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Nephew's 'long overdue' tale of motorbike legend
TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND: John Handley sitting on a bench on the Isle of Man which is a memorial to his uncle Walter Handley and, inset, the cover of his book None More Brave.
THE story of one of the alltime greats of motorcycle racing is told in a new book just published by a Malvern author.
None More Brave tells how a tough young Brummie, Walter Handley, emerged from the back streets of his home city to become a rider whose ability to thrill the crowds never diminished.
The book is the work of his nephew John Handley, with a foreword by legendary BBC motor sports commentator Murray Walker.
The book is somewhat of a contrast to Mr Handley’s previous book The Quiet Hero, the story of industrialist and benefactor C W Dyson Perrins.
“I enjoy reading biographies and I felt that as the nephew of one of the TT greats, Wal Handley, I had a story that was worth the telling,” said Mr Handley.
And according to Classic Motorcycle magazine, it’s a long overdue book.
The winner of all four prewar classes of the Isle of Man TT races, Handley broke nine lap records in just 12 meteoric years of TT racing between 1922-34. He even had a part of the famous Isle of Man Mountain TT course named after him, Handley’s Corner, where he had the misfortune to suffer a highspeed crash. He also won Grand Prix races in Europe, and in the inter-war years he became the holder of more than 100 world records, some lasting for eight years.
He was also a keen aviator but lost his life as a Second World War fighter pilot.
The book has nearly 100 good-quality images, many published for the first time.
Mr Handley has studied the contemporary reports and correspondence, and also interviewed many of the people who knew Walter Handley, to produce a very human story with many anecdotes.
The book, priced at £15, is available from the publisher, Aspect Design in Newtown Road, or Malvern Book Coop, St Ann’s Road, or hand leypublications.co.uk.