Club News, December 1953

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52

WHEN WINTER COMES . . .

So popular is motor sport that winter no longer spells a cessation of activity. It is merely that races, hill-climbs and sprints give place to trials, rallies and autocross. The Monte Carlo Rally next January dominates the scene, with the classic M.C.C. Exeter Trial. due to take place after Christmas.

MOTOR SPORT readers are unlikely to lay-up their cars in the autumn, fearful of a little fog, frost and snow, so they will again spectate at these exhilarating winter competitions. For the sake of new readers we repeat our annual advice, which is: offer to help your local club with marshalling at such events, but if they accept, do the job conscientiously. One erring official can ruin the pleasure of a lot of people. If you prefer to spectate try to arrive at the starting point of a trial or rally an hour before the official starting time, when an Official can usually be found who will either supply you with a route-card or pin-point the hills and tests on your Ordnance Survey map. You will probably be able to see several such hazards during the day, improving your knowledge of map reading and your appreciation of local scenery as you do so, but park your car sensibly so as not to obstruct competitors and officials and plan your cross-country routes between “sections” (as observed hills in modern mud-trials are called) with similar care.

Remember that your thoughtless actions, as much as those of the competitors, can bring trials and rallies into bad repute.

There is no reason at all why you should not obtain plenty of fun if you plan your day properly, without getting an ordinary car “bogged-down” or having to adopt trials-driver tactics while driving it – walking from the ordinary road to the “sections” is, after all, good exercise on a cold day. But two things are essential to justify rising early on a winter Saturday or Sunday – make sure you see something of the event and make certain you are comfortably clad for doing so. If you take the wife or girl-friend make her put on far more eclothes than seem necessary, with old one’s as the top layers, and convince her that hot food and drink, gumboots, torch and mackintosh and/or umbrella are “musts.”

We are sorry if this seems like preaching to the converted, but it is surprising how many would-be trials supporters either lose their way and see nothing or arrive at the “sections “shivering, wet and miserable.

 

FIAT 500 CLUB

The October issue of the “duplicated” magazine of the Fiat 500 Club, Squeak, Squeak, contained nostalgic stories of the Club’s rally to the Fiat factory in Turin. The welcome the members received and the Press publicity their visit occasioned should be an object-lesson to British manufacturers who receive visits – even isolated ones – from overseas visitors.

The Fiat 500 Club has a strong social conscience, even to organising picnics and river parties with swimming interludes last summer. If you are a Topolino-owner and haven’t yet joined you are missing something good. Hon. Sec.: J. A. James. 71, Grampians, Western Gate, London, W6

 

SOUTHERN JOWETT C.C.

On what was probably the wettest Sunday of the year, the Southern Jowett Car Club held its third aunual Hertfordshire point-to-point, run on November 1st. A good entry was recorded, including a number of members from invited clubs.

A punctual start was made at 10.30 a.m. when the first entrants were despatched from Hadley Green, near Barnet and required to visit thirteen points by reference to National Grid six-figure map references, before reaching the luncheon rendezvous at “The Plume of Feathers,” Tewin, where the landlord had placed at their disposal one of the lounges and most of one bar!

The morning route was through country in the Elstree, Radlett, St. Albans, Redbourne and Welwyn area and a direct route of some forty miles necessitated the crossing of three fords – almost in flood. At each point a hidden clue had to be found and recorded, points being awarded for correct clues and penalties being made for late arrivals.

During this part of the run, two cars retired due to ignition trouble caused by the weather and at least two other cars suffered the same fate in the even worse weather of the afternoon.

As the majority of entrants wished to continue for the afternoon run, a prompt start was made at 2 p.m., and twelve points on a seventy-mile tour skirting Stevenage, Luton, Whipsnade, Ashridge, Aldbury, Berkhamsted and Chipperfield, had to be visited before the final checking-in point at the Five Bells Restaurant at South Mimms, where a welcome meal awaited the return of the drenched entrants.

Only ten cars booked in and the awards were presented to the winners during the evening. In spite of the weather and ensuing difficulties, those who booked in were full of praise for the organisation of the event carried out entirely by Mr. and Mrs. D. E. White, with Mr. S. G. Clark marshalling at certain points in the morning and afternoon.

For the day’s event, the maximum number of points obtainable was 310.

Results:

Outright winner  – P. D. Bailey (U.H.U.L.M.C. – Morris Ten) … 156 points

1st S.J.C.C. Member. – F. G.Turk – (Jowett 8-h.p.) 73 points

2nd S.J.C.C. Member – Mrs. Fitzpatrick (Morris Minor) 60 points

Runner-up – Invited Clubs – A. Moore (Morris Minor)  60 points

 

HEREFORDSHIRE M.C.

The Herefordshire M.C. held their Autumn Aviation trial on November 1st, in far from ideal weather conditions. From the start at James Fryer’s garage in Hereford at 10.15 a.m., the entry of 12 cars (three others being non-starters) made their way to a very sporting course laid out by organiser, E. Lindsay Jones, which mainly utilised disused lanes and tracks in the Black Hill area of the Black Mountains near Craswall. The recent heavy rain which continued till mid-day, made the going very sticky and in several places it was hard for the drivers to reach the starting line on the hill, let alone climb the hill !

At one of the earliest hills George Turner had to retire his car owing to breakage of the rear axle locating bracket, a poor reward after his journey from Cardiff to compete. Soon after this Tony Marsh’s new Dellow, a much favoured car, seized the supercharger, the resulting lack of power compelling his retirement at the lunch break.

After the welcome halt for refreshment at the inn at Craswall, damp competitors and marshals were heartened by an improvement in the weather, and the remaining hills were then disposed of, although in places assistance from many hands and a tow rope were necessary to enable cars to reach the following hills.

To assist in eliminating ties between competitors several special teats and a timed section were included.

From the final section a weary, damp but happy band of drivers and officials returned to Hereford for tea at the Kerry Arms Hotel, where the provisional results were announced as follows:

The “Autumn Trial Trophy” for best performance. – B. J. Bodenham (Dellow supercharged).

Navigator’s Award. – D. H. Smith (38 marks lost).

Class 1 (Up to 1,500 c.c. u/s.). – 1st: W. J. Ridley (Redlue Special), 94 marks lost; 2nd: P. M. Appleton (Buckler). 105 marks lost.

Class 2 (Over 1,500 c.c. u/s. and up to 1,500 c.c.). – lst: E. J. P. Reynolds (Dellow S.), 93 marks lost; 2nd: R. B. Lowe (Dellow S.), 94 marks lost.

The “Anchor Trophy” for best performance by H.M. Club Member resident in the County: P. M. Appleton (Buckler), 105 marks lost.

 

LOUGHBOROUGH COLLEGE M.C.

The Third Inter-Varsity Rally was organised this year by the Loughborough College Motor Club. When the 51 starters, representing six universities, left the starts at Kirkby Lonsdale, Loughborough, and Redhill, the weather was atrocious.

They all had a 150-mile run to the local check at Bromsgrove and when they left there after a one hour break the weather was still atrocious.

The route followed a 350-mile loop into South Wales and back to Measham. There were 10 check points, one of which was a secret check causing no end of uncertainty. The weather made the route an organiser’s dream. It also compelled them to extend their sympathy to the very damp marshals, many of whom were on motor-cycles.

At the finish at Measham, competitors were put to three driving tests and then breakfast. Porridge was still being served at 2 p.m. on Sunday and yet seemed to meet no disapproval. The results were as follows :

Results:

Premier Award. – T. A. Carlisle (M.G.). Manchester.

2nd : W. A. Mathew (M.G.), Loughborough.

3rd : D. H. Boot (Austin), Loughborough.

Class Awards. – Class A: W. A. Mathew. Class B: T. A. Carlisle. Class C: A. D. Tasher (Vauxhall). Cambridge.

Team Award. – Ist Scuderia Mancuniana Duo – F. Abraham, N. T. W. Green, T. W. Mason.

2nd: Hazelrigg. Loughborough – R. Frank, H. R. Hughes, M. C. Martin.

 

BEDFORD A.E.C.

This Club was formed some three years ago, and has just been recognised by the R.A.C.

Their inaugural event under R.A.C. permit was the November Rally which was run over a course of about 190 miles during the afternoon and evening. This event was made a good deal tougher by competitors insisting on taking the wrong route, and, although no de-ditching gear was used, a tractor had to be summoned to assist one unfortunate in the first section.

Awards were made to first and second place in general classification; these were taken by: First, M. R. Farnell and G. Jackson, driving a 1937 Morris Eight tourer, and second, J. Wredden and R. Sorrel, driving a Lagonda Rapier.

The general objects of the Club are towards the promotion of motor sporting events at as small a cost as possible, and besides this, meetings are held on first and third Thursdays, the former being always at 8 p.m. at the Club headquarters: The “King William” in Kempstone. Hon. Competition Secretary: T. A. Beevor, 40, Mill Street, Bedford.

 

RHYL AND DISTRICT M.C.

If ever an event was settled on the road, the short night navigation run of approximately 60 miles, on November 7th, was the one, for out of 27 starters approximately one-third retired. The course set embraced an area of a radius of about six miles, but the County of Flintshire is so interlaced with narrow lanes that it provides the ideal ground for a night navigation event. A perusal of the first seven finishers reveals the fact that the accent was indeed on navigation. The winner drove a Morris Minor, second was a Mayflower, third a Javelin, fourth place was filled by a very old pre-war Austin Seven, fifth was an XK120, sixth an M.G., and seventh a Triumph Dolomite. The first seven were as follows :-

1st: K.H James (Morris Ten)

2nd: N.G. Waterhouse (Mayflower)

3rd: H.W. Synge (Javelyn)

4th: R.E. McLellen (Austin Seven)

5th: S. Kennedy (XK120)

6th: J. Roberts (M.G.)

7th: J. Chilwell (Triumph Dolomite)

 

MORECAMBE C.C.

As a change from normal there was little driving skill needed in the November Rally held on November 8th. But with difficult and sometimes obscure routes to follow, and the need for split-second tinting on the regularity section, the navigators needed all, and some more, of their skill. So much so that some would be still among the hills had they not had an envelope giving the name of the lunch halt.

Starting from Shaw’s Garage, Torrisholme, at 11.5 a.m., the competitors were routed by Halton, Caton, Wray and Ingleton to Dent where an hour’s halt was made for lunch. From Dent the competitors started the map-reading section around Barbon, Meal Bank, Burnside, Windermere, Underbarrow to finish at Bowland Bridge. This section proved to be a little too much for some, two competitors getting completely lost and having to retire.

The winner was A. H. Senior, driving his Austin A 40., J. Shaw, driving the S.M.S., won the Open Class.

Results:

1st: A.H. Senior (A40)

2nd: R. Lamb (Ford Ten)

3rd: J. Bower (Austin)

4th: E. Aldrem (Renault)

5th: J. Shaw (S.M.S.)

6th: G. Parks (A90)

7th: E.G. Vanner (Dellow)

8th: A. Caunt (M.G,TD)

9th: A. Eastwood (S.S.100)

10th: W. Rigg (Morgan)

11th: P. Latham (A40 Sports)

12th: M. Beecroft (Austin)

Retired: G. Barrow (Jaguar) and F. Bastow (A40)

 

COVENTRY AND WARWICKSHIRE M.C.

Forty-one entries were received for the Gold and Silver Goblets Trial on Sunday, November 1st. On receiving their route books complete with Ordnance map, competitors found they had to visit five points, three of them only eight or nine miles apart.

The combination of torrential rain and minor roads caused all competitors to lose marks on the road section. Two check points had alternative approaches, the more direct of which soon became deep morasses and several cars had to be man-handled to the control. The other approach in both cases was on metalled road, proving the old adage that the most direct route is not necessarily the quickest or the correct one.

In these atrocious conditions it was not surprising that seven of the first ten cars were saloons. The best performance was made by G. O. Davies in a Phase II Standard Vanguard, who lost only 2 min. on the road section.

In the afternoon competitors faced two regularity tests and a driving test at the finish: Stoneleigh Deer Park.

* * *

The permanent address and telephone number of the Hon. Secretary of the United Hospitals & University of London Motor Club are now : Mr. D. F. Bicknell, 2a, Royston Road, Richmond, Surrey. (Richmond 6570).