Malcolm Adams

Member Stories


Scottish 1950

With the Scottish Six Days getting nearer, a few thoughts on the event of yesteryear. In 1950 I was a £5 a week draughtsman and decided that I had to do the Scottish at least once. Tom Ellis became my mentor, giving me advice on machine preparation; my bike was a 500cc Matchless. Starting in Edinburgh and with only the Basic petrol ration it was by train with the bike in the guards van. The organisers had obtained an allowance of petrol for the event and we finished up doing nearly 1300 miles in the week. I can't remember many details except that for the first 3 days it poured down. Artie Ratcliffe, the eventual winner, had to be persuaded to turn out on the Thursday! The road round the Moidart peninsular did not exist in those days so the drovers track from Camp to the devils staircase was used and then after the lunch check it was run in reverse. The last day was all main road back to Edinburgh with the stretch from Glencoe to Tyndrum used as a timed section requiring fairly high speeds; I seem to remember that 500s had to average 45 mph . One section back in Edinburgh , the presentation and then back on the train on Sunday. Bikes in the guards van were supposed to have empty tanks but I managed to come home with a full tank.