Club news, December 1935

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NORTH-WEST LONDON M.C.

The Inter-Team Trial round a stiff route in N. Devon, run on October 19 resulted in a win for the Frazer-NashB.M.W. team, with the M.G.C.C. Midget team as runners-up.

The “London-Gloucester” will be run on December 7, starting at 0.15 a.m. from “The Spider’s Web ” on the Watford by-pass. This year is the Silver Jubi lee of this classic trial and the clerk of the course is ” Bob ” Porter. This time the London-Gloucester is a closed event. The entrance charge, inclusive of membership, is £2, and excellent trophies are offered. Every attempt has been made to secure a representative entry, and a new super. hill is rumoured to be included in the

route. Superchargers, ” comp.” tyres and locked axles are allowed. The November issue of the “Gazette” is an ambitious, printed publication, with full particulats of the ” Silver Jubilee ” trial preparations. Good pictures of the 1934 London-Gloucester are included, and there is a brief record of the event from 1912-1934. :Amongst the names which

figure, rather surprisingly, in the latter are those of Alan Hill (Rhode), E. L. Meeson (Bean), H. V. Tuson (Amilcar), Clive Scarf (Austin), W. J. Haward, now proprietor of ” Ye Tudor Cafe ” at Hod desdon, (I3ayliss-Thomas), Brian Twist (Austin), R. T. Horton (Morgan), etc. links with the past, which prove the Lon don-Gloucester to be a real classic. Other contents include a list of new members with the make and type of their cars, and a list of members and changes in their

mounts “—an interesting item, this.

Hon Sec.: C. V. Wells, 816, High Road, Tottenham, N.17. Tott: 4406-7.

The twenty-first London-Exeter Trial Will start from a point (undecided at time of writing) about 20 miles West of London on December 27. The hills will be Fingle Bridge, Simms, Ilarcombe, Where there is to tie a special test, and Meerhay, and the finish is at Blandford, Dorset. Entries must be in by December 9, and non-members must have joined the M.C.C. by December 7. Entry fee £2 per car, or £3 6s. inclusive of membership. Awards will comprise the usual first, second and third-class distinctions, also a Team prize, while an interesting innovation is a special Simms Trophy for bronze-medal winners or more successful competitors who also get up Simms hill

under their own power. This year’s trial counts towards the 1936 M.C.C. Team championship, and it ranks, of course, as one of the most important winter-classics. Sec: J. A. Masters, 22, Norland Square, W.11.

FRAZER-NASH C.C.

Annual dinner and dance scheduled for December 21 at the Mayfair Hotel, London. Particulars from Mr. Hugh Cundey, 141, Coleherne Court, S.W.5.

So popular is the Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. that a F.N.B.M.W. club has been formed, affiliated to the Frazer-Nash Club proper. Annual subscription lOs 6d., the Hon. Secretary is H. G. Symmons, hero of the Experts’ Trial. His address is 76, Woodland Drive, Watford.

IRISH MOTOR RACING CLUB

Forthcoming fixtures of the Irish Motor Racing Club include, a Gala Dance on December 20 and a Rally on December 22. The Secretary’s address is 1-2, Foster Place, College Green, Dublin.

W.A.S.A.

The Women’s Automobile and Sports Association’s annual Buxton Trial was a very pleasant event. On Cowdale and Blacker Mill bill no failures were recorded, an outstanding ascent of the latter being accomplished by Miss Powys

Lybbe’s 1924 Alvis. Competitors proceeded to Putwell Hill, where Miss Wilby’s Frazer-Nash failed due to misfiring, ultimately to retire.

After the lunch stop, an acceleration and braking test Showed-up the capabilities of Miss N. V. Watson’s M.G. Magnet te and Mrs. Montague johnstone’s Balilla Fiat.

Eyarn Bank gave no trouble at all, and the last hill was the redoubtable Jenkin’s Chapel. The first section “pipped ” Miss Milne’s Singer Nine coupe, and the second section proved more tricky, two M.G.s and a Singer Nine hitting the bank at the dreaded hairpin bend. Good climbs were recorded by the Balilla Fiat, Miss Watson’s M.G. and Mrs. Needham ‘s Frazer-Nash-B. M .W. saloon.

RESULT

Provisional Wakefield Trophy winner:—Miss N. V. Watson (M.O. Magnette)

M.G.C.C.

The M.G. Car Club’s Scottish Trial was an event well worth doing for the course was really difficult. A very fine new hill was Habbies Howe, where T. S. Weston’s M.G. and G. Murray Frame’s Singer made excellent ascents, though the latter driver used the bank at the acute hairpin bend. Another good hill was Eddleston, which stopped the whole entry, yet was a thoroughly sporting gradient. The trial concluded with some lappery of ” Black Barony ” in the dark, Weston making the best time of all on his M.G., with Murray Frame’s Singer a very creditable runner-up.

RESULTS.

Premier Award :—T. S. Weston (M,G.).

Runner-up :—G. M. Frame (Singer).

Team Award :—Scottish Sporting Car Club ” A ” team Elliot (M.G.), McDonald (Singer), Frame (Singer).

First Class Awards :—T. S. Weston (M.0.1, J. Anderson Aiiiterson-Special), T. T., McDonald (Singer), 0. M. Frame (Singer), L. Dickson (Singer), A. Dunn (Riley Imp.).

Second Class Awards :—W. IC. Stewart (MA,), W. K. Elliot (M.G.), N. T. Lithgow (Standard), A. K. B. Clarkson (Ford V8), 0. F. Simpson (Ford), W. M. Girdwood (M.(.), J. j. Nicholson (Ford), D. McQueen (Ford), T. D. Shilds (Riley).

KENTISH BORDER C.C.

This progressive club held a 50 mile Spurting Trial on November 10 which embraced no fewer than seven observed hills and three timed tests. 57 people entered and on the day over 50 toed-the-line. On the first hill, Coldharbour, a stop and restart was staged, rendered particularly interesting as the distance

was 150 yards. S. Allard’s V8 Ford made best time in 16.05 seconds. In the 1,100 c.c. and under category K. R. W. Shackel ‘s familiar, over-size McEvoy M.G. Midget scored with a time of 17.91 seconds. Another restart was held on sticky Limeworks Hill, C. A. H. Cann’s Ford

V8 clocking 6.35 seconds, and the runners-up being S. R. Seelby’S M.G. in 6.61 seconds and M. H. Lawson’s Singer in .6.65 seconds. A driving test was then held in Ashford Market Place, Westwood (Singer) winning the small car class, and Cann’s Ford V8 again being the victor in the

big car division. The winning times were : Westwood 20.0 seconds, Cann 20.4 seconds. Four hills followed after the lunch stop, of which the last, Stouting, was easily the worst. S. L. Chappell (Ford V8), A. J. G. Bochaton (McEvoy-Speeial) and K. R. W. Shackel (McEvoy-Midget) managed, however, to defeat the 1 in 5, grass-track gradient. A Frazer-Nash

and Leon’s M.G. were nearly successful.

RESULTS.

Alexandra Trophy : II B. Shaw MO. Magnette). Committee Cup : K. R. W. Shackel (McEvoyMidaef). Visitors’ Cup • S. Allard (Ford I’M,

Team Award : Allard, Cann and F. Al)ott (Ford VS team). Seven first class awards and six second class.

A follow-my-leader trial will be held on December 15 and should be a most sporting event. Hon. Secretary : K. R. W. Shackel, 61, F,Itham Road, Lee, S.E.12.

GENERAL NOTES

By the time these words are before you trialsmen and their followers will be in the thick of things. Two outstanding events during December will be the NorthWest London M. C. London-Gloucester Trial and the M.C.C. London-Exeter

Trial. The dates are December 7 and December 27-28 respectively, and the former event celebrates its Silver Jubilee, having first been held in 1910, since when it has run without a break save for the War years, while the LondonExeter is in its 21st year. It is amusing to reflect that in its early years the London-Gloucester was merely a sort of out and home run. In the 1912 event H. F. S. Morgan’s Morgan and Frank Thomas’ G.N. won the two Premier Awards, and in 1913 only five entrants appeared to finish on time at Hampstead, and three persons only reported no-trouble runs to Gloucester on the outward journey. The event was revived in 1921 when

Morgan, L.S.D. and New Hudson three-wheelers performed conspicuously. So the Mid-Surrey Experts’ Trial received a larger entry than in 1934, In spite of the loud protests beforehand at the ban on competition covers and locked differentials. Widlake proved the “best” hill, and the course throughout was worthy of such an organiser as Andrew Fainlough, who, by the way, took on the job at very short notice. A new champion emerged—H. G. Symmons, whose 2-litre, German-bodied, open 2seater Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. was the only

car to get up all the hills. Symmons formerly owned a very special “P” model M.G. Midget, which had a Marshall blower and Wilson pre-selective gear-box amongst the more exciting items of its by no means standard specification. One of Symmons’ pastimes is fast, longdistance motoring by night, and he tells me that the Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. is capable of a most useful average-speed. In this battle of the experts, J. M. Toulmin (M.G.) made a fine effort, and was runner-up. Sidelight :—Motorists are so often looked upon as reckless persons, careless of life and limb, that it is worth mentioning that H. J. Aldington, when he was allkeyed-up with his Team’s success at stake, nevertheless gave way instantly when a dog crossed his path near the summit of Widlake. He was allowed another attempt, but failed. Non-motorists who may have picked up this paper, please digest !

A new ” star ” has made its debut in trials circles—the Frazer-N ash-B.M.W. Symmons’ success in the ” Experts was backed up by Altlington’s team gaining both Team awards. In the W.A.S.A. Buxton Trial, Mrs. Needham’s 2-litre made probably the neatest climb of Jenkin’s Chapel. Anyone who has experienced the surprising performance and extremely pleasant manner of running of this Isleworth prodigy will be inter

ested in its trials successes. Apparently the very excellent suSpension offsets any wheel-spinning tendencies which might beset a ‘141-cwt. car, and the very big ground-clearance and substantial bodywork must be an asset to trials-drivers. The Team Prize in the N.W.L.M.C. Inter-Team Trial was, of course, won by Frazer-Nash-13. M.W. cars. * • *

The Inter-‘Varsity trial was, as usual, a great event. The idea of having two separate circuits, traversed alternately by “odd” and “even” numbers, was good, congestion being avoided, while a minor advantage of this scheme is the awe aroused by whichever section is seated peacefully at lunch, when it is evident that the opposite numbers arewell behind schedule ! One of the most stirring aspects of the ” Inter-‘Varsity ” was the way in which Richard Bolster, usually to be seen amidst the most special machinery got up the hills in a very ancient, and perfectly normal-looking, Morris-Cowley tourer, with brother John in the tonneau. It just shows what can be done with a low bottom gear and slow-speed engine, and I believe more people would enter such cars if timed tests and stiff crosscountry averages were not so common. Two ideas relating to trials organisation. Timed stop and re-start tests are useful as a means of deciding ties, but

is it good policy to make them count for awards, eliminating those who have got up all the hills but are below “standardtime,” or some pre-arranged time, in such tests? These very short tests are not much of a demonstration of useful acceleration and they tend towards unduly low gear-ratios. For deciding ties, yes.

Otherwise, cut them out. If hills in themselves are not severe, what is wrong with quite lengthy timed tests, which will call for one or more upward changes and a willing engine and in which wheel spin at a churned-up starting line will not matter so much ? Idea No. 2. Should trials be arranged as contests against the organising club, or should entrants be pitted against one another? The amateur competitor, of course, stands a better chance of an award when competing against the club, but if the course proves easy, which these days depends very largely on the weather conditions just beforehand, a large number ai prizes iscalled for, and usually we just get the uninspiring array of medals, gold, silver and bronze according to our worth. Surprisingly enough, there is quite a lot of comment on the quality of the awards offered by different clubs, and three or four really ” nice ” trophies are, perhaps, better than a variable supply of medals.