When TT winner Roy Hanks called it a day in March 2017 it brought to a close more than 50 years of top level competition within one of the country’s foremost racing families. Pete Crawford trawled the family albums.
Roy: The reason they gave me the No.1 plate that year, 1997, was that Dave Molyneaux, who’d won it the year before, had gone on to GPS. I said: “Is there any chance I could be No.1?” as it was obvious it was never going to happen. I put on the biggest No.1 I could find, even if the scrutineers kept saying: “It’s illegal. It’s bigger than it’s supposed to be!” In the race Rob Fisher passed me going into Ballacraine but then I never saw another soul. I had quite a good ride and as I started the last lap I was third. I rode back into the pits, into the holding area and there was no Rob Fisher. He’d broken down coming out of the Gooseneck, so as I pulled into the enclosure, after all the years of them waving me past, I thought: “Yes. I’m in!” I didn’t know I’d won but my brother Norman wandered over and I think it was the first time I had ever seen him in tears. He said: “You’ve won... I think. Buttom is catching you”.
Norman: Vince Biggs came across the line second and Roy was “great, great” as Vince used to ride with Roy, and then he said: “How’s tom doing?” Tom was given start number 36 but all the way through practice it was clear he was head and shoulders above everyone else. His first lap was 31sec slower than his next two, just getting past people.the funny thing was Roy was going “Come ontom. Come ontom”. then the guy with the headphones said: “Hold on a minute. He’s only seven seconds behind” and Roy starts going “Slow downtom. Slow down” and all this was coming over the loud speakers!
Above: March 1967.Team Hanks. Roy & Cliff Mellor, Norman & Rose, Fred & Gerald Daniel.
Left: Roy’s squatter towing Norman’s kneeler home.