I met Derek around 2000 at one of his club evenings and another member found my 411 for me. Derek bought his 400 around 1970 but was doing more important things such as bringing up his family with Heather and working very hard for the great North East company Head Wrightson as an electrical engineer.
His best job was in New Zealand building a steel works. The family was there a long time so he learned to sail, which he continued in Yorkshire and typically helped to run the club.
Derek retired early with ill health. This meant he dived in to Bristol matters. Derek never did anything by half. He ran a strong North East section organising meetings, lunches, outings etc. There is a very big car show at Newby Hall near Ripon. He ran a Bristol display for years, one year he persuaded nearly 20 Bristol car owners to show their cars.
Derek wrote many articles for Bristol owners and sourced many difficult to find parts some of which he had made at his own expense. He is best known for his overdrive conversion for early Bristol cars. He was the first to do it spending long periods working out the shape of the casting so the conversion could be fitted with hardly any alteration to the car. He had to organise patterns, castings and machining then doing any extra work himself. He did of course make all the electrical bits himself at home. He made over 110 conversions.
Derek helped so many owners but liked things doing his way.
He was a true friend and is sadly missed.
Bill Lawson. 16th March 2023