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1957 Junior MGP

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 226.38 miles (6 laps)

Description: 1957 Junior MGP

Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 6 September 1957 (p. 12) below which is a full list of competitors:


ALAN HOLMES, 27-year-old Manxman from Castletown, who is a service representative for a famous oil company, on Tuesday won the Junior M.G.P. at the record speed of 89.13 m.p.h., in a time of 2 hrs. 32 mins. 24.4 secs., after leading throughout the six laps. In winning he emulated the feat of his friend and fellow townsman, the late Derek Ennett, who won the race three years ago, when Castletown made race history by providing the winner of the Senior event also, George Costain. Alan Holmes had gone into the lead on the first lap, only just six seconds behind him came Eddie Crooks, then Alan Shepherd and a third local rider, Colin Broughton. Holmes increased his lead over Crooks to over ten seconds at the end of the second lap, when Broughton had forged ahead of Shepherd, so local riders were in the first three places! At the half-distance Holmes was nearly 18 seconds in front of Crooks. Broughton had a ten-second lead over Shepherd—a wonderful performance by the local boys! With two-thirds of the race gone Holmes led by 46 seconds from Crooks. Another Junior Manx Grand Prix victory for Castletown seemed to be "in the bag." But Broughton had dropped to fifth place.

The Grandstand, Tuesday.
With clear blue skies, flecked only by the odd cloud, and with King Sol beaming his warmth on to the Island, 100 riders came to the grid for what promised to be a terrific battle among the fast men. A cool breeze was blowing, ideal for racing. The Lieut.-Governor arrived just before 10-30 a.m. Notable absentees from the starters were W. J. Sawford (A.J.S.) who came off in practices; Jimmy Drysdale (Norton), a fancied man; and A. H. Jenkins (Norton), a former Island rider, who failed to arrive. One well-known non-starter was Scotsman Ewan Haldane, whose Junior Norton had not arrived. The distinguished guest of the race meeting, legless air ace Group Captain Douglas Bader looked cheerful—and extremely capable—as he stepped down from the grandstand with His Excellency and the Lord Bishop to meet the riders. Bader was very youthful-looking and took a keen interest in all that was going on. The riders, naturally, were indeed pleased to meet him.

The Three Legs of Man standard in Group Captain Bader's hand dropped to send G. Howarth (A.J.S.) first man away in what were officially described as "perfect weather conditions." Only one man, C. A. Thurston (Special), had trouble at the start, but after a few moments at the pits, his engine roared into life, and hardly two miles away G. A. Longman (Velocette) retired with engine trouble. But the rider was uninjured. A look at the riders' clocks indicated that Manxman Bob Dowty (Norton) had picked up one or two places, and this applied equally to Manxman C. Broughton (Norton), and another local boy. Eddie Crooks (Norton). On our rather rough reckoning, Alan Holmes (Norton) had picked up 20 seconds on Alan Shepherd (Norton), who was fancied for the race. Even at this early stage, it could be seen that there was going to be a battle royal among the fast men. At Keppel Gate, commentator Eric Teare described Bob Dowty's riding there as "steady." He later signalled through Crooks and Broughton, who had passed through a large number of men up to that point. But one of the Manxmen. R. Dowty, as he went roaring through the pits, had his thumb in the down position, which boded ill for the remainder of his ride. Lund pulled into the pits with broken goggles caused by a stone thrown up by another rider's machine. He changed his goggles and got away again. Stephens stopped at Ramsey to make adjustments, and after managing these, resumed.

One of the fastest men in practices. K. H. Patrick (Norton) had unfortunate luck in having engine trouble at the Gooseneck before he had completed a lap. But the leading riders were having a field day. Eddie Crooks, the Douglas boy was leading Shepherd by nine seconds, and Shepherd had but one-fifth of a second lead over Ramsey boy Colin Broughton. But of the times posted on the board it was Manxman Alan Holmes who was ahead of these boys with a lap of 25 mins. 41.8 secs.
Engine faults became more evident as the lap proceeded. G. Howarth (A.J.S.) pulled into the pits with the rear of his machine covered in oil. He wiped it down, up-ended the "bike" and emptied some of the oil from the tank and proceeded. R. Boughey (Norton ) retired with clutch trouble at Kerrowmoar, while F. Redman was touring in from Creg-ny-Baa. A further retirement was J.H. L. Lewis (Norton) at the pits with a broken frame.
C. Huxley (B.S.A.) pulled into the pits, adjusted his clutch, and proceeded. N. Haydon (Norton) stopped near Ballaugh and worked on his machine. L. G. Povey (B.S.A.), who had been reported as "touring," eventually retired at Michael. And F. Redman (A.J.S) retired at Hillberry.
Other Manx riders were doing well. In seventh position was Bob Dowty (Norton). 26 mins. 15.2 secs.; Sid Mizen (A.J.S.), 26 mins. 49.4 sees; Ken Taubman (B.S.A.). 31 mins. 31 secs.; and Mike Kelly (B.S.A.), seventh yesterday, in 28 mins. 50.2 secs.

This was real excitement! With three Manxmen on the board, and only 17 seconds between the first four men, the excitement round the course was increasing.
Young Eddie Crooks, a mere six seconds behind Holmes at the end of the first lap, was pulling out all the horses in his Norton to overtake the CastJetown boy. At the same time. Holmes was not letting up one bit and it was reported that he was 15 seconds ahead of Crooks at the end of the second lap. The other Manx boy, Colin Broughton (Norton), had fallen behind Crooks, but was still going extremely well, as Dowty went through the pits, but made no downward thumb gesture. Things seemed to have changed for him. Alan Shepherd, third man on the leader board, came in to refuel at the end of the second lap. His refuelling occupied only 26 seconds. He said that everything was going well. As Shepherd was taking in fuel. Holmes went through to his third lap and would, no doubt, pull in for refuelling at the end of it.

The commentators at Ginger Hall (David Lay) and at Keppel Gate (Eric Teare) were describing the riding as being of a very high order. Particularly Holmes, Crooks and Broughton. Sensation came when it was seen that Colin Broughton had forged ahead of Alan Shepherd, so that Manxmen were first, second and third on the board. It must not be forgotten that Broughton was only one-fifth of a second behind Shepherd at the end of the first lap. Craven had led Boyce by two seconds and their positions changed on the second lap, again by a narrow margin. It was no wonder that the tension was terrific. This was real motor-cycle racing. Manx people were keeping their fingers crossed very tightly with the wonderful show being put up by the three leaders. B. Hunter (Velo) was not one of the lucky men, however. He retired at the Guthrie Memorial, with a seized engine, and L. Southam (Norton) retired at the pits, after missing the dip at Governor's Bridge. A further retirement at Ballacraine was that of Harry Voice £A.J.S.). G. D. Alcock (A.J.S.) retired on the Mountain with clutch trouble, and T. F. Watson (B.S.A.) stopped at Creg-ny-Baa, made adjustments, and proceeded. Other Manxmen's times were: Dowty, 52 mins. 20.6 secs.; Mizen, 53 mins. 18.8 secs; Kelly, 57 mins. 17.6 secs; Taubman, 1 hr. 4 mins. 10.8 secs.

A. E. Willerton (A.J.S.) retired at the Waterworks Corner near Ramsey, and was taken to Ramsey Cottage Hospital

Glorious weather, high speeds and superb performances—that was the treat being given to the crowds at the vantage points round the course. Holmes was a few seconds ahead of Crooks, but he was leading his team partner a rare dance. The 10 seconds difference between the two leading men had widened to 17 seconds at the end of this lap. Behind them Broughton and Shepherd were fighting a ding- dong battle with a mere second's difference either way.
Alan Holmes pulled in for fuel and a change of goggles at the end of the lap—he was so quick about it that he was not told of his leading position—but his determined look indicated he was fully aware of it. The time taken for refuelling was 25 seconds. Another sensation! Sixth man on the leader board, Craven, was marked up as "retired," but no information was available. At the same time T. Thorp (Norton) had jumped up to fifth place on the board, displacing E. F. H. Boyce, who was now sixth. Then a crop of retirements. P. S McLoughlin (A.J.S.) retired at Cruickshanks' Corner, rider O.K.; E. R. Lurcock at Glen Vine with engine trouble; I. Clarke near there, and reported to be walking back to the Start. J. G. Trustham finished his race above Glen Helen and D. L. E. Perry had engine failure at Governor's Bridge. B. Kershaw came into the pits with a broken tank and retired. Two further retirements were F. Burgess (Norton) at Ballacraine with a seized engine.
M. R. Oram, one of the newcomers, came off at Sign- post corner, but the rider was unhurt and proceeded. The Manxmen's times were: — Dowty, 1 hr. 18 rains. 19 secs.; Mizen , 1 hr. 20 mins. 16.4 secs.; Kelly, 1 hr. 25 mins. 37.6 secs., and Taubman , 1 hr. 39 mins. 10.2 secs., who called it a day at the pits with a broken cable.

Holmes came streaking through past the pits at the end of his fourth lap, and he was extremely steady and some few seconds behind Alan Shepherd, who had started 1 min. 50 sec. ahead of him. It was stated that the Castletown boy had increased his lead over Douglas lad, Eddie Crooks, by 46 seconds. All eyes were not so much on the first two men as on third and fourth riders, Broughton, the Ramsey boy, and Alan Shepherd. Broughton had increased his lead over the Grange-over- Sands rider by 10 seconds at the end of the third lap. But the Keppel Gate commentator felt that Broughton was rather slower than for his previous three laps. Round-the-course reports were full of praise for the riding of the two leaders. Both Holmes and Crooks were cornering superbly, using every inch of the road in their magnificent struggle for supremacy. Yet, they appeared to be riding well within their limitations. There had been close on 20 retirements, apart from many stoppages for mechanical adjustments. This was an indication of the test of men and machines on this gruelling Snaefell course, and at such high speed. When the times were put up at the end of this lap, it was seen that Manxman, Broughton, had dropped to fifth position. But this might be accounted for by the fact that Shepherd pulled in for refuelling at the end of the second lap, whereas Broughton had pulled in at the end of the third, and this would be reflected in his lap times. But Boyce had jumped up some 34 seconds ahead of Broughton and was seven seconds only behind the third man, Shepherd. This was going to be another great battle in an already tense series of struggles. R. Castle (B.S.A.) retired at Handley's Corner, and after reporting his retirement to the policeman on duty, he left the course at Barregarrow. Manx rider, Ken Taubman, retired at the pits and was reported O.K. R. J. Sweetman (A.J.S.) was another retirement, with no injury to the rider. E. Unwin (B.S.A.) had a flat tyre at Barregarrow and retired. Local men's times were: Dowty, 1 hr. 45 mins. 10 secs.; Mizen, 1 hr. 48 mins. 29 secs.

Like a meteor Holmes was devouring the thin blue road and covering the Mountain course like a man possessed. He was increasing his lead over Crooks and was reckoned to be over a minute ahead of the Douglas boy at the end of this lap. Every Manx man and woman was indeed proud of his terrific progress round the course, and though he had not reached his fastest practice speed, it may have been that he was riding to orders. And surely, the spectators at the various vantage points must have had their fill of thrills with the dicing going on between Boyce and Alan Shepherd in their fight for third position. A spot announcement from control said that Holmes was 1 min. 7.8 secs. ahead of Crooks at the end of the fifth lap.

All eyes were looking up the road from the Grandstand and they caught a glimpse of Holmes' helmet as he flashed through some distance ahead of Shepherd, to start his sixth and final lap. He rocketed through and it did not seem long before he was signalled through Glen Helen. All who had seen Alan's excellent and consistent riding and remembered his misfortune in last year's Junior race when magneto trouble over- took him as he went into the lead on the fourth lap, were hoping and praying for this young Manxman to have a safe and clear run through to the chequered flag. And weather conditions could not have been more ideal over Manxland to herald a local victory. A sensational announcement came from David Lay that Eddie Crooks was missing from his usual position at Ginger Hall and it was seen that his clock finger was stuck ominously at Kirk Michael.
Holmes, by this time, had passed through Kirk Michael. He was being followed at some distance by Shepherd and Boyce was going great guns. He was only three seconds behind Shepherd on the fifth lap. Everyone anxiously watched Holmes' clock on the scoreboard and the finger moved to Ramsey shortly before that of Alan Shepherd.

Holmes was climbing the mountain and the atmosphere was becoming more tense as the spectators listened patiently to hear of his progress on the most arduous section of the course. "Holmes has passed the Mountain Box," came the announcement, and then he was through the Bungalow as G. C. A. Murphy and Bob Dowty were signalled at Signpost Corner, and were the first men home.

A sigh of relief went up when the red lamp above Holmes' number indicated that he was at Signpost Corner. Everyone stood up on the grandstand looking up the road to Governor's Bridge — there was a sound of an engine, and then he came. Alan crossed the line, winner of the Junior Manx Grand Prix, a wonderful Manx victory. Now we awaited news of his unfortunate team-mate, Eddie Crooks.

HARD LUCK, CROOKS! Crooks had retired near Ballaugh with engine trouble, which had not only put him out of the race, but spoiled the Southern team's chance of a prize. Into second place jumped Ellis Boyce, who beat Shepherd by close on 12 seconds. A minor sensation was Bob Dowty's magnificent last lap, when he jumped ahead of Colin Broughton to take fourth place. This meant three Manxmen on the leader board. Local man, Syd Mizen finished tenth, in 2 hrs. 39 mins. 16.4 secs. R. Blanning came off at Laurel Bank, damaged his engine, and retired , the rider being O.K. O. Parkin retired at the pits with a broken cable and H. Nichol (a newcomer competitor) also met bad luck at Laurel Bank. He was taken to Noble's Hospital.

57 Finishers
Of the 100 starters—23 of them successful finishers in the previous day's Junior Newcomers' Race—there were 57 finishers, of which 25 were awarded replicas. Best newcomer was D. Pratt (A.J.S.), Monday's 350 c.c. winner, who finished 14th, and in 20th position was second Junior Newcomer, D. Williams. Michael Kelly's average speed was 78.82 m.p.h., against 81.17 m.p.h. the day before. Winners of the team trophy were the Southern "B" team, consisting of Sid Mizen, Colin Broughton and Bill Anderson


1Holmes, Alan2:32:24.0089.13Norton
2Boyce, Ellis2:34:58.0087.66Norton
3Shepherd, Alan2:35:10.0087.55Norton
4Dowty, Robert2:36:42.0086.69Norton
5Broughton, Colin2:36:43.0086.67Norton
6Thorp, Tom2:37:22.0086.31Norton
7Murphy, George C.A.2:37:30.0086.25AJS
8Ritchie, Bob2:37:58.0085.99AJS
9Graham, Tom2:38:55.0085.48Norton
10Mizen, Syd2:39:16.0085.29AJS
11Jarman, Den2:40:57.0084.39Norton
12Rutherford, Frank2:42:29.0083.6AJS
13Stretch, Ron2:43:58.0082.85AJS
14Pratt, Denis2:44:36.0082.53AJS
15Carman, Richard2:44:54.0082.37BSA
16Phillipson, T.H.2:45:15.0082.2AJS
17Morton, Jimmy2:45:30.0082.07AJS
18Newstead, Alan2:45:35.0082.04AJS
19Jackson, J.F.2:45:36.0082.02Norton
20Williams, Derek2:45:38.0082.01BSA
21Young, Lewis2:45:52.0081.89AJS
22Sutherland, A.R.2:46:26.0081.62Norton
23Hodgson, P.R.2:46:55.0081.38AJS
24Anderson, William R.2:47:01.0081.33Norton
25Dixon, Bill2:47:37.0081.03BSA
26Woodman, Derek2:48:14.0080.75BSA
27Fulton, Bill2:48:15.0080.73Norton
28Crowder, Horace2:48:25.0080.66BSA
29Alcock, Geoff2:48:46.0080.49AJS
30Fellows, Desmond2:49:02.0080.36BSA
31Howe, David2:49:06.0080.33Norton
32Huxley, Cyril2:49:19.0080.23BSA
33Hurlstone, John2:50:11.0079.82Norton
34Davey, D.H.2:50:27.0079.7BSA
35Lund, Bernie2:51:37.0079.15BSA
36Butler, G.R.2:52:08.0078.91Norton BSA
37Kelly, Mike2:52:20.0078.82BSA
38Thurston, John2:52:56.0078.55BSA
39Masson, Ralph2:53:54.0078.11Norton
40Sharp, Graham2:54:17.0077.94BSA
41Riley, Harold2:54:33.0077.82Norton
42Wroe, Ramon2:54:48.0077.71Velocette
43Patrick, John2:55:18.0077.54Norton-Velocette
44Wassell, Maurice2:55:25.0077.44AJS
45Cortvriend, Barry2:55:26.0077.43BSA
46Avis, Stanley2:55:37.0077.34AJS
47Watson, T.F.2:56:56.0076.77BSA
48Stephens, W.A.2:57:30.0076.53BSA
49Virco, Alan2:57:32.0076.52BN Special
50Thurston, Colin A.2:59:07.0075.84Special
51Arnold, M.D.2:59:25.0075.71AJS
52Nicholls, K.3:01:17.0074.93BSA
53Sutcliffe, Ron3:01:40.0074.77Norton
54Evans, Lawrence Edward3:01:55.0074.66BSA
55Naintre, Victor3:02:05.0074.6BSA
56Simpson, J.R.3:02:21.0074.49BSA
57Downes, Graham3:02:33.0074.41BSA
58Oram, Malcolm3:03:05.0074.2BSA
59Dawson, Robin3:07:33.0072.43BSA
60Bent, Herbert3:07:54.0072.29AJS
61Crann, R.G.3:14:34.0069.81AJS
62Holloway, John3:15:05.0069.63AJS
63Howarth, G.3:28:12.0065.25AJS
RAskey, J.0BSA
RBlanning, Roy0BSA
RBoughey, Roy0Norton
RCastle, R.0BSA
RClarke, Ian0AJS
RCraven, Alan0BSA
RDakin, D.L.0AJS
RFitzsimmons, W.N.0Norton
RHaydon, N.0Norton
RHunter, B.W.0Velocette
RKershaw, B.0AJS
RLindsay, Ken0BSA
RLongman, George0Velocette
RLurcock, E.R.0
RMcGuinness, B.0AJS
RMcLoughlin, P.S.0AJS
RNichol, H.0BSA
RParkin, O.0BSA
RPatrick, Ken0Norton
RPerry, D.L.E.0AJS
RPovey, Lawrence0BSA
RPreece, Roy0Norton
RRedman, Frank0AJS
RRigby, D.0BSA
RShakespeare, John0BSA
RSoutham, Les0Norton
RSwetman, R.J.0AJS
RTaubman, Ken0BSA
RTrustham, Jack0AJS
RUnwin, Eric0BSA
RVoice, Harry0AJS
RWhiteside, Ted0AJS
RWillerton, Arthur E.0AJS
RFlury, LawrenceAJS
RLewis, JohnNorton
RGodfrey, TonyVelocette
RThompson, RoyNorton
RCrooks, EddieNorton


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