Sprint events twenty years ago

A condensed history of club events as they were during the last season racing was allowed on the public roads of this country.

The days before the ban on speed events on public roads are, to many people, almost legendary and, with thoughts of post-war planning in mind, it seems opportune to glance backwards to those days, if only to see how popular club events were twenty years ago.

The chance occurred to borrow, through the courtesy of the JCC, some records dealing with the period May to November 1924, and these provide as good a basis as any for our researches. Giveen’s unhappy accident, when his Brescia-Bugatti ran off the road and into the crowd at Kop Hill, happened in March 1925, and from then onwards speed events on the public roads were wisely banned by the RAC. Before that time they happened with great frequency all over the country on successive summer week-ends, and very potent cars were let loose in public places, often only with the consent of local police, who sportingly agreed to “keep the course,” up and down, which ordinary traffic still had legal right of way. This happy, carefree state of affairs is worth recalling, if only to act as a spur for enthusiasm which should again build up and brim over as the warriors return from a war which has, this time, been motorised to the nth degree. Let us, then, take a cross-section of the 1924 season and see where the club events were held, who were the stars in the sprint firmament, and how these achievements of twenty years back compare with the events of our time.

In mid-May of the year 1924 sprint events were legion. The Kent and Sussex LCC had a hill-climb at Kidd’s Hill, over a 1,320-yd course, and Leon Cushman’s Brescia-Bugatti took the Caffyn Challenge Cup and the premier awards, his car running with wings, lamps, running boards and screen in place. The Norfolk MC on the same day, held a hill-climb at Ringland in which the class winners were Hurrell’s Gwynne Eight and de Cohen’s Alvis, with GN, Lagonda, Singer, Clyne and Wolseley as runners-up. Another event on the same Saturday was the Ealing and D MCC London-Holyhead Trial, in which Cocker, hurriedly returning after retiring from the RAC Six Days’ Trial, got a “gold” with his Clyno, as did two Palladium, two Riley Sports, AC, Ariel Ten, Calthorpe, Lagonda, and Morgan entries. Rex Mundy’s Ansaldo won the Maude Challenge Shield. Most exciting event of all of this auspicious week-end, however, was the Herts County AAC Aston-Clinton hill-climb. Fastest time of the day was made by Dario Resta with the 2-litre GP Sunbeam, who climbed in 44.6 secs. Second fastest time and the light-car record for the hill, was established by Raymond Mays (Bugatti) in 46.6 secs. Humphrey Cook took the TT Vauxhall up in 48.6 secs, and ER Hall made a most spectacular ascent with a Bamford and Martin Aston, in 48.8 secs, gaining the Jay Cup on formula. The other class winners were Linsley (Bugatti), Miss Pink (Aston-Martin), Boston (Horstman). Major Coe (“30/98” Vauxhall), and Miss Ivy Cummings (Frazer-Nash).

The next week-end was enlivened by some trials, the Sutton Coldfield and N Birmingham AA holding its annual event from Birmingham to Bala via Bwlch-y-Groes [on which we have “failed” in a modern Austin Seven, just prior to the war] and SW Centre ACU trial happened in N Devon. In the former Tomkinson’s Rhode won the Watson Gwynne Bowl, doing 60.4 ton mpg. Then the Ealing and DMC held a small Brooklands meeting, one race being merely a duel between Miller (Bianchi) and Harvey on the new racing Alvis, to the latter’s favour, and the other race being also a victory for Harvey, from George Duller’s Bugatti and Thomas’s Leyland.

Speed events were in evidence again the following week-end. The Middlesex County AA had a hill-climb at Handpost Hill. Northaw, at which ftd was made by Stevens (Horstman), Ogilvie and Miss Ogilvie (Riley) winning on formula, and in the ladies’ class, respectively. The Wye Valley MC and LC and Midland CC held a combined rally and sprint event over half a mile of bumpy private road outside Hereford. With 50-yd rolling start HFS Morgan’s. Morgan-Blackburn made ftd at 70.2 mph, the runner-up being Harvey’s racing Alvis. Morgan clocked 25.1 secs, Harvey and Boston (Horstman) each 27 secs (66.6 mph). Class winners were Kings (Austin Seven), Norris (Rhode), Goodall (Morgan), and Miss Lennox (Palladium). Miss Casswell drove a stripped “Brooklands” Austin Seven. The big event of the week-end, however, was the Surbiton MC’s hill-climb at South Harting. Motor-cycles ran as well as cars, and four crashed within a quarter of an hour of the start, including VW Derrington, who was saved by his crash helmet. He had to be carried down the hill, but drove a Salmson later in the day. As at Aston Clinton, Dario Resta and the GP Sunbeam triumphed, making ftd in 25.8 secs, beating Cook’s TT Vauxhall by 3.4 secs. Cushman’s Bugatti and Cyril Paul’s 2-litre Beardmore managed 30.2 secs, and Miss Ivy Cummings, who also drove the now even more famous Bugatti “Black Bess,” put up a splendid show on her 2-cylinder Frazer-Nash, actually proving faster than the Vauxhall, to clock second fastest time in 29.8 secs. RC Morgan crashed his new Aston-Martin sensationally, and K Don broadsided his 11/2-litre Darracq.

The scene next shifted to the front at Blackpool, where cars could be raced two at a time in a setting very reminiscent of the Brighton speed trials we all know. Most of the sprint aces attended, and Mays, Blackstock, Hall and Leadbetter driving, respectively, Bugatti, Aston-Martin and Alvis cars, all recorded 37 secs, for the excellent, slightly uphill 1 kilo course. Organisation was splendid and literally thousands of people spectated. Standing starts were used, and Clay’s Vauxhall and Paul’s Beardmore tied for ftd in 36.8 secs, equal to 60.79 mph. Apart from those mentioned Kings (Austin Seven), Beck (Austin Seven), Oats’s Ansaldo, and Cushman’s Bugatti gained class wins, while Miss CPR Turner, who uses a Bugatti to this day, was third in the class for sports cars under £550 and 1,500 cc. The next really big event was the JCC SW Centre’s Dean hill-climb, at a venue near Romsey. The entries embraced Capt Frazer-Nash’s GN “Kim II,” JA Hall’s stripped V-twin Frazer-Nash, Jackson’s sports “12/50” Alvis, Simmins’s Talbot Ten Sinimins Special, Fery’s Horstman, Gordon England’s “Cup” Austin, Hedges’s stripped “12/50” Alvis, McBean, Miss Pink and Pollard (Aston-Martins), Rivers Oldmeadow’s Brescia Bugatti, Randell’s Talbot, Dingle’s Austin, Porter’s AC, Hayter’s Riley, Calder’s Horstman, BH Austin’s Bugatti and other redoubtable cars. Nash went cautiously on his first run, then really opened up to break the existing record for the hill by 14 secs. Samuelson and England both rammed the bank but, in general, the cornering was spectacular, but not disastrous. The class victors were : McBean (Aston-Martin), Oldmeadow (Bugatti), Pollard (Aston-Martin), Jackson (Alvis), Hall (Frazer-Nash), Nash (GN), Hedges (Alvis), Simmins (Talbot), Miss Pink (Aston-Martin), and Randell (Talbot).

Fun and games now followed on the sand at Skegness and Saltburn. Skegness presented a two-day meeting over a kilometre course from a standing start and attracted some 5,000 spectators on the first day and 8,000 on the second. The first day was the province of the small cars and Cushman’s Bugatti made best time in 84.8 secs, while Joyce’s AC, running without its streamline tail, and Raymond Mays’s new Brescia-Bugatti “Cordon Bleu” went very well indeed. Mays had experienced a fire on the way to Skegness, which he extinguished with a new leather coat and some Pyrene, and the new car proved not quite so fast as his earlier one, while the latter eventually skidded to a standstill with a seized clutch shaft. Harvey, on the new Alvis racer, broke his gear-lever, but improvised one from a box spanner, and amongst the rarer entries were a Vulcan, Miller’s Bianchi, and the Birkin-Comery. Amongst the 2-litres Oats ran his Ansaldo and Paul his Beardmore. Wednesday’s class winners were Kings (Austin Seven), Cushman (Bugatti), Mays (Bugatti), and Joyce (AC). On the Thursday the big stuff came out, Campbell bringing the 350-hp Sunbeam and Thomas the Leylands. Harvey’s mechanic had made a night dash to Nottingham to get a new gear-lever made up. The class for touring cars up to 3 litres, in which an Itala beat a Bentley, saw Heat 1 go to Eaton’s Aston-Martin, Heat 2 to Lindsay’s Bugatti, and the final to Cushman. The class for sports cars up to 3 litres included a Ford, and the Ansaldo and Mays’s new Bugatti won the heats, and the latter the final. In spite of such cars as a straight-eight Sunbeam handled by Birkin, and Cook’s TT Vauxhall, the heats of the next class were won by the Beardmore and Miss Ivy Cummings’s V-twin Frazer-Nash, Heat 3 and the final going to Cushman. Cushman’s remarkable Bugatti then beat all the normal big cars. Came the unlimited open category. Excitement reached fever pitch, as journalese has it, when, after beating Howey’s Leyland in Heat 3, Miss Cummings started between the V12 Sunbeam and Thomas’s Leyland in the final, to beat both for the first 100 yards. Then the big cars came past, and the Frazer-Nash went sadly on to one cylinder. The Sunbeam crossed the finishing line at over 120 mph, to make ftd in 29.2 secs. The North Sea waves were all but lapping the course as proceedings closed. Class victors were Linsay, Mays, Cushman, Harvey, and Malcolm Campbell.

At Saltburn, to which most of the Skegness competitors travelled on the Friday, another kilometre course on the sand was available, both from a standing start on planks and with a flying start of some 21/2 miles by going out towards Redcar. Although the big cars were fastest, Mays’s Bugatti put up a wonderful show, winning two classes, one at 57.36 mph (39 secs) and being beaten by only half-a-length by Park’s “30/98” Vauxhall in the open class. The race for 3,650-cc racing cars (cars ran down the course side by side) was won by Cook’s TT Vauxhall, but Hall, on the sv Aston-Martin “Bunny,” was second. Hall won the 2-litre fs event in 24.2 secs, and other heat winners were Harvey’s Alvis, Hodgson’s 11.9 Hodgson, and Paul’s Beardmore. [Unfortunately we are unable to give the full results, as these records were compiled from a bound volume of The Light Car and Cyclecar, kindly loaned by the JCC, and in some reports large-car classes are ignored.]

In spite of the counter-attraction of Saltburn, the Kent AC’s speed trials at Herne Bay were well supported. The course was along the front, running straight for half a mile up a slight incline. Cushman had a great day out, winning five classes, and taking the Carden Challenge Trophy for ftd in 24.6 secs, the “Kent Messenger” prize for the fastest 4-seater, and Major Lefrere’s prize for the fastest standard touring Bugatti. In the unlimited racing-car class Cushman beat Count Zborowski’s 12,742-cc Mercedes by one second. Miss Cummings had returned from the North and won the 1,100-cc racing class in 27.6 secs, and HH Austin won the BS Marshall prize for the fastest standard sports Bugatti. [He still has this car in safe storage] The Austin Motor Co gave a prize for the fastest Austin Seven, won by Gordon England, and other class winners were Wifen (Austin Seven). Boating (Amilcar), Linsley (Bugatti), Miss Turner (Bugatti) and Miss Dawes (Morris). Zborowski’s fully-equiplied Hispano-Suiza managed 32.8 secs, and Wood’s blown 11/2-litre Mercedes, in this class, did 34.2 secs, Cushman winning with his touring Brescia-Bugatti in 32.1 secs. Linsley’s Bugatti won the Herne Bay Urban District Council’s prize for the fastest standard touring 2-seater under 1,300 cc. A Bugatti day ! Note the diversity of prizes and the donors.

At the Peterstield and DMC Hyden hill-climb BE Lewis’s 4-cylinder GN made ftd and other excellent ascents were made by JA Hall (Frazer-Nash), GA Peacock (Hillman), Kincaid-Lenoox (Morgan) and Eric Fernihough (Morgan). The next big event was the Hants AC hill-climb at Spread Eagle. Before big crowd. it was Raymond Mays’s day. His Bugatti took 12 “firsts,” six on time and six on formula, and broke the course record, clocking 38.6 secs on his fastest run. Harvey’s Alvis won the 1,600-cc class, this queer “light car” capacity limit was used by some clubs at that time only to be disqualified. Nash’s Frazer-Nash, towed 100 miles to the hill, misfired all the afternoon, but Miss Pink’s Aston-Martin went beautifully, beating an Essex, a Delage, a Vauxhall, a Star and a Bugatti in the 3-litre touring class. Marshall drove two Bugattis, his new 7 ft 6 in wheelbase 4-seater being particularly speedy. A Rolls-Royce was fastest of the unlimited touring cars. Joyce’s AC misfired, and Chittnery’s new “Olympia” sports Gwynne Eight suffered likewise and seemed unsuitably geared. Cook handled the “Razor Blade” Aston-Martin well, while Mays actually ran with wings and screen in place ; he was getting 6,100 rpm. Capt. Malcolm Campbell’s Sunbeam beat Duller’s Bugatti easily in a match contest, but could only clock 39.8 secs towards fastest time. Other class winners were Ely (Talbot 8/18), Hall (Frazer-Nash), GR Martin (Bianchi), and Miss Cummings (Frazer-Nash).

So over to Colwyn Bay for the Liverpool MC’s 7th annual speed trials, by permission of the Urban District Council, and the RAC, over a flying 1/2-mile course along the promenade between Old Colwyn and Colwyn Bay Pier. Harvey was said to have gone over the course at over 83 mph in practice, but he again broke his gear-lever and did not reappear. Ftd finally went to Joyce’s new AC, which clocked 22 secs, equal to 81.82 mph. The small-car class winners were Beardsell (Aston-Martin), Braid (Austin Seven), Boston (Horstman), Beek (Austin Seven). and Joyce (AC). Runners-up included Miss Turner (Bugatti), Harvey (Sports Alvis), Davenport, (Frazer-Nash) and Higgins (Austin Seven). At the Worcester MC and MCC Madresfield speed trials, over a straight ss kilometre, Dr Benjafield’s 3-litre Bentley made ftd in 17 secs, Harvey’s Alvis managing 38.4 secs, and Boston’s Horstman 40 secs. Other class winners were Beck (“Brooklands” Austin Seven) and Lones (Morgan).

The Midland AC’s Shelsley Walsh hill-climb was the next big event and was very well stocked with spectators. The marshals rang bells to warn onlookers of approaching cars, at all events when the sedate, well-silenced touring cars were running. Harvey hit the bank after a hectic skid on his Alvis and continued with burst tyre, buckled wheels and a damaged half-shaft. Mays with the Villiers-tuned Brescia-Bugatti was much steadier and clocked 50.8 secs. Hall’s Aston-Martin was steady (52.8 secs.), Davenport’s Frazer-Nash skidded considerably and seemed wrongly ratioed (61.2 secs), Beardsell’s Hodgson had a really bad time, bursting three tyres on the bank, while Joyce’s AC was both fast and secure (51 secs). It was left to Cyril Paul’s Beardmore to establish a new record for the hill, and by a goodly margin over 1923—his time was 50.5 secs. Incidentally, some 1,100 cars and over 400 motor-cycles were accommodated in the car park at the foot of the hill. ER Hall towed his Aston-Martin to the venue on a trailer constructed from Ford bits, behind a £30 1908 45-hp Renault. Meanwhile, the remarkable Land’s End to John O’ Groats Trial had happened, organised by the MCC. Just consider the sort of cars which cheerfully clocked in after this run, remembering that they had first had to get down to Land’s End and that most of them presumably had some 700 miles to go to get home again. A Morgan, two Lagonda 11.9s, a Westwood, two “10/12” Straker-Squires, a Palladium, two “12/50” Alvis, two Austin Seven “Chummies,” a touring Austin Twelve, three early Rileys, Abbott’s Clyno, the Leveretts with big Arrol-Johnston and little Galloway, Donald Healey’s Ariel Ten, Sangster’s Ariel, two 9.5 Rhodes, a Swift Ten, a Bean Fourteen, two different-sized Durants, a flat-twin Rover Eight, Tatlow’s 10-hp Lea-Francis, a flat-twin ABC, a “10/15” Fiat and Driskell’s DFP. Tough, eh ! Various other trials happened also about this time, but we will concentrate on speed events.

At Porthcawl the S Wales AC ran races over very wet sands. Joyce’s AC made ftd, covering the ss mile in 49.6 secs. Cook’s TT Vauxhall taking 50.6 secs, and Moir’s Bentley 52.8 secs. Joyce used improvised wooden mudguards. A hotted-up “10/15” Fiat managed 60.8 secs. Class winners numbered Sgonina (GN), Wilson-Jones (200-Mile Salmson), Joyce (AC), Paul (Beardmore), Neale (Sunbeam), Cook (TT Vauxhall), Howell (Austin Seven), Wakley (Alvis), and Neale (Beardmore). The next day the same club staged its Caerphilly hill-climb. Mays had an unfortunate day out. His mechanic broke an axle shaft restarting the faster Bugatti in traffic, and after replacing this, gear trouble occurred on the older car on the line. His new car then suffered misfiring and, on its second run, when this was cured, the axle shaft broke again, the near-side rear wheel bounding ahead of the car. Finally, his van broke down that day going to the hill. However, he made fastest 11/2-litre time, in 63.2 secs. Marshall left London at 5 am, climbed well if somewhat over-geared, and immediately left for home. Miss Pink’s sv Aston Martin carried an active Lionel Martin as passenger. Ftd went to Moir’s Bentley–a flat-radiator car-in 61.4 secs. Class winners were Sgonina (GN), Jones (Salmson), Lewis (Gwynne), Mays (Bugatti), Heath (Darracq), Paul (Beardmore), Neale (Beardmore), Sully (HE) [Does anyone know where Sully is now ?], Moir (Bentley), Cook (Vauxhall), Wakley (Sports Alvis), Neale (Sunbeam), and Miss Pink (Aston-Martin). The same week-end the Kent and Sussex LCC held speed trials over a 700-yd course along the West Parade at Bexhill, the competitors running in pairs. Ftd was secured by Cushman’s Bugatti in 28 secs, but Miss Cummings’s Frazer-Nash took only 28.6 secs. JA Hall’s GN “Kim II” had trouble, but Lewis Humphries’s GN ran well and Rolfe’s GN clocked 31.4 secs. Scudamore’s Austro-Daimler did 34.4 secs, and Whale got his Track single-seater Calthorpe up the course in 31.8 secs, while Dingle’s Austin Seven managed 31.2 secs. Class victors were Boulding (Amilcar), Eaton (Aston-Martin), Rose (AC), Simmins (Talbot-Simmins), Cushman (Bugatti), and Miss Cummings (Frazer-Nash).

On the same day the Surbiton MC ran a Brooklands meeting, the winners of the various short handicaps comprising Morgan (Aston-Martin “Green Pea”), 78.79 mph, Miller (Bianchi), 88.78 mph, Thomas (Lanchester). Sprint event followed sprint event. The Norfolk MC held speed trials at W Harling Heath over a kilometre course, Katon’s Marseal doing 36.53 secs over the ss course and 28.34 secs over the fs run. Then, at S Harting, the JCC’s hill, Raymond Mays lowered his 1922 record by over 2 secs, his Bugatti “Cordon Bleu” clocking 57.2 secs. Cars were weighed in Midhurst station yard, and official cars escorted competitors on the six-mile run out to the hill to obviate any dirty work between weighbridge and starting line. The course measured about 7/8 of a mile and Spartan horns warned the well-marshalled crowd of a car leaving the line. All the regular entrants were there and ran well, but Mays experienced a steering derangement with “Cordon Rouge,” Davenport had petrol feed bothers, Eaton’s Gwynne broke a valve spring and Lewis’s Frazer-Nash “Rodeo Special” shed a rear tyre at Quarry Bend and finished on the rim at 50 mph. JA Hall on “Kim II” left the road altogether, but escaped unhurt. Class winners were Miss Pink (Aston-Martin), BH Austin (Bugatti), Hordern (Alvis), Heath (Darracq), Makins (Darracq), Hall (Frazer-Nash), and Mays (Bugatti). At Brooklands the Essex MC had had a meeting at which Abbott’s surprising Clyno had won a race at 70.74 mph, and then the MCC staged a similar meeting, but only held one race, due to Jupiter Pluvius, which Morgan’s Aston-Martin won.

Heavy rain also fell during the Yorkshire Centre’s Ringinglowe hill-climb, where a short flying start was given up the straight 1-in-20 course. Joyce held the day, the AC making ftd in 26.8 secs, and also winning the experts unlimited class in 28 secs, against Miss Mitchell’s 29.4 secs. with a Straker-Squire Six and Sisson’s 30.2 secs with a “18.2” Austro-Daimler. Blake’s Morgan clocked 30 secs, and Miss Turner’s Brescia-Bugatti 30.6 secs. The Boulogne Week and the proximity of the “200” toned things down at this time but, nevertheless, a sand meeting was run off at Southport and a speed hill-climb at Kingsdown. There was also a Bradford MC and LCC handicap speed hill climb on the Yorkshire moors, in which a Horstman and a “12/50” Alvis were the best performers. Then the Rochdale speed trials were held over a ss 1/2-mile on the Chessenden Bar Road, near Edenfield, Leadbetter’s Alvis winning every class for which it was entered, also making ftd.

The Brighton and Hove MC and LCC held speed trials along the famous Madeira Drive half-mile, cars running in pairs from a standing start. Joyce and the irrepressible AC made ftd in 28 secs, going over the line at about 100 mph. Miss Cummings did second fastest time with her V-twin Frazer-Nash in 31.6 secs, before her 2nd gear dog jammed and she had to retire. Class victors were Miss Cummings, Boulding (Amilcar), Abbott (Clyno), Simmins (Talbot-Simmins), Hon G Cunliffe (GN), Lewis (2-cylinder Frazer-Nash), and Joyce (AC). In September there was a speed trial at York, in which Trubie Moore’s Horstman covered the 1/3-mile course in 22.4 secs (ss), speed trials on the sand at Wallasey, at which Boston’s Horstman and Paxman’s Frazer-Nash won the various classes, and a Pembrokeshire CLCC’s Arnold hill-climb, where Marendaz’s Marseal took the honours.

The scene now changes to Holme Moss, where Raymond Mays with “Cordon Bleu” broke the course record for the climb, held by Campbell’s Sunbeam, by 8.6 secs. He clocked 77.2 secs., while ER Hall’s Aston-Martin took 80.2 secs. Mays had a very nasty experience beyond the finish, when his throttle jammed open and the magneto switch failed, necessitating ramming the bank. The Wallington MC ran two races at Brooklands, of which the winners were Duller’s Marlborough-Thomas and Cushman’s “200” Bugatti. Southport was also the scene of’ sprint activities, with 10,000-12,000 spectators. Upton’s Crouch and Moss’s Morgan were the most successful over the 4/5th-mile sprint, the amateur’s mile sprint was won by Shepherd-Walsh’s Riley and the 10-mile race by Porter’s Bentley from Simister’s Alvis and Marendaz’s Marseal.

The Essex MC had another Brooklands meeting, terminating in a 50-mile Outer Circuit race, won by Morgan’s Aston-Martin, the shorter races being won by Benjafleld (Bentley), and Eaton’s new Gwynne (which had a GN chassis using the chain transmission, a seat behind the rear axle, and very comprehensive streamlining) at 78.18 mph Mays, now using an AC, lowered the record at Saltersford by no fewer than 9 secs., while Joyce’s AC made ftd at the Kent and Sussex LCC’s Bexhill-on-Sea speed trials, Joyce beating K Don’s blown Anzani AC and breaking the old course record set up by Miss Cummings with the still-famous chain-driven Bugatti “Black Bess.” Class winners at Bexhill were Marendaz (Marseal), Miss Cummings (Frazer-Nash), Boulding (Amilcar), Cunliffe (Aston-Martin), and Humphries (GN). The active Essex MC next held its Kop hill-climb, Joyce’s now famous single-seater AC making ftd, to do which it crossed the line up the 1-in-51 gradient at over 80 mph. Joyce’s time was 26.8 secs, while Marendaz’s Marseal obtained six class wins. The Littlehampton and D MC actually obtained permission from the Southern Railway to hold speed trials at Ford Road, Arundel, over a 1/2-mile course. Ftd went to a sports Hispano-Suiza in 23 secs, but Miss Cummings’s Frazer-Nash clocked 23.4 secs, Simpson Lee’s Alvis 30.2 secs, Calder’s Horstman 30.8 secs, and Havers’s Gwynne 38.4 secs. With this the season seems to have concluded.

This condensed history of the 1924 season we deem worth publishing for several reasons. Doubtless exiled readers will derive fun from turning up the divers venues on the map and perhaps even visiting some of them. Club secretaries should ask themselves if there is any reason why enthusiasm should not be as keen after this war as after the 1914-18 example. Students of design may care to compare the speeds established in 1924 with those achieved just before this war. In 1925 public road speed events were banned and private courses had to he found, which was a distinct, setback. But gradually more and better venues came into being until, by 1939, the sprint calendar was decently full again. Now we look like losing Wetherby in the north and Lewes in the south, and no available opportunity should be lost to secure fresh venues for post-war events. The following table (not complete) summarises the last year of completely free speed.