TRIBUTES have been paid to a family man with a passion for motorbikes.

Frank Hildrick, who lived almost his entire life in Helmsley, died at York Hospital, on November 8, aged 75.

He started his education at Helmsley Low School, then on to Ryedale Secondary where he played football for the school and became headboy in his final year.

Frank then went to Scarborough Tech to study shorthand and typing with the intention of becoming a journalist. However, he changed his plans and took an apprenticeship as a mechanic at North Riding Garages in Pickering.

Later in life Frank worked for the Forestry Commission before starting his own business as a mobile mechanic and taxi driver. He later ran his own garage from Sawmill Lane and then worked at Perry Slingsby Systems building underwater equipment until retirement.

When Frank was 17 he started courting Sally Hutchinson, who lived just a few doors away. The couple were married in Helmsley church on February 3, 1968, and their son Richard was born in January 1969, followed by Rachel in June 1971.

Richard said: “Dad was very much the family man and was delighted when the grandchildren started to arrive – Hannah, Tom, Ginny and Frankie. Family time was one of dad’s biggest delights and he loved to host big family meals both at home and in various restaurants, but he wasn’t always happy when the final bill arrived.”

Motorbike trialling was a big part of Frank’s life, often riding alongside Richard. In recent years, Frank enjoyed his trips to the Isle of Man for the Manx TT and built a Minarelli 50cc race replica bike from scratch.

In a tribute to Frank, motorcycle website Trials Guru said: “One of the finest pleasures derived from the trials scene is meeting larger than life characters such as Frank Hildrick. The best of company to be with, a great storyteller with the sharpest of wit. A man whose optimism and enthusiasm for the sport rubbed off on many. He will be greatly missed.”