WHEN ME WERE MEN
Caption to top picture:—"F.W.Dixon and his riding mechanic Len Ainsley appear remarkably calm as their Riley Special flies off the road and crashes through a hedge at the Quarry Corner during the 1932 Ulster TT held at the Ards Circuit in Belfast."
When I first got interested in Motor Racing in my late teens I read every motor racing book I could lay my hands on, most being about pre-war racing. I was particularly taken by the sports car races in Ulster, run, not on special tracks, but over ordinary Irish roads. Among the ‘posh boys’ taking part was a rough,tough working class engine tuning genius by the name of Freddie Dixon. He was from the North East and as tough as old boots. His exploits you’ll have to read up yourself but the thing I remember best about him was the picture at the top of this post.
Master Li and I went to the Vintage Speed Hillclimb at Harewood on Saturday. Prowling round the paddock I came across a Long Tailed Brooklands Riley that had Freddie Dixon’s name written on it. (See above.) I asked the owner about it and he told me all about it including that it WAS THE VERY ONE THAT FLEW THROUGH THE HEDGE !!. I never thought all those years ago that one day not only would I see the famous car but get to touch it. I should add that Keith Pointing, the driver, put up a performance on the hill that Freddie would have been proud of.