|Rose Hanks - What A
Since I was in my early
teens my dad had a motorcycle, and that was where my real interest came from.
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
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.
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
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.
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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