Jump to content


Photo

'One Man's Dream' now on DVD


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Paul Collins

Paul Collins
  • Member

  • 642 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 17 November 2010 - 21:44

I've just found out that the John Britten story 'One Mans Dream' has recently been released on DVD, I lent out my original video years ago and never got it back so i'm now dropping subtle hints to the girlfriend about Christmas presents :)

As i'm sure many people on here will agree, John Britten's story was one of courage and determination against the odds, his engineering skills bordered on genius, I was lucky enough to witness the Britten in action when Shaun Harris rode it at the TT and I also got a good close look at it in the paddock, it was an absolute work of art.

For those of you who have never seen this inspirational documentary I can personally recommend it as essential viewing for these long winter nights.

Hopefully this link works, its available at www.manxshop.com

Edited by Paul Collins, 17 November 2010 - 21:46.


Advertisement

#2 billbomann

billbomann
  • Member

  • 80 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 18 November 2010 - 00:27

When we were in New Zealand in 2005 we paid our respects to John Britten. It is a fine and fitting memorial.
The second shot is of Shaun Harris finishing the 1996 Senior TT. They struggled to get the machine fired up after the pit stops, I believe Shaun had to free-wheel down to Bray Hill to get it fired up after the second stop, where would they have finished if starting rollers were allowed in '96?

Posted Image
By billbomann at 2010-11-17


#3 Redneb

Redneb
  • Member

  • 88 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 18 November 2010 - 00:27

The only issue with this doco is that the "one man" bit is a bit strong IMHO. It is certain that the Britten would not have happened without the vision and leadership of John Britten. No doubt at all.

But the doco doesn't give any real recognition of the other brilliant people who worked on the project, often to their own great cost. I would have liked to see just a bit more of the team in this. But I also accept that the whole "one man" theme is catchy and works very well for marketing.

Edit: The above post happened while I was writing mine. I much prefer the lower memorial to the top one.

Edited by Redneb, 18 November 2010 - 00:29.


#4 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,178 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 18 November 2010 - 08:25

Interesting viewpoint Red, and although it isn't really covered in any depth in the dvd, there's plenty of meat in Tim's book about the high work rate and tight deadline schedules of the team involved, and the resulting stresses and strains upon the personal relationships. For sure John was a visionary with a dream, but he expected everyone involved to drop everything and focus with equal intensity upon the prize, often without due consideration of outside factors, workers' personal relationships outside work, or even at times, realistic targets. It's a measure of the high esteem in which he was held among the support team that they achieved as much as they did in the short time available, but the book leaves the reader in no doubt that the results achieved came at quite a cost.
For what it's worth, I received Tim's book just before Easter one year, and with an empty house sat down and knocked it off in three reads. It's another genuine page-turner...

#5 billbomann

billbomann
  • Member

  • 80 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:04

When we met Harry Ruffell, the documentary maker in NZ, he was at pains to point out that, it may have been one man's dream, but it was a team that built the bikes.


#6 Paul Collins

Paul Collins
  • Member

  • 642 posts
  • Joined: April 09

Posted 18 November 2010 - 17:12

When we were in New Zealand in 2005 we paid our respects to John Britten. It is a fine and fitting memorial.
The second shot is of Shaun Harris finishing the 1996 Senior TT. They struggled to get the machine fired up after the pit stops, I believe Shaun had to free-wheel down to Bray Hill to get it fired up after the second stop, where would they have finished if starting rollers were allowed in '96?

Posted Image
By billbomann at 2010-11-17


I was in the pits that day in 1996 working for Nigel Piercy, I remember the pit stops and the agony of watching poor old shaun and his crew trying to bump start the beast which was having none of it, they eventually had to push it all the way back up the pit lane backwards (probably wouldnt be allowed today) and try again, I so wanted to jump down and help as did about 50 other people but we darent lay a hand on the bike due to the risk of getting him excluded for 'outside assistance' so we had to stand by helplessly giving loud verbal support to those poor lads trying their best to get the thing to turn over and fire.

When they eventually got it going after the second pitstop the roar from the grandstand was amazing.

I seem to recall that the team had only been told about an hour before the race that their starting rollers would not be allowed in pit lane.

#7 bella

bella
  • Member

  • 101 posts
  • Joined: September 10

Posted 18 November 2010 - 20:10

One man or ten men, its a fantastic achievement.
And its a nice looking bike as well.

#8 billbomann

billbomann
  • Member

  • 80 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 18 November 2010 - 21:50

1996 Senior. Manx Radio's Peter Kneale was commentating on the winners on the rostrum when he stopped and said "The Britten has finished its first TT" The Kiwi team got as big a cheer as the winners that day.


#9 timhanna

timhanna
  • Member

  • 91 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 19 November 2010 - 01:17

Thanks for the kind words about my book GD66.
John promoted the idea that he worked in a back shed on his own and of course the reality was always very different. However he thought it helped to win fans and maybe it did. All that had to change when Mark Farmer was killed at the TT. Suddenly being seen as a hokey one man band in a garden shed was not such a good thing. Being a fully professional manufacturer and race team was obviously a better option when your ability to build a reliable bike that would not kill its' rider was being questioned.
On the other hand John did work crippling hours and seemed able to do so on his own. The design and prototype production of the carbon fiber wheels is a case in point. He disappeared into his workshop at home for a few weeks and then emerged with the wheels ready to test.
John's attitude that he could do everything on a shoestring was, however, a genuine problem. His refusal to buy a decent lathe, for example, wasted huge amounts of the Teams' most talented members' time. The rubbish lathe they had to work with was really hard to program and it was always crashing half way through a job and having to be reprogrammed. It was incapable of doing repeat work. No drawings were ever made so every bike was reverse engineered. Parts were often not interchangeable.
John had moved on from the bike project before he learned he was sick to build a grand development that would have been as significant in its own way as the bike. Sadly those who could have pushed to realize his fully articulated vision chose not to. However in the time that the Team had to build bikes without him things functioned better and significant improvements in the bikes began to be achieved.
This did not mean that John was regarded by the Team in any kind of lesser light. He was always the man.
However the continuing myth about one man working alone should be put to rest.


#10 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,178 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 19 November 2010 - 10:07

Ok, so now we have a more even-handed view of how it was. Not to denigrate the man, but in all we need to disseminate the reality of the complexity of the project : yes, a visionary with a staunch support team, but let's not disillusion ourselves : it took a helluva lot of hard work from a big list of talented professionals, many of whom were working in hope...
And good on them... :clap:

#11 stuavant

stuavant
  • Member

  • 704 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:39

Thanks for the kind words about my book GD66.
John promoted the idea that he worked in a back shed on his own and of course the reality was always very different. However he thought it helped to win fans and maybe it did. All that had to change when Mark Farmer was killed at the TT. Suddenly being seen as a hokey one man band in a garden shed was not such a good thing. Being a fully professional manufacturer and race team was obviously a better option when your ability to build a reliable bike that would not kill its' rider was being questioned.
On the other hand John did work crippling hours and seemed able to do so on his own. The design and prototype production of the carbon fiber wheels is a case in point. He disappeared into his workshop at home for a few weeks and then emerged with the wheels ready to test.
John's attitude that he could do everything on a shoestring was, however, a genuine problem. His refusal to buy a decent lathe, for example, wasted huge amounts of the Teams' most talented members' time. The rubbish lathe they had to work with was really hard to program and it was always crashing half way through a job and having to be reprogrammed. It was incapable of doing repeat work. No drawings were ever made so every bike was reverse engineered. Parts were often not interchangeable.
John had moved on from the bike project before he learned he was sick to build a grand development that would have been as significant in its own way as the bike. Sadly those who could have pushed to realize his fully articulated vision chose not to. However in the time that the Team had to build bikes without him things functioned better and significant improvements in the bikes began to be achieved.
This did not mean that John was regarded by the Team in any kind of lesser light. He was always the man.
However the continuing myth about one man working alone should be put to rest.

Even though we were both from ChCH we never crossed paths. Mike Sinclair spent a deal of time with the boys and his input would have been invaluable. Just as an add on Mike said to me once that John's biggest problem was he never finished anything. I guess thats what happens with visionary's?