Mike Llewellyn, our Society Archivist, first met Dave in early 2011 after requests for information and photographs for the book that Mike was compiling to mark the 50th anniversary of our society.
The first, and very important, item Dave gave us was the 1961 programme, which also served as the entry ticket to the Rally.
He also donated some 1961 Barry Finch original prints that got Mike thinking about the copyright for use in our book, but could Mike find Barry Finch? That’s another story all together!
Dave was originally from Craven Arms and attended Church Stretton School. After leaving school he started his own business on market stalls in Shropshire and mid Wales selling vegetables that he purchased at the Birmingham vegetable market.
In 1961 he had a fruit and veg stall at our first rally in Church Stretton and made a very good profit.
But the Rally Organiser at the time, Dennis Smith owned a green grocer shop in Church Stretton so he decided he should run the stall the following year. Unfortunately, the 1962 rally became a, now legendary, total washout and Dennis made a loss.
The Bishops Castle Years
Dave was a member of our Society and was very involved during the Bishop’s Castle years. One story he tells was when he was on site helping as a night watchman with Sentinel owner Dan Doncaster.
It was a cold night and a lot of whisky had been drunk to keep out the cold! Sitting by the ‘now glowing’ embers of the brazier they decided to burn some of the current rally road side signs! This is a story that Derek Whitefoot can confirm!
On retirement Dave moved to Clun where he started to get to work on his passion for local history, purchasing local historic postcards, which became a new hobby.
He loved visiting people to get their life story, and he wrote books and presented slide shows. In recent years, he’s also been to give us a talk at one of our social evenings.
He also enjoyed writing and then selling books at local book fares, and was very helpful to the Society in finding book shops that would be willing to sell our book. He also helped to sell our book in our Memorabilia Tent, and was expected to come to our rally in 2016 to once again help with our book sales.
However, he unfortunately passed away quite suddenly just three days before. His son said that Dave had been so looking forward to coming to the rally and helping out that he and Dave’s wife would like to come in his honour.
His funeral was held not long after the rally in the huge church in Clun, which was ‘packed to the doors’, proving just what a popular man he was.