I've just had a huge shock. I phoned Terry Beckett, to see if he wanted to go to the BHRC Mallory practice day, and learned that my old mate died this morning. It seems that his health had been failing since just before Xmas, and Terry accepted the fact that he was on the way out. His widow, Hilary, tells me that he had everything organised, and didn't tell anyone in advance because he didn't want any fuss. That's typical of the man. He died peacefully and was happy with his lot. There are much worse ways to go.
I first met Terry in 1964 when we were both fairly new competitors on the Bantam racing scene. Terry's bike was much quicker than mine, but I could shuffle round the corners a bit quicker, so we had some interesting races. Eventually, I ended up riding Terry's bike, and serving as his development rider. Terry was there when I got married in 1970, and he was one of the first people I introduced to my son shortly after he was born in 1973.
Terry Beckett is a name that is highly respected in the world of two stroke tuning. His approach to problem solving and development was logical and meticulous. His results speak for themselves. In three seasons of riding Terry's Bantam racer, I never once had to retire from a race due to failure of the engine, clutch or gearbox. Considering the bike was always changed, in some way or other, from one meeting to the next, that is remarkable.
My life was enriched immeasurably by having had Terry as a friend. I mourn his passing, but will celebrate a good life, well lived.