02 May: Obituary – Roger Reed

… Roger J Reed, 1942 – 2016 …

Scottish motor sport lost another true friend and stubborn stalwart last week when Roger Reed passed away after giving lung cancer a run for its money, and all the while keeping an eye on what was going on in the world of Scottish motor sport.

Best known as an MSA Steward on many events throughout the UK, he was also Chairman of the Scottish Association of Car Clubs for the past 6 years, and prior to that, Chairman of the East Association of Car Clubs for 20 years. He also served for 21 years on MSA Regional Committees.

Many of you won’t recognise the name, he never sought personal glory, but Roger was one of the many unsung heroes without whose enthusiasm and practical support the sport would struggle to survive.

He was introduced to the sport while studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Bristol College of Science & Technology and was a founder member of Bath Motor Club in 1963. After college he moved to Scotland to take up a post with the Scottish Hydro Electric Board and joined Aberdeen DMC and later Stonehaven DMC competing in navigational rallies throughout the 1970s where his meticulous and studious application contributed to his success in what was a very intellectually demanding sport in those days.

The interest in competition extended into marshalling, then event organisation and instruction, and officiating at the Granite City Rally and Fintray Hillclimb. He was also a Sector Marshal in the North-East when the International RSAC Scottish Rally passed through in the 1980s, and perhaps Jonathan Lord can be blamed for arousing Roger’s interest in becoming an MSA Steward.

It was a job at which his characteristics were well suited. His inquisitiveness and concentration was both exhaustive and infuriating and born out of a desire that there was only one way to do things, and that was do them right! His often pernickety and fastidious attention to detail was also his way of ensuring that the rules were observed regardless of the occasion.

And if he did infuriate colleagues at times it was because he set high standards, not just for others, but for himself. Discussions could often descend into ‘passionate debate’ but at the end of it, friendships and mutual respect ensured that the smiles and normal chatter were quickly resumed.

But he did fail in one endeavour. He failed to disguise the fact that behind the serious facade there lurked a strong streak of tolerance, patience, kindness and good humour, especially to those new to the sport and particularly to new organisers and officials. They were to be encouraged and supported, because he was only too well aware that these people were all volunteers, all amateurs, and like him, all giving of their own free time to a sport they loved.

He retired from work just over 10 years ago and sought other pursuits to fill his time, including another passion, which was music. He sang and worked with two choral societies and he was also a Senior Invigilator with the SQA and was running enterprise classes for high school pupils.

Roger was not a taker, he was a giver, and he’ll be sorely missed by his wife Pat, their wider family and friends. Our thoughts must be with them all at this time.

Note: The funeral will take place at 11:45 this Thursday 5th May, in the west chapel at Aberdeen Crematorium, Skene Road, Hazlehead, Aberdeen AB15 8PT. Access from the B9119 on the western outskirts of the city.