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1956 Clubman Junior TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 113.19 miles (3 laps)

Description: 1956 Clubman Junior TT. Race report from IOM Weekly Times, 15 June 1956, p.10, below which is a list of competitors:




The Start, Thursday.
After a brilliant ride, youthful Bernard Codd, from Wrangle, near Boston, Lincs., brought his B.S.A. machine across the line this morning to win the Junior Clubman’s Race on is first appearance on the Island.

He rode a fast and consistent race throughout, as befitting a protégé of Austin Munks, a former T.T. Rider, and winner of Senior, Junior and Lightweight M.G.P., though his rival John Eckhart, who was second man home, also on a B.S.A., challenged him from the outset and proved himself to be another rider of note.

Regrettably this race was marred by a tragic fatality. Twenty four-year-old Peter Kirkham, a motor mechanic from Maesbrook, Llanymynech, Mongomeryshire, was killed on the first lap. He crashed above the Waterworks Corner at Ramsey. The news of this accident was all the more regrettable in view of the fact that his mother, who is his next-of-kin, was stated to be in ill-health.

Out of the original entry of 68, there were 55 riders who came to the grid. Nine club teams were nominated: Midland (1) and (2), East Midland (1) and (2), Southern (1) and (2), Cheshire and Scottish (1) and (2).

There was an extremely poor attendance at the grandstand, there being under 100 people assembled there when the race started at 11a.m. Bray Hill, Governor’s Bridge and Quarterbridge were reputed to be “poorly populated” but if the attendance of spectators was sparse the weather was in good mood.

Cumulus clouds were building up over the hills, but the sunshine was strong, and yet cool breezes were tempering it. Roads were dry and the riders had all the conditions conducive to fast times and good going.

Some met with difficulties at the start. Competitors had to use the kick starter, and they were despatched in batches of four at thirty-second intervals. G.E. Briggs (B.S.A.) pulled into the pits to make adjustments before departure, and one of the leading men in practices, Fred Wallis (B.S.A.) had to work on his machine before his getaway. L.S. Rutherford worked very fast in changing four plugs on his recalcitrant engine.


From the outset Codd set a cracking pace, and he was the first man to reach Glen Auldyn, commentator Eric Teare reporting that he had gone through “going great guns”, but his line through the section had not been that of the riders in the International T.T. classes.

His riding at Keppel Gate was also said to be speedy, as he went through to his second lap, past the grandstand, his engine sounded very healthy and his “thumbs-up” signal left no doubt that he was out for victory.

Yet John Eckart was wasting no time in his circuiting of the Mountain Course. He was riding steadily and apparently with better lines than the leading man, and Keppel Gate reported his riding as “immaculate”.

Shepherd – one of the two men who were not riding B.S.A. machines in the race – who was astride a 348 c.c. Norton – finished the first lap in third place. J.F. Righton, the other non-B.S.A. rider on his Velocette, was among the first twelve riders and putting up a good show.

At the end of the first lap Codd had a 34 seconds lead over second man Eckart, who in his turn was 35 seconds ahead of Shepherd, but in the second and third laps Codd drew away – if only by a few seconds each lap from young Eckart, and came home an easy winner.

D. Jervis (B.S.A.), who was fourth man at the end of the first and second laps, with only a small lead over fifth man Unwin (B.S.A.) lost his position on the last lap when Unwin beat him by four-fifths of a second! Surely one of the narrowest margins of displacement between one rider and another on the leader board.

Sixth man on the leader board after the first lap, J.D. Morton (B.S.A.) maintained this position throughout, and he rode a very steady race, being reported at Glen Auldyn and Keppel Gate as “very fast and like a rock”.


But the race was not without those who fall by the wayside through mechanical and navigational troubles. On the first lap J. Hill came in at Glentramman and retired. Though rumours were rife that he had been seriously injured, these were not confirmed. N.J. Davenport (B.S.A.) retired at Union Mills on his second lap with engine trouble, and this fault was the reason for K. Nicholls (B.S.A.) ending his race at Governor’s Bridge.

J.F. Righton (Velo) pulled into the pits for a short while in order to wipe oil off the rear tyre, but made a quick departure.

A. Jackson (B.S.A.) was another retirement, his machine failing to keep firing at Gooseneck.


A graphic account of Kirkham’s fatal accident was given by W.D. Fellows (No. 2) (B.S.A.), who left the grid in company with the unfortunate rider.

As Fellows left the Waterworks corner and was about to take the fast left-hand bend at the 25th milestone on the way to the Gooseneck, where there is a large tree, he saw Kirkham lying in the road.

“He had apparently collided head-on with the tree,” said Fellows, “because the leaves were still falling off the tree and the rider was bleeding badly.”

The fastest lap of the race was done by Codd on his first circuit – from a standing start – the time taken being 27 mins, 30.4 secs., a speed of 82.33 m.p.h.


A remarkable tribute to the reliability of the machines – and indicative of the maintenance and care of the riders – was that there were fifty finishers out of a field of fifty-five.

The East Midland (No. 1) Club team, consisting of Codd, Wallis and Eckart secured the club team award.


1Codd, Bernard1:22:48.4082.02BSA
2Eckhart, John1:23:30.0081.34BSA
3Shepherd, Alan1:25:43.2079.24Norton
4Unwin, Eric1:26:08.0078.86BSA
5Jervis, Derrick1:26:08.8078.84BSA
6Morton, Jimmy1:26:21.2078.66BSA
7Coates, James1:26:44.4078.31BSA
8Robertson, Norman1:27:30.6077.62BSA
9James, Ken1:27:39.6077.48BSA
10Pratt, Denis1:27:52.8077.29BSA
11Thompson, Roy1:28:04.6077.11BSA
12Bell, Gordon1:28:04.8077.11BSA
13Orson, S.L.F.1:28:28.8076.76BSA
14McLean, Charles1:28:35.6076.67BSA
15Davies, Eugene1:28:38.4076.63BSA
16Moram, Colin1:28:47.0076.5BSA
17Borland, Gerry1:29:23.0075.99BSA
18Sutcliffe, Ron1:29:29.8075.89BSA
19Thomson, Daniel1:29:35.8075.81BSA
20Nourish, Dave1:29:37.6075.78BSA
21Cortvriend, Barry1:29:43.4075.7BSA
22Cooper, Bill1:29:47.4075.65BSA
23Righton, John1:29:48.2075.64Velocette
24Wallis, Fred1:30:01.2075.45BSA
25Fellows, Desmond1:30:05.8075.38BSA
26Arnold, George1:30:17.2075.23BSA
27Shand, David1:30:34.0075BSA
28Brinnand, Richard1:31:00.8074.62BSA
29Baskett, Stanley1:31:02.4074.61BSA
30Hodgson, P.R.1:31:18.0074.39BSA
31Huxley, Cyril1:31:39.2074.11BSA
32Brodrick, Alan1:31:39.8074.1BSA
33Riley, Harold1:32:00.2073.83BSA
34James, Peter1:32:09.6073.7BSA
35Lay, Norman1:32:28.0073.46BSA
36Sweetman, Norman1:32:36.6073.34BSA
37Walczak, Adalbert1:32:48.0073.19BSA
38Fletcher, N.C.1:33:30.4072.64BSA
39Hamilton, John Desmond1:34:34.0071.82BSA
40Briggs, Gordon1:34:37.6071.78BSA
41Folwell, Terry1:35:40.6070.99BSA
42Briggs, Harry1:36:34.8070.32BSA
43Holland, R.A.1:37:27.0069.7BSA
44Bull, L.1:38:30.2068.96BSA
45Dormer, George1:39:07.4068.52BSA
46Rutherford, Len1:40:30.0067.58BSA
47Walsh, Peter1:40:35.2067.53BSA
48Lindsay, Ken1:40:47.0067.39BSA
49Oram, Malcolm1:43:29.4065.62BSA
50Vivian, Neil1:43:32.8065.39BSA
RDavenport, NormanBSA
RHill, JackBSA
RKirkham, PeterBSA
RNicholls, K.BSA
RJackson, AlbertBSA


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