Good show, VSCC

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The show in question is the Herefordshire Trial, which this year replaced the VSCC’s customary Wessex trial. It had a remarkable entry of 105, took in 14 hill-sections. yet there were no delays, competitors voting it a great success. If there was an ointment-fly, it was that dry weather in the area made the hills mostly too easy, so that ties resulted. But a new standard has been set, for future VSCC trials.

Roger Collings’ 1903 Mercedes 60, four up, was in a dour mood, first shedding a It ignition push-rod, then a driving chain, and finally breaking its gear-lever off at the root. If you think this deterred Collings. you would be wrong! Hasty road-side repairs and he continued, changing gear with a piece of cord round the lever’s stub, to arrive triumphant at the finish. Young son Ben was also on form, driving the family 4 1/2-litre Bentley Special, until the very last hill, Moffatt’s Meander. where he stopped at a corner. At an earlier grass-section he had done well, softly-softly off, then a great burst of power that took him to marker-14. The only better score was 15, by a light car.

The event was based on Fred and Virginia Coomber’s Verzons Hotel near Ledbury. where the brewers, Marston’s, were supporting the event and the large car-parks added to the amenities. At the aforesaid grassy hill Wheeler’s interesting 1925 Morris arrived boiling like a kettle, Di Threfall did well in the Ford saloon, and the ex-TT Ford V8 started gently, which was sensible, but spun to a stop like most of the others. Barry Clarke’s Austin-GN, like a thoroughbred show-jumper, overcame a mis-firing temperament when shown a hill, but binding of a kidney-box front brake on lock did not help Mrs Daniels’ 30/98 at another hill; its polished aluminium body has the affectation of a dummy driver’s door and outside hand-brake levers on each side. Chris Gordon has his Riley out again after its two-year rest, a “1 1/2-Seater” reminder that Chris does not seem to mind a passenger close to him, witness his Silver Hawk and Tamplin. A rare entry was Ravencroft’s 1921 Marlborough, Carlisle was exercising his Trojan, three different Buicks represented the Edwardians and Pearce’s “Cream Cracker” MG looked a true trials car. Sir John Venables-Llewellyn had a few gearbox problems on Moffatt’s Brescia Bugatti and Odell’s short-chassis Riley Redwing was having a slipping clutch adjusted before the sections in the grounds of Knight’s Cider near Malvern.

Results:

Herefordshire Trophy: Tie between G Burridge (MG), B Clarke (A7), K Hill (Crouch-Helix), P Longhurst (Riley 9).
Blakeney-Edwards Trophy: E Goldsmith (Lea Francis).

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