Words: Nigel Megson
Fifty years ago, the Manx National Two Day trial was held on Saturday 29th August and Sunday 30th August 1970.
The solo trial had two hundred and one starters and was over two circular routes that started at 8.15am from the famous TT Grandstand.
The Saturday route traversed the south of the Island and had thirty-four sections and the Sunday route went over the North of the island and also had the same number of sections.
On paper, the favourite looked to be Gordon Farley who had travelled all the way from Kent and who would be riding his works supported 250cc Montesa Cota. He would be up against Expert riders from West and South Yorkshire, many of whom were riding ‘mini’ 125cc bikes. Riding numbers probably favoured the top runners, who were starting from the middle of the field as the riding order was reversed for the Sunday.
Dave Thorpe on the 250cc OSSA ‘Pennine’ was riding number 68, Terry Wright on his Dalesman was riding number 92, Gordon Farley with number 126, Gerald Rathmell on the works 125cc Sprite with number 142, Jim Sandiford on a 250 Bultaco 66, Paul England on a 125cc Dalesman, number 160, a young Nick Jefferies was number 75 on the ex factory Triumph Tiger Cub, next to the popular Stan Cordingley on a 250cc Bultaco, who finished in 8th place on 24 marks, riding number 76.
Notable absentees from the event included Alan ‘Sid’ Lampkin who was riding a 400cc Husqvarna at the Bucks Grand National down at Brill, whilst Malcom Rathmell and Martin Lampkin were riding their Moto-Cross bikes in a Craven club scramble. Several other top riders included Ian Haydon, Derek Adsett and Rob Edwards.
John Hemingway and Scott Ellis were riding in the Clayton Trophy Trial in Wales.
On the Saturday, Dave Thorpe had a good steady ride losing three marks, Terry Wright on his Dalesman lost five on the slippery hill at Billown and Gordon Farley finished up losing nine including , in what for him, must have been a disastrous day with a maximum at Poylvaaish and several dabs at the Arragon River.
On the Sunday, Dave Thorpe went pretty much to pieces losing thirteen marks whilst Gordon Farley had the best ride of the day losing four marks. Terry Wright suffered a five on the vicious sections at ‘Tholt-Y-Wil’, but he did retain his composure and nerve for the rest of the event including the ultra steep rock climb at Sartfell Park.
The final results of the trial were:
1st Terry Wright 125cc Dalesman. 10 marks
2nd Gordon Farley 250cc Montesa. 13
3rd Dave Thorpe 250cc Ossa. 16
4th Paul England 125cc Dalesman. 17
5th Gerald Rathmell 125cc Sach Sprite. 20
6th Jim Sandiford 250cc Bultaco. 22
The team prize went to Wetherby ‘A’ which comprised Terry Wright, Gerald Rathmell and John ‘Killer’ Kendrew (who finished in 9th place on 24 marks)
A fantastic result for the popular Yorkshireman Terry Wright giving the Dalesman concern possibly their first and only ‘National’ win .
Fair bet that it was a good party that night!
(Front cover of 1970 programme by kind permission IOM Centre ACU)