A very familiar face in the Sydney scene for many years, Linda Cowper-Holdforth passed away suddenly on 25th September, aged 72. Although small in stature, Linda was a dynamo from the day she burst onto the Sydney motorcycling in the late 1960s. As a teenager, she learned to ride on a friend’s Triumph Thunderbird, and had a series of small Bridgestones as road transport. After quitting her office job she used her own 175 Bridgestone for courier work in Sydney. As a member of Annandale-Leichhardt Motorcycle Club, she became a keen racer in just about everything from Short Circuit (on a 250 Hagon) to drag racing, hill climbs and road racing, initially on a Triumph and soon after on a 600 Norton fettled by Sidecar racer Col Cheffins. On the Norton she raced at Oran Park, Amaroo Park, Surfers Paradise, Symmons Plains, and from 1970 at Bathurst. That year she competed in the Unlimited C Grade – a race with no fewer than 197 entries. She also tried three-wheeler racing as a passenger for Cheffins and John Macklin. When Historic Racing began, Linda was there too, riding her Norton from 1976 to 1984, when she retired from racing and started a family, raising a son and daughter.
Family life made no difference to her passion for motorcycling. In 1995 she came across a Vincent fitted with a Steib sidecar – a combination of parts with a 1948 engine, Series C forks, a Laverda rear wheel and twin BSA drums on the front. That acquisition led to joining the Vincent Owners Club and getting involved in the club’s activities and rallies. She also operated her own T Shirt business, specialising in motorcycle themes, which were often sold at race meetings. Her husband David Holdforth, whom she first met in the 1960s, was the man who sold her the Bridgestones, and in later years operates a motorcycle dyno tuning business. Linda was a much loved member of the motorcycling fraternity and will be sadly missed at MNSW Delegates meetings.
(From Alyn Vincent, Dennis Quinlan, Bruce Ireland and others Special thanks to Jim Scaysbrook for supplying this information)