Obituary: Ray Butcher 8/9/47 – 31/7/20

Ray was a true “gentleman” in every sense of the word. Throughout his time as Chairman of the NACC, whether chairing Committee meetings or hosting an AGM, Ray was always prepared to listen to arguments for and against any proposition. He was calm, reflective and rational, never losing his equanimity or sense of humour – whatever his personal view on a subject – while others around him might be losing theirs.

He saw through biased opinions with honesty and could weigh pros and cons even-handedly. He listened, thought through what was going on and would give a reasoned judgement. While he was in hospital in late June he managed to participate in a committee Zoom meeting, despite undergoing treatment for his illness, and made his views known to us.

Ray had a collection of high-quality small and large bikes and was a regular participant at NACC National Rallies. He often rode out with members of the Vale of Glamorgan Section on the (usually cold & wet) St. David’s Day Dawdle, as well as the VMCC Cyclemotor Section’s Welsh Run from Abergavenny, accompanied by his many friends from the NACC and VMCC.

Ray was born in Cardiff in 1947 and completed his education there. On leaving school he joined a local company, John Williams Windows, manufacturers and fitters of double-glazing units, learning a great deal about the trade, such that he started his own business at age 23, Ace Windows, in partnership with a friend. The business was successful, if demanding, and may have sparked Ray’s interest in using his engineering talents for his next venture, as a self-employed locksmith, which kept him busy for the rest of his working life. He was married and has one son, Steve.

Ray riding his Honda Sky scooter on the NACC National Rally, 2015.

Continuing precautions re the Covid-19 virus, avoiding close proximity with other non-householders.

The Club is unable at the present time, due to the Coronavirus situation and current government advice, to sanction official events with event permits and PLI cover. The NACC committee’s prime concern is the safety and well-being of our members. Guidance on informal groups can be found from the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations, their guidelines are clear and concise – see below. The position of the club in relation to official permits may change as further government advice is issued.

Guidance notes for informal gatherings under Covid-19 restrictions.
Informal gatherings or runs carry many new obligations for those involved. None of these should be taken lightly or ignored, the safety and health of participants is paramount, as is adhering to guidelines issued periodically by the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations. Local lockdowns or restrictions may be in place, check for those and make sure you comply. Remember, the first coronavirus wave remains rampant everywhere and the chances of catching it when in contact with non-household groups remains high, regardless of any relaxations in restrictions. It is also very likely that a second wave of infections will arrive in the autumn.

As things stand at the moment, responsibilities and obligations for small informal gatherings have increased compared to the way things used to be done. Guidance at 11th July states only six riders are allowed to group together for a run out in England. Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland have different rules, you are obliged to find out what they are. If you do decide to go for an informal ride out, a lead rider should be clearly identified as such at the start and his/her instructions followed.
Start/finish venues should be carefully chosen, with enough parking space for vans and trailers, and for riders to be able to offload/load bikes single-handedly. Pub car-parks may not be welcoming under present conditions. Routes should be planned in advance to avoid busy locations and traffic congestion, the second-rider drop-off system must be used to avoid riders getting lost. At any stop for a breakdown only the closest rider should offer assistance. Do not all crowd round to offer advice. Social distancing rules should be observed at all times. Masks and hand-sanitiser should be carried and used constantly.

It is extremely important that riders in a group of six maintain social-distancing measures at all times, especially at the start and end of runs, when all participants should wear masks. Lunch and refreshment/pee stops should be organised in open, uncrowded areas with plenty of trees! Lady riders should bear in mind the closure of public loos. Everyone should bring their own food and drink and maintain at least a two-metre distance from others at all times.

Your bike needs to be fully road-legal and have a full tank of fuel, carry reserves of petrol, oil, water to drink, a puncture reflation kit, a few basic tools, your mobile phone and Covid safety kit (gloves, sanitiser, masks, tissues, plastic bags for rubbish, tissues etc.).
The above guidelines have been drawn from advice given by the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations. You are strongly advised to read all of it at:

Further advice from the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs can be found here:

For residents in England:

For residents in Scotland:

For residents in Wales:

For residents in Northern Ireland: