James Whitham Scrapbook: Part Two

More comedy life in photographs

Kirkistown, Northern Ireland, early 1988. I love motorbikes me... ’80s hair worth a mention.

Me, Andrea and Scott Russell at the WSB end of season party, Hard rock Café, Sentul, Indonesia, 1997. I suspect we’d had a drink or two at this point. Later the biggest food-fight ever in the history of the world broke out... they stopped having end of season parties soon after this one.

1991, on the victory car with Roger Burnett and Ron Haslam at Snetterton. MCN girls were shit in those days... the kid in front of me is a seven year old Leon Haslam. I can’t work out if that’s my hair or I’ve got a loaf of bread stuck to my head.

Swinging through Mallory Park bus-stop 1993. This is the race I clinched the ’93 BSB title at. The bike was perfect. It went exactly where you wanted it to and you could take liberties with it without going down the road.

Jedward had nothing on me. I was ahead of my time! Steve, a local bikeshop owner bought me this Suzuki Gamma to race at the TT in 1986. Can you believe this shot went in our local paper!  

Scarborough hairpin 1988 British Seniorstock round. The bike is a GSX600F, or ‘teapot’ as it was known in the trade. Old-fashioned even then the teapot was never really at home on the racetrack. It was however the most crashable bike I ever rode. They were so solid you could always pick ‘em up and get going again in the event of a smash. The best way to put one out of action was to set it on fire I reckon.

After a lean year racing in 1990 I decided to supplement my income and buy a JCB to do a bit of contracting. I practised a bit at home then put an ad in the local paper. This is my second, and as it turned out final job, as a digger driver, digging some footings for an extension in a local village. Seconds after this picture was taken I dug up and severed a gas pipe, cutting off the supply to several local houses. We called the gas board who duly came and fixed the pipe, and in return gave me a 900 quid bill and took me to court for being a daft c*nt! It could’ve been worse, I could’ve blown the street up.

Having a social fag at the end of season bash in Phillip Island 1994. You can tell from how I’m holding it that I don’t really smoke. This was seven months before I was diagnosed with cancer and I’m already ominously thin.

Darley Moor racetrack just after winning the ‘Stars of Darley’ race in 1987. The big bloke is the legendary Norrie White of MCN, the small, nervous bird in denim is my missus Andrea. We hadn’t been going out long and she still rather liked me at that stage!

On the line before the off at Jerez 500cc GP in 1999. The bike is the three-cylinder Modenas. That thing hurt me quite a lot but it was worth it coz I got to work with Kenny Roberts, who is, and always will be, a legend.

1995 WSB round, Donington Park. I like this shot coz it looks like I know what I’m doing, and coz I’ve got a couple of big names behind me in the shape of Troy Corser (11) Scott Russell (2) and Piergiorgio Bontempi (8). I ended up on the rostrum I think.

Talking shit on the startline, Snetterton 2009. The nervous rider is James Westmoreland.