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 Michele Judkins - Her Story

In the 1970s, the Scottish motorcycle racing clan had some extra members for a few weeks in summer, when the Judkins family arrived for their holiday. In those days there was a Saturday meeting at Beveridge Park, followed either the next day or the next week by another Scottish championship round at East Fortune, so the Judkins spent the week holidaying in East Lothian and fitting in 2 race meetings at the same time.

Up here, racing is very much a family thing, and they were very popular, and known to all who raced in Scotland. It is some time now since they stopped coming, and many times we have wondered where they all went.
Then one night, I noticed the name Mich in the chatroom….Michele Judkins! It has been great to talk to Mich and catch up with her.

Here is her story to date…much more to follow in the years to come…..

It all started back in 1972, when I met a bloke in the motorbike shop I was doing a Saturday job in. When he walked in I thought "cor he's a bit of alright". Little did I know that I would be getting involved in such an exciting life.

My step dad was racing a solo at the time, and I never took any notice of the sidecars until I met Steve, then I was hooked and couldn't wait for the 2 years before I was 16 to start passengering myself.

I left school at 15, got a job and started saving. At that time Steve was an apprentice brickie and I worked at a food factory. Steve was earning £4 a week and me £16. It was hard to try and save on so little money but we managed to save £300 and bought an outfit.

I did my first meeting a couple of weeks after my 16th birthday at a place called Gaydon. I loved it and I got told off for waving to some people on the first lap, not a good idea I suppose. At that time I think nearly all of Steve's family were racing, we had an old bus….3 outfits inside, 1 on a trailer and we travelled for miles and miles, up to Scotland to Kirkcaldy then on to East Fortune where we had great fun, and it went on from there -many good times and lovely people.

In 1977 we got married and decided that we couldn't both afford to race so Steve went to solos, but he decided after a couple of years to pack that up as he didn't enjoy it as much. So we had a couple of years out and had our daughter Laura and went back to sidecars using a 350cc with our nephew Robert in the chair, more good fun and happy times…this time with me watching on, still finding time to slave over a hot stove, wash up, look after Laura and clean the bike…

In 1985 they decided to do the Southern 100 in which they won the Dave Saville Trophy and a good time was had by all. Then on to the British Championships, and the TT in 86.That was very nerve racking for me, excitement, nerves, felt sick and I wasn't even on the bike.

From then we were at the TT every year until 91, Steve was having to work in Germany due to money difficulties, and very sadly he died in a road bike accident while he was working out there in December of 92. As you can imagine it was one hell of a blow to us. But we have our happy memories and that's what we try to remember….

After that I sat back at home and thought about what I was going to do.Do I still want to be involved with bikes? Of course the answer was yes, so I took myself off to the TT in 93.It was very hard for me…also for others seeing me for the first time, not knowing what to say to me. But my friends where there for me and got me through it.

And it is now that I can say a big thanks to Bruce Moore, Dave and Linda Bilton, Mick Neale and a big thanks to Des Founds and his family and of course Big Phil for keeping me smiling through the hard bits…thanks chaps.

We have since 93 held a Memorial race for Steve, which the New Era club have kindly allowed me to run at their meetings, and it has been greatly supported by our friends old and new. I have also been able to do a few laps in the lunch break at these meetings, which was great for me, nice to be able to get back in a pair of leathers, even though I have a problem zipping them up now heehee, I think its called middle aged spread.

I am currently travelling up and down the country supporting my brother in law Nick Moore and his driver Brain Alflatt, doing the British Championship rounds, and loving every minute of it. I am also on the committee of the FSRA.I am PA to the secretary Pat Hamblin, who I must say works very hard for all the sidecar people, and has to be admired for all she does.

Well, all I can say now is, I have enjoyed my life in the sidecar world, have had many good times and sad times too, made many good friends, had many a good time in the clubhouse, and hope to have many more. That's my life in a nutshell, but I could go on forever. So keep up the good work lads and lasses…

see ya around….

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