UNDER THE CHEQUERED FLAG
Derek Yorke passed away 2017. He was a formidable, competitive competitor, a true gentleman with a great sense of humour. His other fond talent was his music, he was an accordionist in a group for very many years.
Don Chapman passed away October 2016 aged 90 yrs. He began his career in the 1951 Junior Clubman on a Douglas and competed for the next 10yrs on 350 and 500cc on Nortons gaining 6th place in the 1959 500cc Formula 1 race.
Colin Jacobs sadly passed away, an accomplished sidecar racer and excellent sidecar chassis builder. Quite a character.
Graham Hilditch was a lifelong competitor and spent many years as a Parader up to a couple of years ago.
Derek H Allen passed away August 2016. He competed in the 125cc races from 1956 - 1959.
Charlie Durno, no further information only he raced pre-war.
Jack Ahearn -10th April 2017 Sydney.Australia. aged 94 yrs.TTRA member actually raced pre-war before serving in the RAAF during the war. He restarted racing 1947 moving up the ranks with great success in his own country before being chosen as part of the Australian team for the 1954 TT Races incredibly come home 9th in the Senior.
Jack became a professional rider and joined the Continental Circus for the next 12 years where he gained the title of King of the Privateers as he was usually the first man home behind the works riders. He achieved his ambition of a GP win in Finland in 1964 followed by gaining runner up position in that years 500cc World Championship behind the great Mike Hailwood. He continued to ride in the TT until 1966 when he scored his best result 4th in the junior.
He announced his retirement from racing at the end of that year. He ran a motorcycle shop in Sydney but could not resist another crack at the TT gaining a couple of replicas 1974 and 75.
Des Collins passed away in January this year. He was a man for all seasons with a huge interest in many facets of island sport and life in general. A successful businessman, it is 52 years since he and Percy Wilson established Wilson and Collins steel construction company.
Having served in the Merchant Navy in the mid-1950's, he had a close association with offshore sailing that began with a GP14 dingy in the early 1970's and progressed rapidly to a former Admirals Cup yacht. This was followed by a succession of vessels under the name of Billy Whizz that he raced in numerous round - island and other major sailing events throughout the British Isles crewed by friends and serious yachtsman.
Des's motorcycle racing interest started with 1970 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Roger Sutcliffe on a Suzuki 500cc twin and a 350cc between 1972-1977. Des provided machinery to many riders of TT and MGP since 1970 when he established a team with the late Percy Wilson.
Among those paying tribute is Connor Cummins who says he will always be grateful to
Des for helping him to start his career.
Many other riders added their tributes Roger Sutcliffe, Alan Jackson, Gary Carswell, Shaun Harris - New Zealand, Nigel Beattie, Mark Parrett, Dan Sayle and many more.
Thank you to John Watterson in Motorsport.Isle of Man.
Courtesy Double Red
After this Colin concentrated on building his motor cycle, car and marine sales business in West Yorkshire in which he achieved great success. This enabled Colin to support his son Robin in his successful British Championship quests and later his World Championship career. Colin was always keen to support up and coming young talent and to this day the Appleyard Racing team can be seen keeping up this tradition in the BSB Supersport class.
A regular TTRA luncheon attender usually in company with his friend Tony Jeffries, Colin will be sorely missed.
Gary Carswell tragically passed away following a Practice crash at a recent Jurby meeting here on the Isle of Man, Saturday 10th April 2015 aged 46yrs. Gary became one of the most consistent performers in the TT, with no fewer than 30 finishes inside the top 20 including eight in the top 10. He also won the 1997 Senior MGP and came 3rd in the 2004 TT. Gary was a long standing member and had always kept an interest in the TTRA, He leaves partner Lisa and daughter Amy.
Sandor Bitter - Hungarian, tragically passed away in September this year. Sandor competed in five TT meetings between 2006 and 2014 and was also a regular competitor on the Irish road circuits.
Francis (Rupert) Knights, always known as Rupert died in June 2015 competed in 10 TT races as a passenger between 1968 and 1975, starting off with the charismatic Ronnie Coxon, Rupert also rode with Jeff Gawley and Roger Dixon before teaming up with the German driver Heinz Schilling in 1975 to gain a 4th place finish.
Robert Smart- Southend
William (Bill) Collett - New Zealand
I have been asked to mention that there is a significant memorial headstone for a chap called John (Jack) Moore who died following a tragic accident on the mountain during the TT on June 13th.1938 aged 29yrs. In a local Graveyard, Park Rd Cemetery, Cheadle. Manchester.
James (Jimmy) Buchan. Scotsman from Perth passed away in March at the age of 81. He was born into a motorcycling family, his father rode in the Manx in the thirties and his brother ran a motorcycle shop. Jimmy found success early in his racing career in the 1955 Junior Clubmans TT. Later that same year he entered his first MGP with immediate success with 4th in the Junior and runner up in the Senior. But 1956 was to be Jimmy's year as he completed a victorious Manx double in both the Junior and Senior races. He received a civic reception on his return to Perth. Jimmy then competed in the TT for a further three years before then concentrating on his career as a journalist, later becoming sports editor of the Daily Express based in Glasgow.
Eric Hinton who passed away in December at the age of 81 was part of the famous Australian Hinton racing dynasty. Eric along with his elder brother Harry Jnr and father Harry Snr virtually dominated Australian racing in the early to mid fifties. Eric first travelled to Europe in1956 as a member of the Australian team for the TT as his father had done before him. He then became a regular member of the (continental circus) and rode until 1965 with a best finish of 5th in the 1957 Junior.
Julie Simmonds widow of 1969 125cc world champion David Simmonds passed away last December after a long illness. Julie was around the race paddocks for many years being a member of the famous Boddice sidecar family, the sister of our past President - Mick Boddice.
Brian Richards Sadly passed away in January after a long battle with illness over the past four years. Though best known in recent years as an entrant and sponsor of many riders in classic events Brian had a long career as a competitor himself. Starting with the 1961 MGP, then moving up to the TT from 1986 to 1988, before concentrating on the Classic MGP until 1991.
Steve Murray passed away in February this year after a very long life in motorcycle racing. He competed all over the world including Japan, the USA and Europe but it was the TT that Steve was most associated with, incredibly competing from 1960 until 2000,scoring three 4th positions in the 125 class.
Terry Windle sadly passed away in September after a long struggle with cancer. Though starting his racing career on a solo Terry soon switched to sidecars, building his own outfit in his shed. Having seen Terry's outfits other drivers were keen to acquire one and over the next 40 years the Windle chassis became one of the most successful outfits worldwide. Terry competed in eight TT's between 1968 and 80's.
Richard (Dick) Madsen-Mygdal sadly passed away December 2015. His racing career began in the early fifties riding his own Grey Flash and Black Shadow. He rode the Black Shadow in the 1953 TT Clubman's but unfortunately came off at Brandywell after overtaking a back marker whilst in the lead (that was his excuse) and spent the rest of the TT in Nobles Hospital. Dick retired from racing in 1959 to start his Haulage business and to become a pub landlord
Merv Wright sadly passed away April in California aged 76 yrs. He was famously the team manager of the world championship winning Texaco Suzuki team of 1976. Merv emigrated from Derby in 1962 taking his Manx Norton with him and continued his racing career in the States. In 1965 he returned to the UK to compete in the Junior and Senior TT gaining a bronze replica for his efforts.
Eddie Johnson sadly passed away. He was a Tynsider and a founder member of the very successful North East Motor Cycle Racing Club. Eddie's first Isle of Man appearance was in the 1958 MGP on an AJS followed by TT rides from 1962 to 1972. Eddie passed away from a heart attack after cycling with friends in January aged 79.
Peter Russell Leics, sadly passed away early this year. He rode in the Sidecar TT in 1963 and 1964. Peter was recognised as successful on the English circuits in the 60's
William (Bill) Corlett sadly passed away 2015 aged 85 yrs. Bill rode with the New Zealand team in the 50's.
George Hardwick competed in 7 TT races between 1973 and 1983 as a solo rider before turning to sidecar racing where he became well known as a constructer of some very unorthodox outfits.
John Blanchard passed away October 2015. He was a non member but is well known, he raced in the 1966 TT. Finished with a 4th in the Snr and 6th in the Jnr. Also 1966 Ulster GP finished 4th. John rode for Geoff Monty and Colin Seeley,
John Holder. Sadly passed away April this year. John started out with cycle speedway then progressed to real speedway. After National Service he worked for the great Harold Daniel in Forest Hill. He rode many short circuits and the MGP in 1958/60. He was one of the team who broke world records at Montlhery on M.L.G R69 BMW and won the Thruxton 500 mile race in 1961 with Tony Godfrey on a Triumph T120. He later rode his Manx Norton and AJS 7R in classic races on the continent.
Derek finally shut the throttle in January. What a great rider he was, not only at Brands and other short circuits but also the first rider to lap the Island at 100 mph on a single cylinder machine, albeit followed by Mike a littler later in the 1960 Senior and winning a wager with Stan Hailwood from 50cc Honda to the 500 Duke Gilera. Derek rode in all solo classes and won the 1962 250cc TT on a works Honda 4 in front of Jim Redman and Tom Phillis, almost 2 minutes ahead at the finish. This win against team orders probably cost him a full Honda works ride contract.
Derek had a magnificent array of trophies including 12 silver Replicas and with Colin Seeley. I became involved in trying to find a permanent display for them altogether in one place which Jenny, his wife, was keen to see happen. Sadly Jenny herself passed away last September but I am glad to say that in spite of several frustrating refusals from some of the major motoring museums we were finally able to get them purchased by the London Motorcycle Museum, based in Greenford, Middlesex who have agreed to upgrade and rename their café The Minter Room. Where they will be properly displayed in quality cabinet.
The majority of the cost of this upgrade being supplied with a Grant from the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust of which I am a Trustee. This will all be completed in the next few months, why not pay it a visit at 29 Oldfield Lane South, Greenford. Middsx. Sat, Sun and Monday 10am to 4pm where they have a collection of rare motorcycles.
Written by John Kidson. 2015
The President and Committee would like to thank both Colin and John and all who were involved in achieving this great goal with so much effort and work organising this worthy and valuable collection which will carry Derek's name on.
My personal memory of Jenny and Derek were they came to visit the Isle of Man some 3-4 years ago with their daughter and grandchildren, Derek wanted to take them around the 37.3/4 mile circuit. They arranged to stay in some self-catering accommodation which was in the countryside including farm animal life to enjoy. As it happened it turned out to be just outside my beautiful village. Some 1 mile away. Derek and Jenny came for afternoon tea which was a lovely time spent and gave them both the chance to relax and talk about their life together. Derek was very contented and those memories stay with me, he had achieved his goal being able to have a last visit with his family and been driven round telling the memories he had of the various parts of the famous course. Derek and Jenny R.I.P.
Frances Thorp's memories.
Please support the Museum and make a visit.
The Grand Opening of the Derek Minter Cafe at the London Motorcycle Museum has now been officially opened.
Present were Colin Seeley and John Kidson who were responsible for the fantastic display,
The British Motorcycle Charitable Trust for their grant aid to the museum to enable the
refurbishment of the cafe area to display Derek's collection . The main photo left to
right included Dave Croxford, Roy Francis, Paul Smart, Colin Seeley, Bill Crosby
(museum founder) Rex Butcher, Ron Chandler,JK, Ian Kerr MBE (museum trustee). John Kidson.
Colin Seeley and John Kidson are Past President's of the TT Riders Association.
The laughing was caused by someone shouting " Colin stand up " and he shouted back " I am standing up !"
Thank you to Andy Bufton for the photographs.
A TRIBUTE TO FRANK PERRIS. PAST PRESIDENT OF THE TT RIDER ASSOCIATION
One of the Motorcycle racings most charismatic riders passed away in hospital on the Isle of Wight, in March 2015 at 83 yrs with his lovely wife Rita and daughter Tara at his bedside. Frank's final few days were spent receiving his family's love and tender care as he gradually succumbed to the harsh reality of Alzheimer's Disease which first started to effect him as he was still actively riding Suzuki and Matchless racing motorcycles in international Parade Laps in the UK and Europe.
In fact Frank and myself, both rode Phil Morris's team bikes in the hundredth anniversary of the TT, he enjoyed every minute of his 37.3/4 MILE LAP, this actually being the fifty ninth anniversary of his first ever TT lap in the 1951 Clubmans TT. As his ability on racing motorcycles improved throughout the 50's and 60's he started riding in all classes, mostly concentrating in the 350 and 500cc grades on Norton, AJS and Matchless machines.
He was around at the time when the Japanese started to dominate the scene in the early 60's and was quickly snapped up by the Suzuki Management team to partner Hugh Anderson, Isao Morishita, Mitsu Ito and Hans Georg Anscheidt and East German, Ernst Degner and managed to achieve high world Championship placings in the 125 and 250 grades even managing g to wrap his "over six foot stature "around Suzuki's miniscule 50cc championship winning machine, with multispeed gearboxes.
The story could go on, but Frank was a true gentleman and admired greatly. Goodbye Frank, you will always be missed and thank you for all the wonderful memories shared.
Tommy Robb. (for the TT)
Aged 78 years, passed away 18th April 2015. Robin moved into a Residential care home in Lancaster in 2011. Robin rode Solos 125cc from 1963-66. then 50cc in 1967-69 moving to passenger in S/car 1973-75 one year with Dave Mallon. Thank you Alan Capstick.
Died October 2014. Dick was a competitor both TT and MGP with a mega enthusiasm for the TT Riders Association and the Isle of Man. Thank you Marianne and Rob Foster for the information. Nev. Riley passed away in October 2014. He was a top northern Sidecar racer in early 70's, then TT rider 1973 and 1974 on BSA machines. Thanks, Graham Hilditch.
He passed away in December 2014 at his home in Ramsey IOM. He was a TT sidecar passenger in 1975-1979.
He passed away November 2014.TT sidecar passenger with Derek Rumble in the early 80's.
Sadly passed away March 2015. aged 88 years Alan raced in the Isle of Man some 20 times coming 4th in the 1959 Manx Grand Prix on a Manx Norton - His sponsor was Geoff Duke, He then moved on to the TT.
The doyen of motorcycling racing photographers, he took what could be argued the most famous photograph in the history of motorcycle sport, Ago at Bray Hill/Quarter Bridge Road, front wheel aloft in the 1970 Senior TT.
He passed away around July 2012. Colin was involved in racing historic sidecars from the late eighties and was a past President of the Historic racing Club of West Australia. Thank you Tom Gill for the message.
A Scotsman who passed away in June 2014, lived most of his life in Wakefield, West Yorkshire where he ran a successful motorcycle business. Bill competed in 33 TT races between 1963 and 1987, gaining three third place finishes in 1972-73 and 74
A great enthusiast of the TT Races and always accompanied Luke Lawlor.
He passed away February 2014. A very well known and highly respected journalist. He was also Sidecar passenger with Edgar Strub and others.
He passed away April 2013. He won the 1953 Junior Clubmans TT on a BSA and fourth on the 1959 Senior TT he used Norton Matchless and AJS' machine.
He Passed away August 2014. One time team mate of Sammy Miller on Terry Hills NSU's, he also ran a Motorcycle Shop in Belfast for many years.
He Passed away June 2014. Honda works rider 1964 to 1967 alongside Mike Hailwood and Stuart Graham winning the 50cc title in 1965. Ralph competed in TT 1962-1967.
He passed away May 2014. He competed in the 1958 - 1960 TT.
July 2014 very sadly passed away in hospital. A very good sidecar driver. Competed in TT from 1995 to 2004. He was seen in recent years as part of the Ryan Farquars pit crew at TT and MGP.
After a very long illness passed away April 2013 Adrian was also a successful sidecar driver in the 80's on the Isle of Man.
He tragically lost his life in the 2014 TT practices. He raced in both the MGP and TT Races.1992-2014 and achieved podium positions.
Died aged 39yrs, from Randalstown in Northern Ireland Tragically lost his life during a qualifying session incident at the 2014 Manx Grand Prix. He did also race in the 2010 TT and was a member of the TTRA.
He was fFrom North Allerton.Yorkshire Passed away December 2013. He raced 1975 - 1981 both in the Manx Grand Prix and the TT races.
From Ross-Shire Scotland. Sidecar racer. This is a late entry. James passed away 5 years ago.
Aged83 yrs. Newport, Shropshire has passed away 2014.
He sadly passed away July 2014. Cyril a resident in the Isle of Man raced in the MGP back in the late 50's early 60's.
With deep regret sadly passed away August 2014. Jenny the dear wife of Derek Minter, lovingly cared for Derek for many years, but sadly endured bad health in the past 12 months, which made it impossible for her to carry on caring for Derek. She actually managed to bring Derek and family to the Isle of Man some 2 years ago and in fact they visited my home for an afternoon. Derek was able to enjoy the fact that the Grandchildren came and he took them around the circuit. Derek is being well cared for and is comfortable, the TTRA do keep in touch with the Residential home.
It is with great sadness to report that William (Bill) Fitton passed away in June this year. Bill was a tremendous supporter both Marshalling and being a Friend of the TTRA. Even at the time of his illness he was always wanting the latest newsy bits about what was going on. We did receive a generous donation from some of his friends in the Peel area and a thank you letter was sent to each of the donors.
Tributes were paid to Mylchreests Group company founder Brian Mylchreest, who passed away in June 2014 at the age of 97.He held the rank of Colonel during the Second World War, serving in Egypt and leading the Manx Regiment for the Normandy landings. After the war, he returned to the island where he had the voluntary role of aide-de-camp for four Lieutenant Governors. For many years he drove the roads open car for the TT as far back as 1947 in a Riley. Mr Mylchreest was born in the Island and a pupil at King William's College, he founded Mylchreests Group in 1961. Among the honours Brian Mylchreest received were being admitted as lieutenant into the Royal Victoria Order (LVO). and being awarded Order of the British Empire (OBE). On his retirement in 1985 David his son became managing director. 2011 was the company's 50th anniversary which was certainly a milestone to celebrate. Race weeks you will see son David driving the roads open car, of course in a far different speedy car.
The Mylchreest family have certainly supported the Isle of Man races and also are supporters of the Friends of the TT Riders Association. We would like to say thank you.
Taken from the Isle of Man Examiner Newspapers June 17th 2014.with the consent of the Mylchreest family. In memory of Lt.Col.Brian Mylchreest. L.V.O.,O.B.E.,T.D.,L.P.
Thank you to all the families who chose the TTRA to be the recipients of very generous donations in lieu of flowers. It really is so much appreciated and our sympathy goes out to each and everyone of you.
Tom Thorp -1930 - 2011
When I first met Tom Thorp, long before I was the editor of this magazine, I was keen to find out more about the man and his road racing past. Anyone who was lucky enough to meet Tom will know that the last thing he wanted to talk about was Tom Thorp. Modest doesn’t even come close.
Several years later, and after much gentle persuasion, Tom finally agreed to an interview for a feature I was writing for our sister title The Classic MotorCycle. Five hours later, in the lovely Isle of Man home that Tom shared with his charming wife Frances, I had enough notes to write a book never mind a feature! And I suspect we had only just scratched the surface.
Tom was born in Greenford, Middlesex in 1930 and like so many more spent his childhood dodging German bombs. Getting into motorcycling as soon as he could, he was soon showing his engineering talent by tuning his own machines. I suspect it was his engineering skills that he was most proud of in later life.
His road racing career started with an Excelsior Manxman, bought with a £50 budget, a bike which served him well for a couple of seasons, before it was replaced by a 7R which he ran alongside a self tuned 250 BSA, which gave him a great runner spot in the North West 200 behind Tommy Robb.
Tom’s first attempt at racing in the Island in the 1956 MGP resulted in 19th place, and that after an unscheduled stop at Ballaspur for several minutes diagnosing a fuel lock. This was followed by a fine sixth the following year. But it was 1959 that should have given Tom MGP victory as he led the Junior by 90 seconds on the last lap, only for the piston to let go at Brandywell. Tom pushed home for 45th place.
Racing finally came to an end for Tom after a massive accident at Snetterton in 1961, but not before he had raced, and beaten, the very best in the sport. His last TT finish was a fine seventh in the 1962 Senior. It was only bad luck and machine failure that robbed Tom of true greatness. After racing finished he ran a successful motorcycle shop, followed by car and caravan business which was sold in 1984 allowing Tom and Frances to retire to the Isle of Man.
In a happy retirement both Frances and Tom worked tirelessly for the TTRA, with Frances becoming the secretary, a position she still holds. A lasting reminder of Tom’s skill and commitment is the TTRA’s Isle of Man headquarters, the 38th Milestone.
Tom passed away after a brave battle against a cruel illness. Rest in peace my friend.
Classic Racer Magazine
Keith Heckles 1934-2010
The World of motorcycling lost one of its most popular characters with the passing of Liverpudlian ace Keith Heckles on the 16 January 2010.
Although Keith was known as a Liverpool lad he was born in Crawley, Surrey and it was only thanks to Mr Hitler’s blitz that forced his family to relocate to Merseyside, just in time for the Luftwaffe to turn their attention to the area.
With a motorcycling father it was almost inevitable that young Keith would take to two wheels, but early rides on dad’s Autocycle could have given no hint of the racing success that Keith would later enjoy.
By 1959 the road going Heckles Gold Star was stripped for racing and he made his debut on the long Aintree circuit and before the end of that season he had his first taste of the Manx Grand Prix.
That first Manx didn’t go quite to plan, with a lost sump plug and sticking throttle being just a couple of the problems, but Keith made the start but a close encounter with Sulby Bridge ended his race.
However, success in the Island followed, with a runner up spot in the 1967 Production TT being a high point. But lady luck always seemed to desert Keith in the September races and he was without doubt the best rider never to win a Manx.
Keith was an all round motorcyclist and was quietly proud of the small collection of bikes that graced his workshop, especially his Beart Norton, on which he came so close to that elusive MGP victory.
Life wasn’t always kind to Keith, but through personal tragedy and illness he never lost his sense of humour or his zest for fun. He leaves two sons, Paul and Mark, both of whom he was very proud.
I am pleased to have been able to call Keith a good friend and without him the world of motorcycling will be the poorer. God speed old mate.
Classic Racer Magazine
Derek was aged 70 and lived in Bolton, Lancashire.
His racing career began in the early 1960`s; riding Manx Nortons and BSA Goldstars, in nationals and club events, around the U.K.
A switch to the Japanese two strokes, in the early 1970`s, saw him become one of the very first Maxton Yamaha pioneers; and he rode to many club championships at Aintree, Oulton Park, Croft and Carnaby.
Derek first rode the TT in 1973; and anyone who ever stayed at the Grasmere Hotel, in Douglas during the 1980`s, will remember him well. The pinnacle of his Isle of Man racing was in 1978, when he was runner up to Bill Smith in the F3 event; which was a one-off World Championship event at the time.
He retired from racing, after his last TT in 1980, and took up the role of mechanic for his son Richard; who is also a TTRA member.
He was familiar and popular figure around the road racing paddocks in the 1990`s as his skills, as a talented engine builder and welder, could always be bought for the loan of a cigarette. He ended his direct involvement in the sport in 1998; and since spent most of his time in his beloved village of Medano in Tenerife.
Multi-TT winner Dave Saville dies
Dave Saville passed away on 7 March 2006. Quadraplegic since 1993 following a tragic accident at the Manx Grand Prix classic races, Dave was best known for his heroics on the Sabre Racing F2 sidecar, particularly at the TT where he shared a top score of nine victories with Mick Boddice and Siegfried Schauzu.
An integral part of the Bawtry based Brindley sidecar clan, Dave’s first TT was back in the 1968 750cc race when he finished 10th. It took several attempts but he took his first win in the F2 A race in 1985 and went on to win either one or both races each year up to and including 1990.
His accident resulted in seven years in Southport Spinal Injuries Unit before he returned home, though still needing round the clock care. He missed the Island greatly and a terrific effort by his family and friends succeeded in him being present for a fund raising event at Sulby Glen Hotel, last September.
His efforts and those of his family to give him as near normal a life as possible since the accident is a story of untold bravery and determination. His passing, though very sad, is without doubt a blessing.