Unveiled: the mysterious sidecar partner of Frank Sisson

WHEN Hucknall man Barry Tooley saw his photo in the Dispatch a couple of weeks ago, he threw his hands up in horror and screamed: “Not again!”

Countless times Barry has seen the photo published. And always it has acknowledged the main man on the bike, who is none other than famous former Hucknall businessman Frank Sisson.

But never, says Barry, has Sisson’s partner in the sidecar been named. So he rang the Dispatch to complain, and we agreed to put the record straight.

Riding sidecar in the 1920s photo is Barry’s late father, Ernest Tooley, who lived on Palmer Avenue in Hucknall.

Born and bred in the town, Tooley became close friends with Sisson while he worked for Raleigh in Nottingham for many years.

Tooley later became steward of Hucknall Liberal Club.

He formed a highly successful partnership in motor sports with Sisson, whom Barry knew as ‘Uncle Frank’. At one time, Sisson, who later opened an electrical goods shop on High Street, was one of the best grass-track racers in the country and undoubtedly the best in the Midlands.

The photo appeared in the Dispatch as part of our popular series, ‘The Dispatch Years’, which was researched and written by former chief reporter Denis Robinson at the time of the paper’s centenary in 2003.