1974 had seen me get my racing bike up together and complete two Newcomer events. During that time I also got to know the other guys in Hampshire Union amongst them of course Geoff Stephens who was rather like an unofficial team manager / coordinator.Early in 1975 Geoff offered me a Les Rafferty tuned 225 barrel and piston for my Group 6 Special; this had previously been used by Geoff's brother in law Dave Bowen who had then decided to retire from racing.That was definitely an offer not to be turned down and so this was duly installed on my bike for the first meeting that I was to attend in April, once again at Lydden. But before that a quick look at the machine for the 1975 season.
Although Les Rafferty had produced some five port barrels, the 225 I was using was a standard twin transfer port barrel, however it was very quick and did not disappoint in any department particularly accelerating from a standing start. It had timing of 180o for both the inlet & exhaust ports with 120o transfers, all other aspects of the bike were as before with 30mm Dellorto and large bore scooter exhaust.So, back to Lydden, things did not really go according to plan, I was out in the first Newcomer session and all was initially going well and in fact I had been leading for about 6 laps when I was overtaken by Bill Metcalf. Bill was a seasoned racer running in his bike; anyway I decided to have a go and got back passed Bill, however he nipped past me as we went into paddock bend, a perfectly good move but my inexperience led me to throwing it into the bank. I didn't get out in the second session either and so I had failed to complete the meeting, still leaving one complete meeting to finish.Next meeting was in May at Llandow in South Wales an ex RAF airfield site; here all went well as I finished both sessions with no mishaps; I had finally completed my three Newcomer events and so the next meeting I would be out with the racers!I attended a further five meetings this year including Cadwell, Llandow and Lydden with a mixed bag of results; there were a few NF (Non Finisher) and NS (Non Starter) but on the upside I achieved a 4th place at Cadwell, a 3rd at Lydden in July and best of all a 2nd at Lydden in October.Here's one more shot from this year, it's at Cadwell Park where I am just in front of Bill Metcalf. Can't believe I wore an open face helmet!Of all the other riders in Hampshire Union I think Alan Crickmore with passenger Pete Hinsley had the best season in this year with their Group 7 Combination; and this their first season in that class! Alan and Pete were using the ex Tony Wilcox / Dave Tooley Combination that they had won the 1974 Championship with; Tony and Dan had gone on to race a Norton Outfit sponsored by Rafferty Newman.