At the Motor Cycle Races

70th Anniversary of the Annual Tourist Trophy
Motor Cycle Races, Isle of Man, 1977

Isle of Man 101 Isle of Man 102
Isle of Man 103 Isle of Man 104

A set of 4 stamps commemorating these motorcycle races in the Isle of Man includes recognition of the Boy Scouts assistance and the St. John Ambulance Brigade service through the years.

Since the Tourist Trophy Motor Cycle Races started in 1907 the organizers have had to rely on the help of many voluntary movements to assist in the running of the races.  By a coincidence the Boy Scout movement was founded by Baden-Powell in 1907 and almost immediately the first Scout Troop started in the Isle of Man.  It was not long before they were helping the races in a multitude of ways - they helped to keep the course clear of spectators, they rendered first aid, and provided an information service round the course by runners and signalers.

A 1910 issue of the magazine "The Motor Cycle" has a photograph of three Scouts on duty along the Glen Helen section of the Course, and they are referred to as the Ubiquitous Boy Scouts and they earned much praise for their efforts.  Since then the Boy Scouts have continued to be synonymous with the TT races performing many duties, but these days their main function is operating the clocks and scoreboards at the Grandstand at Douglas.

The 6p value shows "Pa" Applebee flying over Balling Bridge on his 2-stroke "Scott" machine on his way to win the 1912 Senior Race.  A Boy Scout is standing by the side of the road sending a message using a flag by Morse Code.

The 11p value depicts a scene at the start of a TT Race with the Boy Scouts manning the scoreboards.


SOSSI JOURNAL, Volume 26, Number 5, May 1977.
Updates and modifications by Keith Larson, 1998.