Family History

Denis Minett

 Denis MINETT  was born about 1916, and died in 1989.

Denis is my uncle. He had an impressive motor cycle career, setting records at Brooklands. In the late 1940's he worked at the Vincent Motor Cycle works. He emigrated to Australia where he was well known in Adelaide for his motor cycle records records on the Pipe Clay track on the Coorong.

The son of George Geoffrey Minett & Teresa Mary Regan of Essex. His father was employed by HM Customs. The family came from Ross in Herefordshire.

Denis travelled to Mombassa, Kenya ca. 1935(?), in company with his brother Geoff. They intended to start up a harbour launch business, but found that the market was already "sewn up". See photo on right.

Denis had an impressive motor racing record in the UK, breaking records at Brooklands and earning 3 Gold Stars.

Denis' UK racing career.

Denis first travelled to Australia in 1938 :-

UK Outgoing Passenger Lists
             Date of Departure - 2 Nov 1938 on the 'Espernce Bay'.
             Ticket no. 9 - MINETT, Mr Dennis, 243 Pear Tree Ave, 
             Southampton, to Sydney Australia, Engineer, age 22.

Denis' Australian racing career.

Denis departed Australia in 1940 returning to England :-
             UK Incoming Passenger List
             Date of arrival - 6 Oct 1940 on the 'Strathallan'.
             From Adelaide - No. 84. MINETT, Denis, Tst class, age 23, 
             to 243 Pear Tree Ave, Bitterne, Southampton, Engineer.

Ojn his return Denis worked at Vincent Motor Cycle works where he worked on the Black Lightning & Black Shadow bikes. 

Denis & Vincent Motor Cycles

He migrated once again to Australia in 1950 :-
UK Outgoing Passenger Lists
Date of departure - 15 Dec 1950 on the 'Orion', departed London for Australia, age 34, married, Developmental Engineer.
Accompanied by Mrs P MINETT.

Denis finally settled in Melbourne in the early 1950's. He last worked for BHP. He was a Mason (Masonic Lodge).

He died on the 25 May 1989. 'Melbourne Sun' report.

He married Pamela PARKER in 1949 in Orpington, Kent.  They had 2 children in Australia. Denis and Pam separated in the mid 1960's. Denis did not re-marry and is survived by his only daughter Tess (Sally) and granddaughter Paige (d. of Jeffrey).


Denis Minett ca. 1937
[pg.40 - 'Francis Beart - A single purpose' by Jeff Clews]

L - Geoff , unknown girl, R - Denis.
[Photo courtesy of Geoff Minett.]

Denis, with f-in-law Harry Parker, sister-in-law Margaret Galbreath (nee Parker), brother-in-law Ron Galbreath
Wife Pamela with sister Margaret's daughter Mary, Pam's young brother Harry Parker, mother-in-law Louisa Parker, Maud Parker.
Orpington, Kent, England, ca. 1949.

David Spencer's profile on Denis. - A excellent 4 page review of his life.

Brooklands Museum's collection of Denis.

Denis' UK racing career.

Denis' Australian racing career.

Denis & Vincent Motor Cycles

Australian newspaper reports
Bonhams Auction catalogue - x1 prototype.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has more information on Dennis's history as a racer and of his work at Vincents (see email below).