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Harold Daniell

Record type: Motorsport Biographies

Biography: Mounts: Junior – Norton
Senior – Norton

Age 40, a motor-cycle agent, of Forest Hill, London, Harold Daniell is famous as having won three Senior T.T. races and holding the Isle of Man lap record at 91 m.p.h. since 1938. His first appearance on the T.T. Course was in the “Manx” of 1930, when he made fastest practice lap – a performance he repeated in 1931 and 1932.

In 1930 and ’31 he retired, but finished second in the 1932 Senior and won the 1933 Senior. In 1934, ’35 and ’35, he rode for A.J.S., and in 1937 was a private entry on a Norton in Junior and Senior, finishing fifth in both races. A member of the official Norton team in 1938, he won the Senior after a terrific scrap with Stanley Woods (Velocette) and it was on the last lap of this race that he set up the record he still holds. In 1947, he won the Senior on a Norton, beating his team mate, Artie Bell, by 22 seconds.

In 1948, Harold had bad luck in the T.T., retiring in both Junior and Senior races. Last year, however, he came back into his own again. In the Junior he finished fourth, four seconds only behind the third man, Artie Bell, at 82.55 m.p.h., and in the Senior after lying third, fourth or fifth during the first five laps, came into second place on the sixth lap, and on Les Graham’s breakdown on the last lap, won his third T.T. race by over a minute and a half, at 86.93 m.p.h.
(TT Special, 5 June 1950, p.18.)

Mounts: Junior – Norton
Senior – Norton

His first T.T. was the Senior of 1934, but before that he distinguished himself over here in the M.G.P. winning the Senior race in 1933 at record speed.

He rode in the A.J.S. team in the 1935 Junior, finishing eighth and repeated this success with an “unofficial” A.J.S. in ’36. The following year, with a privately entered Norton, he began to show unmistakable signs of heading for stardom, for he finished 5th in both Junior and Senior events, and as a natural consequence found himself in the Norton team in ’38, partnering Frith and “Crasher” White and engaged in a ding-dong battle in the Senior with Stanley Woods on a Velocette. As you will remember, Daniell won the Senior after a series of brilliant laps – he equalled the lap record on the fifth circuit, broke it on the sixth and smashed it again on his final lap when he averaged exactly 91 m.p.h. This record still stands.

This year he leads the strong Norton team which includes Bills, Lyons and Bell, and a truly formidable quartet they make.
(TT Special, 9 June 1947, p.11.)


Gender: Male

Competed in

1950 Senior TT52:56:31.0089.78Norton
1950 Junior TT33:07:56.0084.33Norton
1949 Senior TT13:02:18.6086.93Norton
1949 Junior TT43:11:52.4082.59Norton
1948 Senior TTRNorton
1948 Junior TTRNorton
1947 Senior TT13:11:22.2082.81Norton
1947 Junior TTRNorton
1939 Senior TTRNorton
1939 Junior TT23:10:38.0083.13Norton
1938 Senior TT12:57:50.6089.11Norton
1938 Junior TT53:16:32.0080.64Norton
1937 Senior TT53:09:33.0083.61Norton
1937 Junior TT53:21:12.0078.77Norton
1936 Junior TT93:32:25.0074.61AJS
1935 Senior TTRAJS
1935 Junior TT83:27:52.0076.25AJS
1934 Senior TT93:49:02.0069.2AJS
1934 Junior TTRAJS
1933 Senior MGP12:56:29.0076.98Norton
1933 Junior MGPRNorton
1932 Senior MGP23:22:51.0066.97Norton
1932 Junior MGP93:22:09.0067.21Excelsior
1931 Senior MGPRNorton
1930 Senior MGPRNorton


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I used to gaze at his Manx Norton that was in his shop window after coming out of the Capitol cinema in Forest Hill. A regular Sunday afternoon in the 1940s onwards. - Ron Martin Report this