Search records

1950 Junior TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 264.25 miles (7 laps)

Description: Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 10 Jun 1950 (p. 4) below which is a full list of competitors:

Bell breaks the Hoodoo
Duel with A.J.S. in record breaking race
Graham Fails after first lap lead
Foster Packs up in Third Lap

The Start, Monday.
Nortons won the Junior T.T. today after a record-breaking race in which they led after the first lap when Les Graham on his A.J.S. jumped into the lead with a breath-taking lap at over 86 m.p.h. – a speed never previously attained in the Junior T.T.
Spectators hadn’t had time to appreciate the significance of this startling speed before Geoff Duke came within a second of Graham’s lap time, and Artie Bell, his fellow Norton team man, was only six 6 seconds behind. It looked as if the Norton race plan would pay the expected dividends, and so it transpired. Bell, riding at the peak of his form, took the lead on the second lap with a new record circuit and held onto it grimly lap after lap with young Geoff Duke always lying handy if anything should happen to Bell. Nortons were leaving nothing to chance in achieving their first Junior T.T. victory since the late Jimmy Guthrie won in 1937.
The cracking pace was bound to tell a tale on the leader board and Bell steadily drew away from the others, with Duke the only one within striking distance of him. So hot was the pace that the average speed of the first three men after half the race was greater than the old record lap, and the first five men were all faster than the record speed for the race put up by Jimmy Guthrie thirteen years ago.

The Start, Monday
Blue skies, perfect road conditions, clear visibility coupled with an atmosphere of excitement which only the T.T. can imbue in the minds of the motor cycling public, and ordinary lay-men alike greeted the 100 competitors for the Junior T.T. men this morning, as they wheeled their machines down to the starting line, machines the engines of which had lain dormant since the weighing-out on Saturday. In the interim competitors had spent their time resting and trying to fit themselves, mentally and physically, for the great race to-day. They knew better than anyone else the hazards the T.T course has to offer; they knew their progress would be watched by thousands round the course, and by countless hundreds of thousands all over the world who would listen to the B.B.C. reports, with an unmatched interest, for the Isle of Man enables the Auto-Cycle Union to stage the greatest motor-cycling racing meeting of the calendar.
The only foreign rider challenge came from “old timer” S.A. Sorenson (Norton) and we were pleased to welcome riders from Ceylon, Australia and New Zealand. Lorenzetti (Moto-Guzzi) was a non-starter owing to an accident on the continent.
The Lieut-Governor, Air-Vice Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromet, as usual, mingled with the competitors and spoke to many of them just before the signal fired to tell the people round the course that the Junior T.T. had started.

First Lap
R. J. Hazlehurst (Velocette) led the way, but subsequently stopped at Sulby Bridge to make an adjustment. There was no spluttering of engines at the start. They all fired immediately and the men got away in fine style, with the exception of E. Braine (A.J.S), who had to change a plug. Best of the lot, not even excepting Les Graham, was Geoff Duke. He sped towards Bray Hill like a flash of lightning, and the last the people on the packed grandstand saw of him was his flying figure, down over the handlebars, all set for a great race.
First incident befell V.H. Willoughby, on a Velocette, who took a spill at Quarter Bridge, but remounted.

Graham takes the lead
It was hard to decide whether to watch the position clocks of Graham and Duke, or pay greater attention to the men finishing the first lap. The New Zealander, S.H. Jensen (A.J.S.) was the first man to do so, but hard on his heels was A.R. Foster (Velocette). The position clock said that Duke had made up about two seconds on Graham by the time Ramsey had been reached. When they passed the Start, Foster gave the O.K. signal to his pit attendant, but Duke took no notice of anybody or anything. First retirement came when R.J. Hazelhurst (Velocette) pulled into the pits, thus smashing the hopes of the B.M.C.R.C. First sensation came when A.J. Bell (Norton) broke the 1938 lap record. His time was 26 mins., 26 secs., a speed of 85.06 m.p.h. The came news that Les Graham had clipped seven seconds off Bell’s performance. His time was 26 mins., 19 secs., a speed of 85.9 m.p.h., and Geoff Duke was travelling only one second behind Graham.

Second Lap
Now we came to the second lap, with Graham and Duke out on the course and only one second between them: as a matter of fact, four seconds only divided the first four men. Engine trouble had caused the retirement of quite a few competitors by 11-15, but none of them belonged to teams.
Bang goes the record
Commentator David Lay at Cronk-ny-Mona reported that A.R. Foster (Velocette) was taking a much better racing line there than hitherto. Foster was the first man to finish the lap and “here it is,” said the announcer, “or perhaps it is only the start.” Foster was the first man to better Stanley Woods’ official first lap set up in 1938 when he lapped in 26 mins. 16 secs., an average speed of 86.22 m.p.h. The first lap is the short one as the men start in front of the finishing line and their times are not accepted as official records.
What would the future have in store? We might have a better idea at the end of this lap.

Nortons take the lead
Then came Artie Bell (Norton) with a time of 25 mins. 56 sec., an average speed of 87.31, beating the record again, but this time with a regular wallop. Les Graham lapped in 26 mins, 22 secs., and Duke in 26 mins., 16 secs., and so Bell’s miraculous lap enabled him to snatch the lead from Duke by 14 seconds, with other men on the course whose one ambition it was to better their existing performances and so get on to the leader board.
E. McPherson, from Australia, on an A.J.S., was stopped for a considerable time at the pits and even after he pushed away he had difficulty in getting his engine to respond.

Third Lap
Foster packs up
First shock on this circuit came with the news that Foster, the first man officially to have lowered the record, had packed up at the Quarter Bridge. The rider was O.K. and had a word with his Excellency and Lady Bromet when he came back to the start. The clutch trouble which had slowed down McPherson would affect the chances of the A.J.S. manufacturer’s team, whilst Foster’s retirement smashed the hopes of the Velocette team. It had been thought that the Nortons had something up their sleeve for Race Day. Certainly their drivers had something almost supernatural under them in the way of an engine. The Norton team was streaking round the course to some purpose. T. McEwan (A.J.S.) the only Manx competitor, retired at Kirk Michael on his third lap with engine trouble. The rider was O.K. Just before noon, H.L. Daniell (Norton) pulled in for replenishment. So did Artie Bell, who only took 19 seconds to take in fuel, while Les Graham seemed to clip a couple of seconds off that time. The record was not further lowered in this circuit, the individual lap times of the four leaders being: – Bell 25 mins. 57 secs; Duke, 26 mins. 10 secs.; Graham, 26 mins. 40 secs.; and Lockett, 26 mins. 35 secs.

Fourth Lap
Carburettor trouble had befallen Salt, who had been on the leader board for the first two laps, but he was still on the road. Duke on this lap was all out; by the time he had reached Governor’s Bridge it was thought he had pulled up quite a lot of time, although the timekeepers, with such a big field to check were a bit slow in recording the aggregate times of the leaders. Two laps previously Lockett up pulled in to tighten the megaphone of his bike, and this had obviously slowed down his time.
The record was not lowered on this circuit. Bell had an individual lap time of 26 mins. 29 secs., Graham 27 mins. 22 secs., Duke 26 mins. 44 secs., with Daniell 27 mins. 23 secs., so Geoff Duke had not “stepped on it” to the extent that we on the stands had expected.
With the retirement of C.A. Stevens (A.J.S.) the hopes of the Streatham and D.M.C.C. were dashed. Stevens had come off at the Crossags corner, but was O.K.

Fifth Lap
Two minutes 48 seconds now divided the first three men, and 40 seconds of that lead belonged to Artie Bell. Despite Geoff Duke’s excellent lap times we learnt at the stand that Norton Motors, who rarely give away any trade secrets, had delegated to Bell the task of showing his rivals’ jobs the way round the course. Bell was apparently riding to instructions. Steadily he was roaring round the course, going well, and it was noticed that the average speed was higher than the average speed of the 1938 record lap.

Looking neither right nor left, Artie Bell went past the stand. He did not seem as fast as many, but the performance and speed was obviously there. He was still leading the race. Duke was reported to be leading Graham at Cronk-ny-Mona. Commentator David Lay reported that the A.J.S. man had “got his skates on” but had developed a wobble just past the corner. Ultimately he came past the stand apparently none the worse.

Individual lap times of the leading four men were: - Bell 25 min. 58 secs.; Duke, 26 mins. 10 secs.; Graham, 26 mins. 53 secs.; and Daniell, 26 mins. 43 secs.

Sixth Lap
With the heat of the brilliant sun the roads must have got very sticky, but still Bell showed the field round the course. By 1p.m. 18 retirements had been announced, so with luck the percentage of finishers would be higher than for some years.

All over bar shouting
One of the fastest men round Cronk-ny-Mona was Daniell, who passed a fellow competitor right on the corner. Bell came down from Brandish Corner like a bomb following Frend of the A.J.S. camp. In what appeared to be only a matter of seconds Bell streaked past the stand to embark upon his final circuit and it was noticed that he got into top gear from Governor’s Bridge before the other competitors changed up. Bell was certainly prepared to take Bray Hill for the seventh time this morning all-out. At the time he passed the stand his runners-up, Duke and Graham, were coming down from the mountain.

Individual lap times of the four leaders were as follows: - Bell, 26 mins. 43 secs.; Duke, 26 mins. 34 secs.; Graham, 27 mins. 7 secs.; and Daniell, 27 mins. 18 secs.

Last Lap
The Junior T.T. was almost over, with a win for Nortons. By 1.25 p.m. Bell had passed Glen Helen. At that time Duke was on the way to Ballacraine, and so was Les Graham, whilst Daniell had passed Michael. It was obvious that Duke was doing all in his power to put up an even greater speed, but it seemed highly improbable that he could make up the time lag between his performance and that of Bell.

First man to finish the race was Dale (A.J.S.), and second was Daniell (Norton). McCandless, who had been lying sixth at the start of this lap, met with some sort of mechanical trouble coming down the mountain, but commentator David Lay at Cronk-ny-Mona said he had got going again. Artie Bell came through at 1.45 p.m. to finish the course, and he was acclaimed the winner of the Junior T.T., 1950, with Duke second and, surprisingly, Daniell third. We did not find out until after the race that Graham had overshot Ballacraine corner on this lap and took the slip road. This lost him valuable time.
Sixty-four men finished the course.

The Winner
Artie Bell, winner of Monday’s race, is 37 years of age, comes from County Down, and has a motor-cycle business in Belfast. He is married with one child, and his wife was on the Grandstand to see his wonderful achievement. He has many racing successes to his credit, most notable of which was the winning of the Senior T.T. in 1948. This year he won the 500 c.c. class in the North-West “200” by the narrowest of margins from Johnny Lockett, his Norton team mate.

Nortons Win Team Prize
Nortons won the team prize with their No.1 team, consisting of A.J. Bell, G. Duke, and Johnny Lockett.


1Bell, Artie3:03:35.0086.33Norton
2Duke, Geoff3:04:52.0085.73Norton
3Daniell, Harold3:07:56.0084.33Norton
4Graham, Les3:08:03.8084.27AJS
5Frend, Ted3:08:56.4083.88AJS
6Lockett, Johnny3:10:18.2083.28Norton
7Dale, Dickie3:10:41.2083.11AJS
8McCandless, Cromie3:12:16.6082.43Norton
9Bills, Ken3:12:28.0082.35Velocette
10Hinton, Harry3:13:18.4081.99Norton
11Whitworth, David3:13:43.2081.81Velocette
12Wheeler, Arthur3:15:04.4081.24Velocette
13Hawken, Freddie3:15:23.0081.11AJS
14Pike, Roland3:16:47.6080.53AJS
15Brett, Jack3:16:55.0080.48Norton
16Jensen, Syd3:17:29.8080.25AJS
17Barnett, Syd3:17:33.6080.22AJS
18Lawton, Syd3:18:54.2079.68AJS
19Scott, Scottie3:21:10.0078.78Velocette
20Harrowell, John3:21:18.0078.73AJS
21Moule, Albert E.3:21:19.0078.72Norton
22Walker, Bob3:21:56.4078.48Velocette
23Gray, Charlie3:22:05.2078.42AJS
24Lockwood, Monty3:22:23.0078.31AJS
25Paterson, George3:22:31.0078.26AJS
26Sorensen, Sven3:22:46.4078.16Norton
27Simister, John3:23:24.0077.92Velocette
28Ranson, Humphrey3:23:27.6077.89AJS
29Kentish, Jim3:23:52.0077.74AJS
30Anderton, Sylvanus3:24:01.4077.68AJS
31Hayden, G.H.3:24:51.0077.36AJS
32Harris, Leslie3:25:10.2077.24Velocette
33Sandford, Cecil3:25:20.0077.18Velocette
34Slater, Jack3:25:22.8077.16AJS
35Lee, Reg3:25:23.4077.16AJS
36Swarbrick, Jim3:25:32.6077.15AJS
37Newman, Guy3:26:09.2076.87Velocette
38Hall, Bill3:26:21.0076.8Velocette
39Barrington, Manliff3:26:36.0076.7AJS
40Bailey, Jack3:26:43.0076.66Norton
41Beevers, Bill3:27:19.0076.44Velocette
42Kirby, Harold3:27:27.0076.4Velocette
43Storr, Bill3:27:42.8076.3AJS
44Archer, Les R.3:29:28.0075.66Velocette
45Varlow, Jack3:29:59.8075.47AJS
46Maddrick, Bill3:30:34.0075.26Velocette
47Gilbert, Louis3:31:31.0074.93Norton
48Cope, Frank3:31:39.8074.87AJS
49Dale, John3:32:09.0074.7AJS
50Davis, C.H.3:33:03.0074.39Velocette
51Tattersall, Chris3:33:18.0074.3Velocette
52Morgan, George3:33:34.0074.21Velocette
53Klein, Max3:34:21.0073.94AJS
54Fletcher, Jack3:34:39.0073.83BSA
55Tindle, Tommy3:34:51.0073.76Velocette
56Brown, Allan E.3:35:02.0073.71AJS
57Helsham, Pat3:35:16.0073.62Velocette
58Petty, Ray3:36:01.0073.36Norton
59Ranson, Llewellyn3:39:36.0072.17AJS
60Myers, Bert3:43:15.0071Norton
61Fernando, Peter3:45:28.0070.29Velocette
62Barrett, Ernie3:49:21.0069.1Norton
63Webster, Bill3:49:24.0069.09Norton
64Morrison, George3:53:42.0067.81Norton
RMiller, StanAJS
RMooney, MickAJS
RPetch, BillAJS
RStevens, CyrilAJS
REvans, RoyBSA
RPurslow, FronBSA
RBoardman, KenNorton
RBriggs, EricNorton
RHorn, ChrisNorton
RJones, AlbertNorton
RArmstrong, RegVelocette
RBrett, CharlieVelocette
RHay, IanVelocette
RHazlehurst, RonnieVelocette
RMatthews, BobVelocette
RParry, LenVelocette
RSalt, CharlieVelocette
RDear, LesAJS
RFairbairn, FreddieAJS
RGlazebrook, JoeAJS
RHodgkin, JohnnyAJS
RMcEwan, TommyAJS
RMcPherson, EricAJS
RBraine, ErnieAJS
RFoster, BobVelocette
RHeath, PhilNorton
RWilloughby, VicVelocette
RLomas, BillVelocette
RWeston, RobNorton
RTurner, T. HarryNorton
RWalker, W.B.AJS
RWood, TommyVelocette
RCann, MauriceGuzzi
RFisher, JohnVelocette
RHarding, JackNorton
RHardy, EricNorton


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