Search records

1953 Junior TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 264.25 miles (7 laps)

Description: Race report from the Isle of Man Examiner 12 Jun 1953 (p. 6) below which is a full list of competitors:
Ray Amm Wins Junior TT at Record Speed
Mother at the Finish
Thrilling Battle between Commonwealth Riders
Race Marred by Two Fatalities.
Southern Rhodesian Ray Amm fought a sensational duel with his Norton team mate, Australian Ken Kavanagh, to win the International T.T. in record time on Monday.
This Commonwealth clash was the outstanding feature of a race of thrills. It was the first time a T.T. had been won by a Colonial, and the first overseas victory in the Junior.
There was never more than a few seconds between the two riders who both shattered the Junior lap record and race record held by Geoff Duke since 1951.
Amm averaged 90.52 m.p.h. and beat Kavanagh by 9 seconds. Third was Fergus Anderson (Guzzi) who was the only serious challenger on a foreign machine.
There were two fatal accidents during the race.
On the first lap, with less than half a circuit completed, H.L. Stephens, from Coventry, crashed at Bishopscourt.
On the fourth lap T.W. Swarbrick, of Preston, hit both banks of the road at the 13th Milestone near Kirk Michael. Both were killed instantly.
There was a field of 99 riders, Geoff Duke, who had no machine, being among eight non-starters.
New Zealander Rod Coleman, on an A.J.S., set the pace, being in first place with a lead of 7 seconds on Amm at the end of the first lap.
His speed from the standing start was 89.40 m.p.h. Amm lapped in 25 mins. 27 secs., at a speed of 88.99 m.p.h., and Anderson was only two seconds behind him.
At that stage Kavanagh was lying fourth, but still only 13 seconds behind the leader and 11 behind Amm. There was only 55 seconds between the six men on the leaderboard. R. Mc G. McIntyre (A.J.S.) was fifth and J. Brett, the third member of the Norton team, was sixth.

Dead Heat After Two Laps.
Coleman cut his lap time down by 15 seconds in the second lap, but he could not hold Amm, who was level with him, both having an aggregate time of 50 mins. 25 secs. For the two laps, a speed of 89.82 m.p.h.
Kavanagh ouster Anderson for third place with a 25 minutes lap and was only 8 seconds behind the two leaders. Anderson lay fourth, and McIntyre and Brett fifth and sixth.
The third lap brought disaster for Coleman, who retired at Glen Vine with a split oil tank. Then another sensation when McIntye had to retire with engine trouble.
The Norton duel was on!
Amm went into first place with a lap in 24 mins. 48 secs. (91.31. m.p.h.) – only one second outside the Junior lap record.
Duke’s record was tottering, and it seemed certain that it would be shattered as the tempo of the race increased.
Guzzi Threat
Kavanagh was 24 seconds behind Amm at the end of the third lap, whilst Fergus Anderson’s red Guzzi had streaked round to place him only three seconds behind Kavanagh.
The Junior race has never been won by a foreign machine, and at that stage it looked as if the Guzzi represented a serious threat to British supremacy.
Brett was in fourth place and Bill Doran and Australian E. Ring, both on A.J.S.s, came up among the leaders, in fifth and sixth place.
The fourth lap was full of sensation. First came the tragic crash of 28 years old Swarbrick at the 13th milestone.
Then the timekeepers reported that Kavanagh had snatched the lead from Amm.
He did the lap in 25 minutes, while Amm took 25.25 – but on aggregate only one second separated them!
Kavanagh’s Bid.
Anderson was only 9 seconds behind the leader, and Brett, Doran, and Farrant still lay on the fringe.
Could the Australian hold his slender advantage? The battle was reaching its climax. Amm replied to the challenge by increasing his pace in the fifth lap, making the circuit in 24 mins. 52 secs. – only five seconds outside the lap record. His speed was 91.06 m.p.h. Kavanagh lapped in 25.8, which put him into second place again, 15 seconds behind his team mate.
Anderson clocked 25 mins. 49 secs. (87.72 m.p.h.) and was still holding off a challenge by Brett who was striving to make it a 1-2-3 Norton win.
Doran and Farrant still lay in the next two places.
Kavanagh had another slash at the lap record on the sixth. His time was 24.47 (91.38) – the exact figures set up by Duke two years ago. Amm’s time was 24.55, and, while he still held the lead, the margin was reduced to only seven seconds!
Anderson had 58 seconds lead on Brett and was still holding the Guzzi in third place. But any chance of the foreign machine overhauling Amm and Kavanagh seemed remote, although only one and a half minutes separated it from the leader.
Amm and Kavanagh were obviously increasing the pace, and the last lap was the record breaker.
Amm did it in 24 mins. 40 secs. – seven seconds inside the record – at a speed of 91.82 m.p.h., and Kavanagh in 24.42 – five seconds better – at 91.66 m.p.h.
Kavanagh, who started at 1 min. 40 secs. before Amm, was first to finish, and there was a breathless interval while Amm completed the course and his time was announced.
The difference was only 9.6 seconds, to make the closest finish since the war and reminiscent of the great scraps between the famous Jimmy Guthrie and Stanley Woods.
Anderson held Brett off to the end, although the margin which put him into third place was barely a minute.
Noticeable performance was that of Derek Farrant, a winner in last year’s Grand Prix and in the international event for the first time. He finished sixth.
There were 56 finishers of the field of 99.
Local Rider Tommy McEwan (Norton) had the bad luck to have his engine seize under him in the first lap.


1Amm, Ray2:55:05.0090.52Norton
2Kavanagh, Ken2:55:14.6090.44Norton
3Anderson, Fergus2:57:40.6089.41Guzzi
4Brett, Jack2:58:40.4088.7Norton
5Doran, Bill3:02:23.0086.9AJS
6Farrant, Derek3:03:02.0086.59AJS
7Mudford, Ken3:05:23.0085.49AJS
8Murphy, George A.3:07:48.2084.39AJS
9Carter, Phil3:08:02.6084.28AJS
10Clark, Harold3:09:18.0083.72AJS
11Clark, John3:09:27.8083.65AJS
12Willoughby, Vic3:09:32.0083.62Norton
13Simpson, Leo3:09:35.0083.59AJS
14Scott, George3:11:00.0082.98AJS
15O'Rourke, Mike3:11:26.0082.79AJS
16Brown, George3:11:30.8082.76AJS
17Julian, Cyril3:12:11.0082.46AJS
18Grace, John3:12:15.0082.44Norton
19Wheeler, Arthur3:13:17.2081.99AJS
20McAlpine, Tony3:13:50.6081.7Norton
21Gray, Charlie3:14:02.8081.67AJS
22Laurent, Ray3:14:09.0081.63AJS
23Bryen, Keith3:14:17.0081.57Norton
24Paterson, George3:14:39.0081.42AJS
25Barnett, Syd3:14:46.0081.37AJS
26Boulter, Laurie3:15:25.0081.1Norton
27Glazebrook, Joe3:16:06.0080.82AJS
28Dear, Les3:16:34.0080.62AJS
29Pantlin, Eric3:16:56.0080.47Norton
30Newman, Guy3:17:53.0080.09Norton
31Walker, Bob3:18:26.0079.87Velocette
32Stormont, Barry3:18:28.0079.85Norton
33Willis, Ken3:19:41.0079.37AJS
34Ranson, Llewellyn3:19:48.0079.32AJS
35Leigh, George3:19:55.0079.27Norton
36Hardy, Eric3:20:11.0079.17AJS
37Duffy, Brian3:21:43.0078.57Velocette
38Grant, Harry3:21:54.0078.49Velocette
39Johansson, Kuno3:22:04.0078.43AJS
40Gilbert, Louis3:22:09.0078.4AJS
41Pearce, Harry3:22:10.0078.39Velocette
42Pratt, Bob3:22:27.0078.28AJS
43Luck, Charlie3:24:09.0077.63Velocette
44Rood, Benny3:24:47.0077.39AJS
45Pollitt, Arthur3:25:17.0077.2AJS
46Ellerby, Cliff3:26:22.0076.79Velocette
47Passmore, Fred3:27:07.0076.55Norton
48Campbell, Sparky3:27:38.0076.33Norton
49Browne, Bob3:27:43.0076.3AJS
50MacDonald, Bob3:28:59.0075.83AJS
51Rudge, Ron3:30:20.0075.35Norton
52Dean, Rally3:35:50.0073.43Norton
53Cope, Frank3:42:05.0071.36AJS
54Dean, Zachary3:42:22.0071.27Norton
55Thompson, Dick3:42:44.0071.15Norton
56Jones, George3:50:03.0068.89AJS
57Sunderland, MiltonBSA
58Dawson, EddieAJS
RBrown, TommyAJS
RNorris, FrankAJS
R=Coleman, RodAJS
RFranklen, SidAJS
RFrend, TedAJS
RPrince, KenAJS
RPurslow, BrianAJS
RRing, ErnieAJS
RRowbottom, BobAJS
RStarr, LeoAJS
RSwallow, KenAJS
RSwarbrick, ThomasAJS
RTempleton, MalcolmAJS
RWalker, GeoffAJS
RSalt, CharlieBSA
RWunsche, SiegfriedDKW
RBarrett, ErnieJAP
RGraham, LesMV
RBailey, JackNorton
RDavey, PeterNorton
RHouseley, EricNorton
RMaloney, JohnNorton
RMcEwan, TommyNorton
RNicholson, NickNorton
RParry, LenNorton
RSorensen, SvenNorton
RStephen, HarryNorton
RTravers, RayNorton
RCarr, Cliff BrianVelocette
RHancock, WalterVelocette
RJones, AlbertVelocette
RSandford, CecilVelocette
RTindle, TommyVelocette
RTutty, DaveVelocette
RCooper, StanAJS
RMcIntyre, BobAJS
RSherry, RobinAJS
RMoule, Albert E.Norton
RBeevers, BillNorton
RFisher, JohnAJS
RHarding, JackVelocette


Optional, not displayed

Manx National Heritage (MNH) will always put you in control of the information we send you. Read our privacy policy