The main reason for trying to establish an event of this nature is that I live in Jedburgh, and as such we have various motorcycling greats past and present in and around our area. The likes of Jim Guthrie, Jim Clarke, Steve Hislop and Stuart Easton not to mention Kevin Brown past Scottish Champion and slightly further afield Ian Simpson and the Duffus family and of course the Paul Bird Motor Sport team in Penrith. As well as Chris Palmer from Carlisle, not forgetting Mark Buckley of Loch Lomond and Ian Bell of Bedlington.
I have spoken to several friends, and as a small group we were wondering if you and your organisation would possibly assist us and be willing to show a presence, in regard to starting a Borders TT or similar based event around Jedburgh. There already other annual motor sport events in the area such as the Jim Clarke Rally, The Brick and Steel Rally and the Borders Rally which all use public roads and are all car based. There is however the BMF show at Kelso is motorcycle based as are the annual meetings of the Scooter and Goldwing clubs. All of these events attract large crowds from both this country and abroad and are well supported locally. Generating business for the towns that they use.
The idea is new and we feel that it could be a success but obviously a softly a softly approach would be the way forward. The race format would hopefully consist of a supersport race and a superbike/superstock race on a Saturday with the chance of fitting in a supertwin 650cc and sidecar event. This would keep the event small enough as not to stand on the toes of established race meetings like the Northwest 200 or the Isle of Mann TT. However it would be hoped that it could generate interest from racers and others and be used as a tester for large events or track racing by teams until it becomes an event in its own right. The Irish road racing fraternity are very keen for this to go ahead and have even expressed an interest too include it in their yearly race calendar. The dream of this becoming a large event in its own right is a possibility, with financial gain for businesses an d the area as a whole on a large scale.
We would welcome a connection to yourselves if possible as we feel the potential is great due to the fact that the area and Jedburgh is located between Scotland's central belt and large English cities such as Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool with the ferries to Amsterdam only being an hour away. Access to the Borders is good via road and rail, with stations at Newcastle, Carlisle, Berwick not forgetting Glasgow and Edinburgh. Also the M6, A7 A68 and A1 all come into this local with nationally recognised biking roads all over the region.
Also Scotland has only two race tracks that are in regular use, Knockhill and East Fortune both of which are small and Knockhill mainly caters for cars. There are currently no motorcycle road races held in Scotland and with the relative success of the Thundersprint in Cheshire, we are confident with the correct direction and support that this event could be a success for the area and motorcycle racing as a hole not forgetting local companies and businesses.
The main request is if we manage to move this event on and get it going we would ask that show your support and become one of the supporters. This will help regenerate Jedburgh and show the wider public what Jedburgh and the Borders have to offer, it will also show that we can do things together. We have the backing of various racers and their management, Red Torpedo a motorcycle clothing manufacturer, Edinburgh Woollen Mills, Glasgow Ducati, Borders Breweries, Duke Video and local politicians to name but a few.
Your support would be a boost and we also believe it would be a good way to promote Jedburgh and the Scottish Borders. Figures from Castletown in the Isle of Man which is smaller in size than Jedburgh hold a race meeting the Southern 100 and attract 20-25,000 visitors to the area. The Relentless North West 200 race attracts 100,000 visitors.
We realise that these figures are high but it is something to aim for as Mr. Alan Shand Scottish Auto Cycle Union/ Sports Scotland and Mrs Paula McDonald Event Scotland have stated that for these type of event each person visiting the area will spend £100-£200 each. The simple maths make this a conservative extra income to the area of £150 x 15,000 visitors = £2250000. Hopefully the event would grow in strength as has happened in Northwich, Cheshire where after a short existence they now attract visitors in excess of 40,000.The whole town is closed down to facilitate the event with the county council being a partner in the event. They also attract national and international media coverage as well as racers and teams with celebrities also taking part and ex racers such as Carl Fogarty, Giacomo Agostini, Valentino Rossi, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill to name only a few.
The proposed route for the event is eleven point one mile long and takes in the following roads: -
- Start/Finish A68 outside Border Meringues and Aqueous Granite.
- North to Bonjeward on the A68 turning left towards Cleekamin.
- Right off the A68 onto the A698 towards Hawick.
- Left at the junction with the B and over the Dunion Hill.
- North towards Jedburgh entering the Castlegate and towards the town.
- Turning right at the junction on the Castlegate and the Canongate.
- Proceeding down the Canongate turning left onto A68 and towards the start/finish.
That would conclude one lap however the amount of laps per race and classification of motorcycle has yet to be determind. This route is long enough to make it viable but importantly brings the visitors to Jedburgh itself and to its amenities, as the main high Street will be left open and unaffected except for hopefully more sales and business. The amount of roadside furniture is also at a minimum on this route along with very few cats eyes which are not permitted.
Diversions for this route can also be easily established and are commonly used for other events and road works. The diversions will place traffic back onto main roads from main roads with the minor back roads known to locals still being relatively unaffected and useable including access to Lanton. For the emergency services the access is viable should an incident occur and the areas needed for marshals are plentiful.
This route also allows for varied spectator viewing points and access, with the potential for land owners to also make some financial gains from the event. Parking areas are also plentiful and none of the major routes into the area that are diverted will affect visitors attending.
The planning of the proposed event is still in the early stages and the full business plan is to be finalised with a meeting with the Hon. Michael Moore to be confirmed.
If you wish to help or have any issues or questions please contact me as this whole venture is to increase the profile of firstly Jedburgh and then the area.
None of the people who are involved in the initial stages of this event and the setting up are being paid for their time or the work put in, it is purely to show what can be achieved if we try as a town and area.
45 Jedbank Drive, Sharplaw Road, Jedburgh, Scottish Borders, TD8 6LP.
Home: 01835 863885
Supporters/Backers Jedburgh & Borders.
Mrs Margaret Hislop – Consent for the use of Steve Hislops name and for the naming of a race “The Steve Hislop Memorial Race”, Mr. M. Moore MP-Minister For Scotland, Mr. J Lamont MSP, Mr. J Brown Councillor (SNP), Mr. J. Henderson – Owner of Borders Brewery’s, Jedpress, CVI, Edinburgh Woolen Mills Group Ltd. Footeprint, Border Meringue’s, Shell Garage, Auto Wash, Royal Hotel, Spread Eagle, Belters Bar, FBM Racing, Radio & Gramophone, Oisin, The Royal British Legion, Olivers Garage Denholm, T & M Motorcycles, Munros Buses, Taylors Newsagents, Stems Florists, Matlocks, Bernard Thear Transport, Abbey Bridge Motors, Abbey Bridge Café, Hislops Carpets, Paws & Claws, JOSC, Masonic Lodge, Borders Rally Club, Brick & Steel Rally, Mrs. Helen Moffat R&B Anderson.
Supporters/Backers outwith Scottish Borders.
Mrs. Paula McDonald Managing Director of Event Scotland, Edinburgh Woolen Mills Group Ltd, Motorcycle Action Group, Mr. Martin Chick Managing Director of The British Motorcycle Federation, Auto Cycle Union, Scottish Auto Cycle Union, Scottish Marshals Association, Meville Motorcycle Club, Mrs Hazel Jackson Editor, Motorcycle Racer Magazine, Duke Video Publications, Sport Scotland Board member and advisor to Scottishh Parliament on motorsport, Mr. Alan Shand, Mrs. Leslie Moore Ulster Grand Prix, Mr. Mervyn Whyte MBE, Relentless North West 200, Mr. Martin Rees Owner Ducati Glasgow, Mrs. Claire Elliot SBC, Mrs Jackie Warcop SBC, Mr. Craig Smith owner of Kawasaki Newcastle/M&S Motorcycles, Mr. Phil Jessop Riders Motorcycles, Padgetts Motorcycle Racing, Colin Appleyard Racing, The Irish Road Racing Association, Mr. Eddie Nelson, Secretary Darly Moor Road Racing Club. Riders; Mark Buckley, Micheal Pearson, Cameron Donald, Micheal Dunlop, William Dunlop, Ryan Farquhar