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Farewell To Ned Kelly


Neil David Smart or Ned Kelly the Wall of Death rider sadly passed away unexpectedly on the 5th March at his home near Pontypridd aged just 58.
Ned joined the Motordrome Co. Wall of Death Show in 1988 having met up with us at Kent Custom Show where he happened to be partying with his friends he rode down there on his Triumph T120. Ned had been up and watched a few of my shows he stood out in a crowd being big in both personality and stature. We got talking between shows and he asked me if I needed any riders as he wanted to change from his job as a motorcycle courier. He also had a Class 1 licence to drive  a heavy goods vehicle and as it happened I urgently required a driver for my Scania 80 artic unit. It was agreed he would join up with us a bit later in the year at The Bulldog Bash.

I started Ned off doing the Go-Kart act in the show but it wasn’t long before he was also riding the wall on one of my Honda 200’s and doing a strait ride. Ned was a good mechanic having trained in Motorcycle Engineering at Merton College so was a great help to me maintaining the transport and the bikes. Having gained experience on the Honda’s and learnt to do the dips and dives then the Helldrivers Race, Ned  graduated to riding one of my Indian’s on the wall. It wasn’t long before Ned was presenting a comprehensive trick ride in the show, standing up, sitting sideways, and steering the motorcycle with his feet on the handlebars. He even built a rigid BSA A7 from parts to trick ride on the wall but it was not a great success so Ned sold it on as a road bike


Ned Kelly Ned Kelly

After leaving me Ned furthered his wall riding career riding with Graham Cripsey’s show t Hull Fair then travelled over to Germany to ride for Peter Catchpole on Vessinger’s wall at the Octoberfest in Munich with Ken Fox’s Troup.  The next year Ned and his family travelled to Germany working for Hugo Dabbert trick riding with Hugo and driving his Lorries.
Having retired from wall riding Ned had a shop in Pontypridd selling workwear and ex-army clothing. He bought a basket case Indian 741 and restored it to pristine condition doing the Kent Run on it a few times;
He rode an ex-army Armstrong to work also having a BMW K100 and a few Triumph T120’s on the road which by coincidence all had the same registration number.
Ned will be sadly missed by his many friends in The Club and on the wall. 

Allan J. Ford




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