Fred Hill’s legacy is an integral part of the Motorcycle Action Group’s history. Fred was an activist who – whilst never against the wearing of helmets – saw the law that made it compulsory as an infringement of our personal freedom of choice.
“We see Fred as a freedom fighter: he fought for what he believed in.”
Fred Hill’s refusal to pay the fines he incurred by riding helmetless saw him handed 31 prison sentences between 1976 and 1984. It was while serving his final sentence that Hill suffered a heart attack and died on February 10th, 1984, aged 74.
Memorial ride-outs in Fred’s honour continue to this day, every February, all over the UK.
To read more about Fred's life click here. Read more…
“… it does not seem to me that the magistrates – or the police who brought these prosecutions – have anything to be very proud about. (…) Perhaps his case will not make a very convincing hero. But I will tip my soft, felt hat to him, even if no-one else does.”
An edited extract from his daughter Patricia’s tribute to Fred at his funeral was published in MAG News in 1984 alongside five pages of tributes including many media tributes from both motorcycling magazines and newspapers alike.
“During this last week, tributes have poured in from all kinds of people from all over the country; teaching and office colleagues, MPs, neighbours, prison officers, members of The Motorcycle Action Group and policemen, as well as from many who had never met him, but who admired his courage and integrity. It says much for him that he made friends amongst both police and prison officers who, without exception, speak of him with affection and respect. To all he was ‘Fred’.
Many have said how dreadful it was that he died in custody, and I have thought so too, at first, but I have since changed my mind. His death came as a stunning blow because it was so totally unexpected, but when the initial shock had passed, I could be glad that he went out still fighting for the personal freedom in which he so deeply believed, provided that freedom hurt no-one else. The day before he died, he wrote a letter to the secretary of the Motorcycle Action Group, ending with the words: ‘If we don’t keep up the fight we deserve all that will certainly come to us. Freedom has to be deserved.’”
To join a Fred Hill Run in your area, check out the list of planned runs for this year:
West Dorset MAG Fred Hill memorial ride. The Crown Inn, Bridport, DT6 4AX.
Saturday the 10th February 2024.
Meet 12 noon.
Leaving at 1pm (to Portland).
Taunton & Mid Somerset Fred Hill run
February 10 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
The Maypole Inn, Thurloxton, TA28RF meeting at 10am, leaving at 11am.
Or The Apple Tree Inn, West Pennard, BA68ND meeting at 11am leaving at midday
Event listing: https://mag-uk.org/event/taunton-mid-somerset-fred-hill-run/
Greater London MAG Fred Hill Run- Ace to Pentonville
February 11 @ 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Event listing: https://mag-uk.org/event/fred-hill-run-ace-to-pentonville/
East Yorkshire MAG Fred Hill Run
February 11 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Meeting at 11am for a 11:30 departure, the plan is to ride over the Humber Bridge and take in some Lincolnshire country roads before returning to the Alex for a warming drink and hot dogs.
Event listing: https://mag-uk.org/event/east-yorkshire-mag-fred-hill-run-2/
York Fred Hill Memorial Ride
February 25 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm