"Bora da, rwyn gobethio bod mae
I gyd mewn iechyd da"

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Geff Duke, the legendary motorcycle racer, was almost responsible for my young bride Margaret and I having our first row.

We were wed on Saturday 4th June 1955 at Port St Mary on the most Southernly part of the Isle of Man. We stayed on at Port St Mary for a few extra days so we could watch the TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race on the Monday.

We were motorcyclists ourselves back then as we couldn't afford to buy and run a car. We very happily ran an elderly but very reliable Norton motorcycle. Margaret was an excellent pillionist and we rode many hundreds of miles on it.

(In 1950, the UK supplied 90% of the world's motorcycles, about 30 different makes from the AJS and the Ariel to the magnificent Vincents. Now, other than the Triumph, most are, sadly, gone)

So, we were on our honeymoon in the Isle of Man watching the TT races. An ice cream and soft drinks van was parked in a lay-by not far from where we were standing. As it was a very hot day Margaret asked if we could buy and some liquid refreshment. I gave Margaret a stern look and asked her if we could wait a couple of minutes as Geff Duke was due to come past.

Moments later, Geff Duke sped past. It was announced on the speakers that he had - for the first time - reached 100 miles per hour. A record.

I thought then it would be physically impossible for anyone to go faster than that!
Nowadays, Japanese and Italian motorbikes achieve over 126 mph which is over 25% faster. Truly amazing!

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"Nos da rwyn gobeithio bod newch
chi gyd gall nosweth difyr"