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UK

14/02/2020

The classic-world elite turned out for the funeral of dealer, race champion, manufacturer, author and fund-raiser Colin Seeley on Monday 10 February at Eltham Crematorium, London.

A knight of the realm and at least three MBE holders were in attendance. So too were leading riders, race sponsors, event promoters, dealers, bike club members, Seeley workers and collectors, from the 1950s to current BSB race director Stuart Higgs.

The MBE holders were eight times world road race champion Phil Read, twice European and 11 times British trials champion Sammy Miller, and police motorcyclist Ian Kerr.

Colin's widow Eva was anxious that the ceremony be a non-black tie celebration of Colin's life. And so in his eulogy Sir Robin Miller, former Motor Cycle News editor, chairman of Emap publishing and HMV Group, set the tone by lacing in plenty of humour.

Sir Robin had researched anecdotes from leading Seeley riders, plus a tribute from former F1 race series organiser Bernie Ecclestone who appointed Colin co-director at Brabham race car manufacturers MRD.

Adding to the anecdotes were fellow speakers Redline Books publisher Alan Wilson and Bonhams auction house co-chairman Malcolm Barber.

Wilson published the mighty two-volume Colin Seeley: Racer... and the rest which Colin spent seven years writing in long hand. Barber appointed Colin a Bonhams consultant in the year 2000, a position Colin held until his death in January aged 84.

Family speakers were Colin's 11-year-old grandson, Josh Gibbons, who read a poem with great confidence, widow Eva, and Colin Seeley Jr. A poem was read by celebrant Philip Painter on behalf of Colin's daughter Joanne. A short but highly emotive video was prepared by Colin's grandson, Sam Seeley, a Royal Navy photographer.

A reception was held at Brands Hatch race circuit in Kent where Colin, 1962 and 1963 British sidecar champion, scored several sidecar victories. It was his local circuit.

Colin Seeley of Sidcup, Kent, became a dealer in 1956 and a Seeley Matchless and Seeley AJS race bike manufacturer from 1966 to 1972. He then produced frames and body kits for machines by 15 different manufacturers including Honda. He raised £250,000 to buy pain relief apparatus for hospitals in memory of his first wife Joan. He always tried to represent motorcycling in the best possible light at all functions he attended. 

"We will remember him," said Sir Robin Miller in his speech.

 

 

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