I suppose it must have started in 1939 when my parents were watching Georg Meier winning the Senior TT. I was but a foetus but must have been developed enough to be aware of the noises surrounding my Mum.
I was born in the September but started off with chest problems which over the first few years produced winter asthma, bronchitis and then in 1946 I had pneumonia. I was recuperating slowly in the March of 1947 and our doctor, a personal friend, called in to see me. I was still unwell but my father aked the doctor something which was to change my life forever....
"Duncan, what can we do to help Ian ?"
The doctor replied" Ian would benefit from some sea air !"
My father then stated "Do you think the Isle of Man would be beneficial, after all it is an island ?"
The doctor sat for a short while and said "Perfect, Harry !!" My mother stared at my father who grinned from ear to ear. "Well, Lily, pack our bags we are going back to the Isle of Man"......
You will all be aware that due to war, the TT had been put on hold but was to be resumed in 1947, after a trial Manx GP in 1946. Machines had not been developed over the wartime and pool petrol would be used for the racing. My dad went to see his brother in law to persuade him to accompany us and we all eventually set out to cross the moors to Liverpool in dreadful weather. I fought verbally and physically with my cousin all the way and the wind blew away my uncles expensive hat. We were so relieved to see the Lyver Building at the Pier Head. The car was stored in Liverpool as we all did in those days and we walked aboard the Steam Packet ferry which was rocking and rolling even before we cast off.
After passing the remains of vessels sunk during the war we were out in the Irish Sea and the boat was plunging and rising, plunging and rising so most passengers were soon leaning over the rails with green faces. I found that I prefered to walk the deck and this is what I now do when it is rough.. No sickness experienced but the rest of the family decided to lie down below decks. My uncle just ate pork pies and walked round the deck with me...We managed a visit to the engine room of the ferry and had a cup of tea with the crew.
Otherwise, it was a horrible crossing and we docked in heavy rain and high winds. We took a taxi along the sea front to Kennishs Regal Hotel which would be our base for a number of years to come.
All my pastiness had disappeared from my face, I could breath deeply without wheezing.
Some of us enjoyed an evening meal, but the rest went to bed to settle their sickness.
I don't remember very much about my first year, except that I continued to have fights with my cousin yet we spent a couple of happy days on the beach while my dad and uncle went off to see the bikes.....On the third day I went up to the paddock with dad but I did not like the noise of open megaphone Norton exhausts. In fact the noise seemed to hit me right in the ear. However with dads help, I spent more and more time with the bikes, meeting riders of the day and getting up for my first early morning practice. My dad explained everything to me and from that first week my interest grew and grew. My cousin went his own way, he wasn't at all interested and joined his father eating pork pies and candy floss. In contrast, I learned much about the TT and decided then and there that I wanted to return. I remember being part of a large number of people including the group from the hotel who lined the bank just above the Creg. One of the photos featured of Artie Bell in 1947 was taken at the very spot.
I came home very much fitter and healthier than what I was in the March of that year. and the TT seed was planted...........
And that is how I became a TTFan.....