Tribute to East Lothian’s Jock Taylor adds colleagues who gave their lives to sport
A memorial to one of East Lothian’s sporting greats now honours his colleagues who gave their lives to the sport they loved.
Jock Taylor, from Pencaitland, was the 1980 world sidecar champion, and a four times winner at the Isle of Man TT.
He was killed in a racing incident in Finland in 1982, but his memory is honoured at one of the tracks where he thrilled huge crowds.
Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy, Fife, held annual races for over 40 years, until the mid 1980s.
On Sunday, the memorial to Taylor was updated with a plaque honouring the riders who gave their lives at the track.
They include Jimmy Blair, who was the first rider to die in an incident at Beveridge Park in 1953, Matt Redmond, Angus Callum, Davy Drummond and Brian McAnelly.
Family members of the racers were among those who attended the commemoration.
Jake Drummond, secretary of Kirkcaldy & District Motor Club, said: “They were pleased to see that their loved ones were remembered in this way.
“Those named were competitors and working members of our club who helped run events, from our early 1930s races on the Promenade sands, trials and scrambles, road racing at the Park up until 1988 and at Knockhill until 2010.”
Taylor’s own legacy is still recalled by many enthusiasts who watched him race round the park’s tight, challenging circuit.
A memorial to him was erected in 1984, and a recent wooden sculpture of a motorbike rider added to mark 40 years of road racing at the park.
Born in 1954, he was just 19 when he first raced.
He scored success at local tracks, including East Fortune, as well as down south before making his mark on the world stage.
Taylor won his first Grand Prix in Sweden, and went on to enjoy podium finishes in seven other races.
Taylor also won back to back British titles, and set a sidecar lap record at the Isle of Man TT to which stood for seven years.
The Kirkcaldy club had planned to update the memorial next year as part of its centenary celebrations, but brought plans forward after several older members passed away.
The easing of COVID restrictions also enabled them to go ahead with the small gathering.