Meetings 1907 - 1930

TT 1914

With war clouds gathering, the 1914 races will be remembered as the event in which the big thumping singles fought back in their constant battle with the twins.

Following the two fatal accidents, crash helmets were made compulsory and the start line was moved to the top Bray Hill.

The Junior, which had been reduced to five laps, was held in bad conditions. Heavy rain and mist on the Mountain gave competitors a tough time, but produced a tremendous race.

Leading the singles' charge was the AJS team with their 350cc machines, which featured twin primary chains and a two-speed countershaft, allowing four-speed gear selection. Their riders Eric and Cyril Williams (no relation) finished first and second respectively, having constantly swapped the lead with the vee-twin Royal Enfield and flat-twin Douglas bikes.

The exciting race was marred by the tragic death of Frank Walker, who had been leading on his Royal Enfield until he had a puncture on the third lap. Such was the fury of his pursuit of the two leading AJS’s that he Ied twice during the event, but at the finish, whether because he was so exhausted he had lost a lot of the number of laps or because he simply could not stop, he crashed into the wooden ban placed across the track to signify the race was over and was killed.

Cyril Pullin, riding a Rudge, won the Senior, which boasted 35 makes of machine among its 97 starters. The previous year's winner Tim Wood made a great start and set a new lap record of 53.50 mph before retiring with a burnt-e magneto. 'Veteran' Harry Collier moved into the lead, but then crashed, while his brother Charlie slowed with hub gear problems with his Matchless. However, there was a super dice for second place that ended in a tie between former winner Oliver Godfrey, riding Indian, and newcomer Howard Davies, whose performance helped the new Sunbeam to win the manufacturers' team award.

Sadly, manufacturing then turned to machines of war and it was not until 1920 that the sound of racing engines once again echoed off Snaefell’ s grassy slopes.

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