THE COLMORE CUP TRIAL. A Severe Test in the Cotswold Hills. By our Midlands Representative.
AS is frequently the case with sporting events organised primarily for motor cyclists, the entries
for this year’s Colmore Cup Trial, held on Saturday, February 21st, attracted some 30 cars and a number of three-wheelers, in addition to a large number of motor cycles and combination outfits. The dominant note of the Colmore Trial was extremely satisfactory as far as the motor cyclists were concerned,
and the organisers may expect to be deluged with entries for their future events if they maintain the sporting standard set for the first open event of the year.
It is not our place here to report on individual performance, but it was noticeable how well the old stagers handled their machines in comparison to the newcomers to the sport.
This was encouraging, for there are times when one imagines that any novice should be able to manage a modern motor cycle, even over “rough stuff.” The course this year started and finished, as usual, at Stratford-on-Avon, and Gambles Lane was not included, nor was the bad section at Corn Dean, but Bushcombe and Old Stanway were negotiated twice. These two hills and Buckland were all clothed in their
worst attire, and good driving was necessary to effect even an indifferent climb. Miss Cottle and Mrs. Jennison deserve special praise for their tackling of Bushcombe. The performance of the 350 c.c. machines, both solo and sidecar, was really excellent, and one never ceases to wonder how these little machines develop the power
which they manifest. P. Giles on his 348 A. J.S. and B. Bird with the 349 B.S.A. were particularly fine exponents of the art of handling these little machines. Cronmore succeeded in carrying off the Cup with a 2f Zenith and sidecar, which was actually the smallest combination in the trial. He also won the Watson Shicld for the best sidecar performance.
A Velocette 2f won the Eric Walker Cup, and a Triumph the Harsall Cup, and a Velocette again the Carter Cup. About seventeen solo machines under 4 h.p. won gold and about thirty silver medals.
It looks as if the Broughs and Eagles will have to look to their laurels in the future, or we will have to breed a race of supermen to hold them up on grease ; but actually a big twin should be steadier on a bad surface, as its heavy moving parts seem to give the machine a stability unknown in a 2t ; but then, of course, it does not matter if the smaller bike does flatten out, as no giant is needed to set it on its feet again.
The competitors started from Stratford-on-Avon, and the course included some of the worst roads and lanes on the western side of the Cotswold Hills.
Within a few miles of the starting point the competitors were faced by Ilmington Hill, which was surmounted without much difficulty by the majority of motor cyclists, but proved a stumbling block for Tatlow on the Lea-Francis car, which was regardei as having a very good chance of success.
The next troublesome part of the route included the long climb over the hills on leaving Buckland, and here the Morgans and Austins acquitted themselves very creditably. The fastest time was made by Goodwin on a Bean, which has a 14 h.p. engine fitted to a specially lightened 12 h.p. chassis. On this incline many of the cars got into difficulties, principally owing to the thick mud, which was badly churned up. Abbott skidded his Clyno into the loose surface at the side of the road, and the front axle became momentarily embedded in the mud. Sam Wright’s Humber and the Rhodes driven by Denley and Mead made good ascents.
One of the most spectacular points of the whole course was the climb up the narrow lane leading out of Old Stanway, where the Morgans distinguished themselves by performing all sorts of gymnastics in endeavouring to keep a straight course at speed. On this hill Tatlow retrieved his reputation by making an excellent ascent, and the driving of Taylor, who piloted a Bugatti, excited the admiration of the spectators. Randall’s Crouch also put up a star performance on this section of the route, and Waite’s Austin Sports was also conspicuous for its fine performance.
From the valley to the top of Cleeve Hill, near Cheltenham, is a stiff climb known as Bushcombe, which was surmounted by the greater part of the competitors without providing any sensations for the numerous spectators. But, later on, Austin’s Morgan overturned on Humblebee hairpin, which most of the cars ascended in more or less crab-like fashion. On arriving at Cheltenham the entrants had a temporary respite in the form of lunch, and the return journey was commenced over the same route, which by this time was thoroughly ploughed up. A stopping
and re-starting test was imposed on the i in 5 portion of Bushcombe Hill, in which the Morgans gave a fine display of mud-slinging, to the discomfort of the crowd, who took it quite good-humouredly. Denley got away well without using chains, but several of the competitors had to be assisted owing to a contagious epidemic of wheel-spin, and Taylor was unfortunate enough to bungle his gears, which prevented a good ascent.
The remainder of the run comprised further hill climbs and an acceleration test, in which the drivers had to stop beyond a certain mark, run backwards over it, and then accelerate up to the finishing point. In this test the following cars put up very good performances :—Rhode (Denley), Bugatti (Lavy), Austin (Waite), Morgan (Morgan), Lea-Francis (Tatlow), and McKenzie (McKenzie). The cars which finished the course, and their drivers, are as follows :—Morgans : Goodall, Austin, Carr, Morgan and Chippendale ; A.C. : Turner and Miss Roper ; Rhode : Denley, Mead and Tomkinson ; Lea
Francis : Tatlow and Horton ; Austin Seven : Waite, Orford, Bromhead, Guest and Hester ; Riley : Cantacuzino ; Clyno : Collins and Abbott ; Ariel : Jones ; Humber : Sam Wright ; McKenzie : McKenzie ; Gwynne : Turner ; Bugatti : Taylor and Lavy ; Bayliss Thomas : Sawtell ; Cluley : Wyatt ; Bean : Goodwin.