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A Mallory Man


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#1 Classicpics

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 21:48

Hi All
I went to the very first road race meeting at Mallory 1956 and almost every one after that up until 1989. My parents marshalled at the first meeting and when I was old enough I did the same. We were at the paddock entrance in the Esses. If you ever watched from there you may have noticed that at the end of practice some bloke wandering onto the track and holding out a red flag to bring the riders back into the paddock. Well that would have been either me or my Dad. Easy job, lots of time for photography, sometimes it got a bit exciting if they 'pinched' an extra lap. I got me into the thick of the action, I could stand on the tarmac and take pictures all day. I got to know a lot of the riders quite well. Mike was of course one of my favourites a smashing chap he was too. He almost always came down to have a look at the opposition during practice and have a chat with us as did many others, Bob Mac, Derek Minter, Little Bill, Alan Shepherd, John Cooper, Dave Croxford, Chris Vincent, Fred Wallis, Fred Brindley, Dave ‘Ginger’ Saville, Percy Tait, Dave Potter, Mick Grant and Ago who I share the same birthday with and one year we shared a cake at a Post TT meeting. These and many others became quite good friends. In those day we used to go the Club House for a drink with the St.John's lads and most of the riders when the racing finished. Guaranteed to be a lively place after a few beers. I have a great collection of pictures from a then professional photographer Ron Hunt from Leicester. He was a really good friend. We used to ferry him from his home in Leicester to the circuit and back, he never drove. The pictures were gifts from Ron and it was easy for me to get them autographed and they all are but one Bob Mac. My hobby was photography and I have many pics from ‘the golden era’ of motorcycling. I also used to Marshal at Silverstone for the British GP meetings. Ken Phillips, Brands Chief Marshal, was a good friend of ours and we went to as many Brands meeting as we could, tickets were always readily available form Ken.
I still take a keen interest in the sport, I don’t get to many meetings now but read MCN and BSN. I did visit Mallory for the BSB meeting but it just ain’t the same circuit, all those chicanes how they have spoilt good flowing racing. If the old circuit had bigger run-off areas it would be great.

John Nowell

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#2 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:41

Hi John , very good story here.
But, if you look at your pictures threads , you will see why I think a post like this will get a much better audience on the "right" thread IMO.

#3 joepotts7

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:05

Hi John,
I was interested to see that you went to all the early meetings at Mallory Park. I was wondering whether you had any recolections or stories about Bob Mac and Alistair King who dominated many early meetings on Joe Potts' machines? The Scottish 'terrible two-some' spent alot of time at Mallory and much private development testing was carried out their by the Potts team. At Mallory Bob Mac developed the Dunlop Triangular tyre and also the 'McIntyre Matchless' which was built specifically to win the Mallory Race of the Year.
P.S. I am not suprised that Bob's signiture was hard to get, as he didn't like stuff like that.

Regards
Ben

#4 renzo

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:14

john,get yourself over to the 1969/90 mc nostalgia forum and bring your pictures,we are all waiting with baited breath! :wave:

#5 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 13:40

Be fair Renzo , half of him should be 49-68 thread ! :smoking:

#6 renzo

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 14:13

okey dokey,i have top ,you have bottom! :lol:

#7 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 15:55

He who comes first :rotfl:

#8 Classicpics

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 19:22

Originally posted by joepotts7
Hi John,
I was interested to see that you went to all the early meetings at Mallory Park. I was wondering whether you had any recolections or stories about Bob Mac and Alistair King who dominated many early meetings on Joe Potts' machines? The Scottish 'terrible two-some' spent alot of time at Mallory and much private development testing was carried out their by the Potts team. At Mallory Bob Mac developed the Dunlop Triangular tyre and also the 'McIntyre Matchless' which was built specifically to win the Mallory Race of the Year.
P.S. I am not suprised that Bob's signiture was hard to get, as he didn't like stuff like that.

Regards
Ben


Hi Ben
I have a nice picture of Bob on the 1961 250 Honda 4 and this one below signed after Bob's death in 1962 by Alistair King.
He was a very quiet man, he would sometimes come and sit with us on our straw bale at the entrance to the paddock in the Lake Esses, (a straw bale for protection, luxury), and watch a bit of practice, say thank you and off he went.
I remember when Bob, riding his 285 Honda, ran into the fallen bike of Tom Thorp at the hairpin during practice. My mother (Bob was her favourite) asked the doctor how he was. The doctor said he was bruised and sore. He also added that his reactions weren't as quick as they used to be. As a fifteen year old I didn't take much notice, but now I think understand what he meant. he'd been racing since 1950 and it was a very hard life in those days. Bob was at the top of his form in 61 and 62 at Mallory and Alistair wasn't ever far behind him.
I know he developed the Dunlop triangular tyre, which local hero John Cooper did the development work on after 62.
I also remember Bob walking through the Esses crowd at the 1962 post TT meeting taking a collection for Tom Phillis's family. 62 was a very bad year.

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#9 joepotts7

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:16

Hi John,
Thanks for the good picture of Bob. Your are right about the early April meeting in 1962 when Bob hit Tom Thorpe's fallen bike. The crash damaged the Honda 285cc badly, and it was not ready for action until the Oulton Easter International.
The Post TT must have been hard for Bob, with Tom Phillis loosing his life in the Junior TT. Both Bob and Alistair King had a good meeting on the Joe Potts bikes at the Post TT. In the Junior race Alistair King finished second to Mike Hailwood on the MV 4, whilst Bob Mac retired his 285cc Honda with ignition trouble. In the Senior race, Bob finished third on the Potts Matchless behind Hailwood and Hocking on the MV's with Alistair King in fifth on the Potts Manx.
I am trying to collect results for the Joe Potts riders such as Alistair King, Bob Mac and Charlie Bruce, and I wonder if you have any results from Mallory???

Regards
Ben

#10 Classicpics

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 22:52

Hi Ben
I'll good look through my old programmes

At a glance 9th September 1956
Bob McIntyre
Alistair King
John Hartle
E Walker
J A (Tony) Sugden
K Smith
All entered by Eric Bowers
Not a mention of any of them in the results
Also entered were P W Read 350 BSA, P H Tait 250 Velo 350/500 Norton,
W A Smith 250 Excelsior 350/500 BSA, D F Shorey 250 Rudge

More to follow

John