Classic Camera: High-flying Brett, July 1949

Jack Brett at Oliver’s Mount

Jack Brett leaps into the air, at Oliver’s Mount in 1949. Aboard his Norton, Brett finished third in the 350cc final, bested by Dickie Dale (Velocette) and Syd Barnett (AJS), though with a comfortable margin over fourth placed AJS mounted Johnny Hodgkin and like-mounted fifth place Alan Dudley-Ward. Those five finished on the same lap – the rest of the field was lapped by the irrepressible Dale.

Not only was Lincolnshire lad Dale fastest man in the 350cc field, he was also the quickest in both the 250 and 500cc classes too. On his quarter litre Moto Guzzi, he held off Roland Pike (Rudge) and Bill Lomas (Royal Enfield) to win – of course, Dale and Lomas were to go on to be teammates in the works Moto Guzzi team.


The 500cc class was another Dale benefit, with Harold Clark second, Hodgkin third and Denis Parkinson fourth – all rode Nortons. Fifth was the first non-Bracebridge Street built machine, Bailey’s Triumph. In the Senior outing, Brett had shown some speed, before a sick engine forced him out of the final. Likewise Barnett retired, after tipping off his GP Triumph. Elsewhere in the 500cc category, course record holder George Brown (who set the lap record in 1948 aboard a 998cc Vincent at 57.94mph – Dale’s best lap was at 57.81mph) had shown well early on in his heat, on the Vincent Grey Flash, before dropping out.

Only other event of the day was a 125cc race, won by Darbyshire on his Bantam, from Fron Pursow’s similar machine. bike

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