On Its Way – Bedtime Reading

First of all a slight correction to last week’s column. You will recall that I referred to the National Twin-shock Team Trial that the Lakes MTA will be running on Sunday, July 18 following the previous day’s British Championship sidecar trial (which also includes a non-championship Pre 65 class over the sidecar sections). Riders planning to ride the twin-shock team trial should note that all teams will consist of FOUR riders, with the best THREE to count, though I guess three rider teams will still be accepted though it makes their chances of success somewhat less. But who cares, it’ll be a great event.

I had an e-mail earlier this week from Tommy Sandham, and whilst Tommy may not be familiar to many of you, he actually has a long history of being connected with the sport, especially the Scottish.

Tom was once a TMX staffman but left to pursue writing technical articles and instruction booklets for telecoms companies, and I haven’t seen him since the day he left TMX which must be all of 20 years ago, or maybe even more.

However, to the point. Tommy is currently writing a book about the Pre 65 Scottish from its inauguration in 1984 up to 2009 – the first 25 years of the trial., and he will have it ready for sale prior to this year’s trial, in fact he tells me it is 2/3rds completed.

His e-mail to me included a request for colour pictures as he is hoping to have the bulk of the book printed in colour, and naturally I was happy to oblige with the selection of pictures that I have. But inevitably, he stills needs more colour pictures of the Pre 65 Scottish, and if you have any that are suitable for publication, then Tommy would be delighted to hear from you. You can e-mail him at tommy.sandham AT virgin.net and if you wish to take a look at his website, the address is www.tommysandham.name.

Tommy has published several books in his time and the three that will be of interest to the trials scene are his books: “Four-Stroke Finale? The Honda Trials Story”, now available at £19.99. At the time of writing that publication, just after the abandonment of the Honda trials project in the 'eighties, I don’t suppose anybody gave much consideration to Honda returning with the 4RT, but despite this, his detailing of the mighty Honda years when Steve Saunders, Rob Shepherd, Eddy Lejeune, Marland Whaley and others campaigned factory four strokes, makes for good reading.

Also out of the Sandham publishing stables are two books, “The Scottish 1900 – 1962” and “The Scottish 1963 – 1989”, also available at £19.99 each. The titles tell you all you need to know but I can add that they are great publications and as time moves on, become ever more readable.

Whilst I have been a writer all my life, I’ve never written a book – and have no desire to do so! It seems to me a horrendous amount of work and whilst I enjoy my writing, I seem to have an in-built limit of about 1000 words per article.

Like most people connected to the internet, e-mails come at me from all directions and occasionally some are worth taking a look at. The latest to land in my in-box contains the following links:

British Pathe Link 1

British Pathe Link 2

British Pathe Link 3

Just take a look at these clippings of pre war motorcycle sport, they are absolutely fabulous, and if you look at the Lancashire Grand National, just see how many people are there spectating, and the dangers they faced doing so!

My trialing this weekend was a local Barrow Trial, the Frank Jackson, a single lap, 35 section trial over a 15 mile course using land familiar to Lakes Two Day competitors. It was a fantastic trial and whilst it had a decent entry of around 80 or so, it really deserved to attract some really good top riders from over Yorkshire and the north east. Can’t understand why they stay away, as the day would have been a real challenge – sensibly – to those that ride the hard course.