In spite of limited petrol the Kentish Border C.C. held their Annual Sporting Trial on December 23rd near Bexley. Twenty-eight cars were down to start, and a short road section was put on to open the proceedings, competitors arriving at the wooded country where the trials sections were marked out soon after 11 a.m.
The first hill proved an easy one for many cars, being a straight climb with a bend in the middle. Hill 3 (“Bounce”), odd-numbered sections being run off before the lunch interval, proved to be easy for Chandler’s Chandler IV and Barden’s P.A.B., but Clarke, Butler, Bailey and Waddington needed some manual assistance to get going, Waddington having to retire after becoming entangled with trees at the bottom and with a dead battery into the bargain. This hill was a fair test for all cars and about 50 per cent failed; it was a straight section with a sharp S-bend at the top. “Feet and Inches” (hill 5), another straight climb, failed some, but ” Old Sandy” (hill 7) saw a number of fine ascents. This latter section contained several S-bends but most cars made the grade. “Derestricted” (hill 9), another short steep incline with two bends half way up, failed to stop Armstrong’s Esmond and Macey’s M.A.S.
“Speed Copse.” Section 2, was one of the best hills. This consisted of a short run up to a big hollow, with a further incline to follow. Most cars made to Section 8 or 9 but best run was performed by Chappell’s S.C.S. Dees’ P.A.B. Special had steam up at this section but was soothed with the contents of a rubber hot-water bottle, and Waddington’s Cannon sheared a spare-wheel retaining nut, allowing this valuable component to wander at will.
“Shoot Up Hill” (13) foiled a good many because of the narrow track and heavy undergrowth, but ‘Pebblecombe II” was a straight ascent and about half of the competitors made very good times, most cars reaching up to about section 5.
During the lunch interval a mobile canteen provided refreshments. Competition recommenced on hill 4 (“Pebble Dash”), a straight with bends near the top. This produced a spectacular ascent on the part of Highwood in his Morris-like Exspence, but most other cars reached only as far as half way. “Blasted Stump” (hill 6), a gravel-surface hill, appeared to be simple at first sight but only Chappell’s S.C.S. succeeded in reaching the top. A narrow tree-lined section followed, “Uphill” by name, and certainly uphill by nature, at which D. F. Bailey’s DB Special performed well, several cars scraping their mudguards on trees as they went. “Mossy Bank” (hill 8) was another sticky one stopping most cars at section 3.
“The Laurels” and “Haddons Horror” then followed. Sporting progress was made at “The Laurels” but the latter hill failed a good many before they had reached even the half-way mark. Dees’ P.A.B. Special being airborne at the start. The final test was “Engine-uity,” a complex S-bend combination at which Chappell and Marsh demonstrated their prowess in a very laudable fashion, most others reaching just to half way.
Most interesting exhibit was Armstrong’s Esmond, a standard Ford-engined model but with outboard Austin axle mounted at the end of the chassis carrying a double chain drive in place of the hubs to the independent rear-wheel units. Odd man out Davis in his Austin-engined model tried very hard as usual but did not carry off any awards or trophies.– 1. G.
Harvey Cup: M. R. B. Cannon.
Alex.Trophy: G. J. Newman.
Committee Cup: P. F. Highwood.
Alex. Bronze: R. F. Chappell.
Shackel Cup: D. F. Bailey.
First-Clas Awards: P. A. Barden and B.H. Dees.
Second-Class Award: M. H. Lawson.