The way we were: May

1914
Early in the month, The Motor Cycle readers were advised of ferry travel arrangements for spectators from Liverpool Docks to the IoM for the TT races. Options included day tickets priced at 4s-6d (22.5p) steerage and 6s-6d (32.5p) saloon, four-day excursion tickets were 6s (30p) steerage and 9s (45p) saloon class. Organisers received a total of 49 factory and private entries for the five-lap 187.5-mile Junior (350cc) race run on Tuesday, May 19 and 111 entries for the six-lap 225-mile Senior (500cc) event. A number of overseas riders lined up at the start of both races including American ace Paul Derkum (Indian) who finished 31st in the Senior.

After over four hours in the saddle victor and AJS factory man Eric Williams (above, centre) was lifted exhausted from his 350cc machine by two of the Stevens brothers. Cyril Williams (AJS – above, left) raced home to second place with private Royal Enfield entry F J Walker third. Of the first six machines to finish, four were built by A J Stevens Ltd, Wolverhampton.

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From the six Rudge singles entered for the Senior only, Tommy Greene’s mount was forced to retire after its tank split and the machine caught fire. On the pace from the start, Cyril Pullin moved into the lead during the race to win by over six minutes at 49.49mph from Howard Davies (Sunbeam) and Oliver Godfrey (Indian) who were found to have tied after a review for second place. Considering the winning Rudge Multi had options of 20 gear ratios and the AJS four, one wondered the possible multiplicity of gear ratios available for 1915s TT mounts.

1939
In its full-page advert in The Motor Cycle, the British Motor Cycle Association was encouraging every active motorcyclist to petition the UK government’s chancellor of the exchequer to remove from the Finance Bill the clause enforcing increased taxation on motorcycles.

1964
Irishman Sammy Miller (497cc Ariel) won the annual Scottish Six Days Trial by eight marks from 19-year-old Mick Andrews (347cc AJS) – 38 marks – with London’s Don Smith (252cc Greeves) on 39 marks third. AJS took the manufacturer’s trophy and Mary Driver best lady.

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1989
A rusty 8hp 1000cc V-twin New Imperial sold at auction by Sotheby’s of London for £1000, bettering the pre sale estimate by £400. The machine was discovered during a Lancashire house clearance concealed behind a wall, which was demolished to release the big twin.

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