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1952 Senior MGP

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 226.38 miles (6 laps)

Description: Race report from the Isle of Man Weekly Times 13 September 1952 (pp. 1 & 5) below which is a full list of competitors:

Farrant’s Record Senior Win
Leads From The Start In Fast Race
McIntyre’s Great Effort on Junior A.J.S.
Manx Riders Again Do Well
Ennett and Christian to the Fore

D.K. Farrant, riding a Matchless/A.J.S. Twin, on Thursday won the Senior M.G.P. at record speed in a race in which he made quite a habit of breaking records. He led from the start and never looked like being headed in spite of the efforts of Bob McIntyre (A.J.S.) to create Manx Grand Prix history by doing the double on a Junior machine. The first three men broke the race record.
D. K. Farrant showed from the start that he meant business. At every point of the course he was reported to be going well, and at the end of the first lap his Matchless/ A.J.S. was 25 seconds in front of Tuesday’s Junior winner, Bob McIntyre, on his Junior A.J.S. The next four were all Nortons, with only seven seconds between the sixth, Dennis Christian, and McIntyre. J.A. Storr was third, P. A. Davey fourth, and Harold Clark was lying very handy in fifth position, 29 seconds behind the leader. On the second lap Harold equalled the record of the late Dave Bennett, 25 mins., 45 secs., but Farrant, who had been only 11 seconds outside the record from a standing start, then clipped 14 seconds off it on his second circuit, to give him a lead of 43 seconds over Clark, then in second place, a bare second in front of McIntyre, with whom he had such a great duel on Tuesday. Denis Parkinson came into sixth place to the exclusion of Dennis Christian.
At the half distance Farrant led by 25 seconds from McIntyre, with Davey third and Clark fourth 31 seconds behind the leader. Storr was now fifth, and local rider Derek Ennett had put the second Junior A.J.S. on the leader board in sixth position. McIntyre had narrowed the gap because he had no pit stop.
Farrant had been the first rider to lap at 88 m.p.h. in the Manx Grand Prix, on his fourth lap he had the crowd gasping with a lap at nearly 90 m.p.h., 28 seconds faster than last year’s record. The race seemed to be “all over bar the shouting.”
Farrant’s average speed for the six laps was 88.67 m.p.h. which was faster than last year’s lap record and over a mile per hour in front of the average for the race. McIntyre, ON A JUNIOR MACHINE, ALSO EXCEEDED LAST YEAR’S AVERAGE WINNING SPEED.
Not content with creating lap records on his second, fourth and fifth laps, Farrant went on to set up a record on his last lap of 25 mins., 15.8 secs., an average speed of 89.64 m.p.h. He completed the course in 2 hrs., 33 mins., 13.8 secs. at 88.65 m.p.h., to smash the previous record by 2 mins., 49.4 secs., and win by a margin of 1 min., 33.4 secs.
Perfect conditions for the Senior Manx Grand Prix augured a race of shattered records over six laps of this tough, twisting and undulating circuit of 37 and ¾ miles.
Twenty four non-starters, including Australian motor-cycle mechanic J. R. Nairn, left 83 in the race. Twelve club teams included two from the Isle of Man, Peveril “A” Team, D. Ennett (A.J.S.), D. Christian (Norton) and J. J. Wood (Norton), and Peveril “B” team, made up of H.L. Mills (A.JS./Triumph), R.A.D. Mawson (Norton) and M.R. McGeagh (Velocette). Other teams which promised to take the honours were Kings Norton “A” team, J.A. Storr (Norton), B.S. Hosking (Norton) and E. Houseley (Norton); B.M.C.R.C. “A” team, H.A. Pearce (Norton), Keith Campbell (Norton), and D.K. Farrant (Matchless/A.J.S.); and Wakefield, H. Clark (Norton), Denis Parkinson (Norton) and A. C. Taylor (Norton).
Other Manx riders, making a total of eight, were Kenneth Taubman (Triumph), of Douglas, and Robert Dowty (Norton).
Clerk of the course, Mr W.C. Halsall, said there was only one way in which to describe the day- “a perfect harvest day”. (Mr Halsall is secretary to the Board of Agriculture). Conditions all round the course were described as perfect.
His Excellency the Deputy-Governor, Sir Percy Cowley, was absent through indisposition, but he sent a message to all riders and officials conveying good wishes for a successful and trouble free race.
A roar or engines at 10 o’clock announced the arrival of the riders and machines after they had ridden along the promenade and through Onchan in procession.
The sun smiled from a blue sky onto the colourful scene at the Start where the Rev. Canon E. H. Stenning, President of the Manx Motor Cycle Club (the organisers of the races) and fellow stewards wished the riders well.
First Lap
Time keeper Les Lumby’s flag dropped to unleash the first man, P.E. Walsh (Triumph), and man and machine hurtled along Glencrutchery Road. The 1952 M.G.P. had started.
Denis Parkinson (Norton) showed he meant business in this attempt to add the Senior trophy to his many others. As soon as his engine jumped to life he lay flat along the tank, a purposeful figure.
All the riders started without difficulty, although D. Shields (Norton) had to push his machine a few yards before it answered his efforts.
First man to reach Ballacraine was Derek Ennett, the Castletown rider, one of those mounted on a 348 cc “works” A.J.S. Others with 348 cc A.J.S.’s were R. G. Ritchie and Bob McIntyre, the Junior winner.
Farrant’s Fine Performance
First retirement through engine trouble was J.F. Jackson (Velocette) at Greeba. That Derek Ennett was wasting no time was proved when he flashed through the Start over a minute ahead of E.B. Jones (Triumph), having completed his first circuit in 26 mins, 47 secs, an average speed of 84.55 m.p.h. Harold Clark (Norton) passed through the Start having overtaken 16 riders on the first lap. J.A. Storr preceded him by a few seconds. Veteran ace Denis Parkinson (Norton) passed 15 riders the first time round.
Excitement mounted with the announcement that D.K. Farrant (Matchless/A.J.S.) had sped round in less than 26 minutes from a standing start. In fact, his first lap at 25 mins, 56 secs- a speed of 87.31 m.p.h.- was only 11 seconds slower than the record of 25 mins, 45 secs (87.95 m.p.h.) set up by the late Dave Bennett last year. That astounding lap gave Farrant a lead of 25 seconds over his nearest rival, Bob McIntyre, mounted on a 348 cc A.J.S. which lapped in 26 mins, 21 secs, a speed of 85.95 m.p.h.
Only two seconds slower came John Storr (Norton) at 85.84 m.p.h. and a second behind was P.A. Davey, also on a Norton, at 85.79 m.p.h. The same slight margin separated him from Harold Clark (Norton) who lapped at 85.73.
Dennis Christian Sixth
Manxman Dennis Christian also appeared on the leader board in sixth place with a lap of 26 mins., 28 secs., only 32 secs. behind Farrant. Only 1 min., 12 secs. divided the first 12 men, which promised an exciting and closely fought race.
The crop of retirements included K.D. Waddington (Triumph) at Kirk Michael, and G.E. Collett (Norton) with a broken chain at Glen Auldyn. The riders were O.K.
Second Lap
Reports from round the course indicated that Farrant, on that hybrid Matchless/A.J.S., an unknown quantity, was really speeding up. A very fast lap was that of P. A. Davey (Norton) in 25 mins., 50 secs., an average speed of 87.66 m.p.h., only five seconds outside the record.
Fast though Farrant had been on the first lap, Harold Clark (Norton) was faster on his second. Riding superbly he equalled the record lap of 25 mins., 45 secs., a speed of 87.95 m.p.h. on this lap. What would Farrant do?
P. Shepley-Taylor (Norton B.S.A.) retired with engine trouble at Greeba
Parkinson stopped for a rapid replenishment as did E. Houseley (Norton), D. Christian and B.S. Hosking (Norton).
Farrant took 25 seconds to take in petrol at the end of this lap, H.A. Pearce (Norton) took 17 seconds for his fill up and Denis Christian 33 seconds.
First M.G.P. lap at over 88 m.p.h.
Thrills galore were capped by Farrant’s achievement on this lap, for he smashed the record by no less than 14 secs, created the new best of 25 mins, 31 secs (88.76 m.p.h.) and became the first Manx Grand Prix rider to lap at over 88 miles per hour. This feat increased his lead from 25 secs over McIntyre in the first lap, to 43 secs over Clark on the second lap, who had ousted McIntyre from second place.
Farrant now led with the growing time of 51 mins, 27 secs, followed by Clark with 52 mins, 10 secs, and McIntyre only one second behind.
Davey retained fourth place, only three seconds behind McIntyre, with Storr fifth, nine seconds behind Davey, and Parkinson sixth, 19 seconds slower than Storr.
Individual times and speeds for this lap were:- Farrant 25 mins. 31 secs. (88.86 m.p.h), Clark 25 mins. 45 secs. (87.95 m.p.h.), McIntyre 25 mins. 50 secs. (87.66 m.p.h.), Davey 25 mins. 50 secs. (87.66 m.p.h.), Storr 26 mins. (87.08 m.p.h.), Parkinson 26 mins. 9 secs. (86.6 m.p.h.).
K.C. Morris Norton) retired at Barregarrow with engine trouble.
Third Lap
Pit stops were reflected in the times this lap, but even so Farrant lapped in 25 mins. 58 secs .at 87.18 m.p.h., to retain first place, but his lead over his nearest rival had dropped from 43 secs. to 25 secs. Reason for this was that McIntyre did not have to stop for refuelling. He lapped in 25 mins. 39 secs., a speed of 88.39 m.p.h. to better last year’s record once again and to shoot up to second place for the second time. Clark dropped to fourth place with a lap of 25 mins. 46 secs., a speed of 87.89 m.p.h.
Davey crept up from fourth to third place with a lap of 25 mins. 38 secs., a speed of 88.35 m.p.h., which also betters last year’s record. Storr still held on to fifth place with a lap of 25 mins. 38 secs. (88.3 m.p.h.), and another Manxman, D. Ennett, jumped on the leader board for the first time in sixth place, with a lap of 26 mins. 15 secs. (86.27 m.p.h.). Farrant really whizzed past the score boards to start his fourth lap. C.E. Stanley (B.S.A.) retired at the end of this circuit because oil covered his back wheel and his front number plate had dropped off. A. Smith (Norton) retired at Barregarrow with a broken con rod.
Amusing announcement was that E.B. Jones (Triumph) stated at a pit stop at the end of a lap that his machine was going well, but he was having great difficulty keeping his trousers up because all the buttons had dropped off.
Only 31 seconds separated the first four men at the end of lap three.
The crowds at the Start had an unpleasant moment when No. 64, D. Shield, came in to replenish. He came off his machine, apparently after a skid, and was taken to Noble’s Hospital with slight concussion.
Fourth Lap – lap at Nearly 90 m.p.h.
A shattering record lap by Farrant caused people to ponder the question, “Would a 90 m.p.h. lap be recorded that day?” Farrant had lapped at the astounding speed of 89.57 m.p.h. and broken the lap record set up by himself on the second circuit by 14 seconds. His new record of 25 mins. 17 secs .made him the first M.G.P. rider to lap at over 89 m.p.h.
A broken exhaust pipe caused A.W. Woods (Velocette) to retire at Ramsey.
Farrant had passed 48 riders since the start. What he had under him was difficult to guess. Perhaps he had borrowed one of those supersonic engines from the R.A.F.! He increased his lead by 20 seconds to a total of 45 seconds over McIntyre, who lapped in 25 mins. 37 secs., a speed of 88.41 m.p.h. His desperate efforts to decrease his deficit had given McIntyre a 52 seconds lead over the third man, Davey, who covered this circuit in 26 mins. 27 secs., a speed of 85.63 m.p.h. to give him a lead of two seconds over fourth man, Storr.
He, too, had a two seconds lead over the next man, Harold Clark, who had dropped to fifth place. Storr lapped at 26 mins. 19 secs. (86.06 m.p.h.), and Clark in 26 mins. 27 secs. (85.63 m.p.h.). Riding brilliantly, Derek Ennett still occupied sixth place, having covered the fourth lap in 26 mins. 10 secs. (86.54 m.p.h.).
Fifth Lap- Storr’s Chain Breaks
After being among the leaders for the first four laps and lying third at one time, John Storr had hard luck on the fifth lap. He had to retire at Ballaugh Bridge with a broken primary chain.
Not content with breaking the record so many times already, Farrant went on to smash it once again on this circuit. He bettered the record of 25 mins. 17 secs. set up by himself on the previous lap by one second. His new lap record was 25 mins. 16 secs., a speed of 89.63 m.p.h.
That record lap had taken Farrant still further ahead of McIntyre, and at the end of it he had a lead of 1 min. 13 secs. over the Scot.
Last Lap- Farrant -McIntyre Duel.
Once again, the race was evolving into a struggle on the road between the two speed aces McIntyre and Farrant, whom only 10 yards separated at Quarter Bridge.
At Union Mills the lead had increased to 25 yards. With Farrant in front at Ballacraine, McIntyre had cut it to 20 yards. No doubt this speed duel would take the two leaders even further ahead of the field on this last lap.
Farrant’s lead of 300 yards over McIntyre was reduced by the time they reached Sulby to only 200 yards, but Ramsey saw Farrant 20 seconds ahead. That Farrant was increasing his lead was proved when he was through the Gooseneck 30 seconds ahead on the road.
Bungalow reported that only four seconds separated the two leaders and at Creg-ny-Baa, commentator Bertie Rowell reported that Farrant appeared to be going harder than ever.
Farrant was reported at Governor’s, and then he flashed past the Start to the roar of a great ovation, a certain winner.
McIntyre shot over the finishing line only a few seconds after him.
Not only had Farrant won the race, but he shattered the record of 2 hrs, 36 mins. 3.2 secs. (87.05 m.p.h.) – set up last year by the late Dave Bennett – by 2 mins. 49.4 secs. He finished 1 min. 33.4 secs. ahead of McIntyre, who led Davey by 52.6 secs. Farrant’s record last lap was covered at an average speed of 89.62 m.p.h. in 25 mins. 15.8 secs. to break his own record once again by one-fifth of a second. This lap proved to be the new record for the race.
McIntyre Beats Junior Record
Clark’s Junior lap record on Tuesday was broken by McIntyre on his fourth lap by 18 seconds. McIntyre was also on a Junior machine and his lap was 25 mins. 37 secs., a speed of 88.41 m.p.h. It was announced later that H. J. Ollerenshaw, a 31-year-old rider from Wharncliffe Side, Sheffield, had had a spill just after the Ginger Hall on his sixth lap after fighting his machine to regain control after his mount developed a terrific wobble. He was taken to Cottage Hospital where his cuts and abrasions were treated.


1Farrant, Derek2:33:13.0088.65Matchless
2McIntyre, Bob2:34:57.0087.67AJS
3Davey, Peter2:35:49.0087.17Norton
4Clark, Harold2:36:11.0086.98Norton
5Ennett, Derek2:37:38.0086.18AJS
6Christian, Dennis2:38:03.0085.94Norton
7Pearce, Harry2:38:12.0084.87Norton
8Parkinson, Denis2:38:13.0085.86Norton
9Wood, Jack2:38:46.0085.56Norton
10Houseley, Eric2:39:04.0085.04Norton
11Ritchie, Bob2:40:49.0084.47AJS
12Phillips, A.M.2:41:08.0084.29Norton
13Fox, Frank M.2:42:13.0083.74Norton
14Campbell, Keith2:42:35.0083.55Norton
15Jervis, R.2:42:49.0083.43Norton
16Dowty, Robert2:43:58.0083.25Norton
17Taylor, Alan C.2:45:11.0082.24Norton
18Purslow, Brian2:45:15.0082.02Earles BSA
19Jones, Eric2:45:24.0082.13Triumph
20Pantlin, Eric2:46:45.0081.46Norton
21Blair, J.S.2:47:42.0081AJS
22Hall, P.M.2:47:47.0080.96AJS
23Carr, Louis2:48:02.0080.84Triumph
24Cooper, Stan2:48:03.0080.83Norton
25Hosking, B.S.2:48:06.0080.81Norton
26Morgan, Dennis2:48:12.0080.76AJS
27Willis, Ken2:50:04.0079.87AJS
28Birrell, David2:51:51.0079.05Norton
29Rees, Elwyn2:51:58.0078.98AJS
30Prince, Ken2:52:14.0078.86AJS
31Smith, John2:52:43.0078.65Norton
32Walsh, Pat2:54:02.0078.05Vincent
33Smith, T.B.N.S.2:54:07.0078.02Norton
34Bowen, J.M.2:54:41.0077.76BSA
35Moss, P.2:55:00.0077.62AJS
36Porter, Ross2:55:18.0077.49AJS
37Passmore, Fred2:55:42.0077.31Norton
38Mills, Herbie2:56:03.0076.96AJS-Triumph
39Simister, Philip2:56:48.0076.83Norton
40Smith, Roy2:57:25.0076.57Velocette
41Hargreaves, Bernard2:58:21.0076.17Triumph
42Mawson, Bob2:59:02.0075.87Norton
43Thomson, J.A.2:59:21.0075.74Vincent
44Bagshaw, Peter2:59:43.0075.59AJS
45Brown, T.W.2:59:53.0075.52AJS
46Wilson, J.S.2:59:54.0075.51Velocette
47Briggs, A.G.2:59:56.0075.49Norton
48McGeagh, Michael3:00:33.0075.24Velocette
49Price, Norman3:01:03.0075.03Norton
50Rudge, Ron3:04:17.0073.71Norton
51Langton, D.3:05:06.0073.39Norton
52Bennett, R.3:05:32.0073.22Norton
53Watson, T.F.3:05:47.0073.12Norton
54Jenkins, D.F.3:07:09.0072.58BSA
55Winter, H.B.3:08:04.0072.23Norton
56Bent, Herbert3:08:53.0071.92Triumph
57Dunham, Laurence3:11:22.0070.98BSA
58Smith, A.3:11:29.0070.94Norton
59Boult, Dean3:11:33.0070.92AJS
60Buxton, N.E.3:15:06.0069.63AJS
61Taubman, Ken3:15:26.0069.51Triumph
62Clifford, H.S.3:16:06.0069.27Triumph
63Gallagher, Denis3:16:02.0069.19Triumph
64Walsh, Peter3:18:28.0068.45Triumph
65Southam, Les3:20:04.0067.09Norton
66Currie, L.3:23:03.0066.91Velocette
RClark, G.P.0AJS
RCollett, G.E.BSA
RFotherby, D.0Ariel
RHunt, Edward0Velocette
RJackson, J.F.0Velocette
RLambert, G.K.0AJS
RMorris, K.C.0Norton
ROllerenshaw, Henry0Norton
RPusey, Fred0Norton
RRichardson, Michael0AJS
RShepley-Taylor, Peter0Norton-BSA
RShields, D.0Norton
RStaley, C.E.0BSA
RStorr, John0Norton
RWaddington, Ken0Triumph
RWilliams, Victor0AJS
RWoods, A.W.B.Velocette


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