Leather clad biker girls and motorcycling legends celebrate 100 years of TT racing on Isle of Man

By Richard Hook | 25 May 2011
a black and white photo of a woman in motorbike leathers
Beryl Swain, the first female solo TT competitor© Courtesy Manx National Heritage

Exhibition: Mountain Milestones at House of Manannan in Peel from May 28 - summer 2012

This year marks 100 years of racing at the Isle of Man TT and on May 28 a new exhibition opens to celebrate the history of the world-renowned Mountain Course.

‘Mountain Milestones’ will be open daily at the House of Manannan in Peel and charts the story of the world’s oldest motorcycle circuit.

Several motorcycle greats have taken on the hazard-laden 37¾-mile circuit, and the exhibition features contributions from Carl Fogarty, Joey Dunlop, Giacomo Agostini, Stanley Woods and many other former winners.

The showpiece items will be the two-speed V-twin Humber, on which Percy Evans won the first-ever race in 1911, accompanied by the original Tourist Trophy awarded to Evans.

a photo of a man on an old motorcycle
The 1911 two-speed V-twin Humber.© Courtesy Manx National Heritage
Curator, Matthew Richardson, of Manx National Heritage (MNH), said: “Having the machine which won the first ever race is a great way to mark the centenary.

“It’s really heartening to see the affection for the Isle of Man and it’s racing which exists in Britain.”

Other highlights include the leathers worn in 1962 by the first female rider, Beryl Swain, and the 1992 Yamaha ridden by Carl Fogarty, in what most fans regard as the ‘greatest ever’ TT.

Motorcycle enthusiasts can enjoy film footage from the MNH archive, including Woods’ finishing fifth in 1922 despite two crashes, a broken exhaust and pit-stop fire.

The exhibition also celebrates sidecar racing and Manx Grand Prix, and Beyond the Bikes explains the story of Kate’s Cottage and the Manx meaning of Creg ny Baa.
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