Featherbed frame inventor to be honoured with a blue plaque

MotoGP ace, Jeremy McWilliams will unveil the memorial on Thursday morning

Rex McCandless
Rex McCandless

Richard 'Rex' McCandless (1915-1992) was an avid racer but is more famously known as the man behind the featherbed frame, first created in 1949.

The self-taught engineer realised smoother handling was more effective at reducing lap times than simply increasing a bikes top speed, especially on the bumpy. unforgiving roads in Ireland. With the end of the Second World War, Rex and his brother set about building the first of the iconic frames from the engineering business they shared.

Fast forward to 1950 and the featherbed was already powering round the TT course 10mph faster than the previous year, prompting the Norton factory to equip all riders with the new design.

That year saw a Norton finish first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth in the Senior TT. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The plaque is to be unveiled on the building that McCandless used to work from, WAC McCandless Engineering Ltd on the Limestone Road in north Belfast.

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