A  History of Classic Racing  50cc Motorcycles


Name: Barbara Bound 
Birth date: 29-05-1940 
Married: Alex Loose 
Birth Place: Watford, Hertfordshire 
Date of Death : Not Yet! 
Place of Death : Not Yet! 
Nationality: English 
Gender: Female

Barbara Bound - Lady Road Racer

Now Barbara Loose of Croxley Green, wrote: "Of fun and friendship on the motorcycle track"

"WHAT fun we had"! "Our whole family (mum and us three girls) would follow my father around various circuits, for example Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Crystal Palace to name but a few. Even our holidays to Scarborough and the Isle of Man were all related to the race track. My début was in 1958 but more of that later.

Barbara has been happily married since 1968 to Alex. They have two children Amanda who is married to Michael and David married to Sarah.  They have grandchildren Lucy, William and Hannah and a step granddaughter Bryony.

Anyway, to continue the story: "My father was James (Jim) Bound, a well known racer and during the 1950's/1960's he owned EMB Motors in Vicarage Road, Watford, and at one time, was the importer of the 125cc Montesa Motorcycle of Spain. 

This company was called Montesa Motorcycles GB which was owned by EMB Motors. The two main models imported were the Brio 110 Sports Roadster and the Sportsman Production Racer". 

The Brio cost £168 whilst the Sportsman racer retailed for a massive £343 15s 8d including tax or £280 if sold in kit form. One of the leading riders of the time to campaign a Sportsman was in fact a sportswoman - Mrs. Margo Pearson. She was a well known figure on her 125 Montesa and competed in many 125 races during the 60's. Jim supported her in this vocation and she became a firm member of our group.


Brio 110 Sports Roadster

Although my father was originally a butcher by trade, his real love was motorcycle racing. He entered the 50cc scene early in 1955 " Ten riders lined up for the 50cc race at the 1955 Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday event around the 3.134 mile Dorset track of Blandford Forum. This was the first official British fifty race. "J G Bound riding his NSU sleeved down to 49cc and with a re-stroked crank set the pace with a race speed of 43.15 mph and a first ever fifty lap record of 43.88 mph". Bill Tinkler and NJ Dicks both riding 48cc Britax framed Ducati Cucciolo cyclemotors filled second and third spots".

When working for my father, I well remember the young and handsome Rex Avery (who lived close to us in St James Road) visiting our workshop to see my father. Also Joe Erlick frequented the yard when, with all heads together, they would try to perfect the "perfect" machine. (My father "created" the EMB Motorcycle being my mother's initials).  

I also remember a very young Barry Sheene riding around the paddock on a tiny motorcycle built for him, I believe, by his father, Frank Sheene. During the late 1950's I also had the pleasure of joining other young women racing on various circuits being: Beryl Swain , Pauline Dale, Helen Mitchell (I think Margo Pearson came on the scene a little later).

Barbara plans a racing debut

The following story comes from a press cutting of an article in the The Watford Observer 1958. (some additions and pictures have ben included by the Editor).

EIGHTEEN-YEARS-OLD Barbara Bound, of Hare Close, Leavesden, will be following in her father’s footsteps or rather his wheel-tracks, when she dons her black “leathers” and climbs into the saddle of her Moto-EMB at Silverstone on Saturday. 

It will be a big occasion for this ex-Victoria School girl, who now assists in her father’s Vicarage road motorcycle and accessories shop. It will be her first race.

Barbara plans a racing debut

EIGHTEEN-YEARS-OLD Barbara Bound, of Hare Close, Leavesden, will be following in her father’s footsteps or rather his wheel-tracks, when she dons her black “leathers” and climbs into the saddle of her Moto-EMB at Silverstone on Saturday. This bike was created by her father from an Italian Itom and with changes to the frame, fairing and engine, see the big finned barrel to dissipate heat more effectively, she should do well.

It will be a big occasion for this ex-Victoria School girl, who now assists in her father’s Vicarage road motorcycle and accessories shop. It will be her first race. She will be competing in the British Motor Cycle Racing Club’s 50cc competition and will be one of three women riders taking part in the meeting (Helen Mitchel, Pauline Dale and Miss Bound)  for which 262 riders have entered. And why in father’s wheel-tracks? Well, Jim Bound is a name well known, in the motorcycling world. He took part in this year's Isle of Man races.


 A Rival: One of the machines Jim rode there, a Spanish Montesa, will be ridden by one of the other Women competitors on Saturday. Miss Pauline Dale, of Harrow, who, like Barbara, is a member of the Chiltern 50 Racing Club. To encourage the women riders, Mr. Bound has given a cup to the club for the best performance over the season by a lady rider. (Picture: Barbara and Pauline Dale at a practice session on the Snetterton circuit, Norfolk). 

In practice runs at Snetterton in March, Barbara, on an Itom, was the third fastest, men included, in her class. Her average speed on that occasion was 42.30 miles per hour, which meant that on occasions she was touching 70 miles per hour. 

One of the other meetings was the Trophy Day at Silverstone on 30th May 1958 (video by Pathé News and program not available). We were all donning our black leathers etc. and I will ride against Pauline Dale and Helen Mitchell again and of course all the guys. This was a wonderful meeting and I was able to return the following year to ride in the 1959 Trophy Meeting. Again Pauline Dale was a competitor along with Frank Sheene, Noel Dicks, George Todd and many more.

Then there was Brands Hatch, another wonderful venue and I remember great racing, many times on the Kent circuit.

Had I mentioned previously that Pauline took me around the Silverstone circuit, being my very first attempt at racing. Pauline had a very friendly manner and she was the Assistant Secretary of the club that I joined and she had been racing for sometime. We became good friends and and used to park up near to each other at the racing circuits. 

Mike Hailwood 1958 Crystal Palace (Jeep)© 

Barbara Bound-Pauline Dale-Helen Mitchell 

Among such famous young men dominating the racing scene at that time I well remember John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Derek Minter and Bert Fruin (of the Fruin Dart machines) to name but a few and the wonderful smell of Castrol "R" oil and the adrenalin buzzing through your veins while awaiting to push your machine into action as soon as the starter flag went down! 

Derek Minter-Honda- 1962 TT

Bert Fruin 

Noel Dicks-Britax Hurricane-1956©

George Todd-Britax Hurricane 1954©

Pauline Dale-Ducati-Brands Hatch- 1958 ©

We belonged to the Chiltern 50cc Racing Club and an average speed in those days (on a 50cc ITOM manufactured in Italy) was 42.30 mph which, on occasions, meant we were touching 70mph!   In 1959 I won the "Ladies Shield" for the best performance for the year of a female rider. I received the shield and a small keepsake trophy.  The trophy was presented by Montesa Motorcycles, the business owned by my Dad, Jim Bound.

Other local competitors of our racing days, together with Rex Avery, were C R Denton, K W J Douglass, R S W Field, R Foster, R Millins, Don Guy and W H Wiltshire. Where are they all now I wonder?

In the late 1950's, Kirkistown Irish Championship Road Races in Kirbcubbin, Co. Down, Ireland was believed to be the first time in motorcycling history that a club had entered a team of no less than 16 riders to compete in an Irish event. The transport used for the journey consisted of a three ton cattle truck for the 50cc machines and racing kit (leathers etc) and a Dormobile, Austin A.40 and Vauxhall Victor for the riders and mechanics.

The truck left Redbourn, Herts, at 12.15am on a Friday arriving at Liverpool at 6am the following morning; this early start being essential to ensure loading of the machines on to the Irish steamer (the M V Ulster Prince).  The crossing from Liverpool to Belfast took ten hours, after a very gratefully smooth crossing. 

MV Ulster Prince was a passenger/car ferry operated across the Irish Sea by  Ferries


The meeting was a great success for Barbara and with the British team putting up a good show. As you will see from the press cutting from the Watford Observer, "I managed a third place in the final with my dad coming in 7th" she said. 

(Editors: I have re-typed this as the cutting is difficult to read).


WHAT'S the reaction of an experienced racing motor cyclist when his daughter zooms  past him in an important race?  

Surprise? "Hardly the word for it,” says Watford motor-cycle dealer Jim Bound. And Jim should know, for he was plugging along nicely enough when his 19-year-old daughter,  Barbara, passed him in the  50c.c. scratch race in the Irish  champ1onships during the week-end.

Barbara, now in her second  season at racing, had never  before won a prise and she was the only girl among 35 competitors. But she rode her Italian Itom machine into third  place and was given a tremendous ovation.

No one of course was more pleased than her father . . . even though he had to be content with 7th place.

The race. over eight 2-mile  laps, took place at   Kirkistown Airfield, County Down.

More from the from the Watford Observer.  Last week we told how Miss Barbara Bound trounced her father in a 50c.c. motorcycle race at Kirkistown Northern Ireland, earlier this month. Well, here is Barbara with her father, well-known local Motor-cycling personality Jim Bound.

Also in the photo, which was taken in Ireland, are Mr. R.S.W. Field (left) of Bowman’s Green, Watford and Mr. Don Guy of Paynesfield Road, Bushy, both of whom took part in the racing. 

Barbara, "I truly believe racing in those days was more friendly and fun, you see, there was not the high financial rewards of today.  Here are a few more pictures from my scrapbook". 



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