By now Doug and I were part of the CB radio craze and we had sets in van and car, (I also used mine at work to get directions to chemists and health centres !) and many of the other riders including Nigel Rollason kept up long winded conversations from leaving home to getting to the venue and since we often camped there for the weekend, chatted socially without ever meeting face to face.
I wrote an article for the CB magazine telling how Doug and I used the CBs to manage his TT attempts....I had a number of spotters using radios at selected places on the course and they could relay Dougs split times as he did a lap..This is well before we had the use of transponders !!
Unfortunately Doug bounced the kerb and came off at Kirk Michael during the race and ended up in the garden of a house. The Yamaha was shortened significently with forks and buckled front wheel rammed into the front of the engine.. Doug was taken to hospital so we went to see how he was..Before we even got to Nobles, he had discharged himself to go back to his "residence" in Groudle but we were told that was suffering from shock and the result of a pain-killing injection given while he was in A & E. We panicked and drove the length of Douglas front to see if we could find him. And there he was, being sick in a doorway of a shop underneath the Castle Mona, the top of his leathers opened and tied round his waist. We bundled him into the car and got him back to Groudle Cottages and half carried him into the flat.. By now he was shivering and deep in shock so we ran him a bath. We put him to bed and he slept for 24 hours.
I think this was the first time I had had to deal with someone after a crash but it would not be the last.
It was during this period, I myself had an accident....I was carrying a large 16mm projector into a hospital to give a lunchtime lecture when I slipped on ice at the entrance. I did not fall down but with the weight of the projector I performed a rotational move and I felt something go pop in my back..I did the meeting and drove home. At home I felt I had a hardboiled egg on the centre of my lower back. After tea I could not move my legs and I was locked in a sitting position. I had to go to the loo so I crawled there and then crawled back..The doctor was called and subsequently had to lie on my back in plaster until the swelling went down..It was some time before I could move my legs properly so to keep me out of mischief my wife brought upstairs our old coffee table which had screw-in legs. I took the long ones out and replaced them with shorter ones and the table was lifted over me so the legs were either side of me.. With micropore tape I attached paper and documentation to the underside of the table and used this to draw, write and the like. Then I was given a marketing exercise to do at home for work while I was hors de combat for nearly six months ! This was the start of my TT Race Game which I put together to the instructions "Take something, develope and market it" with a useful book of how to do it. A hobby would turn into a very marketable item......
From the Press Release:- "The TT Game was patented as long ago as 1978 by TT Superfan Ian Huntly whilst he was recovering from serious spinal injuries. Ian found a method of working flat on his back in a plaster jacket, with a drawing board suspended over himself on four short coffee table legs. Ian used his enforced time off to study and made the project a marketing exercise. The game was initially sponsored by Geoff Dukes "Manx Line", the Isle of Man Tourist Board, and Ian's uncle George Bambrough, and then by Duke Marketing, Motorcycling Weekly (no longer with us) and the TT Supporters Club. Motor Cycle News supported one major run as did Ferodo and the local Bikeright Motorcycle Training School. The late great Mike Hailwood and Castrol gave valuable advice and help as did friends, TT riders Doug Randall, Nick Jefferies, Denis Parkinson and Mick Grant, plus journalist Mick Woollett and Peter Kneale, and Ian therefore acknowledges the help received and the social visits from the aforementioned people while he was hors-de-combat.
The game still sells world wide and has been updated annually as the lap record went higher and higher
(NB-The game is copyrighted)
At a Motorcycle Club Night a few years ago, 26 people played this game in one sitting. It was not until everyone had completed their assigned laps that the winner emerged."
I used a photo of Doug on his RG 500 on the box lid...
In 1984 I was made redundant so I went by the Motorcycle magazine trip to Assen in Holland for the GP but returned home locked up again.....I was taken into hospital for an operation to remove two discs and to fuse three vertebrae. Within a month I was walking and recuperating in Sorrento, Italy
I am now three inches shorter, can't touch my toes but have had no back problems since....