‘Roy Moore Remembers’

Good grief, where do I start or end! Roy took us on a wander through his memory bank moving to and fro, from topic to topic from infancy to the present. Yes, he did get to his experiences as a commentator for Manx Radio T T at the Gooseneck, as billed! 


Roy began by saying that at a previous talk to the Dyslexia Association, he was hailed as a shining wit. The chairperson was, presumably, Dr Spooner. Another triumph was at the Haemorrhoid Society where he received a ‘standing ovation’! 


Within a few moments, we heard about Geoff Cannell, a relative, an uncle Jack who raced here and was in THE film, ‘No Limit’ – (I think!) We were then swept along by Geoff Duke, on his 4 cylinder Gilera, as we all were, at the time and Reg Armstrong. Help, hold on tight, we were now in Lea Terrace, one of his several homes. We had been in the Glencrutchery Road a few seconds back. 


Rowing boats in the harbour came and went – a lot faster than my efforts at rowing them against wind and tide. Then we seemed to be in Peel with a brother called the Olympic Torch because he never went out! Peel generates some wonderful nicknames. Fortunately, you do not always know your own!


Douglas Head ferries were recalled, together with Pierrot shows and the “Snotty Bridge” at Kewaigue – so called, Roy, said, because of ‘what hangs from it.’ Presumably, stalactites from lime leaching out with water ingress. This is a guess – you’ll have to ask him.


The much-loved Clypse Course, surfaced next. I liked this because the bikes came round so often. It was very intimate – you lifted your legs to let the sprung hub Triumphs bounce round. These must have been difficult to overtake, as you never knew which way they would bounce next.


A coach-driving uncle came and went at this point and memories of his hero, Mike Hailwood.


Roy’s cousin (?), Geoff Cannell, started commentating in 1968 and Roy followed on in 1984. Refreshments were announced but we had got to the Hairpin!


Back at the start line – a tap on the shoulder and we were away again.


The broadcasts are set up so that all the commentary points are linked to the control room at the grandstand. The commentaries were carried down a special, pure telephone line to avoid interference. The producer says, when on air, how long before the commentator has to speak and gives a count down. It is often necessary to listen and to speak at the same time – a difficult skill to master.


Roy mentioned how difficult it can be to fill in gaps between riders or when racing is delayed.  One rider hit a seagull that, fortunately, did no more than embed itself in the fairing. Roy found himself saying, “Shows how easy it is to pick up a bird in Ramsey!”


Next meeting – Wednesday, 18th April, 7.30, Centenary Centre, Wendy Thirkettle, MNH.