Mark was a larger than life character who, for many years, until very recently, could be found in any of the many pubs in LA (Litltehampton) enjoying a beer, or several, with his many friends.
He regularly volunteered each year to work at the Yapton Beerex.
For many years he had a thriving early morning 'window cleaning' business in London which gave him time later in the day to spend in his workshop repairing and building bikes. Fewer people may remember the business he ran for a few years restoring and rebuilding classic bikes. He had a workshop in a building on a farm somewhere around Binsted. Mark was an accomplished mechanic, and he was able to build and straighten bike wheels, something I always envied him for.
He had contacts around the UK who could respray a bike frame in original colours, and he could also source transfers for copies of the various original badges, logos and scripts that he would apply to the frames. He sold restored frames around Europe certainly, and possibly around the world. I knew Mark for > 25 years and always found him wonderful company and very generous.
We enjoyed many beery adventures together and some of them are fit for adult consumption!
I remember in 1995 the WSX annual May Trip stayed at The Borringdon Arms, Turnchapel nr Plymouth, Devon. Mark was an early riser in those days and set off one morning to buy a paper. Unfortunately, he managed to set-off the pub’s alarm system and Mark was pursued by the indignant landlord, clad only – and inadequately – in a dressing gown!
The following year, 1996 we stayed at The Lamp Tavern, Dudley, West Midlands. On returning to the pub on Saturday afternoon I flung open the door of the minibus – I had been driving and consequently had a deep and abiding thirst – and the bottom corner of the door caught Mark in a very sensitive part of his anatomy (the more so as he had recently undergone a local surgical operation!) I regret to say I left Mark on the ground, clutching himself, wordless and unable to protest as I headed for the bar and a much needed pint!
For the 2004 May trip to Norwich Mark stayed in his van outside our hotel. One evening we decided to visit Cromer the following day. In the morning Mark was dead-to-the-world and we could not raise him. Unfortunately, we had changed our minds about our tour for the day (sadly an all too common occurrence) so that when Mark eventually surfaced and headed to Cromer he could not find us! If not exactly disgruntled at this turn of events he was far from gruntled!
He will be much missed.