Friday, May 29, 2009

Keith Bryen, an Australian privateer racing in Europe 1953....

As I mentioned in my last blog, Keith Bryen,left Sydney, Australia around April 1953 and sailed to England, collected racing motorcycles and became one of the
enthusiastic group of privateers who formed the "Continental Circus"
with an old van purchased somewhere in the UK they camped at, and raced in the various motorcycle GPs throughout Europe with the pinnacle being the Isle of Man TT races, to which most young men who raced motorcycles aspired to.
This series of photographs were taken by Keith, his wife Gwen and perhaps friends or a professional photographic company who I regretably don't know and so can't credit the photos to.
This is your opportunity to view the racing from the eyes of a privateer who as I mentioned in the last blog eventually was offered a factory Moto Guzzi ride, only to have it withdrawn after Moto Guzzi withdrew from motorcycle racing at the end of the 1957 season.
Keith continues in a note to me.....
"..I soon realised after speaking with Eric McPherson ( another well known Aussie privateer who spent time in the UK and Europe on the Continental Circus from the late 1940's ) and reading "The MotorCycle" and "MotorCycling" that it would take about five years to get as much race experience in Australia as you could get in one season overseas, so in 1953 I ordered a brace of Nortons and set sail. Being a complete unknown, it was not easy to get a start at some meetings but as I became known it was a bit easier ..."
Left click on images to enlarge.....
At machine examination with his 350 Norton...IOM TT.

Ready for practice in the Senior IOM TT....this is an S.R.Keig Ltd photo to whom I acknowledge use.

During practice on the 500 Norton, IOM TT.

During practice on the 500 Norton, Ken Kavenagh about to pass him, IOM TT.

A happy bunch of privateers in Douglas, IOM

Keith and Ken Kavenagh ready for the start of the Senior TT.

The Bryen's van and Nortons in the pits of the Dutch TT at Assen.

The pit area the day after the Dutch TT.

A roadside foodstop on the Hannover to Berlin Autobahn.

Fellow privateers on the road in Europe...Rob Fitton, B.Mathews, H.Clarke,B.Hall.

Keith lapping Tommy Wood during the German GP at Schotten. The star riders of the Norton, Gilera, AJS and Guzzi teams refused to start in the 350 and 500 classes on the grounds of the excessive danger of the course.

The Avis Ring at Berlin.


Anonymous said...

another bunch of great historical pictures , the pit photos are really intresting to me

Anonymous said...

i took the liberty of cleaning up a couple of pictures but the kodachrome pictures still remain ture to the originals i just removed a little diet dave

Anonymous said...

was the avis rink one of those bicycle motorcycle racing tracks? because if it is they have started vintage racing pacing bikes again dave