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Milestones 2014 calendar by Rachael Clegg

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A pedigree budgie, a toilet, several laps of the TT course and a very patient photographer – Milestones TT calendar is back, with more wittily-illustrated TT anecdotes.

Milestones 2014 calendar by Rachael CleggMilestones made its debut last year, after artist and journalist Rachael Clegg decided that making a TT calendar was her calling in life. Together with Al Jazeera photojournalist Peter Greste and assistant Shaz Nicol, Rachael created a calendar that paid visual homage to some of the most significant and quirky events in TT history.

The result is, once again, 15 leaves of unusual monochrome images, which will be launched at this year’s TT. Only the goose that appeared in last year’s calendar has now been replaced with a prized budgie.

In this year’s Milestones Rachael has a fracas with a stack of tyres, a blast at Waterworks and an encounter with a very rare budgie at Kirk Michael.

But however bizarre, these ‘happenings’ interpret real TT events involving the likes of Giacomo Agostini, Archie Birkin, Guy Martin, Ian Lougher and Joey Dunlop.

“The idea struck me on the way back from the TT in 2010. I’ve come across so many tales over the years but knew there must be more TT stories out there so I set to work...”

That was it. Weeks later Rachael was knee-deep in TT research. “I encountered dozens of unusual tales from the race’s 106-year history and used each tale as inspiration for the images, which I sketched out as I was doing the research.”

And while last year’s calendar brought about its own risks - including near-arrest at Brandish Corner wearing John McGuinness’ leathers - this year Rachael had to dive head-first in a tower of tyres, was caught naked on a toilet and strewn with bleeding mackerel. “It’s a very glamorous job,” she said.

The calendar is a fusion of Rachael’s background, obsession with history and her family’s racing legacy. She studied art and art history, worked at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool and taught art for several years.

“Milestones nods to my heritage – both my dad and granddad were TT racers so I’ve been going to the TT all my life. I would have a go myself but I have no road sense.”

The props used in Milestones were borrowed off the likes of John McGuinness, Guy Martin, Ian Lougher, Rachael’s father, TT veteran Vin Duckett, an eccentric Manxman, farmer John Quine and a budgie enthusiast.

“That’s what’s great about the Isle of Man; I needed a budgie so I walked into the pharmacist, asked if anyone had a budgie I could borrow and came out with a packet of paracetamols and a number for a budgie fancier.”

With a posh budgie, umpteen Dunlops and Manx mackerel, Milestones 2014 will no doubt raise a few smiles and shed more light on the TT’s hidden history.

Milestones: an Isle of Man Road Races calendar costs £15 and is available at www.milestonescalendar.com

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