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TT Visitors awarded for their loyalty 21 June 2010

Five loyal TT visitors received a warm welcome during their visit to the Isle of Man last week when they visited for the TT Races.

Eric Taylor from Surrey, Stephen Yardley from Worcestershire, Paul Smith from the West Midlands, David (Bill) Abel from Leicestershire and Colin Joyner from Shropshire were presented with tankards at special presentations which took place throughout the week. Each tankard was engraved with a map of the TT course and the number of years that they have made their annual visits to the Isle of Man TT Races during the last 25 to 50 consecutive years.

Eric Taylor first visited the Races in 1964 and coincidentally is 64 years old. He has attended the TT at least 37 times between 1964 and 2010 and attended the Manx Grand Prix 18 times between 1992 and 2009. All in all combining both events he has attended 55 TTs and MGPs.

Stephen Yardley has been coming to the TT for 50 years and this year he resided with Mike (Jack) Russell, a competitor who he introduced to the Manx Grand Prix a few years and who won last year’s Senior race. He first attended in 1960 with his father who used to stay at Cunninghams Camp and never missed a year until the mid 1990s.

Paul Smith came to the Races in 1985 and has been visiting for 25 years. Notable events for Paul include buying Robert Dunlop a Guinness when he broke down at The Hawthorn and seeing Valentino at the start line and shouting him to give him a wave, which he did!

David (Bill) Abel first visited in 1959 at the age of 17. He has always received good hospitality on the Island over the years, having stayed at a number of hotels and guest houses. He stayed at the Balmoral Hotel from 1972 until 1993 which was owned by Mrs O’Neill, who sadly passed away that year. David and his friends have since been staying with her son, Gary O’Neill, at his home in Farmhill ever since.

Colin Joyner’s first TT was in 1977. The stories we have about Colin have a recurring theme of him falling asleep by the track before, during and after races. He fell asleep last year during the first running of the TTXGP and once fell asleep at Sulby Bridge missing all the racing that day! It is his 60th birthday this year and was very pleased to have been nominated for the award by his good friend Liam Evans.

Geoff Corkish MBE MHK, Political Member for Isle of Man Tourism, said:

‘It is wonderful that Eric, Stephen, Paul, Bill and Colin have been visiting the Island for so many years as without the dedication of our loyal fans who make the journey for the TT Races each year we would not have an Isle of Man TT Festival. They will always be assured of a great welcome and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their valued support.’

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