Bruce tries the 1950 Works for size in the pits. The TT Organisers provided us with a pit tent in a prime spot behind the grand stand. Bike owner Peter Bloore looks on along with one of Bruce’s younger fans.
Peter Duke tries his dad’s Norton for size. The two fantastic wall prints were done by Dave Jupe in NZ and were a great success.
John McGuinness knows his TT history and was very interested in the ’50 Works. The extra hair was for the 1950’s themed party in the pits. John is very approachable and like Bruce takes a lot of time out to talk to the fans. They really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Classic TT which is the opposite to the June TT races. Henry Cole was filming for his TV Bikers show. George Cohen was on hand for a few “sound bites” Dave Roper rode the original Rod Coleman 1954 AJS Porcupine in the parade lap. He was based in the tent beside us. Owner Rob Iannucci was on hand and suffered a broken arm after falling down the stairs in the evening and with other health problems was not having a very good time. Seeing the “Porc” running seemed to cheer him up as it is the first time it has run on the IoM since 1954, and is running well.
Peter Duke rode the ’50 Works at Jurby and said he would “just do a couple of laps”. This turned into about 12 laps and he was the last to come in. He had the biggest smile ever! Davida supplied the period helmet and Peter certainly looked the part and was very stylish. It certainly made our effort worthwhile and helped put smiles on a lot of peoples faces.
These trophies are “The Real Thing”. There are quite a few Kiwi’s names on them. We had the bike on display right beside the trophy table and they kindly let us “borrow” the Senior TT Trophy for the photo. They really do look after us over here and nothing was too much trouble.
1970’s star Mick Grant was very interested in the ’50 Works. He works for the modern Norton race team. The Norton Rotaries were out in force with about 17 of the race bikes coming over from the National Museum to be demonstrated. The original race team main man Brian Crighton (in the red shirt) was on hand working on the bikes but was frustrated by the lack of spares for the bikes which had in some cases not run for 25 years. The Geoff Duke Memorial Service was held at St Ninians Church at the top of Bray Hill and was very well attended. Sammy Miller and Bill Smith both spoke and gave fine tributes about Geoff. Murray Walker also spoke via video link. Our 1950 Works Norton and a Gilera 4 were displayed in front and drew much favorable comment from many people. The Gilera was started, which might be a first inside a church!
Immediately after the service the bike was further needed as a centerpiece at the “TT Legends” dinner at the VIP Centre behind the Grandstand, to which Debbie and I plus Peter Bloore had been invited.
Running a bit late, I bump started the bike in my best clothes and rode through the back streets of Douglas, (just like Duke would have done going out to practice) through Nobel’s Park, and straight into the venue with over 200 people seated for dinner.
The doors were flung open and the timing was perfect as the Master of Ceremonies, Charlie Williams had just got up on stage. After a deafening roar from the 6″ mega, he introduced the bike and rider to a huge round of applause.
John McCandless, who lives on the Isle of Man, was most interested to see the work of his uncle Rex.
John’s dad, Cromie McCandless was a very successful rider on mainly Norton’s but also Gilera.