TT 2015: Superb exhibition pays tribute to ‘Ulster’s Heroes’

Joey Dunlop on the Honda SP1 in his final Isle of Man TT in 2000
Joey Dunlop on the Honda SP1 in his final Isle of Man TT in 2000

A fascinating exhibition entitled ‘Ulster’s TT Heroes’ is currently running at the House of Manannan in Peel on the Isle of Man, celebrating the success of Northern Ireland riders at the legendary road race.

Central to the exhibition is a retrospective look at the unprecedented success achieved by the Dunlop dynasty, led of course by Ballymoney hero Joey, who remains the most successful TT rider ever with 26 wins.

His brother Robert’s five wins are also remembered along with the recent achievements of Robert’s son Michael, who now has 11 wins.

Two of Joey’s bikes and his iconic yellow Arai helmet from 1988 will be on display along with memorabilia belonging to the other racing members of the Dunlop family.

Other riders featured include eighties luminaries Norman Brown and Brian Reid, plus modern era racers Adrian Archibald and Ryan Farquhar.

Phillip McCallen’s historic four wins in a week in 1996 are covered, with the Portadown great’s battered leathers from the 1997 TT attracting plenty of attention, preserved after McCallen’s terrifying crash at Quarry Bends.

The exhibition includes narrative and display boards from the Ballymoney Museum, which have been complemented by memorabilia provided by riders, teams, manufacturers and motorcycling brands associated with the TT.

Manx National Heritage has also utilised items from its own archive including personal telegrams and letters from the papers of David Wood, Joey’s manager for many years.

Free to enter, the exhibition is open each day from 10am to 5pm and runs until September 6.