Brass band leader’s classic Riley to go on display at The Yorkshire Post Motor Show
A classic car believed to have once belonged to a legendary brass bandsman will be in the limelight at the region’s favourite motor show.
The 1947 Riley RMA will be among hundreds of vehicles heading to Harewood House for The Yorkshire Post Motor Show and Classic Car Rally on Father’s Day (June 16).
Owner Andrew Greenhough said that according to a note with the sports saloon, it was first registered on St Valentine’s Day 1947 “by its first owner, the wartime jazz man and radio band leader, Harry Mortimer.”
The late conductor and composer, who was born in Hebden Bridge in 1902, was an eminent cornet player and received an OBE and a CBE for his contribution to music.
During his illustrious career, he was the BBC’s brass and military bands supervisor and was a soloist with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Northern Orchestra.
He is pictured here with the late television entertainer Roy Castle and Ashton-in-Makerfield Secondary School brass band in 1975.
A doyen of his field, Mr Mortimer worked with bands including Fodens Motor Works Brass Band, Black Dyke Mills Band, Fairey Aviation Band and Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band.
Mr Greenhough, 68, admits he was less interested in the car’s musical association than its motoring credentials.
“As a teenager I really wanted a car so all my cars were bangers,” he said. “They were all old cars on their last legs and I didn’t have much money to maintain them so I would be down at the scrapyard finding different bits and pieces for them.”
Visiting car shows, it was the Riley that consistently caught his eye and he finally became the proud owner of one after buying his car unseen from an internet auction site.
Mr Greenhough, who lives in Leeds and belongs to Club RetroTorque, spent three years restoring the ash-framed model, which still has many of its original features, in his spare time.
“Since then I have used it quite a lot and enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s not bad to drive. Because they were built just after the war, engineering skills had improved. At the time they were quite modern mechanically but the bodywork was traditional with a wooden ash frame.
“I get people coming up to me and saying, ‘I used to work on one of those.’ I went up to Redcar recently and parked outside a fish and chips shop and there was a little crowd gathered around it.”
It is the first time in four years that the glorious grounds of Harewood House will host The Yorkshire Post Motor Show and Classic Car Rally.
Classic and vintage cars will adorn the estate, as their owners vie for top place in various categories.
Visitors can enjoy entertainment headlined by stunt motorcycle display team, Broke FMX and there will be a funfair for children, petting farm and street food stands.
Readers can benefit from a 15 per cent discount when booking tickets to the show in advance.
To enter a classic car or for tickets please visit www.ypmotorshow.co.uk/.
To book in your classic car by phone or for more information please call 0113 532 9440, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.