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Rose Hanks - What A History

Since I was in my early teens my dad had a motorcycle, and that was where my real interest came from.

Over Ballaugh Bridge

In my early 20's I took the opportunity to have a go at passengering on an airfield and it was then that I really got the bug.

In 1966 I rode passenger for Freddie Wallis for a season, but my main ambition was to ride in the T.T. My eldest daughter Karen was aged 6 at this time and spent most weekends with my mother.

In 1967 I got my big break when Roy Hanks (now my husband) came and visited me at home and in general conversation mentioned that Norman, his eldest brother was looking for a passenger for the season and the T.T. I jumped at the chance, as I knew Norman was one of the top sidecar drivers of his time along with Chris Vincent etc. March 1967 was my first race meeting with Norman and I obviously wanted to create a good impression. The track was Mallory Park and we were on the start line waiting for the off. It was a push start in those days and as the engine fired up Norman brought his leg over and kicked my shoulder, off the back I went. I thought to myself what a great start to the season. I got back on and we finished 2nd not bad considering my mishap.

The 1967 T.T was a 500cc Sidecar Race unfortunately we had a few problems and finished 27th.

1968 MY YEAR

In 1968 we returned to the T.T and finished 2nd which made me the first woman to ever stand on the winners rostrum. It was like a dream come true, I was on cloud nine and can't remember much about it except that at the presentation the other sidecar crews presented me with a bouquet. The same year at the T.T. I was taken to Hillberry to be presented to Prince Phillip, which was a great honour.

On The Winners Rostrum in 1968

In 1969 Norman and I finished 7th behind the mighty B.M.W's

In 1970 I passengered for Roy at the T.T. we finished 7th in the first race and blew an engine in the second race. It's amazing how the techniques of two drivers are so different. I was meeting Roy in the chair on lefthanders as he got over for the corner sooner than Norman used to, but remember sidecars had front exits and you had to work from back to front very quickly. When you ride with one driver for a while you think alike and tend to know what they are going to do next.

By this time I had married Roy and a year later was expecting Julie our youngest daughter. I had always planned to race again when Julie had reached the age of 3-4 but unfortunately Norman had retired and the sidecar scene had changed

Now time has moved on and Julie the youngest daughter is trying to take over where I left off, with her husband Paul Elliott.

Roy and Myself During The Parade Lap

I always believe that you are never to old to do anything and had my chance to prove it in 1998. I went on the parade lap with Roy on his 1997 T.T. winning outfit. Although this was classed as a parade lap and in today's terms not quick, it was as quick as I had lapped in the B.S.A days and quick enough to have qualified for toady's T.T. I don't think I could have managed 3 laps not with my knees, then again this is from my mis-spent youth but it was all worth it.

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