Author Topic: Motor Racing  (Read 15835 times)

Christopher

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Motor Racing
« on: July 20, 2006, 03:31:25 AM »
We have not had a Formula 1 race around the City Hall although there was an event at Stormont a couple of years ago. Motor races used to take place on the Ards curcuit . An accident stopped that and after the second World War racing took place at Dundrod circuit. 

We'll skip from the Ards TT but will probably return to the subject. I followed motor racing for many years and noticed many of the drivers were in the motor trade or had motor trade connections. People like David Baird (A. S. Bairds); Malcolm Templeton, a Ballymena man who had a garage on the Shore Road; Harold McGarrity (he was a Honda dealer); Gerry Kinnane of the Gracehill Motor Works; Norman Thompson (used to work in A.S. Bairds) had a garage on the Donegall Road; John Crossle, built sports cars at Holywood; David Brien from Knockdene Garages; Archie (?) Philips (Nissan Dealers) of York Road; Andy Kane of Comber; Lord Henry Dunleath;  John Pringle from Bangor. I'm not sure about John L'Amie or Brian Nelson .. I think they were in the textile industry (John was a partner in McCleery L'Amie). Michael Weiniger was in the textile industry. Tommy Reid from Tandragee.

You'd think I had an old programme in my hand. I used to assist selling the programmes at the race meetings at Kirkistown. Not only did I sell them when people came in to watch the racing but also stood at the gate and sold them as the spectators were heading home after the days racing. I wonder if the guys who bought one when the racing was over needed it as evidence to show to their devoted wives who had been stuck at home with the weans all day. I'm sure one or two guys took a fancy woman to the races and left their wife at home.

giannineo

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2006, 10:45:13 PM »
Christopher,did aharold Mc Garrity have a brother named Paddy who also raced bikes?
     Other notables were Brian Steenson,Ray Mc Culloch,Billy Guthrie.Kirkisown was  a grand track,and maybe the home of the Carrowdore '100'.I always went to the Temple'100',Lurgan Park,The 'Ulster' and the N.W. 200.
      Still have Ulster Grand Prix programmes,and lapel badges.Also a small collection of motor bike lapel badges such as a factory M.V.Agusta badge,Montesa,Moto Motini,Zundapp,Jawa.Surtees,Agostini and Hailwood at the Ulster on M.V's. ....they would come aroung first and didn't look that impressive as they were quiet and seemed to "smooth" along without any fuss.Then came the roarers and whiners with riders hanging out of the seat with bums scraping the road.
      A memorable race was when Ray Mc Cullough beat a champoionship contender from America while seated on the

giannineo

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2006, 10:50:26 PM »
Christopher,did Harold Mc Garrity have a brother named Paddy who also raced bikes?Possibly a Mc Garrity on an Aermacchi/Harley.A beautiful bike which used to appear at the smaller races was a black Hawkstone Greeves.I remember a guy at the Temple on an Aerial Leader with little in the way of modification.Also an old guy with soup bowl helmet on an elderly A.J.S.
     Other notables were Brian Steenson,Ray Mc Culloch,Billy Guthrie.KirkisTown was  a grand track,and maybe the home of the Carrowdore '100'.I always went to the Temple'100',Lurgan Park,The 'Ulster' and the N.W. 200.
      Still have Ulster Grand Prix programmes,and lapel badges.Also a small collection of motor bike lapel badges such as a factory M.V.Agusta badge,Montesa,Moto Motini,Zundapp,Jawa.Surtees,Agostini and Hailwood at the Ulster on M.V's. ....they would come around first and didn't look that impressive as they were quiet and seemed to "smooth" along without any fuss.Then came the roarers and whiners with riders hanging out of the seat with bums scraping the road.
      A memorable race was when Ray Mc Cullough beat a champoionship contender from America while seated on the Q.U.B. Seeley.Apparently the American rider was livid.Would have to check back my programmes for that one.....Phil somebody??????

Christopher

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2006, 10:58:13 PM »
Hiya giannineo,

I think you are right about Paddy McGarrity although someone else may be able to confirm that fact.

Brian Steenson was a very good motorcyclist. It was a great pity he had an accident and died at such a young age as he had the ability to break a lot of records. It is great that Brian's name has not been forgotten.

Ray McCullough *The Dromara Destroyer" and Joey and his pals "The Armoy Armada" thrilled crowds at the North West 200 and races elsewhere in Ireland. Those guys deserved the reputations they earned on the racetrack.

Many thanks for this sentence giannineo ..Then came the roarers and whiners with riders hanging out of the seat with bums scraping the road.  many people would write a paragraph or two to describe what you eloquently did in a sentence.

EllCee

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2006, 11:12:15 PM »
I have the autographs somewhere of the Aston Martin team drivers.  They were racing at Dundrod, possibly in the very last year

Their cars were garaged at Ballyhackamore on the Upper N'ards Rd near Kirkpatrick Memorial Church/Eastleigh Drive   the garage is no longer there.
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Christopher

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2006, 12:03:49 AM »
Aston Martin drivers included Reg Parnell and Lance Macklin. The garage in Ballyhackamore .. did that belong to McDonalds My Uncle, Harry Catchpole, had a drive up the Stormont Mile in one of the Aston Martin team cars as he was very active in the UAC who organised the racing at Dundrod.

BLOOMFIELD

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2006, 01:53:03 AM »
Brian Steenson was a good rider, but reckless / ruthless, he Had to be first.

It was dangerous to ride with him, he would carve you up in the corners, up the inside where there really was not room to pass. At least that was the way he rode on the open road (not officially racing  ;D)
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Christopher

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2006, 01:57:11 AM »
Joey Dunlop was totally the opposite. A great rider who took care when passing other motorcyclists in a race. 

giannineo

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2006, 09:26:24 PM »
Was Brian Steenson from Saintfield or perhaps Ballynahinch?

Christopher

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2006, 12:41:39 AM »
I'll check for more information about Brian Steenson, giannineo.

BLOOMFIELD

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2006, 01:36:08 AM »
When Brian rode with us, I assumed he lived in the Belfast area.

We normally just all met up in Bangor, on our way home we all stopped on the Holywood road just past the Sydenham by-pass (around Garnerville Road area ) for a post- mortem on how we all did in the RACE along the Dual Carriageway on the Bangor Road.

Then the gang split up to go to their respective homes. ;D
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eastender

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2006, 06:43:28 AM »
I don't think Brian Steenson was from Belfast. I believe he was a country lad from County Down.

When I saw him ride at the Carrowdore 100 around 1967 he was the wildest I'd ever seen and an accident waitin to happen.

As for the Ards circuit car racing, my Da regaled me about it and used to point out where the Pits were at Quarry Corner and how they used to take the hairpin at the Elk Inn corner. He said he and his Da used walk the BCDR tracks to watch from the railway bridge where the Comber Road met the Old Dundonald Road.
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Christopher

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2006, 10:50:52 PM »
There were a number of Steensons living in Belfast in 1960. If anyone worked with someone called Steenson or had a next door neighbour with the same surname we might get somewhere. Did anyone go to school with Brian? I met a former girl friend of his but she died tragically in her house in Crossgar a couple of years ago. Brian rode a QUB Seeley .. was he a student at Queens?

eastender

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2006, 10:55:43 PM »
From the Dictionary of Ulster Biography site:

STEENSON, BRIAN 1947-1970

Brian Steenson was born in Crossgar, County Down. He was a motorcycle road racer. He competed in many motorcycle races in both Ireland and England. In the World Championship Grand Prix events from 1967 until 1970, he finished five times in the top five places. He was killed in a crash at the Senior T.T in the Isle of Man.

It was your Crossgar reference that nailed it Christopher. Thanks
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Christopher

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Re: Motor Racing
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2006, 08:47:43 PM »
Former Formula One driver Eddie Irvine is now a businessman and property owner. Forum members visiting Dublin looking for somewhere to have a drink might like to visit Eddie's pub in Dawson Street.
The address is Cocoon, Unit 2, Royal Hibernian Way, Dawson Street, Dublin. 
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