Mary Jennison must have been quite the lady. She started driving cars in 1908 and went through a ton of bikes. The first one being a Douglas, and at a certain point rode Brough-Superiors. (George Brough was a family friend)
Here she’s sitting on her 1000cc Brough with Swallow sidecar at the start of the ACU six days’ Trial in 1923. Her Husband Matt is sitting in the outfit.
The spare tire around the nose of the side is rather awesome. She kept diaries throughout her life, and it would be a shame to not pass on a couple of quotes.
One on Brough’s; “The Brough Superior is not a beginner’s machine. The engine is a lump of joy… the sort of motorcycle one dreams about. If it doesn’t break your neck, it will break your heart.” I’ve never really longed after riding one of these. But now I suddenly feel like I should ride one someday. I’ve been reading a lot of old magazines lately and in one the traditional “the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles” was countered by; “I guess you meant to say; the kit car of motorcycles” it first made me simply grin, but there is some truth in it perhaps? After all these bikes are an assembly of propriety parts. The finest parts, it’s true, but little was made in-house. And yes, many brands used bought-in parts of various parts. Broughs were probably more of an assembly of parts of varying brands (there were a lot of choices for buyers and bikes were assembled “upon request”)
She competed in all sorts of events and with plenty of succes, as proven for example in this newspaper ad for Velocette.
In 1923 (the year off the Brough-Superior picture) she won a Silver medal in tge Edinburg and District Scottish Trials. But (and I’m not sure what this says in respect to the Brough-Superior quality reputation) she was forced to retire in the Scarborough 1000 mile Six Days’ Trial due to a mechanical failure. Webb & Co Ltd took the full blame for a few imperfectly hardened bearing cones (made by an outside contractor) that had been build into the wheel hubs supplied to George Brough.
Here she’s seen in action on her Brough in the 1923 Scottish Trials.
Just like any other biker she suffered a couple of accidents. (she is rumoured to have been a little grumpy while rehabilitating)
She passed away in 1942, but quotes like this; ”Even though you may get wet through at the end of the day, you have that feeling of well-being that no amount of crocheting could give”. Make clear she knew what life’s about.
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