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Motoring Club: R E Gillies Rally

From 1971, the BMB Motoring Club entered teams in the TSB national motor rallying competition for the R E Gillies Trophy. The BMB team of three cars comprised Steve Pink & Derek Horner (Triumph Spitfire); Brian & Freda Godwin (Vauxhall Cresta); and David & Jeanette Parkes (Ford Cortina 1600E). Individual entries included Maureen Saunders (BMLC 1100) and Bob Timmins (MG). After completing a route of five stages based on the North Staffordshire area, BMB results were:

    David & Jeanette Parkes - 10th

    Maureen Saunders - 37th

    Bob Timmins - 45th

    Brian & Freda Godwin - 54th

    Steve Pink & Derek Horner - did not finish


September 3rd 1972 saw the BMB's second attempt in the rally, this time on a route through North Wales. The team of three cars finished 6th with individual results being:

    David & Jeanette Parkes (Ford Cortina 1600E) - 12th

    Steve Pink & Brian Godwin (Triumph Spitfire) - 23rd

    Bob Timmins & John Curtis (MG) - 36th


On October 20th 1974 the rally started at Neston on The Wirral, followed a route through Wales, and finished at Runcorn in Cheshire. The Bank's team equalled its 1972 result, achieving 6th place out of 13 teams, and won its first trophy with Steve Pink being awarded the Best Navigator Trophy. Individual results were:

    Chris Houghton & Steve Pink (Vauxhall Viva) - 17th

    Brian Godwin & Paul Burrows (Austin Allegro 1500 Special) - 21st

    David & Jeanette Parkes (Ford Cortina XL) - 29th


May 4th 1975 saw the rally being held in the Yorkshire Dales. The BMB team was placed 7th with individual results as follows:   

    David & Jeanette Parkes (Ford Cortina 1600GXL) - 12th

    Steve Pink & Chris Houghton (BMLC Mini Clubman) - 32nd

    Brian Godwin & Keith Higgins (Austin Allegro 1500 Special) - 38th


Gordon Hancock and John Rogers achieved success in 1977 (when the rally was based on Mold) and 1978, when the competition started from the TSB College in Solihull. Driving a Vauxhall Viva, they finished 2nd in the first of these two years and won the L&N Trophy for Best Vauxhall the following year. That year the Bank's team gained 3rd place.


No further major successes were achieved until after the Bank's amalgamation with TSB of the Midlands in 1979. The following images from this post-November 20th 1979 period are outside the timescale of this website, but they reflect typical aspects of rallies up to 1979.

The first photograph shows the car of David Parkes (driver) and Brian Godwin (navigator) in the 1980 Rally that started from Edgar Street, the ground of Hereford United Football Club (then in Division 4 of the Football League). The back seats of the car were occupied by Jeanette Parkes and Freda Godwin. The 1980 (April 20th) Rally was the first time that entrants were given a subsidy towards their hotel and travel expenses - thanks to the recent formation of the TSB National Sports Council.

The Lord Mayor of Hereford (sporting a TSB cap) flagged off the entrants, and later in the evening presented the prizes at the Green Dragon Hotel in Hereford, after the competitors had navigated a route through the Vale of Evesham, the Cotswolds, and the Wye Valley. The Ford Cortina GL Automatic in the photograph was a Bank company car, which may be the reason that the TSB of Birmingham and the Midlands' Regional General Manager - Joe Hoccom - is looking slightly concerned for the welfare of one of the Bank's assets; or it may be because it was a very cold morning. Mr Hoccom was Chairman of the TSB National Sports Council, and is at the rear of the car, talking to Ray Morris of Liverpool TSB - Chairman of the TSB Group Motoring Association, and the main driving force behind the success of the R E Gillies Rally. David Parkes was Treasurer of the TSB Group Motoring Association.

The 1980 Rally was won by TSB Lancashire & Cumbria, but the following year's event (based on Harrogate) was won by TSB Birmingham & The Midlands. The 1981 event was slightly unusual in that the teams comprised four cars instead of the usual three - with the best three cars in each team scoring. Ex-BMB staff in this winning team were Richard Snow, Jeanette Parkes, David Parkes, and Brian Godwin. The colour photograph shows David and Jeanette Parkes, and Brian and Freda Godwin at the Harrogate starting point.
(Tragically, some years later, Richard Snow - Chairman of the BMB's Staff Association from 1971 - was drowned whilst on holiday in Spain. A trophy for the best Vauxhall driver in the Rally was named after Richard in 1989.)

The 1982 Rally was based at Oxford, with the Cotswolds again featuring in the route. The third and fourth photographs were taken on this event, and show the same car and crew as the first two photographs. David Parkes and Brian Godwin are seen receiving the Trust Company Cup for the Best Ford. David and Brian were the only members of BMB staff who competed in every R E Gillies Rally from 1971 to 1992.
Further success for TSB Birmingham & The Midlands was achieved in 1983 when the Bank's two teams finished 2nd and 7th. Yorkshire & Lincoln TSB took the team award with a score of 83 penalties;
Birmingham's 'A' team had 0 Sections failed plus 107 penalties for its second place:
 - Peter Bickley & Mark Johnson (3rd place) 18 penalties
 - John Lucas & Alan Roberts (13th place & winners of the Mercantile Credit Company Trophy for leading Talbot entry) 34 penalties
 - David Parkes & Brian Godwin (23rd place) 55 penalties
The 'B' team scored 2 Sections failed plus 103 penalties:
 - R S Smith & R M Rea (7th place & winners of the Altrincham Cup for leading BL entry) 23 penalties
 - G J Davies & Ron Cridge (9th place) 27 penalties
 - P Caddick & M Craddock (56th place) 2 Sections failed plus 53 penalties
Competing as an individual entry, Richard Snow & B Stokes finished 30th with 1 Section failed plus 15 penalties.
After 1983, the competing teams represented Administrative Regions rather than individual TSBs. In 1990, Birmingham Region entered two teams:
Team 'A': Peter Bickley & Mark Johnson; John Lucas & Alan Roberts; Gethin Jones & Andrew Jones
Team 'B': David & Diane Goring; David Parkes & Brian Godwin; Roy Brotherton & Susan Cumberledge
 1964   Peak District  Liverpool  Chester
 1965  North Wales  Chester  Chester
 1966 & 1967  No events held    
 1968  South West Lancashire  Liverpool  Maghull
 1969  North Wales  Ormskirk  Chester
 1970  Lake District  MADCAP  Southport
 1971  Peak District  Altrincham Computer Services  Stoke-on-Trent
 1972  Cheshire Plain  Altrincham Computer Services  Chester
 1973  Lake District  Altrincham Computer Services  Blackburn
 1974  North Wales  Altrincham Computer Services  Warrington
 1975  Yorkshire Dales  Leeds Skyrac  Bolton
 1976  Mid-Wales  Computer Services  Shrewsbury
 1977  North Wales  Wales & Border Counties  Mold
 1978  Cotswolds  Lancs & Cumbria  Stoke-on-Trent
 1979  Snowdonia  Lancs & Cumbria  Llangollen
 1980  Wye Valley  Lancs & Cumbria  Hereford
 1981  North Yorkshire  Birmingham & Midlands  Harrogate
 1982  Cotswolds  Group Computers  Oxford
 1983  Midlands  Yorkshire & Lincoln  Leicester
 1984  Border Counties  Computer Services  Carlisle
 1985  Mendips & Avon  Central Organisations  Bristol
 1986  North Yorkshire  York  Stockton-on-Tees
 1987  South Wales  Peterborough  Swansea
 1988  Bedfordshire  Manchester  Peterborough
 1989  Somerset  Peterborough  Taunton
 1990  North Wales    Liverpool
(An article written by Ray Morris in 1990, on the occasion of the 25th Annual TSB R E Gillies Trophy Rally)
RICHARD GILLIES (Dick to his friends) was a Branch Manager in the former Liverpool Savings Bank, finishing his days at the North Branch, or better known as the 'Scottie' Road Branch - the road with a pub on every corner. In fact, when it closed, North Branch was also opened as a public house. Dick Gillies was also chairman of the Savings Banks Institute (Liverpool Branch), which included - Liverpool, Ormskirk & Warrington Savings Banks.
During 1963 the 'Institute', at the request of some of the younger members, included a Treasure Hunt on the programme. This took place on 31st August 1963, arranged by Bob & Audrey Cummings, and Ray & Doreen Murphy, under the watchful eye of the father figure of Dick Gillies. The winners were - myself (Ray Morris) with Miss Joan Dennis in an Austin Mini 848KD. I was then asked to assist with the planning of the next event, when invitations would again be extended to our neighbours in Chester, Wrexham & North Wales Savings Bank. Lesley Witchell (now Morris) was also asked to join the team of organisers. In 1964, Dick Gillies was due to retire, to Devon, and after much cajoling, he was persuaded to donate a trophy for annual presentation, to the winning bank team from those taking part - now known as the 'R E GILLIES TROPHY'.
For the next 2 years events continued under the auspices of the SBI (Liverpool Branch), then in 1966 the government introduced legislation requesting all rallies to be authorised by the Royal Automobile Club. This was to try to reduce the number of complaints from the general public, mainly due to night time disturbances. The SBI Committee decided that the RAC Rules before authorisation could be granted, were too complex to understand, and withdrew their support for future rallies. The Liverpool TSB Motor Club was formed, with the main objective of running the inter-bank rallies as before, plus the addition of a Christmas Event for the local bank. The committee included myself (Ray Morris) and Doug Pritchard, plus the assistance of anyone else who happened to pass through the Neston Branch where we both worked.
From 1966 until 1979 the rallies (which soon gained support from most of the country) were run on a shoestring, with prizes and trophies 'scrounged' from local garages and tradespeople, - plus the occasional donation from the actuaries of the participating banks (usually two guineas? £2.10 in today's money!). Towards the end of 1979, the TSB National Sports Council was formed, and Motor Rallies were chosen as one of the six National Sports, along with - cricket, golf, football, netball and table tennis. Each sport was to receive an annual grant, and for the first year we received £2,500. The Sports Council was made up of - Chairman, Philip Charlton, Secretary, the late Ian Taylor, Joe Hoccom (Birmingham), 'Jock' Thomson (Edinburgh) plus the chairmen of each of the six chosen sports. I was privileged to represent the Motor Rallies on the committee for the next 3 or 4 years. After this time the sports were considered to be properly organised, to an acceptable standard and the Council was disbanded, with the overall control being passed to a nominated person from the Personnel Division at Head Office. This was initially, Ian Taylor, then Stuart Crewe and now Graham Doughty.
The 'R E GILLIES' Events have now flourished for 25 years with the addition of Ian Robson (Back Office, York) as Secretary, David Parkes (Birmingham) as Treasurer, Doug Pritchard (Western) as Competitions Secretary, Mike Breaks (Group Technology) and George Ware (Pensioner) and myself (now retired) as Chairman, plus a team of Correspondents in each section of the Group. In addition there has been a willing team of Marshals, mainly from the Merseyside area, without whom the rallies could not take place.
1990 is the end of my reign as Chairman, and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way, either as competitor or on the organisational side during the past 25 years, to make this, the only true family sport in the TSB, so successful for so long.
I trust that the rallies will continue to prosper for many more years to come.
Ray Morris