MCN celebrates half ton-up

By Colin Crummy Motor Cycle News, the long-running Emap title, has
celebrated its 50th anniversary by taking 5,000 readers to Skegness to
listen to Slade play live.

The title also marked the birthday
this month with an 18-page supplement and a look at the biggest bike
stories of the last half-century.

The first issue of MCN went on
sale on 30 November 1955 and cost four pence. Produced in a one-room
office on Fleet Street, it ran to eight pages and sold 3,000 copies.

It
led with the exclusive story of multiple GP world champion Geoff Duke’s
ban from the sport for supporting a riders’ strike. Editor and founder
Cyril Quantrill’s first leader column impugned the sport’s highest
councils for their cavalier treatment of privateer riders.

Emap
bought the newspaper from Quantrill a year later for £100. Fifty years
on, almost half a billion copies have been sold and read by more than
1.5 billion people.

Editor Marc Potter said: “Because it’s been
going for 50 years the paper’s been through a lot of changes, but our
number one thing is still breaking the news in motorcycling.

“It’s
fortunate timing that our first issue went on sale on 30 November and
it’s nice that an issue falls on the same date 50 years later.

“To
celebrate we took 5,000 readers to Skegness for a weekend-long party
with a whole load of bands like Slade that they [the readers] really
enjoy.”

MCN’s first ever road test was written by John Surtees, the only man to win motorcycle GP and Formula One car world titles.

The
magazine has reported on legendary machines – bikes like BSA’s Gold
Star, Triumph’s Bonneville and Laverda’s Jota, as well as legendary
riders such as Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene and
today’s hero, Valentino Rossi.

MCN Live! was launched in 1995 as
both a section in the paper and two annual events that have run at
Butlin’s holiday camps ever since.

The newspaper acquired the
London and Scottish Motorcycle Shows in 2000 and launched its website,
www.motorcyclenews.com in the same year.

The magazine’s circulation is currently 139,105, according to ABC figures. Sales reached a peak of 196,058 in 1976.

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