The way we were: August 1937

Designer confounds critics with his vision

After weeks of fine weather, heavy rain greeted competitors for the Crystal Palace meeting. After a five lap cycle race, a big field of solo motorcycle all-comers lined up for the handicap start 10 lap, 20 mile race at the South London venue. Harold Daniell (490cc Norton) took an early lead with Bob Foster (346cc AJS) close behind. Daniell slowed to be passed by Foster, then Maurice Cann (348cc Norton) who later passed Foster. At the flag the leaderboard read Cann, Foster, Cashman and Daniell.

The track looked more akin to a demolition derby after the five lap, 10 mile sidecar race. Victims included Jack Surtees (490cc Norton) who crashed after his throttle stuck, B H Kimberley (490cc Norton) rolled on a bend, W Graham (495cc AJS) stopped with ignition failure and T F Pullin (498cc Excelsior) dropped a valve. While A H Horton (596cc Norton) was way out in front, the scrap for second place had the crowd on tiptoes. With the finish in sight F E G Ratcliffe (490cc Norton) slowed, allowing G H Taylor (498cc Ariel) to take second.
 

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