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The secondary function is in mitigation of the first, whereby having once inflicted a degree of hearing loss, the pipe can then be removed from the bike and used as an ear trumpet. As for the race, it was quite joyful. Unable to catch the front three, I settled into fourth place waiting for it to go pop or fail in some way. It never did. Only on the last lap was I passed by the owner on his HONDA CR110, who admitted later that he’d had to take it deep into the red and was prepared to blow it up rather than be beaten by his old TIS ITOM.
The year was 1966. The venue was Oulton Park. The bike was an Itom based TIS (Trevor Burgess Special). I know it was 1966 because of the helmet. My girlfriend’s name at that time was Lorraine….actually it was Laraine, but as there was no such thing as the cross of Laraine, that was the closest I could get to any kind of tribute. From then on I was racing under the Cross.
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Racing under the Cross.
Oulton was only about 35 miles from my home in Manchester, so it fell within a reasonably safe radius for making the trip in my Austin A35 van.
The danger lay not inthe fact that the van was unroadworthy, but that it suffered from a condition brought about by the local council’s pre-occupation with scattering lavish amounts of sodium chloride onto the streets during the winter time. The affliction was a parasitic infection from the ferro-oxidus nematode, otherwise known as the metalworm.
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This was particularly rife in the floor around the wheel arches and resulted in a pretty lace curtain effect which allowed the free and direct passage of noxious exhaust fumes into the cab. Oulton was about as far as one could safely travel and remain conscious throughout the journey.
1966 was an interesting year for me in that I had stupidly missed the deadline for a TT entry and was still sore from kicking myself when an announcement was made that merchant seamen had demanded a fair day’s pay for Jack Tarring with jollity, and were prepared to strike for it. This meant a postponement of the races and more importantly, for me at least, a re-opening of TT entries.
Editor: On 16 May 1966, the NUS launched its first national strike since 1911. The strike aimed to secure higher wages and to reduce the working week from 56 to 40 hours. It was widely supported by union members and caused great disruption to shipping, especially in London, Liverpool and Southampton.
I’m fairly certain that having to save my pre-decimal coin for the TT had imposed a limit on my short circuit outings. Nonetheless, I wanted to lend my support as a spectator, and also to turn up with my helmet and leathers just in case I got mistaken for Ralph Bryans (again) and was offered a factory Honda ride.
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Also similar to Luigi Taveri. Too many look-a-likes
Things livened up however, after noon when I bumped into my mate Trevor Burgess, who informed me that the guy, to whom he’d sold his old bike (The TIS-ITOM) had enjoyed the sport so much, he’d bought himself a new Honda CR110 and as the grid was a bit thin, and, having established that I was equipped with helmet and leathers etc. he asked would I mind taking over an entry and appearing on the grid in order to bolster the numbers and cut the risk of fifties becoming extinct.
‘Who knows, you might even get it to start and get a lap in.‘ He joshed. Apparently the bike was a bit temperamental and one never knew if it would go or not. Happy to help, I got kitted up, while other people negotiated with the organisers around the fact that I hadn’t been out in practice etc. and somehow or other it wasn’t too long before I found myself sitting in the middle of a bunch of fifties on the grid at Oulton Park, facing in the direction of Old Hall corner and looking at a man with a flag. Not only did the bike fire up for the paddock warm up, it started for the race too…much to the surprise of myself and several others.
Now, Oulton Park lies in an area designated ‘Green Belt’. This means that particular emphasis is placed on protecting its natural beauty, and quite rightly so. Among the features to be protected from the high risk of damage resulting from the staging of motorcycle races, are the earth banks which surround the circuit. Therefore, the powers that be, or at least the powers that were, had decided that six-inch thick wooden railway sleepers were the only installation which would afford the necessary protection to the banks. They can be clearly seen the photo.
In fact it was at this very spot one day, on the outside of Old Hall corner, that I found myself spectating, when a chap who had misjudged the corner in a very big way, suddenly sat up and headed tangentially off the circuit and into the ditch. This turned out to be a bad decision as he was jettisoned over the bars head first into the railway sleepers. The impact was severe enough to cause his tongue to become lodged in his throat, rendering him unable to breathe. But with fortune on his side, the St. John’s rapid response unit personnel were on hand to perform an emergency tracheotomy and the chap was stretchered away, wheezing through a brand new hole in his adam’s apple. But more importantly, the earth banks came through the entire ordeal unscathed, a fitting testimony to the efficacy of the thick wooden barriers.
In the other photo can be seen the exhaust pipe peculiar to Itom racers of the day. It looks rather like an expansion chamber with the interesting bit sawn off. Although not making the bike any quicker, these pipes served a dual purpose, the first of which was to inflict hearing loss on the rider and anyone else in the vicinity. 

Anybody who has ridden at close quarters behind a HONDA CR93 will attest to the feeling of having GBH committed on the inner ear, the sensation of which is not unlike having your cochlea stabbed with a fork.
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It had happened at the previous year’s TT when I broke down near Glen Helen and having parked the bike behind the pub out of sight, was asked for my autograph by a young couple who enquired how it had felt to set the fastest lap in practice the day before. I scribbled something quite illegible, feigned an Irish accent and brushed it off as nothing too difficult really.
So it was that we staggered out of the van into the paddock dawn, happy to still be alive and taking in those aromas of fried bacon and wet grass mingled with a hint of two-stroke racing oil that always induce a frisson of anticipation for a great day. Actually the first part of the day was pretty uneventful, and I think I can be forgiven, fifty years on, for not remembering any of it.
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Trevor Burgess on the TIS ITOM
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Barrie on the TIS [Trevour Burgess Itom Special] at Oulton Park.
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Barrie, again on the TIS showing the Cow Horn Megaphone exhaust on the ITOM racer. 1966
I actually began my first experience, prior to racing in 1963 on a Foster fifty. These were based on the Victoria engine used by D.O.T in their Vivi mopeds. Built by Bert Foster they had beautiful little chassis but were sadly underpowered. I have a photo somewhere of Bert riding one at Oulton in 1964.
'Now! Let me tell you a story':
1. When and why did you first become interested in racing 50cc motorcycles?
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The next section of this page is based on the Question and Answer column that I used to run in the "Small Torque" magazine for the Racing 50 Enthusiast Club.
I grew up in a motorcycle shop and my father, who had his racing aspirations curtailed by WW2, was a race fan and made the annual pilgrimage to the IoM. I first went as an eleven year old schoolboy and knew at once that was what I wanted to do. The problem I encountered was called reality. Having left school and eventually settled into an apprenticeship.[Incidentally, when asked by the school careers advisory officer what path in life I would like to take, I answered that I wanted to be a journalist for a motor cycle periodical. He looked me up and down, studied my qualifications,which included an O level in English language with a distinction, and announced that I should perhaps lower my sights a little and go for a job in an engineering factory. 

I told him that was the last thing I wanted to do....especially if it concerned electricity....I hated electricity and the thought of meeting my end with a couple of thousand volts coursing through my writhing body haunted me.] So it was that I became an apprentice electrician,and a poorly paid one at that. There was not enough of the old pounds shillings and pence left over to go racing. My dad’s business was suffering from the 1960s economic downturn, and although he was able to provide me with an old road bike, racing was out of the question.
2. When and from whom did you acquire your first racing 50cc. [supply make, year, and any previous history if any]?
One day, a fellow apprentice asked me to drop him off at a backstreet workshop where he was having his bike repaired, literally half a mile from my home, but so buried in a rabbit warren of Mancunian back streets that I’d had no idea of its existence. The workshop belonged to Bert Foster and I think he sensed my enthusiasm for racing when he had to kick me out so he could lock up and go home. 
After that I spent many hours there and after saving for a set of leathers, Bert allowed me to try out one of his fifties at Prees Heath after the racing had finished for the day. It was wet, gravelly and full of pot holes, not at all how I’d expected my foray into bike racing to be. But I loved it and with help from my dad and Bert, I was able to buy one of his bikes. That was at the end of 1963.
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The first photograph is of Bert Foster and the second is Trevor Burgess on the 'Foster Fifty'  CLICK to see the DOT page and the 'Foster'.
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As it turned out, I never actually raced my Foster fifty, although, as you see, I did ride Bert’s own bike in the 1965 TT, where I failed to qualify. (Won’t go deeply into that here but you can see the main reason above.) . In addition to having the Foster fifty, which I sold before ever riding it, I built (again with Bert’s help) a Bantam racer and rode that in 64 and 65.
Meanwhile my dad had picked up a written off Garelli Monza which we straightened up and stripped for racing. It had an alloy tank and an expansion chamber made by Tony McGurk , clip ons, rear sets and I scraped away at the barrel to persuade it to go faster. I rode it as a second ride at any meetings I could enter and although it wasn’t super competitive, it never missed a beat. 
The idea was to showcase the race kit. It went well and we finished 6th. Then George Ashton left Garelli and Stuart Aspin moved up to ride the Theo Meur’s bike and I got to ride Stuart’s old bike, which was a standard road job but with a disc valve engine similar to Stuart’s ex-George Ashton's model.
Exact dates are elusive now, but as memory serves...and that’s not too well...I was entered to ride Brian Woolley’s bike in the TT in 68 when there was a bit of personnel switching going on at Agrati. I wasn’t privy to any details, but the piece by Jeep on the Bone Woolley Itom has some.
So for the TT Stuart rode the factory bike and I was offered his old rotary valve job. I also had a ride in the 125 race on my Bultaco and the 250 race, which was the same day as the 50cc, on a Suzuki Super Six, so it was quite good to have mechanics taking care of the Garelli while I concentrated on looking after the other bikes.
The difficulty was in trying to convince the chief mechanic, an Italian named Paul, that the bike performed infinitely better on a slightly softer plug. Every time I took it out it oiled up. On the Thursday afternoon practice I got my way and we were fourth fastest. But come the day of the race, Paul was so afraid that it would seize, he insisted I use the hard plug again.
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It also got me an introduction to the Agrati sales people who decided to give me a contract to race a standard bike of theirs equipped with a race kit in the 1968 British Championships.
The fully kitted Garelli MONZA in road trim.

Barrie's 'stripped for racing' Garelli MONZA
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Stuart Aspin No. 10 Garelli,  Chris Walpole No. 9 Honda, Barrie Dickinson No. 8 Garelli.
The only concession I was given was to carry two spare (hard) plugs and a plug spanner. By Keppel Gate I had run out of plugs and managed to coast as far as Hillberry where I retired the bike and walked back to the finish to race the 250. It was a hot day too.
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Managed to find the pic of Bert Foster on his bike. On the back of the photo was written 'Bert Foster Oulton Park Sept 12th 1964'.

Looking a bit more closely at it I remember the triple F device on the tank arranged in the fashion of the Manx 3 legs. It stood for Foster's Flying Fifty. He made at least four to my knowledge, one of which I bought and took to the IoM as a spare bike in 1965. I also know that Harold Cosgrove rode one in a Chiltern Enduro. I actually rode the one in the picture, in the TT, but I was unable to qualify as it was so slow, it took me an hour to get round....I was paddling it to assist it on the mountain climb!
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3. How many racing 50`s have you owned over the years [supply makes with likes and dislikes of the machines]
The Garelli Race Kit
Barrie Dickinson on the line for the 1968 Isle of Man 50cc TT
The ex-write off Monza at Darley Moor with Barrie in the saddle
As far as ownership goes I have only had the aforementioned Garelli, although I have been lucky enough to ride the works bike in the TT, the Ulster Grand Prix (Finished 10 after yet another pug change at the start...same mechanic, same insistence) and the Enduro, the Brian Woolley Yamaha in the Enduro and the T.B.S. (Trevor Burgess’ Itom special) at Oulton .
4. What unique preparation if any did you perform on your bike
Nothing unique I’m afraid. Just some port opening, polishing and piston skirt alterations....fairly standard stuff.
5. Detail any tuning approaches you might have used and how successful.
As I have said in the above answers, I have not been an active tuner of my bikes and the machines I have ridden for other people have been tuned and fettled by them or others more capable than me.
6. What memories do you have of the early racing 50's scene, [plus any achievements and successes etc].
One memory that does stick in my mind is that the only time I got to ride the juicy looking Murs Garelli one was in the Enduro and it blew up in practice so that was that.  
7. Have you been involved with any other class of racing motorcycles or competitive motorcycling?
Yes...mostly in the smaller classes. Raced a 350 Yamaha converted road bike in 1975 but in 1964/65 I raced the 125cc BSA Bantam that Bert Foster had helped me to build and from 1966 to 1974 I rode the 125cc Bultaco and 250cc SUZUKI T20 bikes in addition to the 50cc. In 1967 I raced a TD1A sponsored by Andersons, on which Brian Warburton had finished second in the Manx two years before. Almost got to ride the Factory Greeves that Trevor Burgess was riding for Brian Woolley. I was offered it for the 65 Manx but my entry was turned down because I’d entered the TT that year.
Despite not qualifying for the TT, the organisers still refused me the entry, Cos rules are rules innit? Dennis Craine rode the Greeves far better than I ever could have, and it was he who beat Brian Warburton to take first place.
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Barrie, at Oulton Park, on the 1965 Bultaco TSS 125cc
Barrie on the Maxton 125cc Yamaha in the 1974 TT 
Brian Woolley's Works Sponsored Greeves Oulton
My best class was the 125cc and my favourite event was, by far, the TT. In that class I managed two silver replicas and a bronze and have a collection of bronze reps and finisher’s awards from rides in the 250 and Production classes.
I was Cheshire centre ACU champion in 1967 and had a fair old collection of silverware from a variety of club championships, which I threw in the bin as they were becoming too much of an encumbrance every time I moved house. I calculated recently that I have moved house 23 times. The TT awards are all that matter and will probably be buried with me. 
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One Bronze and two Silver Replicas of the 125cc TT Trophy
That lasted until the end of the year when Derek Johnson persuaded me to have another go. He first bought a TD250 Maxton and then had a 125 Maxton built for me while Charlie Williams took over the 250. Won lots of races on that 125 and Derek entered it for the 1972 125 TT. Once again Dame Fortune played her part. My wife became pregnant and threatened divorce were I to ride the TT. Charlie took over my entry and rode a brilliant race in dreadful conditions to finish second.
Somehow I managed to convince my wife that one more TT would be all I needed to get it from under my skin and make it the last. So I had three rides in the 74 TT, by which time I had my own motorcycle business. The first on a borrowed 125cc Maxton Yamaha, similar to the first but with an AS1 engine. (Now owned by Zac Grief)
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Editors note: Only 6 Yamaha AS1 race bikes were built by Maxton Engineering and marketed by Derek Johnson motorcycles in 1972. The engine fitted in the picture is one of the spare bottom-ends fitted to preserve the original crankcases, marked AS1- The top-end fitted has Yamaha alloy GYT kit barrels with the GYT kit stud mounted carbs. These are really rare as most riders replaced these for rubber stub-mounted carbs for ease of jet changes My understanding is that from the six bikes built only 2 remain in the UK, this being one with the location of the other unknown
The second on an ex Sports Motor Cycles 250cc Proddie Suzuki, on which Bernard Murray had finished 11th the year before (again on loan)  and The third was on my  own TD2A
8. Who, if anyone, has been the biggest influence in your racing career, or the racing 50 scene in general?
As a kid, John Surtees was my hero. Later, of course I was overwhelmingly influenced by the Magic of SMBH. He was just so impressive to watch as he adjusted his weight and position on the bike to gain optimum performance from it. He was also an intelligent rider and I was led by his total genius on a bike to feel that he was immortal. I was crushed to discover that even the greatest can be caught out. 

As for 50 cc racers I was honoured to race against Angel Nieto (R.I.P. Angel, you were a great rider) and be staggered by the speed he carried through corners. You don’t get to be 13 times world champion without being special.
9. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given and by whom?
First advice I ever had was ‘Preparation wins races,’ which came from Bert Foster. It was his mantra. 
10. What piece of advice or tuning tip if any would you like to pass on to fellow members.
If you’re anything like me at tuning ...get someone else to do it.
Name: Barrie Dickinson
Birth date: 15th Jan 1946
Birth Place: Manchester UK
Date of Death : N/A
Place of Death : N/A
Nationality: British
Gender: Still Male
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Well that's it for now. Oh! I forgot to say that I am a retired school principal, living happily since 2003 in Indonesia
Research:
JEEP's Archives
Barrie Dickinson's Memories
IoM TT information pages 
Motorcycle Magazines 
On-Line encyclopedias 
News Paper Cuttings 
Scrap Books/Submissions
I am always looking for contributions to the web page. Please let the me know if you have any information, press cuttings or pictures that would be useful to include in a page.  If I have used a picture that requires permission please contact me.
Return to Racers Index
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The Bultaco was an old air-cooled model 1965 or before but it gave me some good racing in the 125cc classes. This picture is of my first ever outing on it at Oulton Park. In the 1968 125cc TT she came in 16th with a time of  1hr. 32 minutes and 21.8seconds. My average speed was 73.54mph.
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Barrie riding the 250cc SUZUKI Super Six (T20) in the 1968 Isle of Man TT. The time for the Suzuki was 2hrs. 58 minutes and 02.0 seconds. The average speed for the race was  76.3mph. There were 80 starters in the race and Barrie came in 30th.
As in my opening paragraph, I first attended a race meeting when I was about 11 years old but did not get involved with it until just before 1963 when I had the benefit of the 'Bert Foster' influence.
Speaking of the Enduro, the year before (1967) Stuart and I had entered on his ITOM but we were kindly offered the use of Brian Woolley's multi speed Yamaha. 
Poor Stuart crashed and dislocated his shoulder in practice and we spent half the morning at Norwich hospital having it put back in place. He very bravely offered to ride as long as he could do the minimum time stint and I could do the maximum....I think 15 minutes and 1 hour respectively. Must have been quite an ordeal for him. 
I retired three times in all. The first time was in 1970 after finishing 9th in the TT on a CR93. 
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I got married that year and my wife, who wasn’t really a racing enthusiast, persuaded me to pack it in after six riders were killed in that one event.
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250cc Yamaha. I finished 10th on the 125, 12th on the production bike and the crank broke on the last lap on my Yamaha. So I guess borrowed bikes are best.
The 250cc TD2A, Jim Lee framed, YAMAHA, ridden by Barrie in the 1974 TT
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Courtesy of Phil Cody
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