What is the connection between a Greeves Challenger complete with a knobbly scrambling tyre on the front, and a young lad of 16 who was to go on to become one of the world's top motorcycle racers?
The answer: Tom Herron in his first ever race.

Speaking in 1975, Tom recalled that historic and somewhat amusing occasion.

"When I was 16, I was scrambling an old Greeves and having some good times at weekends and I heard of a road-race that was being run locally. I thought I'd have a go at that, it looked easy enough, so off I went to the circuit with my Greeves and filled in an entry form. 
I qualified for the race by putting ticks on a form in the race office and then put my helmet on and got on my bike, the same Greeves Challenger I was scrambling on. I was clueless!

I knew there was a difference between scramblers and road racers, so I put an 18-inch racing pattern tyre on the rear wheel - the front one still had a 21-inch trials knobbly on it - but I did put a bit of air in it!!

Well, we got away in the race on that old airfield and halfway round my pal Eddie Farmer fell off and I stopped as soon as I could - the brakes were terrible things - and I ran back to him just lying there on the ground, not moving. I thought he was dead!! 

There was no-one around, I think the marshalls had gone for a snifter, so I fired the old Greeves up and charged over the infield to fetch an ambulance. 

Of course he was nowhere near dead, he'd just knocked himself out - we laughed about that for a long while after."

May 2009
Tom with his good friend Tony Steele in Joe's Bar at the 1970 Isle of Man TT.

Photos Kindly Supplied by Eddie Mateer
By Kind Permission.