Local motorcycling legend John 'Flash' Carter dies

John “Flash” Carter (middle), friend John Thompson (left) and mechanic John Ball, with the 350 Manx Norton race bike owned by Flash in the 1960s.

John “Flash” Carter (middle), friend John Thompson (left) and mechanic John Ball, with the 350 Manx Norton race bike owned by Flash in the 1960s.

First published in News
Last updated
Falmouth Packet: Photograph of the Author by , Ex-Reporter/Photographer

A local motorcycling legend known for his feats of speed while riding home for his dinner from Falmouth Docks has died.

John “Flash” Carter, who lived in Redruth in later life, competed in speed hill climbs and road trial events around the country and even took part in the Pendennis Road Racing Demonstration around Falmouth's Castle Drive in 1989 and 1990.

He died on Sunday, March 24, aged 75. His funeral will be held from 11am tomorrow (Thursday) at St Gluvias Church, Penryn.

Flash worked as a fitter at Falmouth Docks in the late 1950's and early sixties.

Back then the dock's hooter, which sounded at the end of the shift, was steam powered and blew for a lot longer than the electric one does today.

Legend has it that Flash was able to ride his 500 BSA Gold Star from the docks to his former home in Penryn before the hooter had stopped blowing.

Falmouth Packet:

(ABOVE) John 'Flash' Carter aboard his 350 Manx Norton in the 1960's.

Fellow enthusiast Dave Saunby said: “In those days there were no traffic lights or roundabouts from the docks to Penryn, so it was straight through with nothing to slow him up.

“Workers at Dales Garage, Ponsharden - and the boatyard opposite - would rush out at 12.30 each day, because they knew that Flash was on his way, and could hear the roar of his bike coming down Draceana Avenue.”

Although the story has the touch of the urban myth about it, Dave said it “has been handed down over the years, by people who knew, worked and rode with him during the early days.”

Adding: “Fact or fiction, only Flash would really know the truth, but when asked about this feat in recent years, he always denied it with a cheeky grin, and a twinkle in his eye.”

The funeral of John Carter will be held at St Gluvias Church, Penryn from 11am tomorrow (Thursday, April 11).

Comments (1)

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3:59pm Thu 11 Apr 13

Pendennisracer says...

Nice write up. Everyone who knew John has many a story to tell, lots involving motorbikes, some not - not all could be repeated here!

Flash, thanks for the company, the competition, the laughs and the memories.
Nice write up. Everyone who knew John has many a story to tell, lots involving motorbikes, some not - not all could be repeated here! Flash, thanks for the company, the competition, the laughs and the memories. Pendennisracer
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