Beryl Swain aboard her 1962 TT race entry 50 cc Itom motorcycle
22 January 1936|
|Died||15 May 2007
She was noted for being the first solo woman to compete in a TT race on the perilous Isle of Man TT course, a rare occurrence to this day on one of the world's most famous closed public road races. This upset led the male-dominated world of motorcycle racing to revoke her international licence via the introduction of a minimum weight limit which she could not meet, due to the perception of the sport being too dangerous for women, and the resulting ban on female entrants persisted until Hilary Musson competed in 1978.
She finished 22nd on a 50 cc Itom after two laps of the Mountain circuit in the 1962 Race. Her average speed was 48.3 mph after her bike lost top gear on the second lap. This was the first time a 50 cc event had been included in the Island's programme as from 1962 the class carried World Championship points.
After her racing career was cut-short, Swain, who was previously an office worker, embarked on a retail career with Sainsbury's grocery supermarkets around the London area.
Motorcycle Grand Prix results
(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
- England and Wales births Retrieved 2015-01-18
- England and Wales marriages Retrieved 2015-01-18
- Goddess of the Gas Pedals BBC Isle of Man, 13 November 2014 Retrieved 2015-01-18
- Female Rider Profiles on the Isle of Man TT Website - Hilary Musson
- Stealing Speed by Mat Oxley, p.179
- IoM TT Database 1962 Retrieved 2015-01-18
- Isle of Man celebrates 100 years of TT magic - Bike Trader UK - News and Reviews Hub
- Girl Racer - Beryl Swain at British Pathé
- Times Obituary - Swain, Beryl (non-public access, transcript of content can be found here)
- History of women in the TT
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