centre.
He was a member and leading force in the Oxford Ixion Motor Cycle Club that promoted many motocross events setting up tracks at Bletchingdon near Oxford then Deddington near Banbury and then the International course at Culham, Abingdon the venue for many British Motocross Championship events and the final ever 500cc British Motocross grand Prix in 2000 before the MX1 format took over. John was Clerk of Course with his daughter Jayne secretary of the meeting for most of these events. Later John helped at National events around the country from Canada Heights to Langrish, Torrington to Wakes Colne and all points North, even trips to Scotland where Jayne helped with the timekeepers and John was Steward, CoC at all levels, or just helping the club to run the events.
John started his own riding career in the early sixties riding for the Wheatley Cycle Speedway team with a couple of mates, Pete Harris and Frankie Johnson and the trio would later ride together in scrambles for many years. John rode 500cc BSAs at those South Midland and Southern Centre events during the sixties before moving into organising meetings with the Ixion club. He made many life long friends through the sport and enjoyed catching up with them when Stewarding at SMC meetings.
During the seventies and eighties John became a member of the South Midland Centre Board as Competition Secretary and eventually in the 2000s he became Vice Chairman and then a very progressive Centre Chairman being a key driving force in the introduction of transponder timekeeping to centre events.
At the ACU, John was a very respected official and chaired many disciplinary hearings, attended National Council meetings and was always forthright in his views about the sport in general.
He leaves his wife Audrey, daughters Jayne, Judith and granddaughter Ellen.
Black and White Photo of John, in the middle, with his old mates Pete Harris and Ken Watts back in the sixties.
Colour Photo of John presenting awards for the Ixion club.