WHAM Observers

Del Britton – Chief Observer

Del first passed his DSA bike test in Nov 1991. He rode a Yamaha 125, mainly commuting to work. Staying loyal to Yamaha he progressed onto a Diversion but then defected to Suzuki with a 600 Bandit.

Del’s work and travel commitments prevented him becoming a regular rider, however salvation arrived in 2007 when his work and travel requirements subsided giving him the time to ride for fun! He returned to Yamaha with a FZ1 Fazer and enrolled on an advanced riding day with an ex-police instructor who spotted the talent and suggested Del should join an advanced club and take his riding skills on to the next level and train for the advanced test.

Del joined WHAM in October 2010 passing his IAM test in March 2011. Now riding a BMW R1200RT and having qualified as a group observer he continues to enjoy his riding and takes great pleasure in helping others to realise the benefits of advanced riding.

Del has ben busy gaining Observer experience and IAM qualifications in the last few months, passing the IAM ‘Masters’ qualification and recently qualifying at IAM National Observer Level.


Derek McMullan – National Observer (Training)

Derek started motorcycling with a 70cc Capri scooter at the age of 14! He graduated through lots of bikes but notably a Thruxton Velo, a Triumph Bonneville and Norton Dominator before the decline of the British bike industries. A Honda 400/4 led into a succession of boring BMW boxers and a brief flirtation with a Pan STX1300, a clutch of KTM hooligan machines and a BMW 800GS. He is now happily riding  a new 2013 BMW1200GS however the hooligan in him could not resist the latest 1290cc KTM Superduke which now keeps the GS company in his Garage.

Derek is an IAM- and RoSPA- qualified Senior Observer on bikes. He has recently achieved a distinction in the IAM Masters programme and is passionately interested in developing riders’ skills and awareness.


Dennis Osborne – Senior Observer

Den first became involved with motorcycle training some years ago when he realised he needed some training! Den really enjoys riding bikes and even now he’s getting a little older he still competes in trials with a Honda TLR and has also become a track day addict with a BMW HP2; he has however given up enduros four years ago when his body said “enough!”. Recently Den has ridden a BMW K1200S, a K1300GT, S1000RR and a GS1200 on the road all of which were great for general riding and the odd continental blast. Den holds a RoSPA Diploma and acted as a Senior Tutor for them; he passed his IAM test 2002 and joined WHAM when it was formed early in 2007 as an Observer. Den is very reticent about his ability and experience both of which are enormous. He is a highly capable rider and Observer who can pass on loads of experience to improve Associates’ ability to ride more safely and enjoyably. Den has just swapped his Honda VFR Crosstourer for a new 2013 BMW1200GS – comfortable odd continental blasts now.


Ant Clerici – National Observer (Training)

One of Ant’s childhood memories is of riding pillion on his Dad’s Francis Barnet. They broke down on the way to Brighton so arrived late; then travelled home way past Ant’s bedtime so he was made to sing to prevent him falling asleep! Ant’s own biking career started with commuting to school in South London on a 175cc BSA Bantam. More adventurous trips to Holland and the South of France followed (yes on the Bantam); then there was the huge gap whilst dealing with life’s challenges (career, kids etc) before returning to biking on a Yamaha Diversion.

Ant now has two bikes – a Ducati Multistrada (now on his second ‘Strada after clocking up over 25000 miles in two years on the first one) and a Vectrix electric scooter. Occasionally Ant manages to find time for a “duty” on Severn Freewheelers ‘Blood Bike’.


Eric Reynolds – National Observer (Training)

Eric obtained his motorcycling licence in 1998 after a direct access course, having had no previous experience. After a year’s riding on an old BMW he changed to a modern sports bike and obtained an IAM motorcycle test pass in 2000. Eric moved onto a Kawazaki ZZR which he loved and obtained his Senior Observer’s certificate in 2002. At that time he had a BMW R1150R which he did not love! A BMW K1200RS followed, Eric thinks this bike “a very accomplished motorcycle”. Latterly he defected to a Suzuki 1200 Bandit which he kept for a few years. He now rides one of the best bikes on the planet, a Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 (guess what the webmaster rides…) Eric’s view of his riding and Observing skills is that his riding skills are “adequate” for this level of riding but he has a talent for training others to ride to a much higher level.


Gary Barnes – Observer

Gary passed his bike test in 1982 on a Yamaha 125 two-stroke single. One year later he became an instructor for the Part 1 of what was then a two-part motorcycle test. Family commitments took Gary away from biking but in 2005 he purchased a Yamaha XJ600 and was back in the saddle, a year on he moved up to a V-Max and then a Fazer1000. Gary passed his advanced test in November 2008 and immediately moved on to become a Group Observer.

Gary’s current bike is a BMW GS1200 which he finds just perfect for enjoying the ride or for Observing. Passing on the skills he has learned gives Gary great satisfaction.


Tony Davis – Observer

As usual Tony was tempted to talk about his charm, sophistication and athleticism, however this is more appropriate….. Tony has been motorcycling for 28 years on bikes as diverse as a 50cc moped and his current 1200cc Triumph. Tony worked with the BMF sponsored ACU Star Rider training schools through the 1980s, helping students through their CBT and up to DSA test standards. After a short break from training he joined the IAM in 2002 and qualified as an IAM Motorcycle Observer.

Tony rides a Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 and a Yamaha Fazer 600.


Phil George – Observer

There is somewhere a picture of Phil aged 5-ish sitting on the back of his father’s old British bike; but he started biking for himself in 1979 on a CB250N. A couple of Hondas and a T140 Bonneville followed and then came the family break although the biking bug lay dormant and he returned to biking in 1996. He has had several Triumphs since but has recently defected to the BMW camp with a R1200RT.

Phil found the Advanced riding techniques greatly increased both his skill and his enjoyment of biking. He really enjoys being an Observer and seeing associates improve as they progress to the Advanced Test.


Alex Hoyle – National Observer

Alex only came to motorcycling in the spring of 2008 when he purchased a Piaggio Zip 50 scooter for commuting between Pencombe and Bromyard. Having passed the CBT and full motorcycle test he took a giant leap to a Triumph Sprint ST! 50cc to 1050cc in one leap – with the benefit of experience he doesn’t recommend this route! The Triumph impressed on Alex that without some proper training he could to easily add to the accident statistics; he enrolled in WHAM and in October 2010 passed the IAM Test. Now having a taste for his motorcycling Alex started Observer training in July 2011 and qualified as a WHAM Observer in December 2011. So after two years on a steep learning curve Alex enjoys his motorcycling so much more and now looks forward to helping others to enjoy their biking more whilst staying safe on the road.

Currently Alex rides a BMW K1300S, a brilliant sports tourer, and a BMW GS800, a fantastic all-rounder.


John Nixon – Local Observer

johnnixonJohn’s first spill was on his first ride ever on a Lambretta LD150 (twistgrip gearchange!) while at school. He hit the wall behind the squash courts when trying to stop. Schooldays saw a BSA Bantam 125cc complete with legshields on which to pass the bike test followed by a 500cc rigid Matchless single: John slid off the Matchless in Cheltenham. Many different bikes followed. In his three-year “holiday” at Liverpool University sand racing took precedence over studying. Initially on a Velocette KTS Special then on an embarrassingly slow T100 Tribsa which he put together himself. John finally crashed properly in a race at Redcar on a Hagon JAP grass tracker on dope (the bike not John, but OK – it was the 60s). Greeves, DOT (‘devoid of trouble’ and it wasn’t) Bultaco and Ossa trials bikes occupied weekends in the 1970s competing in the Stroud Valley Club. Three-wheel experience was gained on Ariel and Suzuki sidecar outfits. A Velo Venom, two Tritons, four BMWs, a Ducati (appalling!) a Gold Wing (brilliant) and a Moto Guzzi Le Mans all featured, the latter securing John his IAM bike test in 1982 and adding to the car test he passed in 1970 at the tender age of 22. John is WHAM’s longest established IAM Member. In 2006 John brushed up his riding and teaching skills with RoSPA Gold and then the Diploma course (quite scary).

John’s current steed is a Honda VFR Crosstourer.



Paul Whitcombe – National Observer

Paul really enjoys all aspects of biking. His first recollection of being on a bike is riding pillion on his father’s Honda C90 to primary school in a slightly too large white open-face helmet. Paul enjoys touring and visits the UK Moto GP every year. Last year he participated in the WHAM off-road weekend which not only improved his riding but was also a great social event. Paul’s most memorable biking experience is riding in India and being cut up by a camel in Jaipur. Having had several bikes recently Paul has finally settled on a new 2013 BMW Gs1200. Paul finds observing very rewarding and is committed to developing riders’ skills. Paul is WHAM’s current Chairman.

Roger Brooks – National Observer

Roger recently moved to the UK from South Africa. Shocked by the amount of traffic and abundance of what seemed like unnecessary bends here in the UK, he signed up with WHAM to do the Skill for Life. Since then Roger has become an Observer with the group and helps out Severn Free Wheelers riding the Blood Bike.

Roger rides a KTM 990 duke and a Honda ‘Big One’ CB1000.



Annie Morgan – Observer

Annie passed the DSA test in 1993 and bought herself a BMW R80 RT as a first bike which was used mainly for commuting. After a brief spell without a bike Annie started using a Honda 650 transalp which saw her through the advanced test in August 2011. Annie subsequently underwent training for the observer test and passed that in May 2012. Annie’s current bike is a Honda STX 1300 Pan European.

Andrew Culley – Observer

Andrew had a biking father and grandfather so it was almost inevitable that he was on (motorised) two wheels at the age of 17. The next year he passed his RAC/ACU test and got his full licence for bike and car a few weeks later. However, the girlfriend (and later first wife) didn’t like bikes and, whilst it took some time to buy a car, he couldn’t afford both so a long layoff ensued. His second wife Anne was far more understanding and an experienced pillion. A leather jacket followed him home from work one day, then a helmet … and Anne got the message. Our born again biker then acquired his first proper bike – a Yamaha XJ600 (no, not the Diversion) in 2003. After sporadic advanced training with a group that eventually folded, he came to WHAM at its start in 2007 and passed his advanced test the same year. His other bikes have been two Triumph Sprints (ST 955) and he now rides a BMW R1200GS (“mein Fräulein”).

Stuart Poole – Observer

Stuart started motorcycling at the age of ten on a Honda C50, up an down the garden path. Following taking his test at 18 another Honda followed in the form of a 450DX which provided faithful service during university years. Even with little or no maintenance, care or attention it never refused to start even when covered with snow.
A period working abroad didn’t interrupt the passion motorcycles with brief ownerships of a Yamaha Tenere and a Russian Minsk (this refused to go uphill as fuel would drain out of the carbeuretter. A run up was required along with a quick downhill U-turn to start the wretched machine when it stalled!)

More recently bikes have included a Suzuki Bandit, a Honda VFR and currently a KTM 990 Adventure.

Richard Hewitt – Observer

richardhewitt_rndRichard caught the bike bug whilst riding sidecar in his Grandfathers Ariel outfit circa 1979. This progressed through blatting up and down the track behind his parents’ house on his Dads 100cc Yamaha commuter bike, culminating in a Honda CG125 for his 17th Birthday.

The CG was swapped quite quickly for a Honda CB350S and then on through a number of 600cc Yamaha sports bikes up until the mid-nineties when a BMW K75S came into the garage. In the coming years this ably took Richard and his wife around most of Southern Europe on multiple 2-week tours.

There has subsequently been up to three bikes in the garage at one time ranging from motocrossers, full-dress tourers, sports tourers and lately a Honda VFR800X Crossrunner (“the Crossdresser”).

The Crossdresser has been deployed in the last two of WHAMs three Regional IAM “Ashes” wins and in 2013 Richard ranked joint 1st placed overall individual competitor alongside another WHAM member.

Richard has an IAM F1rst pass and is currently a Group Qualified Observer.


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