The iconic Hawkstone Park in Shropshire was the place to be in September, when the Cumbria Twinshock Club pulled off the third edition of their Festival of Legends. Over the weekend, riders and spectators mingled with 1981 250 world champion Neil Hudson and British champions Freddie Mayes, Alan Clough, Roger Harvey, Pete Mathia, Perry Leask and Neil Prince.
Invited guests arrived on the Sunday and were greeted in the Putoline VIP hospitality unit by Jack Burnicle. His superb interviews kept enthusiasts entertained, relaying stories of bygone days. Cloughy and Freddie discussed their 250 British championship wins in the Sixties, how the forms of transport to events has changed dramatically and especially how they had to make ends meet back in the day.
Neil Hudson spoke of his 1981 World title, his victory at Hawkstone in the 250 GP and when asked where he kept his trophies he replied: “In my garage, although the USA GP one is a bit special so that’s indoors.”
Speaking of Jack, in the Seventies and Eighties, he was covering all the GPS for TMX, so had to get there any way he could, and would thumb lifts with a lot of the riders. There were tales to tell from Andy Ainsworth, Roger Harvey and Pete Mathia.
Former Leask Husky rider Alan Clarke told of the days he worked on Saturday nights down the mines, before travelling to an event and paid tribute to the professionalism of Jack’s commentaries and knowledge of all the disciplines of the sport he covers.
Alan said: “It is still the best sport in the world, and I absolutely love coming to these events, and long may it continue.”
Perry Leask spoke of his six British Four-stroke titles and about growing up knowing all the riders who rode for his father; while Andy and Ken Nurden spoke of the days the South West was the hot spot for four-stroke racing doing the Haynes series.
The Festival of Legends at Hawkstone Park had two top days of Toughsheet and West Mids Evo racing, supported by KAIS Suspension, with the track in superb condition, and well prepped by the Salop Club. The famous hill was used, which was a bonus for the 260 riders who made the pilgrimage to the Shropshire circuit, for the Cumbria Twinshock event.
Top: Man with the holeshot in the LPE Clubman class is Mark Gardner. Those with it all to do are Mark Lakeland, Aaron Gledhill and David Taylor.
Right: Is it Roger Decoster back on track? No, it’s Ian Proudfoot in full retro gear.
Left: Five times AMCA champ John Williams enjoys a canter round Hawkstone in the parade lap.
Above: Ben Margetson was runner-up in the Wulfsport Experts class.
Below: Shane Holmes (5) and Andy Lawton (74) were this close every race.
Right: Sixty years of racing and Michael May still goes out in the parade lap.