Bril­liant Brack­ley

Words: Bruce Cox Pho­to­graph: Roger Cooper

Classic Racer - - REGULAR PADDOCK GOSSIP -

The Brack­ley Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor­cy­cling is a gen­uinely unique event in that it is the only town on the Bri­tish main­land that is closed off to al­low rac­ing mo­tor­cy­cles run at speed along its streets. Back in 2008, or­gan­iser Roger Charlesworth and his team some­how per­suaded the good burghers of Brack­ley that it would be a good idea to close off the High Street and a par­al­lel ser­vice road to make a short ‘race track’ on which mo­tor­cy­cles could pa­rade at rea­son­able speeds to the delight of the public and the even­tual ben­e­fit of the lo­cal Air Am­bu­lance ser­vice and other de­serv­ing lo­cal char­i­ties. En­trance to the event is free but the fans will­ingly dig deep into their pock­ets and tens of thou­sands of pounds are an­nu­ally raised for the good causes. The fes­ti­val has grown year on year, both in terms of spec­ta­tors and the size and qual­ity of en­try. This year the pad­dock area right in front of the town hall in­cluded a great se­lec­tion of rac­ing ma­chin­ery rang­ing from a 21st cen­tury Du­cati Mo­togp con­tender to Manx Nor­tons from the Fifties. In be­tween, there was a trio of For­mula 750 JPS Nor­tons from the Peter Wil­liams era in their white, red and blue liv­ery along with one of the black and gold JPS Nor­ton ro­tary en­gine rac­ers. Plus, four-cylin­der Honda, Benelli and MV Agusta GP ma­chines from the 1960s and 70s; Tri­umph triples in­clud­ing F750 rac­ers and the TT Pro­duc­tion rac­ing leg­end, Slip­pery Sam; and for the two-stroke fans, ex-barry Sheene Suzuki square fours. This unique event, which evokes memories of clas­sic Con­ti­nen­tal Cir­cus gen­uine road races, takes place in mid-au­gust each year. Watch out for the an­nounce­ment of the dates for 2017.

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