Graham Bailey
Page updated 23-Mar-2011
Photo from The Guardian

PC 976 TD Graham Bailey joined the police as a 17 year old cadet and was on the beat at 19. Five years later he joined the traffic division. A member of the Plymouth Brethren, he would neither compete nor spectate on a Sunday.

In a 1969 interview with David Dixon for Motor Cycle he said “My early racing years, from 1961 to 1963, mainly on a Gold Star BSA, brought moderate success until I was off work for six months following a shunt with a 350cc Manx Norton at Aberdare Park. Of course, that made a big but wrong impression at work, so I packed up for three years and let the dust settle!”

He eased back into racing on his 998cc Vincent at the end of 1966 but a dropped valve convinced him that the bike was better for everyday use. So he used it to commute to work, riding a standard police issue Triumph Saint on patrol.

Photo from Motor Cycle News

Then early in 1967, he got a ride on Peter Butler's Bonneville. “I had a win and a second and George Hopwood, whose machine Peter rode, suggested I contact Neil Shilton at Triumph.

“Neil lent me his personal Saint and, in police time, I prepared it for the Production Machine TT. I finished seventh. The resulting publicity chuffed the force no end and made my problems of switching leave to coincide with race meetings easier.”

Photo from the Gus Kuhn archive

The flying copper image was forged. It was reinforced the following year by a fourth in the production TT on a Bonneville and by various wins in 1969 on Gus Kuhn Commandos. The most memorable day brought five wins at one Snetterton outing!


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