BEM for Derry Kissack

BEM for Derry Kissack

Many Northern Centre riders travel to the Isle of Man to enjoy the Manx Two Day Trial and the Classic Manx Two Day Trial and one of the truly great figures of Manx trials is the legendary Derry Kissack who has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the recent King’s Birthday Honours List.


Derry Kissack’s most recent publication

The author of three books, Derry was for 27 years the front man for the World Famous Purple Helmets display team and it was his entertaining and usually audacious commentary that thousands of people enjoyed that made his name in the world of motorcycling.

The Helmets began as a hilarious display team as a supporting “act” to Steve Colley’s stunt displays, but quickly became a starring turn in their own right with many of the Helmet members hailing from the Carnforth Chapter in the epic displays which have been seen throughout Europe and even as far away as Brazil.

Derry was from the early days the obvious choice to compere the shows with his dulcet tones ideal for the microphone and whilst his BEM was awarded for his charitable, cultural and community work in the Isle of Man, to bikers everywhere, it will have been just recognition for his involvement with the Purple Helmets.

A quality trials rider in is own right, especially in sidecar trials, his competitive career came to an end following a horrendous accident on the Mountain Course when he was hit by a German biker  which resulted in a badly broken leg, whilst the Helmets were on manouevres between cultural visits.

Many will be unaware that the family joinery business he ran with his brother Howard were for many years the contractors who erected all the requirements to transform the Manx roads into what is universally known as the TT Course.

A just reward for a true gentleman who is very much the spirit of motorcycling worldwide.