It is with extreme sadness tonight I have to report the passing on of Welsh Enduro legend Bill Kershaw in the early hours of the 18th March. Bill was one of the main characters of the Enduro scene in Wales where from his Newport home he was one of the driving force in the Welsh Trail Riders Association, organisers of such classic events as the Snow Run and Beacons Enduro. However not only was Bill a legend, as well as his wife, in their own right, his father Bert Kershaw had been a rider of national importance for Britain in the 1920’s and 1930’s
I knew Bill many years mostly from his work helping to protect our road network from the continual sibling that was reducing the availability of routes. Whilst at one public enquiry faced by an aggressive local authority solicitor intent on stopping motorbikes from continuing to use an ancient road he was asked to explain how good his memory was by a comparison with his understanding of the route by his recollection fo the traffic light system in Newport. In the kind of inconsequential way Bill would reply to such questions having confirmed he knew the traffic light system exceptionally well he added that has Director of Highways at Newport Council he clearly has good reason to have a good understanding of it. At that moment the wind seemed to drop out of the solicitors sails and he clearly conceded what ever cheap point he was about to make was going to only confirm his own stupidity. His loss is very personal to me as I was a great admirer of the man who gave me significant guidance on many matters that have added to my life’s successes.
Thanks to Brian Catt for spotting and sharing a classic video of a major Italian Enduro that was held in Bergamo in 1964, the same year as the ISDT in E Germany that many still relate to the participation of a US team with Steve McQueen
The event was held by the Moto Club Bergamo a well known and respected motor cycle club. The following article was created by a direct translation by Google Translate and we thank the Moto Club Bergamo and hope you enjoy the videos.
“Generations of fans, not only from Bergamo, have lived VALLI as an epic, generations of public administrators have applied for, desired, cajoled as a guarantee flower for tourism development to be celebrated in the municipal councils, parishes, in the newspapers.
It comes to that time of the year when we get the chance to set aside some time to remember those who surrendered much or all of what they had because their country asked them to make the ultimate sacrifice. In times where we seem to find more time to watch the future than recall the past, a recent series of posts on Facebook from friends disconcerted that FIFA were blocking the wearing of red poppies at a future football match on Remembrance Sunday, many were silenced when one voice pipped up that in real respect every sport should follow the stance of the ACU and to take the day out of the annual event calendar. I for one shall be at my village war memorial again come rain or shine thinking about and thanking those from all sides who lay down their lives in a national cause, I do not focus on the good or bad of how they got to that point as for many there was no choice but to obey their call up for national service.A motorcycle sport legend Oliver Godfrey, a Londoner, was the winner of the first TT race held on the often considered ‘off-road’ mountain circuit in the Isle of Man in 1911 and part founder of Godfrey’s Motorcycles, Great Portland St., London. Continue reading
1953 was a great year for Great Britain in the ISDT, with one of its dream team line ups in the Trophy team who gave us our last win of the premier event award. A movie of the event was recently spotted on Youtube and is now added to our ISDT Tube feature of all known ISDT movie footage.
At an early stage of the ISDT 1953 we catch Rider #1 FH Whittle with his Panther 598cc sidecar [HYG 477] going through scrutineering. A nice view of British Trophy team member #237 Jack Stocker riding his 496cc Royal Enfield into Scrutineering #37 Olga Kevelos on the start line with her 150cc CZ. #71 PVK Baldwin with his 348 Matchless CC riding for the Sunbeam MCC comes in for fuel then later on again passing through a woodland swamp. #231 David S Tye of the Silver Vase team with his 497cc BSA [NON 496] The course includes checkpoints in Bratislava, open countryside and woodland with the usual ISDT throng of fans and curious local spectating at this festival of motorcycle action. The video finishes with coverage of the night stages and hopefully this is only part 1 and I can find the second part to add to this one.
Thanks to the marvellous resource of Google Books I have been able to find the Nov 1971 issue of the American Motorcycle Associations AMA News which includes a 20 odd page report on the ISDT 1971 written by US motorcycle journalist Ed Youngblood, giving as good a history of the Isle as a report on the racing.
Filmed and produced for Penton Motorcycles this interesting Pro movie shows the changing nature of the ISDT as well as the technology that was being developed.
The below 2 videos were produced by Penton covering their riders involvement in the ISDT 1974
1 of 2
2 of 2
more videos like this can be seen on the ISDT Tube video collection
A recent raid on eBay liberated an original ISDT 1927 programme and a story of the participants in the ISDT 1914 after the event was cancelled as it was due to start because of the declaration of WW1. Both items will be covered shortly in STT editorial.
Nees reaches us a few days late that one of motorcycle sports greatest stars passed away on the 1st May 2015. Although famous as a road racer he made a significant impact in later years through his company which sold classic historical films of bikes as video and later DVD. There are many tributes in the motoring press which I will not be able to compete with in this mark of respect. Here however is a photo of the dapper Geoff Duke at the ISDT 1951 with British Trophy teamster Hugh Viney.