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Competitor Profile: E A [Ted] Mellors

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E A Mellors [Ted] 1907-1946

Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England son of a wheelwright and a clergyman’s daughter; one of five sons, two of which were tragically drowned when children in the local canal. His one ambition was to be an International Motor Cycle racer and spent many hours riding in the Derbyshire hills.

He met his future wife [whilst sitting astride his motor bike] on Chatsworth Road Brampton Chesterfield at the tender age of 15. He told her he was 17 as he feared she would not go out with him if she knew his real age, as she was 21. They married after a seven month courtship despite a somewhat strained relationship with Ted’s mother saying he couldn’t have a girl and a bike as well!.

They moved south to Shirley near Birmingham when Ted acquired a position as a works rider for Velocette Motor Cycle Company in York Road, Hall Green Birmingham in 1930 and had two daughters Gladys and Joan.

After riding in the TT races he got a lucky break to realise his heart’s ambition to be a Continental rider, and in 1938 won the title European Champion and held the title throughout the second world war until racing started again when petrol came off rationing.

During the war years he worked in a munitions factory and also was with the voluntary fire service, he was not accepted in the sir force for which he applied as he had slightly defective eyesight even though he held a private air pilot’s licence. However, although motorcycle racing had been stopped during the war he wrote articles continually for the Motor Cycle magazine and also other articles on flying and not smoking for other magazines. He also patented the Rotary Valve Engine. Most nights he would sit at his typewriter until the early hours of the morning writing his own biography in fiction form, which at the time of his death was out with the publishers, and as yet, remains unpublished.

In 1946 tragedy struck the family two days after moving into a new home in Elwall Road, Hall Green, Birmingham due to a faulty ventilation in the garage [he had complained of feeling dead from the waist down on the day before to his wife as he had been working on a car in the garage], the following day he was pumping the car tyre up as he was running the car engine when he was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes as he and his wife’s brother were going to sell the car at auction and he wanted to make sure it was alright.

His wife was in town buying a rug for the new home when his daughter Joan came home from school to find her father lying unconscious by the side of the car in the garage. A verdict of Accidental Death was recorded at Birmingham Coroner’s Court.

Biography kindly supplied by Mrs Joan M Jones, Ted Mellors daughter, Shirley, Solihull, Birmingham.

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