From 1947 my interest in the TT had increased annually with the help of my father. He took time to "educate" me by taking me with him into areas such as the paddock, the tea/coffee/soup tent and up to the practicing both morning and evening.
The parents of Jack and Charlie Brett stayed at the Regal Hotel where my parents also had a room each year from before the war. Jack and Charlie often popped in to see their parents and they were also friendly with my Mum and Dad. Any trophy they won appeared in the Regal and I was allowed to touch and even have my photo taken with them.
What more did a young fan need to make him the avid fan he is 60 years later ?
One evening when Jack and Charlie were going to receive their replicas at the Villa Marina, they called in with tickets for us all to get in. With them was the winner of that days race, no other than Geoff Duke and his friend John Lindsay, who stood while Jack and Charlie chatted on. I was introduced to him and had my photo taken on the hotel steps with him and the group including Pop and Ma Brett, Bessie Brett, the Campbells, My Mum and other residents in the hotel.
I talked to Geoff about his win and spent some time with him that evening. We all went to the Villa marina and we all sat together, cheering every rider but mainly for Jack, Charlie and, of course, Geoff.
Geoff acknowledged me after that and each following year he took time to say hello. We also met at Olivers Mount.
It was about that October when a package arrived addressed to me. I opened it and found inside the very back number Geoff had worn in the Junior TT (blue, and his first race success in a TT)) as a souvenir for me. I have had it ever since and it comes out of my "Vast Collection" whenever Geoff is discussed. I have had a photo taken recently with Geoff with nearly 60 years in between. He has worn well...I haven't !!!
My report for School
I wrote up my experiences for my school "Holiday Report" so here it is unexpurgated !TT 1950
For Mondays race I went to Hilberry. I had out of the hotel sweep (which my father organised) No.s 57 and 17 but I really thought that Geoff Duke would win. He was second with Artie Bell first and Johnny Lockett third.
Wednesdays race saw me at the Bungalow. T.W.Brown (104) our rider broke down at Governors Bridge in the Lightweight Clubmans race. L.R.Dear had a nasty crash at the Verandah.
We watched the Senior from Brandish. I had E.Braine in the sweep..
Suddenly we heard a bike ......Oh it's the Travelling Marshall.........NO !!!! It's Harold Daniell. Whee, what a lick !
On the 4th lap Geoff Duke broke the record and put it up to 93.34 mph. Geoff Duke won the Senior race.
That night he came to our hotel to see Jack Brett and I had my photograph taken with him. We discussed the new streamlined mudguard the Nortons used.....
TAKEN FROM MY REPORT TT 1950
TAKEN IN 2007 IN THE TT PADDOCK NEAR THE PRESS CENTRE
GEOFFS ACTUAL 1950 JUNIOR BACK NUMBER IN MY COLLECTION
JUNIOR TT BACK NUMBER WORN BY GEOFF IN 1950