Jump to content


Photo

Brands memories


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 484 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 03 April 2012 - 17:08

'Brands memories could form a whole new thread, Tony'

My first ever race was at Brands. After watching for a couple of years, I joined the (as an apprentice, failed) aces.

On my Ariel Arrow I also had my first crash at paddock. The bank leapt out at me and ripped the forks off the bike. (Never trust an earth bank :mad: )

Saw all the greats of the time and a few not so greats. :smoking:

But Brands was always special, with the covered paddock on a slope. I know there are plenty of photos out there of this great 'shed' with scruitineering down at the bottom. :up: Post'em :stoned:

And let's face it any race circuit built on 'Scratchers Lane' can't fail :lol:

Advertisement

#2 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,258 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:52

'Brands memories could form a whole new thread, Tony'

My first ever race was at Brands. After watching for a couple of years, I joined the (as an apprentice, failed) aces.

On my Ariel Arrow I also had my first crash at paddock. The bank leapt out at me and ripped the forks off the bike. (Never trust an earth bank :mad: )

Saw all the greats of the time and a few not so greats. :smoking:

But Brands was always special, with the covered paddock on a slope. I know there are plenty of photos out there of this great 'shed' with scruitineering down at the bottom. :up: Post'em :stoned:

And let's face it any race circuit built on 'Scratchers Lane' can't fail :lol:


Yes Tony, so many (in the South at least) would have had their first taste of racing at Brands. Brilliant layout, brilliant setting. Do you remember it being more than a bit slippery though? I can recall some humongous slides due to car rubber (well, they felt like it if you were sitting on the thing), particularly going into Clearways on the short circuit?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 04 April 2012 - 13:53.


#3 Robin127

Robin127
  • Member

  • 380 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:03

"Dan Gurney" written on the track on the approach to Druids :)


#4 zxrman

zxrman
  • New Member

  • 27 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 04 April 2012 - 15:44

I had my first race at Brands too - 1985 on a prodution GPZ550. A great circuit and the old GP layout still rates as my favourite short circuit.

I remember the great caff at the top of the paddock and the fried breakfast after practice; waiting at the lights to go under the tunnel to the inner paddock and the marshal in "Big John's Little Hut ", going out for a wet race and remembering to avoid the old skid pan behind the pit garages.

Is it just me or was it all a bit friendlier then too ?

Mark.

Edited by zxrman, 04 April 2012 - 20:27.


#5 Yendor

Yendor
  • Member

  • 510 posts
  • Joined: December 06

Posted 04 April 2012 - 16:09

'Brands memories could form a whole new thread, Tony'

My first ever race was at Brands. After watching for a couple of years, I joined the (as an apprentice, failed) aces.

On my Ariel Arrow I also had my first crash at paddock. The bank leapt out at me and ripped the forks off the bike. (Never trust an earth bank :mad: )

Saw all the greats of the time and a few not so greats. :smoking:

But Brands was always special, with the covered paddock on a slope. I know there are plenty of photos out there of this great 'shed' with scruitineering down at the bottom. :up: Post'em :stoned:

And let's face it any race circuit built on 'Scratchers Lane' can't fail :lol:



Under the 'shed' probably around '64 or '65. It was a godsend when it rained, hailed, snowed or whatever it decided to do :)

Posted Image

#6 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 484 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 04 April 2012 - 17:24

Under the 'shed' probably around '64 or '65. It was a godsend when it rained, hailed, snowed or whatever it decided to do :)

Posted Image


Great photo Rod.

Presumably the other CR93 behind unfaired 57 is a CR93. The rear hub is totally different and the seat hump is different and the front of the fairing isn't CR93. :confused:

The Greeves is an RBS ('65).

Is that a Tohatsu (third number 57)?

But what gives it away as 1965 is that the bloke at the right hand end or the photo looking to his left had 'Elvis' sideburns in 1964 :stoned: In fact who is he looks familiar?

Edited by tonyed, 04 April 2012 - 17:26.


#7 fil2.8

fil2.8
  • Member

  • 19,496 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 04 April 2012 - 20:06

Yes , Rod , great period shot , the type of which I remember to well :love:
I love these paddock shots , they bring back so many great memories of a great period in motorcycle racing :love:
And yes , in those days it was all so much friendlier than it is now , they seemed to want to help you then :clap: , not full of ( mostly ) jobsworths as appears to be the case now :down:

#8 picblanc

picblanc
  • Member

  • 12,530 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 04 April 2012 - 20:40

I had my first race at Brands too - 1985 on a prodution GPZ550. A great circuit and the old GP layout still rates as my favourite short circuit.

I remember the great caff at the top of the paddock and the fried breakfast after practice; waiting at the lights to go under the tunnel to the inner paddock and the marshal in "Big John's Little Hut ", going out for a wet race and remembering to avoid the old skid pan behind the pit garages.

Is it just me or was it all a bit friendlier then too ?

Mark.


Big John's little hut?
Posted Image
Photo Copyrighted to Graham Etheridge.

#9 Robin127

Robin127
  • Member

  • 380 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 04 April 2012 - 23:17

Big John's little hut?


Here it is again in a photo I've posted before
Posted Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


#10 Yendor

Yendor
  • Member

  • 510 posts
  • Joined: December 06

Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:02

Great photo Rod.

Presumably the other CR93 behind unfaired 57 is a CR93. The rear hub is totally different and the seat hump is different and the front of the fairing isn't CR93. :confused:

The Greeves is an RBS ('65).

Is that a Tohatsu (third number 57)?

But what gives it away as 1965 is that the bloke at the right hand end or the photo looking to his left had 'Elvis' sideburns in 1964 :stoned: In fact who is he looks familiar?


The unfaired bike on the left is a Honda CR77 (305cc) ridden at the time by Dave Simmonds. The bike was later fitted with a Reynolds frame. The bike behind it is a CR93 but with a Jakeman fairing. The third No 57 is indeed a Tohatsu, Dave lifting it.

The Greeves was later to become mine, not sure now whether that was a good or a bad thing :)

Another pic taken at the same location.

Posted Image


#11 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,258 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:54

Under the 'shed' probably around '64 or '65. It was a godsend when it rained, hailed, snowed or whatever it decided to do :)

Posted Image


I wonder if it's without its fairing after he bent both it and the 72 at the same Brads meeting? I have a memory of seeing both bikes in the paddock after that meeting; their crumpled alloy fairings making the damage look a lot worse ? Later, I listened to Derek Minter explain that Dave was better on liitle'uns.

#12 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 484 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:53

Dave Simmonds and a 305, kept wondering why the primay drive case looked odd for a CR93 obviously distracted me from the larger than 125 cylinders. Growing old and not so observant these days.

I too had a Siverstone. A 24RDS bought from Martin Harrison when he bought one of Gus Kuhns Seeley 7Rs. I did my first Manx on it (not sure that was a good idea either).

Recently bought and read 'From Rocker to Racer' about Reg Everett which centerd a lot on BH.
Great book. Halcyon Days (A much over hyped phrase but true of that Brands era) :smoking:

#13 Robin127

Robin127
  • Member

  • 380 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 09 April 2012 - 00:21

The first time I went to Brands was August 1968, my oldest brother's first race meeting and only the second event I'd been to. I was 12 years old and I really don't remember a lot about it apart from the fact that my Dad borrowed a Thames van and I'm pretty certain it was dark when we left home. I do remember it being a nice sunny day though and being impressed by the "covered" paddock. After seeing the circuit on television regularly I was really surprised at how narrow it appeared in the flesh.

Looking back, once I started to go to meetings as a spectator/helper and then as a racer it seems that I virtually lived there, much the same way as many others have done with their "local" circuit. I first raced on it in 1975 with the old Paddock Hill Bend and rode regularly there until the early 90's, my last race there was the CRMC meeting in August 1999. One abiding thought I always had about the place though, was that it was always regarded as one of, if not the premier track in the UK but I always thought it was a bit of a dump, the toilets etc. were pretty dire, so was any food purchased there.

I do however have some great memories of the place and unfortunately some not so good ones either. One of the more humourous ones involved my brothers, at the last Southern 67 Club meeting of 1977 they ran a scratch race at the end of the day, brother Derek on his Commando and brother Kevin on his Greeves lined up. The flag dropped, the field came steaming into Paddock, Kevin was in about 8th place....Derek had an atrocious start and was right at the back, trying desperately to make up ground in the first corner, the biked went from underneath him, he slid to the bottom of the hill, got up and walked away. Kevin had no idea that Derek had fallen off and thinking every bike behind him was his older brother he started to ride on the edge....until the edge came a lot closer at Clearways and off he went too. Sibling rivalry is great :D

#14 Paul Rochdale

Paul Rochdale
  • Member

  • 1,270 posts
  • Joined: September 04

Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:22

Ah Brands. My first visit was when I travelled there in my good friend's father's Triumph Vitesse and was allowed to sit in the front passenger seat. Walnut burr dashboard and the instruments glowed on the return trip to the Isle of Thanet. I think that was the very first motorcycle race on the newly opened Grand Prix circuit. It was either that visit or another about the same time that I saw Derek Minter for the first of many times, his first ride after breaking his back in the Dave Downer crash. For the next few years I saw all of the greats there, Hailwood, Read and Ivy, Deubel, Fath and Vincent. They were wonderful, wonderful times and we always tried to get there really early before the traffic built up. The aroma of bacon & eggs from the paddock, the sound of Lulu over the tannoy. Happy times. I joined the Army, got posted abroad and my visits became more infrequent. Entrance prices seemed to rocket and I lost touch with the motorcycle racing scene. Even the traditional classes of 50, 125, 250, 350, 500, Unlimited and sidecar changed. I now just watch MotoGP on tv and it doesn't compare. I watched the first ten laps last night and after failing to see one single overtake, went to bed. I must return to Brands again though.

For some years I've lived fifteen minutes away from Brands but haven't visited for some years.

Edited by Paul Rochdale, 09 April 2012 - 18:52.


#15 Russell Burrows

Russell Burrows
  • Member

  • 6,258 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 09 April 2012 - 17:22

Whatever happened to the caff and Clubhouse? A cuppa tea and a cheese cake while poring over MCN of a practice Wednesday; a few sherberts in the bar while reliving the day's events of a race day - I thought it was great.

#16 ged

ged
  • New Member

  • 9 posts
  • Joined: October 11

Posted 09 April 2012 - 21:20

Whatever happened to the caff and Clubhouse? A cuppa tea and a cheese cake while poring over MCN of a practice Wednesday; a few sherberts in the bar while reliving the day's events of a race day - I thought it was great.

hi guys, am coming up to blighty in may and i belive there is a meeting on or around 25th may at brands so will be able to enjoy some of the atmosphere that u guys talk of looking forwards to the trip gwyn

#17 Tonka

Tonka
  • Member

  • 834 posts
  • Joined: November 11

Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:45

Some new memories of Brands were created today! Either the newish tarmac is rubbish or they dowsed the track in super slippery detergent after a bike ran around leaking fuel. I can't understand why the fuel didn't just evaporate.

No doubt Palmer will cite the number of accidents on the drop from Pilgrims as a reason for his track 'improvements'. Looking at what happened to many of the bikes, I dread to think what the outcome would have been no run-off at the bottom of the hill.

I dunno what to make of Palmers suggestion that anyone who comes off their bike can't restart.

Edited by Tonka, 10 April 2012 - 03:46.


#18 picblanc

picblanc
  • Member

  • 12,530 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:06

Some new memories of Brands were created today! Either the newish tarmac is rubbish or they dowsed the track in super slippery detergent after a bike ran around leaking fuel. I can't understand why the fuel didn't just evaporate.

No doubt Palmer will cite the number of accidents on the drop from Pilgrims as a reason for his track 'improvements'. Looking at what happened to many of the bikes, I dread to think what the outcome would have been no run-off at the bottom of the hill.

I dunno what to make of Palmers suggestion that anyone who comes off their bike can't restart.


That used to be the case a few years a go, @ BSB/Supercup meetings, & now thats two high profile meetings (NW200 2011) "ruined" due to oil or fuel spillage dropped in the wet, so I think sadly this will now have to be the rule once more? :well:

#19 picblanc

picblanc
  • Member

  • 12,530 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:26

My first Brands Hatch visit was Friday 31st March 1972 for the 2nd running of the John Player Trans Atlantic Trophy races, can still remember parking @ Clearways underneath one of the large wooden advertising hordings with my Dad, practice had only just started & I could hear the mix of two & four strokes already out on track, & running up the steep Clearways banking to be greeted with the sight of Cal Rayborn & John Cooper coming round the Clearways bend followed by Dick Mann, the then new Daytona 200 winner Don Emde the brand new works TR750 Suzukis of Nicholas Baumann & Grant, the new John Player Norton team on their blue Nortons of Phil Read, Peter Williams & Tony Rutter, Tony Jefferies & Ray Pickrell on their Triumph triples, Fantastic!! it was a dull & cold day but no rain.
It was also the first time I saw Barry Sheene race too, on his TD's? 250/350's in his new white leathers & after practice he came round to Clearways in a course car & stopped right in front of me looking for something on the track? He looked so cool!! always wanted to be Barry after that, & the excitement of driving through those main gates has never gone, although now you cant park on Clearways where we once did..........40 years a go where did it go!!

Advertisement

#20 Sakkie

Sakkie
  • Member

  • 42 posts
  • Joined: January 12

Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:50

Only ever visited Brands once in the old days (have watched a WSBK race there since) and that was for a Hutchinson 100 meeting. I wasn´t impressed with the idea of running the wrong way, purely from a safety point of view. The runoffs (the few there were) weren´t created with an anti clockwise circulation in mind, so it looked rather hairy to me. The Hutchinson meetings were pretty popular nevertheless.
Can anyone shed any light on who the person was the meeting was named after?

#21 larryd

larryd
  • Member

  • 654 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:55

Only ever visited Brands once in the old days (have watched a WSBK race there since) and that was for a Hutchinson 100 meeting. I wasn´t impressed with the idea of running the wrong way, purely from a safety point of view. The runoffs (the few there were) weren´t created with an anti clockwise circulation in mind, so it looked rather hairy to me. The Hutchinson meetings were pretty popular nevertheless.
Can anyone shed any light on who the person was the meeting was named after?


It was, I think, the Hutchinson Tyre Company, who presented the trophy originally.

#22 tonyed

tonyed
  • Member

  • 484 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 10 April 2012 - 17:58

It was, I think, the Hutchinson Tyre Company, who presented the trophy originally.


I think this is correct.

I managed to ride in the Hutch the wrong way round Brands. I found it a much nicer circuit even though Paddock was uphill and tightend on the exit. Clearways was obviously fast in slower out. I remember numerous riders going down here because of that.

Edited by tonyed, 10 April 2012 - 17:58.


#23 Robin127

Robin127
  • Member

  • 380 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 11 April 2012 - 00:18

My first Brands Hatch visit was Friday 31st March 1972 for the 2nd running of the John Player Trans Atlantic Trophy races, can still remember parking @ Clearways underneath one of the large wooden advertising hordings with my Dad, practice had only just started & I could hear the mix of two & four strokes already out on track, & running up the steep Clearways banking to be greeted with the sight of Cal Rayborn & John Cooper coming round the Clearways bend followed by Dick Mann, the then new Daytona 200 winner Don Emde the brand new works TR750 Suzukis of Nicholas Baumann & Grant, the new John Player Norton team on their blue Nortons of Phil Read, Peter Williams & Tony Rutter, Tony Jefferies & Ray Pickrell on their Triumph triples, Fantastic!! it was a dull & cold day but no rain.
It was also the first time I saw Barry Sheene race too, on his TD's? 250/350's in his new white leathers & after practice he came round to Clearways in a course car & stopped right in front of me looking for something on the track? He looked so cool!! always wanted to be Barry after that, & the excitement of driving through those main gates has never gone, although now you cant park on Clearways where we once did..........40 years a go where did it go!!


I couldn't have been stood too far away from you that day Graham. I was on the exit of Clearways opposite the pit slip road entrance. Had a great view of Percy Tait trying to prove a point after being left out of the British team and going through Kidney and into Clearways way too fast and losing it big time. The TR750's leaving black marks along the straight as the tyres couldn't cope with the power. Thinking "This isn't supposed to happen" as Rayborn beat the Brands specialists and proved that Americans could roadrace. Most poignant of all now, after reading all the original nostalgia thread, watching Dennis Rapley come out to the grid late for the 250cc race, on what I think the programme said was a Honda 3 but I'm certain it was a Ducati and knowing that he didn't have a hope in a field full of Yamahas.


.....Clearways was obviously fast in slower out. I remember numerous riders going down here because of that.


Too true, I can still picture the flag dropping, making my way through a melee as several bikes hit each other on the grid.....the next thing I remember clearly is being in A&E of Queen Marys.

#24 picblanc

picblanc
  • Member

  • 12,530 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:10

The programme (in pristine condition Phil!! ;) ) has Dennis on a Ducati Robin. RIP Renzo :(
Why was Percy left out? he was the reigning MCN Superbike Champion @ the expense of Tony Rutter on the Norton who did not get on with the bike & left the team shortly after to be replaced by Croxford, politics I would think? as the Notons were John Player sponsored & as was the Trans Trophy series? :well: