More than 150 supporters and former riders celebrated 90 years of grass track racing at a reunion in a conference suite at the National Motorcycle Museum on Saturday, October 14, writes Rob Lidgate.
They included grass stars who competed from the 1950s and those who raced in this year’s Masters Championship, and the evening proved a great success.
Guests of honour Alf Hagon and Gerry Wheeler delighted the audience with stories of their past encounters, and former champions and club riders including Reg Luckhurst, Dick Tolley and many more, enjoyed the pleasure of meeting old friends and rivals again, in some cases for the first time in more than 30 years.
A display of 26 grass bikes dating back to the 1930s included the 1951 500cc machine on which Dick won the first-ever championship, and his son Richard, along with Richard’s son Paul and grandson Ryan were also present, representing four generations of the family.
Every one of the bikes taken along, including the top two from this year’s Masters Championship, had a story to tell. There was a World Long Track Championship-winning machine raced by the late, great Simon Wigg; a 1935 Ariel grass outfit; a five-times 350cc British Championship winner; a 650cc supercharged outfit built by 1975 British Champion Alan Artus and some good old workhorse two-fifties.
When you look at the big-contract, small-grid, exclusive TV rights razzmatazz of much of today’s motorcycle racing, the atmosphere of grass track events continues to bring a refreshing simplicity – and long may
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