Welsh & UK motorsport lost a great ambassador on Saturday 29 February when Alun Morgan passed away after a long illness, writes Ken Davies.
Widely known within the Welsh motorsport community, Alun had spent a remarkable lifetime in the sport. In 1942, David Alun Thomas Morgan was born in Gorslas, Carmarthenshire and after LLandybie Secondary Modern School, went to Ammanford Technical College before joining the National Coal Board as an engineering apprentice, later recalling some of his time was spent at the coalface.
After qualifying as a toolmaker, he joined Morris Motors in Llanelli, later to become Llanelli Radiators, where he spent the rest of his career.
After first visiting Aintree as a youngster, motorsport played a major part in Alun’s life, starting in the 1960s as an enthusiastic club competitor in autocross, rallies, sprints and hill climbs.
He was a keen auto-tester and a member of the Welsh team in the premier league Ken Wharton Trophy at Aldermaston in 1970 and particularly successful in speed hill climbs, using a well-known Downton modified 1293 cc Cooper S registered BCY 404B, purchased from the late John Pascoe.
But although the BMC Mini was always his preferred car, he also used quick, road-going Midgets, bought directly from BMC and suitably modified with the right ‘works’ parts from Special Tuning at Abingdon.
In 1983, perhaps his last season as a regular competitor, he drove a Mk 8 Davrian bought from the Lampeter factory and fitted with his BMC Cooper S engine and transmission.
Aside from being a competitor, Alun was a respected official, club administrator and organizer of events including Penrice and Llys-Y-Fran Hillclimbs, Reynolds Cup Rally and Rally of the Vales, original version and historic retro running 1989-99.
Also, in the early 1980s he was instrumental in developing a racing circuit at the former WWII airfield at Pembrey and became a familiar face on Historic rallies including the grueling Le Jog and Monte Carlo Historique events.
A qualified RAC timekeeper and scrutineer, he could be found most weekends plying any one of his many skills at events throughout Wales and sometimes a wider extent. For many years he was part of the timekeeping team at Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire and regular scrutineer at Pembrey circuit.
He was the regional RAC Rally Route Liaison Officer for South West Wales, former chairman of BARC South Wales, Technical Officer for the International Rally Drivers Club and, a prominent and active figure at the Welsh Association of Motor Clubs.
When not competing or officiating himself, he could be found supporting one of his many friends who were racing or rallying in the UK or in Europe, usually in the role of team manager, lap-scorer or service crew. He was a competent mechanic, distance no object, favourite destination – Monaco. Considered a safe pair of hands in any role he was asked to perform.
A patriotic and fluent Welsh speaker, Alun’s other lifelong passion was rugby and he seldom missed an International if at home. In this short appreciation, it’s impossible to do justice to a remarkable competitor, official and good-natured, intelligent friend who contributed so much to our sport. Suffice to say that he will be sorely missed. We offer our condolences to Alun’s family, sister Marion, niece Paula, nephew Phil and his many friends.
Funeral arrangements are not known at this time.