Judith Matthews and Ray Matthews
“Dame” Judith was born in 1938 in Birmingham England. She came out to Australia in 1959 after working in atomic research in England primarily involved with Maralinga S.A.
She went to work at the CSIRO and as she said met Ray and that was that. They have four children, 12 grandchildren and, at the time of writing, they were awaiting their fourth great grandchild.
Judith learned to drive in a DKW 2-stroke car with an umbrella like handle on the dashboard.
Judith has always toured with Ray on the bikes and, as she mentioned numerous times, the sound of a bike is the thing she loves.
Her club car is a Ford Capri. It is a challenge to drive and it’s different and looks sporty. We have been behind Judith when she drives and let me tell you she is not an old lady driver.
Her dream car is a 1929 Fiat that is owned by Kevin McBain
(she is just waiting in the wings for him to sell it to her).
Judith is the WDHVC chronicler, keeping the most amazing lists of things about the club: if you need to know any Club history, just ask her.
She says the most enjoyable parts of being in the WDHVC is mixing with members, going to places that you ordinarily do not see and visiting older members who can’t get to meetings.
Judith is interested in everything, especially when a bonnet goes up. She is generally the first to have a look. I don’t think l have ever met a woman to be so interested in bikes and she knows all about them: she has been Ray’s apprentice for years.
Becoming a club legend is not all about restoring cars. Judith is different: her role is keeping the records for the club and she is doing an excellent job
Long live another legend!
Our club includes people with a wealth of knowledge and experience that we wish to preserve. This is the fourth in a series about these “Club Legends”.
Ray Matthews was born in Geelong in 1933. He has a brother and sister. The family moved to Drysdale in 1939. His father taught him to drive at the ripe old age of 11 in a 1936 Bedford panel van.
Ray started doing odd jobs and in 1950 became an apprentice as a tool maker at Fords, where he stayed for 91/2 years. He then moved to the CSIRO until 1995 where he was involved in apprentice training and experimental engineering, making prototype machines.
Now the good stuff. He got his first motor bike at 16, a Wolf 1936 2-stroke, two speed, which he bought for 15 pounds.
As most know, Ray is predominately a motor bike man, but he did have cars. His first was a 1948 Holden 215 bought from Bill Harty’s
(past club member) father.
His favourite bike was a 1951 AJS: now it’s a 1953 Vincent. He rode extensively at night in the milk bar scene at the Savoya Cafe in Moorabool St. What an outrageous life style he had.
He learnt restoration at Geelong Tech (this is becoming a theme with my legends) and he has restored all of his bikes, sometimes making most parts from scratch.
The Wolf took him two years to restore: 40 years later he bought another one.
When Judith came along she was his “Motor Bike Mumma”.
His dream bike is a Kawasaki Widow Maker classic because it would be challenge to ride. I think the name says it all.
Ray was a foundation member of the WDHVC in 1967 and his first club car was a 1934 Chrysler sedan, in which he and Judith did 40 rallies. He then bought the Nash in 1970. Its first run was in 1982 after restoration and it has done 364 rallies with the club.
Ray has been been Clubman of the Year twice, which he takes great pride in, and he served as Backfire editor for eight years.
He is also an honorary member of the Association of the Pioneer Motorcycles and Scott Owners Club.
Judith and Ray are collectors of all things including motor bikes, gramophones, and many other things.
Ray says the best thing about the WDHVC is the friendships gained, the longevity of the club and it is a pleasure to be part of a stable club and to enjoy it. This is the most important part of life according to Ray.
Ray and Judith enjoyed Norm Lehmann’s Battlers Rallies and all their children were bought up within the club.
His list of motor bikes is as follows (if l miss any sorry Ray.) AJS, Corgi, Raleigh, Wolf, Vincent, Scott, Acme, Ducatti, Mosquito, Sunbeam, Phoenix, and Suzuki.
What a clever man and he is only one of many that are in our great club. I would suggest if you have a problem with anything bike related you ask Ray, as this is his main occupation in life.
Western District Historic Vehicle Club