Hearing John Kennaugh (legendary Harold’s Wall philosopher, and Gorse Lea Marshal of the fifties) mention Ballagarraghyn Jump on Manx Radio TT this morning, I was again reminded of a quotation from “How to see the TT in comfort” by Stanley Woods (sponsored by Mobiloil in 1952).
“………..This is a left-hander which needs careful thought and handling, but we are through and there is a nice little straight here past the Hawthorn Inn. Sorry, old boy, we must pass it and press on. Here comes Cronk Breck Bend and the other right-hand bend which opens up the Ballagarraghyn Straight. Nice country this. Trees on both sides of the road, and the road seems to disappear ahead. We’ll soon see it again and have a minor thrill by leaving the ground for a second or two on the Ballagarraghyn Bridge. The competitors take off beautifully here. The bikes jump about 20 yards and then comes the fine straight to Ballacraine Corner……….”
There was pre-TT drama when RR Berrie DSM reported that the round bale defences were not in place at the Gorse Lea Shelter. There were gasps of dismay when he revealed that they had been replaced by a couple of carrier bags of mini tyres (which Fim had approved). Wisely Fim was not around to defend himself, and did not turn up at the early-morning Summat Meeting (because summat was up) that was called last Saturday. Fortunately an agreement was reached, new safety arrangements were put in place…… and we still have somewhere to put the cups.
The Team, under the leadership of Reginald Robert Berrie, DSM, was on station at the Shelter by 17.05. New recruits were welcomed and already one of them, Patrick, descendant of the great O’Neill chiefs of Tyrone, has distinguished himself by providing a long plank to extend the viewing platform. Readers will appreciate that we already have a surplus of thick, short planks.
Angel, another of our recruits, impressed us during early forays but has bizarrely defected to the Kerrowmoar Krew. She’ll be back when she has had time to consider her folly.
Note: For those with an interest in historical landmarks……. to our knowledge there is no folly located at Kerrowmoar, apart from Angel’s)
We checked the miles of yellow tape laid down to delineate no-go zones and repaired the signs that had been driven over by tractor drivers. By the time roads closed we had secured the Gorse Lea position, and rewarded ourselves with coffee, delicious home-made fruit cake from Mrs Berrie's multiple-award-winning Aaron House, Port St Mary, establishment (appointed supplier of high-class gateaux and beverages to Gorse Lea Marshals). The delicious Main Course is munificently provided by Mrs Holland of Ballakilpheric (incidentally, unrelated to the Haslingden Hollands of pie-prominence).
Britain's Got Gorse Lea Talent
I am frequently asked for news of the Gorse Lea Pheasant. I can’t understand why a bird that has endangered the lives of so many riders over the years through its appallingly-amateurish aerial antics should achieve such status. However, the news at the GLea Shelter is that the infamous Gorse Lea Pheasant has not appeared for his traditional 7.20pm fly-past during this year’s practice sessions. He is expected to stay in the Priory Clinic for the next few days in order to be assessed and will then make a decision on what he does next. Click on the link below to watch his TV debut, as he stars in an advert for a new soft drink.
Note to the Manufacturers: Should you wish to avail your company of cheap worldwide publicity through these reports, just leave a few crates behind the shelter……….and a banner would be handy for decorative purposes.
RR Berrie DSM’s word for the week is “adhere” and we appear to be stuck with it, in or out of context.
There was further discussion at the shelter last evening concerning potential sponsorship. It was widely agreed that, if Manx Gas are prepared to give us a few of those classy paddock jackets, we might rename ourselves the Gas Lea Marshals. Conversely, one member of the group declined this idea on the basis that he would consider it a personal insult as, naturally, he always gets the blame.
• There is anxiety that the Gorse Lea Pigeon has not put in an appearance so far. A collared dove has been in attendance but as he only gives two hoots he is not an acceptable substitute.
• The Vigilante Gorse Lea Thrush in good health well but older and wiser and keeping well away as the Crowe flies.
• The astonishing formula that we tested in field and hedge trials continues to keep The Gorse Lea Midges at bay.
• The Gorse Lea Goldfinches that we have observed operating in restricted areas are believed to be holders of Press Gold Passes. Perhaps Simon Crellin can confirm this?
Gorse Lea Marshals – Always Up To Scratch.