Those of you who call by here from time to time probably also buy Scootering Magazine occasionally, like me, others being more regular readers and subscribers to the mag,
Andy Gillard has worked with Scootering since 1997 and was made editor of the world's most popular read for scooterists in 2003. I was saddened but not wholly surprised to hear recently that Andy had stepped down as editor at the beginning of the year in January. The writing possibly was on the wall when publishing group Mortons took over Scootering and Classic Scooterist Scene a few years ago.
Scootering is a very mixed bag - restos, shabby chic, street racers, cutdowns, customs, choppers, autos, Vespa, Lambretta, Psychobilly, Mod, Skinhead etc,,, For me, not everything about the scene appeals but I've always believed and lived by the mantra, "live and let live". This is a belief held firm by Andy Gillard too. I always liked and respected that he kept a very open mind with his opinions and journalism, often in the face of some pretty narrow minded viewpoints. Scootering under Andy's editorship always encompassed many tastes and styles - providing something for everyone. My favourite gems were usually the stories and reports of travelling by scooter and far flung adventures across Europe and various parts of the globe, The creation of 'Dreadnought' for The Cannonball Run was also another fave. Stories, reports, reviews, Feedback page replies and so on were delivered professionally but always with a refreshing dose of self-depreciating humour, wit and sometimes irony, particularly by Andy and Martin 'Sticky' Round. I for one and many others, I know will miss the entertainment value provided by Andy Gillard's Scootering Magazine.
I can't claim to know Andy well but have met him a couple of times, once when he came to the launch of my Retrospective Scooters book with his other half Ann when I'd invited him. He'd been suffering with a heavy cold earlier that week but still made the effort and came out in support of the project, coming up from Essex to the Hackney pub hosting the launch. I've also had correspondence with Andy in recent years when he put my fotos of 'Luigi', an original paint dealer special GS150 VS4 on Scootering's front cover and more recently printed my 35mm film shots and report of my trip to Maskes Vespa Klassiekers in Holland last September, My proudest Scootering moments were probably winning the 'least crap snap' with a shot taken by my wife of me on the GL150 I owned at the time in 2006. Also having the shots of a very tidy custom VBB150 make it in to the mag as one of the feature scooters was definitely a highpoint, given I'd taken them on 35mm film.
Anyway, I'd like to place on record a massive thanks to Andy Gillard for his great work during his many years at Scootering, I hear he is currently working on a book project but wouldn't be surprised if before too long he is heading up another scooter mag.
You can keep up to date with Andy here - www.andygillard.co.uk