1907 - 1910 The St John's Course

  This course was used from 1907 to 1910. The races started at St John's, alongside the Tynwald site, where the Manx Parliament holds an open-air session on 5th July. It approached Ballacraine in the opposite direction to the current TT course. A wooden 'banking' was constructed on the outside of this corner, to assist these single-speed machines to get round; it was found to be more of a hindrance! The course then followed the Mountain course through to Kirk Michael. The ascent through Glen Helen to the Cronk y Voddy straight was to defeat many of the pioneer riders, who were forced to run alongside their machines; it was said that the athletic signallers could run alongside their riders and pass the race information on verbally. The Rex team enlisted a cottager living near Laurel Bank to leave buckets of water outside her house, which the team would throw over their engines prior to the Glen Helen ascent - early water-cooling! At Kirk Michael, the St John's circuit doubled back through Glen Wyllin and followed the west coast of the Island back to Peel. In conversation with Thomas Arthur Corlett, he remembers watching the first TT from Douglas Corner, Kirk Michael. One competitor's machine burst into flames approaching the corner; he leapt off it and, together with the aid of some spectators, dowsed the flames with dust from the roadside. When it was out, he pushed it round the corner and started off again. When Rem Fowler (winner of the 1907 multi cylinder race) returned to the Island in 1957, he did not recognize a lot of the course. In those pioneer days, the course was just a dusty lane, strewn with horse-shoe nails and other excreta left by the single horse-power creatures that was the Island's major transport. There was probably less than 40 vehicles on the island's roads at that time. In Peel, the course turned left into Church Street (by the Chippy), straight on at the Albany Road crossroads into Albany Street, then left onto Douglas Road, back to St John's, crossing the River Neb at Ballaleece Bridge. The course is ridden during the Vintage MCC's annual TT rally in celebration of those pioneers of speed. By 1910, it was considered that the machines were now capable of a stronger challenge, and a move was made to the Mountain Course.
1954 - 1959 The Clypse Course    


When the idea of returning a sidecar class to the TT was first mooted in 1953, it was felt that the Mountain course might prove too severe at test. Cyclists had used the 10.9-mile Clypse course, so called because it circled the Clypse Reservoir. The Start The Mountain course start line was used, but at the St Ninian's crossroads, it turned right at Parkfield Corner. The bumpy Ballanard Road led along to Willaston Corner, where another right-hander took the course out into the country up the winding Johnny Watterson's Lane, through the left-hander Cronk y Berry and then Edge's Corner, a right-hander which leads up to Cronk ny Mona, where the Mountain course is rejoined.
From Cronk ny Mona it is a blast down backwards to Hillberry, up the long climb to Brandish, a further climb to Creg ny Baa (3.6 miles), where we leave the Mountain course and head right towards Laxey. For nearly two miles, from the Creg, the road winds and twists, narrow here, wide there, and mainly climbing, until, just under five miles from the pits it attains maximum altitude (850 feet above sea level) and starts on the quick, but winding descent to the Five and a Half, where it turns sharp right, a handy slip road is provided! From then on, it's all downhill to Onchan. Cronk-ny-Garroo comes at 6.2 miles, and after it chasing this way and that (to keep the sidecar passengers awake!), Ennemona Corner (left), some quick flicks then Begoade (left), Morney Corner (right) and then Hall Corner, another right-hander where the Onchan to Laxey road is reached. It's a fast downhill sweep through White Bridge and then into Onchan, where you turn right at The Manx Arms, climbing steadily, the left-right flick passes the Archibald Knox pub, where once stood the Nursery Hotel. On up to Signpost Corner (9½ miles) where sharp (very sharp) left. Another first-class slip-road here, where the TT Mountain Course comes in, the down through Bedstead, the Nook and so to Governor's. The Governor's Bridge dip was omitted from the Clypse Course, so it was a flat out dash to the line. Most Clypse course races were of 10 lap duration. The Clypse course hosted races from 1954 to 1959; after this time all races reverted to the Mountain circuit.