Monday, 10 May 2010

CHRIS TATTERSALL - Lancashire's Racing Blacksmith.

"Spud" Tattersall was a real pioneer speedway rider in the UK. He entered the very first dirt track meeting at Audeshaw, nr Manchester, in March 1928 and reached the final of the 350cc class on an A.J.S. He also competed in the very first dirt track meeting at Highfield Road Trotting Track in Blackpool in April of the same year. Chris went on to ride regularly at both the Blackpool dirt track venues, (Highfield Road and St Annes Road) before becoming a member of the Preston speedway squad from 1929 to 1932 Chis also rode at the two Barrow-In-Furness tracks in 1930 and 1931.

As well as his exploits on the dirt tracks, Chris was a big fan of the TT and first rode in the Junior TT in 1928, finishing 10th on a D.O.T. He went on to compete in the Lightweight TT every year from 1929 until the outbreak of war in 1939 with a best position of 5th in 1932 on his own CTS machine (Chris Tattersall of St Annes.). He also had a go at the Senior TT in 1931, 33, 35 and 37 and also the Junior TT again in 1931 but registered a DNF in all of these. When racing returned to the Isle Of Man in 1947, so did Chris with his CTS. He was back again in 1949 and continued to race at the TT until 1953... some 25 years after his debut. The photograph above shows Chris at the 1934 TT where he finished 7th in the lightweight event on his J.A.P. engined CTS

Incidentally, he was nicknamed "spud" due to his love of potatoes, often eating a plate of nothing else... mashed, boiled, roasted, fried, you name it he'd eat it as long as it was made of potatoes!
*Additional Information*
The National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham Airport, has recently purchased one of Chris Tattersall's old racing machines, a 1949 250cc CTS Python. Although CTS was assumed to stand for Chris Tattersall Special, it seems that the S actually stood for his home town of St Annes, near Blackpool. The original CTS of 1931 had a JAP engine but in the post-war years, when Tattersall was preparing machines for other riders machines,  the engines were 250cc Rudge Python four-valve units with four-speed gearboxes of the same make. Former blacksmith Tattersall and his sole employee Bill Dawes devised plunger rear suspension for the Rudge frame. The cycle parts on this particular bike are known to be from the CTS that Les Martin crashed when lying fifth in the 1949 250cc Lightweight TT. Coincidentally, Leslie.G.Martin was also a former speedway rider, having ridden for his home town team Burnley in the 1929 English Dirt Track League.


  1. Hello
    Chris was my dads uncle, and was offered an apprenticeship with him, unfortunately the war started so he joined that so missed out on the chance. I used to have a trophy of his as a lad but it got lost. have a good pic of him with all his tt trophys.
    Dave Tattersall

  2. Hi Dave. I am hoping to write and article about RJ Edwards who rode CTS machines at The Manx GP and TT after the War. Do you have any unpublished photos, documents or stories relating to your great uncle that I could use? All the best. Richard


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Whitehaven, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Disenchanted City Boy who rode out of the fast lane and into the back lanes! Life on Two Wheels is so much fun.