THE J.C.C. BLACKDOWN SCRAMBLE

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131LACIFIDOWN SCIVAMIALE

Unattempted Event Abandoned with Four Sections out of Six

The slime was so plentiful in Sir Elliot Philipson-Stow’s estate that the competitors in the J.C.C. Scramble on March 20th only had one section to tackle instead of the six sections originally imposed by the club. Although it pains us very much to see good motorcars, especially those that would provide sound satisfaction under sane conditions, slammed through slime lanes like those at the Blaekdown Estate, we publish a report of the event for reference purposes and to amuse the ladies who don white hats on these occasions and spend their sixpences on our behalf that they may see what we Say about their racingdriver friends.

Although one would have some justification in feeling intensely annoyed in finding a trial was to be abandoned after only one hill had been tackled, it must be said in justification of the J.C.C. that this was a first-time venture, that the organisation was generally excellent, and that if one must mud-storm, delays would seem inevitable.

Enthusiasm ran high at the start.

C. M. Anthony was roping the rear covers to the rims of the Aston-Martin, N. E. Bracey had a rearward-pointing extension on the carburetter intake of the dumbiron mounted Marshall blower of his M.G., and some people had brought chains, while nearly every official had brought gum-boots, L. F. Dyer included.

The first section consisted of a fair gradient with a “surface ” of deep ruts and a sea of slime. Rescue work was performed by a Morris six-wheeled lorry with a caterpillar-track fitting, and even this machinery did not venture onto the real slime, but hauled from high up, through a long cable. The helpers deserve full marks for hard work under horrible conditions. ” Bunny ” Dyer and J. Eason-Gibson certainly did their share. J. M. Laing’s Riley saloon sank up to its hub caps, to be duly hauled out, and E. K. Farley, who had forsaken his usual Singer for an H.R.G., lost the rear nearside wing during a very rapid run, which ended when the car sank deeply in, steam issuing from the radiator. Don Aldington, with a Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. saloon, carefully picked his way, finally to stop in a nasty mud patch, though he was able to restart. A. P. Squire (AL-G. Midget) then showed us that the section was possible, by making sensible use of the hard ground on both sides of the course, for which he was loudly clapped. E. J. Haesondonck (M.G. Midget) was

just enveloped in the shine, in spite of a fast approach and rear covers of very healthy section, and F. A. H. Frey (M.G.) came up slowly to suffer a like fate.

M. W. Sheppard (T-type M.G.) then gave a splendid exhibition of combining knots, knobblies and judgment (not forgetting (k)nerve !), and C. M. Anthony got almost to the top after a -fine and determined effort, his Aston-Martin’s external drainpipes generating an impressive cloud of steam. He actually restarted and was pushed over the summit. R. Peaty’s big-tyred Frazer-Nash hit the gulley and sank deeply. His fair passenger wisely covered her shoulders with a mackintosh and wore a white helmet, though having nothing to protect her glasses—goggles and visors should have a place with the gum-boots in these parties. Bochaton came up next, extremely hectically, the McEvoy-Special almost turning turtle, the passenger’s door flying open, and sheer speed carrying it well through the mud before it admitted defeat. Norton Braeey was another one who turned the taps wide open and looked in danger of overturning, iris passenger sitting on the tank nevertheless. With chains on the rear wheels the Marshall-blown M.G. gave Bracey a mud bath but inst failed to get up. J. W. Lanes (Lagonda) failed very low down, likewise A. E. Curtis (FIR .G.), but Dave Harris was really outstanding with his M.G. Magnette, pulling strongly out of the guiles’ to fail at the final extrasticky section. H. F. Burt contacted his Triumph with a small sapling low down on the right hand side of the course and -gave up, with C. J. Turner recording a completely clean ascent with his Singer, taking the gulley fearfully fast and then climbing strongly, Mostly without troubling to pick an easy course. A. P. P. Pane, in hat and Frazer-NashB.M.W., also won through with an exCelletit climb, keeping his throttle foot depressed even, when sliding amongst the

trees halfway up. I,. R. Holdaway’s Austin was another star performer. Mrs. H. Wood got almost into a broadside low down, after which her Singer came up strongly, almost stopped in the worst patch of all, but recovered and got away soundly to the summit. R. F. Hield (Singer) tried to use the firm bit against the right-hand bank, but found the mud just the same, getting roughly halfway up. Cries of “stand well back —Allard,” and the Ford Special stormed through at hair-raising speed, going up clean with no attempt to pick a special course. T. M. Buffey’S open Talbot

Ten became uncontrollable low down and hit a big tree on the left hand side of the lane, slightly bending his runningboard, and needing a swarm of helpers to return him to the road.

After this a section of main road and byways led to the stop and restart test used to decide any ties which might result.

So to the second section, where two Americanised mobile police were in attendance, and hens pecked happily amongst the waiting cars. The low section was just a mud patch, Over which tree branches had been laid. When we arrived Laing’s Riley saloon and Sheppard’s M.G. had failed and Sheppard could do nothing with an assisted restart, getting well and truly stuck. Mrs. Wood (Singer) approaching slowly, did splendidly, but even she failed either at the top of section two or on section three that followed immediately, and even Allard could not manage it. C. J. Turner (Singer), who had his exhaust pipe in the car, was outstanding on the lower readies. At about 5.30 p.m., with half the entry waiting to Climb section two, and five sections unattempted, the officials abandoned the event.

We hear non-motoring folk say that trials drivers must be mad, and when we heard that the third section was a down gradient we felt that perhaps, after all, they are right.

If some people enjoy these scrambles then we believe-that they should have their fun—just as we would not think of being impolite about folk who roll big, black balls along a green, or slice at a ball to try and stop it striking a triple arrangement of sticks stuck in the earth. But it is curious that drivers well known in big trials, rallies and even International races should want to compete, and we suggest that they ask themselves whether they are really there for any reasons outside pots and publicity and, if not, to let those who really like mud-wallowing play alone. And to the J.C.C. we suggest a real trial next time.

27 Entries : 27 Starters

Non-Stop Through the Quell : W. L. Jackson (Frazer-Nash). A. P. Sentire, M. W. Sheppard (M.G.$),

C. j. Turner, Mrs. 11. Wood (Singers), S. Allard (Allard Special), A. F. P. Faint, D. H. Murray (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.$), L. K. }foldaway (Austin).

Best on Stop and Restart (Bexley Hill) : S. H. Allard (Allard Special) 17s.; E. K. Farley (H.R.G.) 17.4s. ; N. E. Bracey, D. E. Barris (M.G.$), 17.8s. Maximum Marks (36) Gained by : W. L. ,Taekson Frazer-Nash). A. 1′. Squire, M. W. Sheppard (M.(a’.$). S. It Allard (Allard Special), A. F. P. PanO, D. II. Murray (Frazer-Nasit-B.M.W.s.)

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