Many Spills in the Camberley, Club’s Roughriders’ Event.
By ARNOLD RADCLYFFE.
LOOKING back to March 14th, we think that if we • say “Thank goodness, it did not rain ! ” all who were present at the meeting of the Camberley Club, especially the competitors, will endorse that view. On the Exeter run rain is expected, and if it should happen to be dry we feel that our Panchos or three-ply waterproof garments are wasted, and the Press would say that it was test for neither man nor machine. But what a difference had Pluvius dared to put in an appearance for the Camberley Club’s event ! We can just imagine “Wild and Woolly” with a torrent rushing at its foot, competitors slithering down the descent, and, perhaps, being carried far down on to the plains by the rush of water, or those who escaped to the other side vainly attempting to conquer the hill. Of course Heath would come through on his Henderson and sail to the top, and perhaps Budd would clear the stream and land half-way up by sheer force of a rush that nothing could stop. Dance would manage somehow, and the irrepressible ” Gus ” would, I am sure, fit a pair of geared-up wings to his Velocette.
Whether or not it would damp the ardour of the stunt performer on the Brough is a matter for conjecture, but probably he would win through.
The route was in its best possible state for as fast a circuit as it permitted. This was accomplished by George Dance, in 36 minutes 20 seconds, on a new four-valve O.H.V. Sunbeam, which, after the event, was the subject of very close scrutiny.
Starting from Green Lane, Frimley, the competitors had a taste of what was to follow at the first hill, which had a bad surface, and was broken by large stones. From the top the riders doubled back down a goat-track, and set forth across a stretch of two or three miles. Only one hill was encountered before the famous Chobham Bridges, specially christened “Wild and Woolly” for this event. Instructions were not issued for climbing Wild and Woolly, but free advice was to be had on all sides, which told one to “open out” just before reaching the two trees. This proved to be quite good advice, and, providing one cleared the strip of turf by the small
gully, a good ascent could be made. Nevertheless, several fell by the wayside, or were pushed to the top by a tireless Marshal. The second round was most interesting to watch, as the competitors had warmed to their work. L. Heller, the first man to appear, collapsed over the side, but the prestige of the 350 c.c.’s was quickly re-established by Chivney on a Rudge, who made a very good climb. Capt. Bennett, on a Burney (498), then went up with light foot assistance, followed shortly by B. H. Cattrick, who, on a Sports Dunelt, made a very fast ascent, the note of his big two-stroke actually vibrating the ground. (This was chiefly owing to his silencer being carried away on the first round.) H. C. Grimes, on a 146 Rebro, made a gallant attempt, his engine doing a most wonderful rate of revolution, but failed in the finish owing to the loss of the belt. How he managed to cover the course is a mystery, as he appeared to have lost the top ball race of his steering head, and the top links were acting on the handlebars. W. Mills made an excellent climb, the note of his Scott being very pleasing to the car. Miss Cottle, who performed very admirably throughout, could, we think,
have got up without assistance, but was given help owing, no doubt, to the lack of noise in connection with the Raleigh’s climb, which gave the impression that power was absent. We may note here that this Raleigh, ridden by Miss Cottle, was an absolutely standard job, and not ” hotted up “in any way. Another climb worthy of mention was made by A. Maclennan, who took his 499 James up with absence of all fuss or noise, in spite of being badly baulked.
After this we were treated to every form of climb, from the unsteady wobble of R. W. Judd (349 New Imperial) to the “first stop Glasgow” type by Budd’s A. J .S.
The next pimple was Red Road Hill, which was longer than Wild and Woolly, and had a very bad surface near the top. It was crowded with spectators, who only seemed to give way when a machine was actually on top of them. This sort of thing ought to be discouraged, as the rider is only able to take one course, which is not always the best, and, in addition, he is very badly baulked. Ashby, on a Panther, took the hill so fast that he did a double somersault at the top, but was apparently unhurt, as he re-started, and went off rapidly again.
Coming to the Devil’s Drop, another little incline, approached by a bend which did not permit the hill to be rushed, we found that the spectators gave the competitors plenty of room. The surface was, on the whole, better than Red Road, and very few failed to make a clean climb.
Thereafter followed weary miles of Government tracks, either of silting sand or muddy ruts, which could be avoided by going on one side above the road, but we noticed many tree-stumps which, from their chipped state, appeared to have taken a heavy toll of footrests.
This part of the Trial was the most tiring and strenuous, as skids were common, and concealed rocks and rubble were encountered continually.
George Dance … 493 Sunbeam.
A. Jackson … Sunbeam.
Southern Cup. 79 „ 30 PI
G. Kuhn … Velocette.
Northern Cup. 78 „ 3 OP
F. A. Orr … Francis Barnet. 200 Cup. 144 .P 17 s•
E. J … Norton.
A. B. Sparks … Scott.
600 Cup. 79 ft
F. Heath … Henderson.
I,000 Cup. 92
Miss M. Cottle… Raleigh.
Venus Cup. 104 48 Velocette Blackdown
Cup. Sunbeam Cordwalles
A. B. Sparks … Scott.
Silver Cig. 79 I