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Barbon Hill in the 50s - seeking any information about a Vincent rider / winner

Mike T

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hello, this is a little bit of a long shot, but a very nice fellow called Bernie responded to one of my videos with the following story. Does anyone have any knowledge they could share? Thanks for any help, Mike

Back in the 1950s my father [Mason Woodhouse] used to be pit crew/mechanic around the motorcycle circuits in the U.K. including the Isle of Man. His best buddy, Brian Jackman, used to race grass track at the Agricultural Shows in the North of England. A few miles from home there was an annual hill climb, Barbon Hill Climb. Sadly, they only run cars there these days. In the early 60s, they decided to build a bike to compete in the hill climb. They chose a Norton featherbed frame & a Triumph Bonneville engine. Given their experience with alcohol-fueled speedway engines, I’m pretty sure it didn’t run on straight petrol, it was road registered. They refined the bike over several years and were the 1st bike to run under 30 seconds. They regularly won their class. The overall prize alluded them because of a gentleman and his Vincent. One year the Vincent broke down and they won the outright title. I’ve never seen my dad so happy about a motorcycle breakdown! I went there with them in the early 70s and the commentator was talking about the battles Brian had with the Vincent. The little bloke on the light bike v the heavy more powerful Vincent. I thought I’d share that with you if any of your subscribers have any more info about the Barbon Hill Climb my memories are rusty and there isn’t much on the net. I think the day that they went under 30 sec. that old Vincent came along and stole the day.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I competed at the Barbon Hill climb in about 1958-9. I can't remember the exact year but I do remember that Neville Higgins was there and my memory is that he made fastest time of the day. They had specified that foot ware should be leather so Neville wore open toed leather sandals. I was on my road bike and rode up there from Surrey or Sussex. I also remember that was the first time I ever met Robin Blackwell. There was this huge chap, towering above most of us, and telling us all that his sidecar outfit was rebuilt from his last three crashes. Amazing what is lurking in ones brain.
 

brian gains

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Can't help with your 50's query but having spent the day nipping in and out between rain showers I killed time watching utube and the adventures and exploits of the indefatigable John Renwick. At which the utube algorithm deemed I may also like clips of the Barbon Speed Hill Climb and some nice old machinery being ridden with gusto as recently as last year. I don't know if there are two courses but the climb being used would be a tight fit for four wheels.
 

Mike T

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bernie just sent another comment to say how much he appreciated your help & comments above and asked if I would pass along his thanks! Much appreciate it guys!
 

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