Pip Harris at work
5 April 2013
I was excited when I opened TCM, March 2013, to see ‘Aintree Road Racing September 1954’ as that was my first motorcycling race meeting, 59 years ago

I remember all the riders; Ray Amm on the ‘bullnose’ works Norton, Bob McIntyre on the works AJS and my favourite, Geoff Duke, Gilera.

They used to have handicap races and John Surtees’ Norton started with the 350 and Duke in the 500s on a Gilera. Surtees just beat Duke by a fraction over the line. I was standing on the Tattersall Grandstand at Tatts Corner far left in the picture. I didn’t get to see the bullnosed Norton as Ray Amm crashed just 300 yards up the road.

Looking at Pip Harris in the picture (above) shows just how exciting sidecar racing was. I just have to mention one of my favourite riders from Southport. On a 7R, little Gary Dickinson was leading the 350cc race until the last lap at Tatts and fell off; he remounted to finish about 10th. Poor Gary was so short he could hardly see over the tank when standing up!

I still go to Aintree now. Although it’s smaller, you see some exciting clubmen racing. Many thanks for rekindling my memories of the glorious past!

Chris Thornton, Morecombe

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The Classic MotorCycle Issue 41-11 - Nov 2014

Where legends come to life

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