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ANDREW, DESMOND (Des) BONE and the WOOLLEY-BONE - ITOM
As put to Jeep through emails, notes, pictures and general chats from Andrew "Des" Bone. A lot of this are his words with some editing, additions and photos by the writer.  Des loved 50cc racing, not just the track side but in preparing the bikes and the engineering that went into them. He was never happier that when solving a mechanical problem that had arisen be it through through trial or race track testing.
Des; (Born 18th May 1940). I will use his middle name as his dad was called Andy, worked with his father in the shop, Andy and Desmond Bone Motorcycles, Arkwright Street, Nottingham. Des wanted to go racing in about 1955 and as they sold Itom motorcycles he used one of these as the basis for his first bike. It was the a Astor Super Sport and retailed then at £124.00. The picture shows the bike in the shop with all the general paraphernalia around it. This model already had a good reputation on the UK tracks and it would provide an ideal base.   Des' did not actually race until August 1958, at Crystal Palace, where he came 14th and scored 1 point in the Championship.
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In 1960 Des. decided to enter the 250 mile Chiltern Enduro, using his bike and with a friend Ian Johnson. They rode well and Ian and Des took the lead from Bill Ivy after the 30th lap and held it until a slowing engine allowed Bill ivy to pass them on the 59th. Ian and Des. were awarded the 45th lap trophy which is still in his cabinet. 
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Des' entered the 1961 Enduro, again with Ian Johnson and during the closed season Des' had been able to get a little more speed out of the ITOM.  He had developed it through the year with changes needed depending on the track performance but the greatest improvement in performance came from reading the regulations, Des' came to realise that the National /International restrictions on streamlining did not apply to club racing and as Ian had purchased a full dustbin fairing to use on the kneeler sidecar outfit he was building, they decided to use it for the Itom in the mean time. 
We did compete in one more Enduro some years later 1964 when Garelli asked us to enter a standard bike for them. The race now had a class for standard road machines as well as racing and they were busy with George Ashton & Paul Marlow’s, machines in the racing class so we ran a standard Garelli Sports in the road bike class for them. It had all the lights & road silencers etc, any way George won the main event and we won the class for road hikes. So third time lucky for us!  Look in "Articles" and see the write-up of the Enduro and see how Graham Clarke (16) stood tall above the Garelli.
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Building and developing the Itom went well and by 1958, Des. was riding at the front with the best of them. He rode at most of the circuits and the picture shows the bike at Crystal palace, London with his mates girlfriend on board.
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The picture shows Ian Johnson pushing the dust-bin faired bike in the pits. Using this fairing meant that they could pull a higher gear ratio and make quite a difference to their top speed. For the Snetterton circuit and its long straights that was important.
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From 1958 Des raced at a number of circuits in the UK and in Ireland. As Crystal Palace has been mentioned as his first race and the map shows the type of track it is, it is worth mentioning some of the other tracks.  California in England was a track. Near to Wokingham in Berkshire and was a Speedway track with an unusual hairpin type bend. the track was 330 yards long and 10 feet wide. It was a compressed dirt track with cinder and only a couple of races took place there.  The Gosling Stadium was used after this.  The Gosling track was originally cinder and was upgraded to synthetic in 1987.
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There will be more on tracks in a separate page still to be done.
Des had a bike running at MONDELLO PARK August 1968 but was not able to attend. Some of the following article has been editedtied by Des to expand on his involvement.  Arthur Lawn wrote a small article for the R50MCC magazine which is as follows. For the geographical minded this new and only Southern Ireland short circuit is situated approximately 15 miles inland from Dublin very close to Naas.  The circuit is in its present form less than 1 mile in length with uphill and downhill terrain. But into this distance is fitted two hairpin corners as sharp as Cadwell's, two right hand corners and a set of esses. Thus straights are quite short and it is in my opinion the most ideal circuit ever opened for 50cc machines. However I understand an extension is proposed in the future. The surface is good, smooth tarmacadam. Amenities are good for both spectators and competitors. The paddock is in the centre of the circuit, very spacious and comfortable.
The meeting Charlie Wright, Mick Poxon and myself attended was run by the Blackchurch Racing Association and included both 10 and 15 lap scratch races for 50cc's. Charlie Wright had borrowed Des's air-cooled Itom MkVIII with the 5 speed gearbox.

From the start Charlie led the race, but on the last few laps the engine started to tighten up and loose power. It had got so hot that the performance was impaired. Chris Gooson, on the works Garelli, passed Charlie with 2 laps to go and so the Bone air-cooled Itom came second. 

Organisation was excellent although I must admit that the organisers in Ireland do not have the amount of entries to cope with as our organisers being about 100 entries. This appears to be because there is no sidecar, 125cc and unlimited classes and everybody appears to enter all races they are eligible for.

Unfortunately the boat trip from Liverpool is both long and crowded at this time of the year and it takes some seven hours. A word of warning however for anybody contemplating competing in Southern Ireland. A carnage document for unregistered racing machines is necessary and the Irish customs will not allow machines in without it.
We took four machines without documents and were asked to deposit a bond of £150 cash, no cheques accepted. However everybody was most helpful and luckily Chris Goosen who collected us and laid transport on for us, turned up in the middle of the confusion and persuaded the B. & I. Shipping Line to pay the £150 bond for us.
However we all enjoyed an excellent weekends racing and thank Chris Goosen and friends for the excellent hospitality extended, the organizing club for laying on an excellent meeting followed by a really good prize giving in the evening and the circuit owners for supplying a circuit really suitable for 50’s and one deserving every success in the future.    Arthur Lawn.
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Charlie was awarded the second prize shield and presented it to Des,  as it was his bike that had achieved the place.
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It must have been a mid August 1967, and a Saturday when John Foot first walked into the shop, he was dressed in the most immaculate hand made suit I had ever see, (apparently he worked for the best tailor in town) "Des Bone" he said I said yes what can I do for you (thinking he was a prospective customer)
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I'm entered at Brands Hatch in October as passenger in the side car race, and there is a 50cc event at the meeting and I wondered if you had a bike you could lend me to ride. Well as luck would have it we did, it was an ltom Mk8 that had been an H.P. return, and it was a complete rusty wreck, and after a discussion with Dad we decided that the most economic way we could get any money back on the bike was to re-build it as a racer, so John got his bike to ride.
Over the last few years there had been such advances with many new racing machines coming out, that the Itom had, we thought, been totally out classed in performance, so when John finished 6th at Brands we decided to through the winter to develop the bike further. I acquired a 5speed gear box that fitted in the same space as the Mk 8 4 speed (Don Chisholm could not get it to stay in gear so it was cheap) I modified it and made my own foot change.
I was at that time also looking after an ex works"Derby" that Bill Smith had loaned Charley Wright, so had some idea of the port timing to use, and we had in stock the Dellorto 21mm race kit carburettor, so putting it all together with an exhaust I had knocked up we went to an old air field to test it, and it absolutely flew well it would have done except that the clutch could not cope with the power. We had to squeeze an extra plate in and double the springs, before we stopped it slipping.
That next season 1968 John rode it to 1 win, 6, 2nd. 1, 3rd. and 1, 4th Actually most of the races John had led, but the engine got so hot that it lost power as the race went on, and in the end we used to start with a cool engine, by not warming it up so much before the start as is most common. That was the reason for us water cooling the engine which cured the problem, but that was not done until the winter for the 1969 season.
As you can see John was 6th in the 50 race, & 2 in the Duckham Trophy race 1 for three-wheelers with Graham Clarke.
With mentioning the name of Graham Clarke we move into the pre 1969 period, The '68' bike was fast and Des knew that with minor improvements in tuning  and a little frame geometry they could hold their own at the beginning of a race but as the race went on the engine became overheated and she began to lose power. The decision was made to go watercooled and try to improve this situation.  
Des looked around at the progress of other engine developers in the 50cc arana and noted that the Simmonds brothers hah fabricated their barrel with a seve put over the barrel that had the fins cut off. Dave and Mike had stuck fins on the outside of the sleeve to aid cooling. Ian Ager's was a copper jacket that had been silver soldered to the barrel casting.  Graham, who was a good engineer was asked to work on an approach with the cylinder where we fabricated a water jacket out of thin mild steel plate and then welded it to the cylinder. The movement of the water would be by the thermo-siphon approach.
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This is Arthur Hancock on the Water-cooled Itom.  The twin disc brakes were a great improvement.
This cured our over-heating problem and we had a good 1969 season.  John Foot was always in the top three and George Ashton had great difficulty either trying to pass him or in keeping him behind.
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John Mephan on the Water-cooled Replica of Des's Itom
The picture was taken at Darley Moor with John accelerating away from paddock bend. The bike, as you can see is nearly doing a wheelie and the rear suspension is fully compressed with the front forks fully extended. It was faster than a CR110, but John was really too big and heavy for a fifty racer and lost out on acceleration.
You can compare this picture with the one above of our bike. John built his replica of our bike himself from parts such as the pieces to make up the water jacket and exhaust etc, but he cut and welded it all together. Des supplied him with the alloy rims and built the wheels for him with the double front, cable operated disc brake.
This is a picture of John Mephan's Itom it was a complete replica of Des's first water cooled bike, but with four speed box (The Des Bone bike had five).
Page 2:  The Woolley Bone ITOM
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Mondello Park Circuit Ireland
Arthur Lawn 50cc Garelli
The 50cc Theo Meurs Garelli
Des Bone's Itom with Ms. Johnson aboard
Page 3:  Des Bone's Scrapbook 1
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Page 4:  Des Bone's Scrapbook 2
The Woolley Bone Frame Stable
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