More on Morgan…
I greatly enjoyed the article in issue 80 on the Morgan Mile. I only made the trip to Morgan twice, in the early ‘80s, while a Melbourne resident. Despite having ridden the Romsey mile the first trip was an education and there was much more special preparation for the second trip as can be seen in the photograph (top right). The article noted without comment the injuries from stones to both Charlie Edwards and the American rider Charlie Searle. Stones were a very big issue. At the end of the day my “unbreakable” front number plate is shot away by the stones. I am wearing taped up overalls over my leathers to reduce the impact of the stones. Safety glasses, goggles and a roll of film, continuously pulled down for vision, protect my eyes.
The estimates of speeds tie in with my calculations of gearing for around 160km/h at 7000 revs as I could not afford to blow up motors. I do not think there was much wheel spin by the end of that long straight given the high entry speed – and while not mentioned in issue 80, no brakes. If my memory serves me well, I finished third in both the speedway and open track (500 slider) classes.
I have also included a second photograph (above) of the almost gladiatorial parade of riders, mechanics and machines past the crowd before entering the track and starting engines. Jan, my lovely wife and mechanic is always embarrassed by this picture as all the other mechanics are pushing the bikes for their riders!
Fraser McMillan Manly, Qld.