Precisely at 4.00pm on Saturday 17th June 60 balloons were released at the Start Line on the Southern 100 Course to celebrate the late Ian Bell’s milestone birthday.
In the presence of Ian’s wife Trudi, close family, friends, fans and members of Southern 100 Racing it was a moving occasion as the balloons in the Bell Yamaha Racing Team colours drifted skywards eventually disappearing into the clear blue sky.
Shortly afterwards, Carl - son and sidecar crew passenger scattered Ian’s ashes long the Start - Finish line on the Castletown By-Pass.
Tributes to the popular Bedlington man were paid by the Club Chaplain, Reverend Canon John Coldwell and Club Chairman Phil Taubman MBE.
Ian Bell holds an unique record at the Southern 100, being the only rider/driver, (so far) to have won the prestigious Southern 100 Solo Championship in 1987 and the Sidecar Championship, which he won for the first time in 1999 with Neil Carpenter in the chair - a feat they repeated in 2000.
Nine years later, 2009, with Carl as ballast the father and son pairing once again lifted the Southern100 Sidecar Championship Trophy. Ian's third time and Carl's first.
For all present it was an emotional time remembering one of the most popular sidecar competitors who entertained the Southern 100 crowds for 36 years.