John Kirkman

It is with deepest regret that I have to inform members of the death of our former Chairman, John Kirkman. I first met John in Aldershot while we were both serving in 5 Airborne Brigade, John in the Royal Signals and me in the Royal Engineers.
I met him again, over 15 years later, when I joined Harrogate Advanced Bikes in 2003. John was Chairman of the club at that time, and completed two terms as HAB Chairman from 2003 to 2007 and from 2010 to 2013 when he stepped down to spend more time with his family. He was also a member of the Harrogate and Northallerton IAM car groups.
John was a safe, experienced and enthusiastic motorcyclist who, as a Senior Observer for many years, helped numerous associates gain the skills to pass the IAM Advanced Motorcycle and Car Tests. He was always keen to encourage more people to become Observers following their test and put tremendous effort into their training. John trained me to be an Observer in 2005 and most of the Observers in the group today have benefitted from the training that John provided. He was an excellent instructor and has played a major role in shaping the club we have today. John was also keen to expand the social activities of the club and was famous for his ‘Cannonball Run’ which took place on the Summer Solstice and involved riding across the country to see the sunset on the West coast and rise again in the East.
On Thursday 30 July, John was riding with two other motorcyclists near Sutton Bank when he was killed a in collision with a car just outside the village of Scawton. He will be sorely missed by all his friends in the club and our heartfelt condolences go to Diane and the family. The funeral will take place at 1pm on Thursday 13 August at Stonefall Crematorium then the Pavillions. All are welcome as are motorcycles.

Bob Hill, Chairman.

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21 Responses to John Kirkman

  1. Roy Beniston says:

    Really sad to hear about the loss of John I am sure that he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. My deepest condolences go out to all his family.

  2. stevecoetzer says:

    This is such sad news, I first met John in 2003 when I joined the club and when I heard about this yesterday I found it very hard to believe. Our condolences go out to Diane and family …….RIP.

  3. Steve Briggs says:

    So sad to hear this.
    We will make sure that we make it to Stonefall.
    Are there any request’s?
    Steve and Debbie Briggs.

  4. David White says:

    This is such sad news. John coached me through my advanced test and then mentored me as a new observer. I don’t think I’d ever have considered observing without his encouragement. John once asked me, ‘What do you think is the most important thing when you’re observing?’ Observation? The system? No – it’s that you both have a good time. If they don’t enjoy it, they won’t come back; and if they don’t come back you can’t make a difference. John certainly made a difference for me – and I hope I’m still passing that on.

    David White

  5. Aila Peacock says:

    John was an inspiration to me both as a motorbiker and a car driver. He set high standards which I try to adhere to everytime I ride or drive. I thoroughly enjoyed the “coast to coast” ride one year. I shall remember him with great respect and fondness. My thoughts are with his family.

  6. Paul Bennington says:

    So sad to hear of John’s death. I met him through Northallerton IAM where I am an observer and he was such a friendly man. Condolences to his family.

  7. Dona Bristow says:

    Really sad to hear about John ,this is such a shock. He took me out half way through my training with HAB on the cross check to prepare for the test later on .Unfortunately I am away on the day of the funeral but my thoughts are with John and his family ,he was a very nice man and will be missed .

  8. John Orgles says:

    It is with the deepest sadness that I heard the news of John’s death last Thursday. My heart felt condolences to his family and friends. John helped me pass the IAM assessment and I shall always take with me his words of advice and encouragement whenever I am riding. Thanks John RIP.

  9. Andrew Pratt says:

    So sad to hear of John’s death. I joined the group some years ago, and well remember his words of advice & enthusiasm for motorcycling & HAB. Regretfully we are away on the 13th, our thoughts will be with John’s family & friends

  10. Peter says:

    So sad to hear of John’s untimely death. I first met him at AAC Harrogate in 1963, then at Hereford and finally in Germany. I always found him to be gentleman and I am sure he will be missed by many. Unfortunately I am away and will not be able to attend his funeral. RIP John.

  11. Paul B says:

    What tragic news. John spent some time with me when I first joined HAB and he was a knowledgeable and lovely guy. I’ve only just seen this news and it’s a real shock. We will unfortunately be away on the 13th however send our sincere condolences and love. Regards Paul Barker

  12. Very sorry to hear this news. John carried out my cross-check on a very wet and windy day. I remember my mid ride debrief as we stood dripping under the canopy at MacDonal’s in Ripon. ‘It’s not much fun in this weather is it?’ said John. ‘It’s the first time I’ve been out in rain like this, I’m enjoying it’. With that wry smile John had he said ‘Let’s carry on then!’ We did. Someone else has mentioned it, but for John, biking was about passing on experience to others, and having fun.
    Condolences to John’s family

  13. Andy Stoneman says:

    This is so sad to hear. The last person I ever expected to read this about was John. A trip loss to the motorbiking community and HAB

  14. Pauline Simms says:

    So sorry to hear this news. John supported me in becoming an Observer with the group. He also helped teach Jordan to ride a motorcycle off road with I2I. I regret I am unable to attend on Thursday as I am away but Tim will represent me. My thoughts and prayers are with Diane and especially his grandchildren.

  15. Dudley Martin (IAM Examiner) says:

    Really sorry to read about this sad loss. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  16. Steve Corson says:

    Shocked to hear of this news. John was one of life’s gentlemen, whose passion for motorcycling and advanced riding was infectious. John was instrumental in encouraging me to become an observer for HAB. My sincere condolences to his family.

  17. Paul H says:

    So sorry to hear this news. My condolences go out to all his family.

  18. Barry Ring says:

    So very sorry to hear the sad news about John. I learned plenty from John and listened to his good advice. He did a spendid job in his two terms as HAB chairman and was an excellant speaker at our winter meets. My deepest condolences to Diane and their family.

    Barry Ring

  19. George Tickle says:

    What a tragic loss. John made such a valuable contribution to the Harrogate Car group. As a senior observer he gave a pre-test second opinion on several of my associates and was always kind and courteous in his comments and advice. My deepest sympathy to his wife and family.

  20. Tim Simms says:

    John influenced the lives of many people. He encouraged me to be an observer and to become a part of the Committee. I always found him to be a supportive and courteous man who was passionate about safe riding and driving. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his wife Diane at this difficult time.

  21. Nick Cahill says:

    I first met John in the 90’s when I worked with him at Green Flag. It was an absolute pleasure to meet him again when I joined the Harrogate group.
    Always a gentleman with a strong desire to do things in the correct way.
    My thoughts are with his family.
    A very sad loss.
    Nick Cahill

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