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1953 Clubman Senior TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 150.92 miles (4 laps)

Description: Race report from the Isle of Man Weekly Times 13 Jun 1953 (p. 5) below which is a full list of competitors:


Lowers Duke’s Four-years’-old Figures in Senior Clubman’s T.T.


BOB KEELER, from Hillingdon, Middlesex, riding a Norton, won the Senior Clubman’s T.T. on Thursday at record speed, and in doing so smashed Geoff Duke’s four-years’-old lap record to give him a lead of 21 seconds over W. E. Dow (B.S.A.) from Colchester, Essex, after two laps. Local rider Eddie Crooks (Norton) was third, and up to this point the first three men were travelling faster than last year’s winner, B. J. Hargreaves. Another local man, Alan Holmes (Norton) was tieing with D. T. Powell, Junior Clubman’s winner, for fourth position.

The two local men rode brilliantly to take second and third place after Dow had a spill at Laurel Bank on the last lap. Crooks also beat the race record set up by Duke in 1949.

Cut to a distance of three laps from the usual four in this race, the crowds waited to see how many of the 58 starters in the Senior Clubman’s would lower Duke’s 1949 record for the same distance – 82.97 m.p.h., and also how many time Duke’s lap record of that year - 83.70 m.p.h. – would be broken.

First Lap
Despatched in groups of three at 30 second intervals, the first three men kick-started away bang on 12.30 p.m. Local hopes were centred on the five Manxmen in the race. It was noticed that W. A. Holmes (Norton) led his group as he sped towards Bray Hill. R. A. D. Mawson (Norton) was not so lucky, and was delayed about eight minutes before he got away. With the exception P. E. Walsh (Norton), R. E. Jerrard (Norton), and A. King (Norton) all the men got smartly away from the starting squares and by the time the last man was despatched the first 25 men had been signalled at Ballacraine. Evidently the going was good.

Then came the news that G. R. Dunlop (Norton) had come off at the Quarter Bridge and retired. The rider was O.K.
Alan Holmes and Eddie Crooks, the local riders, were going well with Holmes leading on the road, but Crooks followed him with a magnificent turn of speed, and eventually it was announced that from a standing start Crooks’ time was 27 mins. 14 secs., a speed of 83.15 m.p.h. While it had not bettered Geoff Duke’s 1949 record, this time did beat the fastest lap put up last year. It put Eddie in second place six seconds behind the leader.

Now came news of a crop of trouble. R. Arthur (Norton) had the misfortune to come off at the Gooseneck, but remounted and proceeded.

Governor’s Bridge reported that L. R. King (Triumph) and J Bottomley (Norton) had collided there, but that both riders were O.K. King proceeded and eventually finished in fine style, but Bottomley retired. A. E. Hart (Triumph) came off near Laurel Bank and was badly shaken. He suffered concussion.
Local rider R. A. D. Mawson (Norton) toured into the pits at the end of the first lap and was half a minute before getting away again.

Second Lap
First news of this lap was that T. A. Ovens had come off his triumph at Laurel Bank and had ridden into the Start, as he was not allowed to proceed because of a damaged rear brake.
Others retired too, but on the whole the men and machines were standing up to the strain very well

In roughly 55 minutes from the start of the race, Holmes was coming towards the stands for the second time, while the leader, Bob Keeler, was streaking up the mountain.
D. Johnstone (B.S.A.) came off at Glentrammon. He was examined by a doctor and appeared to be o.k., but had to retire.

A few minutes latitude enabled those on the stands to notice the progress of the local lads. Mawson had accomplished his first lap in 35 mins. 58 secs.’ and Taubman had taken 41 mins. 7 secs. F. D. Jenkins (Ariel) retired at Ramsey with engine trouble, but the rider was o.k.

On this lap the lap record met with a bump as Bob Keeler (Norton) who was streaking away from the rest of the field lapped in 26 mins. 48 secs., an average speed of 84.50 m.p.h.

The two local boys in the leaders had accomplished the lap in the following times: - E. B. Crooks (Norton), 27 mins. 21 secs; and W. A. Holmes (Norton) 27 mins. 35 secs.

Third Lap
Here we were starting the last circuit of this 113□(1/4) miles race, with the riders going at a fine bat.

When times were posted up it was seen that W. E. Dow (B.S.A.), the runner-up, had also lowered Duke’s 1949 record by lapping at 26 mins. 51 secs., an average speed of 83.51 m.p.h.

By 1-40, Bob Keeler was on the way to Michael. Crooks was on the way to Ramsey and Holmes and Powell were tieing for fourth place, waging a great duel, the former on the mountain climb and the latter on the road to Ramsey.

News came through that P. Cooper had come off his Triumph in the middle bend of Governor’s Bridge, but had proceeded.

1-50 p.m. saw Holmes and Crooks, the two local riders, at Creg ny Baa and they were the first men to finish, receiving loud applause as they flashed past the stands.

A search was being made for W. E. Dow who had been running second man, and it was ultimately announced that he had had a spill at Laurel Bank after riding magnificently and was receiving attention. He was taken to hospital where his injuries were described as being very serious.

Before 2 p.m. Keeler came in, a certain winner.

The Manx rider, K. A. Taubman, finished the course in 1 hr. 32 mins. 3 secs. But just after 2.15 p.m., another local lad, R. A, D. Mawson, was pushing in on his machine at Governor’s Bridge.

38 Finishers
Of the 58 starters in the race 38 finished the course, the last being the Manx rider Mawson, who was eight minutes getting away at the start, had a stop at the pits at the end of his first lap, and, in the finish, had to push his mount home from Governor’s Bridge.

Yorkshire Centre won the team prize with R. Ellis (Norton), H. Plews (Norton) and D. Andrews (Matchless)


1Keeler, Bob1:20:43.4084.14Norton
2Crooks, Eddie1:21:49.8083Norton
3Holmes, Alan1:22:22.2082.46Norton
4Powell, Derek1:22:25.8082.4Triumph
5King, Alastair1:23:04.2081.77Norton
6Plews, Harry1:23:24.0081.44Norton
7Oldfield, Russell1:23:46.2081.08Triumph
8Ellis, R.1:25:37.8079.32BSA
9Shekell, G.W.1:25:40.4079.28Norton
10Seston, Sam1:25:49.0079.15Norton
11Andrews, David1:25:51.8079.1Matchless
12Jerrard, Ron1:26:19.4078.68Norton
13Coleman, Frank1:26:24.6078.6Norton
14Wilshere, Willie1:26:59.2078.08Triumph
16Watson, Colin E.1:28:32.6076.7Norton
17Naylor, D.1:29:09.0076.19BSA
18Baldwin, Peter1:29:14.0076.12AJS
19Mason, John1:29:14.0075.98Ariel
20Avis, Stanley1:29:24.0075.68Triumph
21Newstead, Arthur1:30:20.0075.19BSA
22George, N.1:30:41.0074.9BSA
23Shepherd, Terry1:30:49.0074.79Norton
24Taubman, Ken1:32:03.0073.79Triumph
25Arthur, R.1:32:39.0073.31Norton
26Little, E.C.1:32:58.0073.06Matchless
27Watson, T.F.1:33:04.0072.98Norton
28Wooderson, Neville1:34:56.0071.55Matchless
29Hagon, Alf1:34:59.0071.51Norton
30Elliott, John1:35:39.0071.01Ariel
31King, Len1:38:41.0068.83Norton
32Clifford, V.1:39:19.0068.39Norton
33Walsh, Peter1:39:21.0068.37Norton
34Martin, Angus1:40:08.0067.83Triumph
35Walker, J.1:42:23.0067.34Triumph
36Cooper, P.1:43:08.0065.86Triumph
37Mawson, Bob1:47:14.0063.34Norton
RKeel, W.J.AJS
RHunter, H.F.BSA
RJenkins, FreddieBSA
RJohnstone, D.BSA
RRussell, R.A.BSA
RBottomley, JackNorton
RCook, A.M.Norton
RGillingham, M.W.Norton
RMinion, PeterNorton
RWinter, H.B.Norton
RCheers, EricTriumph
RHarris, J.H.T.Triumph
RHart, A.E.Triumph
RLloyd, IvorTriumph
ROvens, TonyTriumph
RPooley, PeterTriumph
RZoellner, WernerTriumph
RWright, JohnBSA
RDow, EddieBSA
RDunlop, GavinNorton
RCholerton, DavidTriumph
RSmith, K.


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