Furness and South Cumbria Motorcycle Sports Awards night
The Victoria Park Hotel in Barrow was packed to capacity on Saturday night with motorcycle enthusiasts attending the annual Furness and South Cumbria Motorcycle Sports Awards presentation evening.
Guest of Honour and TT legend 'The Morecambe Missile' John Mc Guinness, who now has 21 TT wins to his credit, presented the awards. In a brief interview he enthralled his audience with some amusing stories of his life as a professional motorcycle racer, revealed his plans for next year, posed for photographs with the fans and signed many autographs.
Seventeen awards were presented (a full list can be found here). The Mark 'Tups' Halfpenny Memorial Cup went to former Moto X rider Liam Morrison from Dalton. 'Tups' was a budding young MotoX rider who lost his life nearly 20 years ago in a freak accident while practicing in Roose sand quarry. Winner Liam is now actively involved in wheelchair racing and wheelchair basketball following a serious Moto X accident last year. John also gave Liam a signed baseball cap as a memento of the evening.
The Evening Mail shield for the most successful rider in 2014 went to former Manx Grand Prix winner Alistair Haworth from Slecroft. Alistair contested 26 races this year and won 24 of them! Deputy Sports Editor Paul Turner was on hand to present the new award.
Smiles were raised when organiser Les Trotter presented Barrow road racer Sam Walker with a new set of 'forks' to replace the ones he damaged in an end-of-season spill at Aintree … when Sam opened the package it did contain a pair of forks, but no knife or spoons! Sam's unsuspecting father, Mike, received the 'Wrinkley Racer' shield for the best performance by an over 40 year old.
The Duncan Mayyvers 'Trash and Crash' Award went to former British Thundersport Champion Tom McHale from Grange, who looped his machine in spectacular fashion on the notorious mountain section of the Cadwell Park circuit early this year. Each year's unlucky recipient has to add something from his fallen machine to the award. After 15 years, it now weighs more than the Senior TT trophy!
Ulverston Classic bike racer Nick Penny was presented with a pack of flourescent tent pegs and some strip lights to illuminate his tent ropes after receiving the Martin Crooks shield. Evidently after competing in the Isle of Man and escaping any injury, he tripped over his tent ropes and fractured a couple of ribs! Host for the evening – well known motorsport commentator Garry Gardiner – did not escape either. Earlier this year circuit staff at the Ty Croes circuit in Wales unwittingly locked Garry in the control tower at the close of racing. He had difficulty in contacting them and was stuck for quite some time. To ensure it didn't happen again, he was presented with an escape kit ,consisting of ropes, a harness, a safety helmet and the promise of some tuition on how to use it.
The free raffle for the Christmas hamper, generously donated by Pauls Carpets of Dalton, was won by former motorcycle racer Maurice Fishwick from Walney. Another winner of a large bouquet of flowers was Lesley Ormrod from Silverdale, whose husband Syd races a mini engined Berkley 3 wheeler in Historic and Vintage races.
A small door charge and donations raised more than £300 for the Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance service.
Picture courtesy of Lee Edwards. Caption: Some of the award winners. Back row (L to R) Nick Penny, Tom Swindlehurst, Tom Mc Hale, Duncan Dixon, Paul Coward, James Postlethwaite, Alistair Howarth, Geoff Hadwin. Front row (L to R) Graham Wilcock, Dave Peters, Liam Morrison, Dan Stewart, Deejay Walker, Sam Walker.