ANN RILEY (nee WISDOM)
28 MAY 1934 TO 14 OCTOBER 2015
Posted 24 October 2015
We are very sorry to report the passing of Ann Riley (born Ann Wisdom), on 14 October
2015, after fighting illness.
As Pat Moss's long-time co-driver in international rallying, Ann and Pat were one of the most formidable and successful teams in the sport, not only in the Ladies' category, which they habitually dominated, but competitive at the same level as the men in this exciting, colourful and gruelling sport.
Pat and Ann were prominent competitors from 1956 to 1962, after which Ann retired to start her family, but it was the duo's outstanding success as outright winners of the four-day/four-night Liege-Rome-Liege Rally, which made them legendary in motor sporting circles. Their long-time friend, and later team manager, Stuart Turner, always described this as one of the most amazing drives he had ever seen.
Born in May 1934, Ann was the daughter of Tommy and Elsie (nicknamed 'Bill') Wisdom, both of whom were themselves established in European motorsport. While finding time to become the doyen of British motoring writers (he was Motoring Correspondent of the Daily Herald for many years), Tommy raced and rallied for 'works' teams from the 1930s to the 1960s, including 23 Monte Carlo Rallies. Elsie became one of Britain's foremost lady drivers of the 1930s; it was her gritty ability, in the male-orientated sport of the time, that gained her the affectionate nickname of 'Bill'.
Like many girls in her active social class, Ann Marie Wisdom (who soon became known as 'Wiz' by all who knew her) grew up around horses and horse jumping events, yet it was apparently at a BRDC dinner that she first met Pat Moss, who had spent her teenage years in the same sport. The two became firm friends, and 'Wiz' became a groom to Pat's increasingly successful stable of horses.
Almost inevitably, the two took up rallying together, originally in Pat's own Triumph TR2, where 'Wiz' became the competitive and very accomplished co-driver in the team. Although she often suffered from car sickness, she never let this get in the way, always determined to finish at all costs. On the famous Liege-Rome-Liege outing, for instance, she shrugged off the impression of burning trees crossing the road (an impression brought on by exhaustion), and cheerfully admitted to dousing herself under the parish pump in the village squares which they encountered along the way.
Her first international rally appearance with Pat Moss was in an MGA in the 1956 RAC rally; her first major success followed, when Pat and she took fourth place overall on the RAC and Liege-Rome-Liege events of 1958. The duo became European Ladies' Champions at the end of that year, and became one of the most successful teams in the famous BMC 'works' team.
BMC team captain John Gott commented at the time: "Together, the girls form a team, but apart each is less than half a team."
Her team manager Marcus Chambers said: "Whilst Pat was an extrovert, Ann was much more the novelist's heroine - emotional, temperamental and fastidious. Her dress sense was excellent and she planned her wardrobe to suit the conditions."
Thereafter, the two seemed inseparable in their sport, though both found time for lasting romances: Pat took up with Erik Carlsson, while Ann met and fell in love with rally driver Peter Riley. Ann later admitted: "Peter saved me from making an unsuitable marriage, and we then fell in love and married. . ."
When the Moss/Wisdom rally partnership was at its height, the two drove cars as varied as the ultra-powerful Austin-Healey 3000, the Morris Minor 1000, the Austin A40, and the Saab 96, but it was in a front-wheel-drive Mini-Cooper that the two won the Tulip rally outright in 1962.
In the meantime, 'Wiz' had married Peter Riley in March 1962 (the wedding service being carried out by the rallying parson, the Rev. Rupert Jones), and it was immediately after the Tulip that 'Wiz' announced that she was expecting her first baby and was retiring from the sport.
It was almost a clean break from the sport which had made her deservedly famous, although she returned occasionally: in 1963, to co-drive for Pat in 'works' Ford Cortinas, and a 'works' Saab 96 on the East-African Safari, where they finished second overall. Her last appearance was on the Acropolis rally, where Pat and she took sixth place.
Once retired, 'Wiz' took up a full and active family life, which not only featured the birth of two children - Jenny and Tim - but the building-up of a rural business, initially with horses, then with cattle.
Always a fierce competitor, she successfully showed and evented horses in the 1960s and 1970s, before moving into the breeding of commercial cattle in the 1980s and 1990s. Finally, she established a pedigree Hereford cattle herd in the 2000s, which won numerous prizes, both as a herd, and with individual animals.
It is remarkable to note that - as a twist of fate - both Pat and Ann died on the same day of the year (14 October), separated by exactly seven years. Seven was Pat and Ann's lucky number, which they always tried to include in the number plate or competition number of their cars.
Her husband Peter, along with her daughter Jenny and son Tim, survive her. Backed by the thousands of friends and fans who admired the Moss/Wisdom partnership, they will miss her greatly.
Prestatyn Car Show - Bank Holiday Monday 25th May
Rhyl and District Motor Club have been invited to this years Prestatyn Classic Car Show. Last year was a great success for the club and would like to continue our support to a local event. Could any member who wishes to display their car on the club stand please contact ‘Big’ Dave Jones 01745 344457 to make a reservation.
Rhyl & District motor Club are running a test on Thursday 5th June near Caernarfon. If you are interested in supporting the event can you please contact
Rob John (07702 539322) to register. Further information will be given closer to the date.
Rali Bryniau Clwyd 2014
Congratulations to club member John Paul Williams and navigator Roger Evans (Bala MC) on winning Rali Bryniau Clwyd, organised by Broughton & Bretton Motor Club. Also a great result for club member Martin Lloyd & Mike Hughes in the BMW Compact, 3rd Overall & 1st Semi Expert.
1st – John P Williams & Roger Evans, Subaru Impreza – 0:09.28
2nd – Ian Roberts & Gwawr Hughes, Volkswagen Golf GTi – 0:10.23
3rd – Martin Lloyd & Mike Hughes, BMW Compact – 0:11.34
4th – Dei Jones & Steve Herbert, Ford Escort Mk2 – 0:14.57
5th – Stuart Kelso & Rob Lloyd, Volkswagen Golf GTi – 0:17.06
6th – Stu Thomas & Graham Thomas, Volkswagen Polo – 0:19.59
7th – Justin Sharples & Steve Griffith, Ford Puma – 0:21.15
8th – Ken Jones & Baz Green, Ford Escort Mk2 – 0:21.56
9th – Geoff Hall & Martyn Taylor, Austin Mini Cooper S – 0:23.07
10th – Stephen Jones & Shaun Holt, Peugeot 306 GTi-6 – 0:23.30
Cambrian Rally - 19th October 2013
Rhyl & District are running the Hafodty stage of this year’s Cambrian. Marshals will be required to man the stage safely. If you are available then please contact Stage Commander Arthur Jones (Day: 01745 344457 Night: 07919 561180). This is not a spectator stage, so if you want to see them through then join us in marshalling and support the clubs presence.
CVMC Vale of Clwyd Classic - 7th September 2013
Rhyl and District have been asked by our neighbouring friends at Clwyd Vale to run a test at Cefn Estates, Cefn Meiriadog on Saturday 7th September. If you are interested in assisting then please contact Dave Jones 01745 344457 or 07774 163 919
Wales Rally GB - Marshals required
Rhyl and District are in charge of the Ceremonial start in Conwy. The first car will leave Conwy Quay at 18:30hrs. Some of the streets in Conwy will be closed off from 12:00hrs to facilitate a holding area for competitors before entering the quay side. Marshals will not be allowed to park their cars in the streets of Conwy and must use the car parks.
If you are interested in assisting the club at the start then please contact Arthur Jones 01745 344457 or 07919 561180
Summer Gymkhana - 1st September 2013
Regulations and entry form can be downloaded by clicking here
Prestatyn Classic Car Show - Bank Holiday Monday 27th May
Rhyl & District Motor Club will again be on a stand at this annual event. Could any member who wishes to display their car on the club stand please contact ‘Big’ Dave Jones 01745 344457 to make a reservation.
2013 J.D Romain Memorial Rally
Congratulations to Ian Jones / Stuart Frost on winning the 2013 J.D Romain Memorial Novice Rally.
Results can be found by clicking here
Rhyl & District Awards Dinner Dance 2013
Tickets are now available. You can contact either Sarah Manton (07917) 654561, firstname.lastname@example.org or Autocolours (01745) 344457 to book. Menu choice can be found by clicking here
To be held at Cromwells, Faenol Fawr, Bodelwyddan.
Ticket are £20.00 per head to include a 3-course meal and disco following the presentation.
Smart dress ONLY - Black tie optional.
Could all award winners from last year please return the trophies by the latest 27th January 2013. Trophies can be left at Autocolours, Rhyl or Old Stables Garage, Prestatyn or bring along to any club night.
2012 Club Championship Tables
Final championship tables can be found by clicking here
Festival of Speed 2013
The date is yet to be released for next year, but would anyone like to go for 2 days and stay overnight. If interested contact Phil Williams at email@example.com
2012 Club Championship tables
The results are now provisional until 31st December 2012. Should you have any queries then contact Paul Holmberg via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Provisional tables can be found by clicking here
Gerry And Margaret Beasley
It is sad that I have to write about the passing away of two past members of the motor club, Gerry and Margaret Beasley. When I joined the club in the early 1970’s, they were very active in the club events. Margaret was on the ladies committee organising things such as Miss Rhyl and District Motor Club, fashion shows and the Summer Ball. Gerry was competing in club events, helping to organise the BTRDA Autocross we used to run and was a very active committee member. He also took part in the ‘Belt Round Britain’ for Uniroyal Tyres along with other club members, myself included. A lot of today’s members will not know Gerry and Margaret, but their work and enthusiasm helped give the club the foundation it is built on today.
Good friends sadly missed.
Photo courtesy of ‘The Journal’
Letter of thanks from the Cambrian organisers
Arthur Jones wanted to share the letter of thanks he received from the Cambrian event organisers. Arthur also extends his thanks and appreciates all that signed on to marshal on the Clocaenog East stage. It was great to see so many club members out in support of the event. Huge thanks once again to our neighbouring club Clwyd Vale Motor Club in showing their support yet again.
Well done club members on Cambrian 2012 result
Well done to club members on their recent Cambrian Rally 2012 result.
26th O/A & 3rd in class B11
Drew Roberts / Allan Roberts
30th O/A & 2nd in class 1400S
Gareth Webb / Rich Jones
91st O/A & 1st in class 1400L
Chris Rowlands / Lesley Bailey
Gareth Webb / Rich Jones (Vauxhall Nova 1400) Chris Rowlands / Lesley Bailey (Vauxhall Corsa 1400)
Drew Roberts / Allan Roberts (Ford Escort MkII)
Congratulations to club member Rikki Proffitt and Co-Driver Phil Harrison (Clwyd Vale Motor Club) on taking this years crown as the 2012 ‘Kololi Beach Club’ MSA Category 1 British Historic Rally Champions.
“I am very pleased to have won the Category 1 title, but absolutely delighted to have finished 3rd overall in the MSA British Championship behind drivers Julian Reynolds and Nick Elliott, both of who were in Escorts with much more power than the Porsche”, commented Rikki.
“It has been a hard fought battle all season with other competitors, especially Dessie Nutt who took it to the final round of the Championship, the McRae Stages to decide who would be taking the spoils. Phil and myself pulled out all the stops on the day and were successful to come out of the last stage 35.1 secs up on Dessie”.
Nutt and co-driver Geraldine McBride's chances in both the overall title race and category slipped inexorably away as the day progressed. The Porsche 911 crew tried their best to peg back Proffitt, but it was just not happening. Despite Harrison describing the on-stage conditions as "horrible", Proffitt refused to slacken his pace and stayed ahead, relegating a clearly disappointed Nutt to second in the end of season Category 1 standings.
Cambrian Rally Entries
Good luck to Rhyl & District Motor Cub members Chris Rowlands and Lesley Bailey in their Vauxhall Nova 1400 (Class 1400L) and Rich Jones Co-driving also in a Vauxhall Nova 1400 (Class 1400S) for Gareth Webb. We’ll all be routing for you on Clocaenog East.
Best of LUCK to you all……………..
SS2 & SS5 - Clocaenog East
You can contact Arthur 01745 344457 or 07919 561180
Signing on is from 07:45hrs @ 116/066½ 556
‘A Night Down The Lanes’
We have challenged our friends at Clwyd Vale Motor Club to a ‘A Night Down The Lanes’, but not the type you’re thinking. Yes it’s Ten Pin Bowling night!! CVMC are very interested in a night of fun and banter as we missed out on our rounders night. The date is now Tuesday 18th December.
Please either contact -
1. ‘Big Dave’ or Arthur at Autocolours, 01745 344457
2. Start your text ‘Ten Pin Bowling Night’ with your name and contact number - send to 07774 163919 expressing your interest