TT 2019 The TT Magnet is Switched On

Friday 24th May and I wake up two minutes before the alarm is set to go off at 03:55 a.m.; the joy of a morning sailing. I had already packed the car so we were up and ready to go 16:35 a.m. People from far and wide heading to Liverpool to catch the morning Mannanan crossing to the Isle of Man.

At Winchester, Myrtle my satnav informed me that the A34 is closed and directs me towards Basingstoke. I ignored her instructions, as the M3 over head gantry had said it was '30 miles and 30 minutes up to the M4 junction. Needless to say, Myrtle was wrong and there were no issues on the A34., I had only put her on to let me know if there were any road issues!!

Arrive at Liverpool at 09:00 a.m., the weather has been good all the way up, check-in opened at 08:30 a.m. and there was already a queue of bikes waiting to be let down onto the quayside. The bikes continued to build up and we were let down onto the quayside once Manannan had arrived.

The boat appeared to be full and we left about 30 minutes late, once all the bikes were secured. For as long as I can remember the Steam Packet have had a bucket collection in aid of the Phil Hogg and Rob Vine Fund, this year is for and equally worthwhile cause, the MGP Helicopter Fund.

Arrived in Douglas around 14:30 p.m. and take my traditional drive along the Promenade, up Summer Hill, Blackberry Lane and then along Glencrutchery road to the Grandstand. The drive along the Promenade took three times as long as normal, the relaying of the horse tram tracks is causing mayhem. Queens Promenade has a one way system which then backs up the traffic, I am assuming this one way system will not be operational for the next two weeks, but we know what assuming makes!! The scene at the Grandstand is the same, the paddock is building up, the clothing stalls, food outlets and bar are all being built and filled. Milky Quayle and John Barton were out and about checking that everything was going to plan. Bizarrely the TT Marshal's have moved from their cabin to a Tee Pee opposite the VIP marquee.

It's all go in the Holden awning

John Holden and his team were working hard doing bike preparation, it was great to see Fiona Baker Holden looking fit and well. Looks can be deceiving because she is still suffering from the effects from last years spill with nerve damage in her right arm. She said that she will never be able race again but hopes to be able to do parade laps in the future. Dad Tony has had a set back and will require further surgery. (Good luck Tony) Buoyant and cheerful as ever, Fiona's only regret was that they were on their fastest ever lap!!


Dean Harrisons bikes


Stefano Bonetti's North West 200 winning Paton

Estelle LeBlonds awning


Mike Hammonds