SPORTING EVENTS OF THE MONTH. Gloucestershire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, Surrey, and Warwickshire.
TO judge from the enthusiasm with which thos( motoring sportsmen entered for the few sporting events which are organised during the winter months, it would seem that there is room for more, and a strong likelihood that were others to be promoted, their success would not long be in doubt. It is true that this year’s Southport–Scarborough event rather seems, in its lack of entries, to give the lie to our optimistic claim, but before accepting the Southport experience as a denial of the truth of our statement, we should like the opportunity to investigate some of the extraiieo.us circumstances, and, more especially, to hear the opinions of those who arranged it, as well as to learn from those who abstained, why they did not take part. We are, we must confess, particularly astonished to learn of the lack of success of the Northern venture, for our own view of the North-country man is that he is not by any means behind his fellow sportsman of the southern counties in his liking for a good sporting day or even a couple of days.
The London—Gloucester Event.
Apart from the London–Exeter, which, as it has now undoubtedly reached the stage of being a classic, is reported separately, the palm for interest must, we think, be given to the Winter Reliability Trial of the North-West London Motor Club, which was run on December the 13th, from London to Gloucester and back. The course followed lay through Watford, Tring, Princes Risborough, Chinnor, Oxford, Faringdon, and Cirencester to Gloucester, returning through Cheltenham, Winchcomb, Northleach, Witney, Oxford, Chinnor, Amersham, and again Watford. The total distance was approximately 230 miles out and home, and was scheduled to be covered at an average speed of 20 miles per hour. On the outward journey there were two observed hills, and four time checks : inwards, there were four observed hills, three time checks, and a non-stop portion of about twelve miles in length.
The start was made from the Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, at 7.30 a.m. on the Saturday morning, in cold, but dry and seasonable weather. The organisers were rewarded with a turn out of 150 competitors. The test hills on the outward journey were Waterworks Hill, near Tring, and Whyteleafe. The absence of rain, and the generally favourable weather conditions robbed these hills of practically all their terrors, and to all intents and purposes it is safe to say that they were both surmounted without even a suggestion of failure. We say to all intents and purposes, because the only competitor who had trouble, had to thank a mechanical failure, which was quite apart from any road or route difficulty with which she (for it was a lady competitor) might have expected to meet. Had the weather held out, this trial might have developed into little more than a pleasant day’s tour. As it happened, however, the weather did not hold out, but, rather emphatically, broke down, and that just
when what we might term a return to normal 1924 weather was most unwelcome, for the precise period when it reappeared, was just as the more difficult portion of the course was entered, and some of the later competitors had to climb Gambles Lane, one of the observed test hills on the return journey as the rain began to fall. After that the weather gradually grew worse until, as night came on, we experienced perhaps the very worst that it could be expected to do in the early days of December, namely, high wind, conveying, with the maximum of quantity as well as the minimum of temperature, that combination of snow, ice and rain which is more commonly known as sleet.
Gambles Lane, as a matter of fact, was responsible for the first failures, but, not to make this an “agony column,” we will refer only to those whose efforts met with success, in greater or less proportion. The outstanding performances, having in view the size and power of the machines which they bestrode, were made by A. C. Payne, on a 348 Connaught, M. K. H. Bilney, on a Rex Acme of the same dimensions, and J. W. Moxon, on a diminutive Francis-Barnett. Amongst the bigger machines, W. W. Lawrence, riding a 492 Sunbeam, is worthy of special mention, as also is H. Spottiswoode (700 N.U.T.), and R. S. Davies (499 P. & M.). Amongst side cars riders G. Slade made perhaps the best climb, on his 490 overhead-valve Norton, but B. L. Bird (349 overhead-valve B.S.A.) ran him pretty close. A fine ascent was made by H. M. Hicks, on a 596 Douglas. Amongst the Morgans, which comprised the total of three-wheeled cyclecars, the only really good effort was that made by G. H. Goodall.
By the time Gambles Lane was, for all the competitors, a thing of the past, night had fallen, and the rain had set in for good. For a stretch, however, the going was not too bad. The results were as follow :
EXPERT CUP.—A. W. Brittain (B.S.A.).
GENERAL CUP.—B. K Belfield (Aston-Martin).
Novice CUP.—H. X. G. Garland (Salmon).
Noierit WEST LONDON CUP.—Mrs. R. V. Dykes (Alvis).
CUPS.—B. Alan Hill (Rhode), J. H. Arthur (Lagonda), J. P. Dingle (Austin Twelve), J. Havers (Riley), R. Abbott (C.lyno), Mrs. R. V. Dykes (Alvis), W. Cooper (Morris-Cowley) and Rex G. Mundy (Steyr).
SPOONS.—H. Stevens (Lagonda), S. B. Harris (two-litre D.P.P.), P. J. Chessum (Alvis), H. Goodwin (Bean), K. W. B. Sanderson (Ariel), N. Hurst (Standard) and C. Pinch (Ariel).
1′ GENERAL CLASS SPECIAL SILVER CUP.—S. R. Mardon (399 Raleigh).
” EXPERT ” CLASS SPECIAL SILVER CUP.—W. H. Hardman (347 Matchless).
” Novice ” CLASS SPECIAL SILVER CUP.—W. H. Evans (499 Sunbeam).
N.W. LONDON M.C. CUP.—(for best performance by a Member —Mrs. It. V. Dykes (x,496 Alvis car).
SPORTING EVENTS OF THE MONTH—continued.
TEAM AwARD.—Winners : N.W. London M.C. (140 marks lost), six finishers (G. F. Simond, K. M. Hurst, M. K. H. Bilney, J. L. Johnson, E. Eland and E. M. Grose) ; 2. Civil Service M.A. (248 marks lost), five finishers : 3. Oxford M.C. (263 marks lost), five finishers ; 4. Camberley and District M.C. (659 marks lost), five finishers. SILVER CUPS (95 per cent. marks).—J. J. Hall (980 I’. and P.), W. M. Cooper (492 Sunbeam), C. H. King (348 Douglas), V. C. Anstice (348 Douglas), E. W. Spencer (348 Douglas), K. J. Davis ( 249 B.S.A.), I. F. Anderson (293 Connaught), R. B. Clark (172 Diamond), J. J. Boyd-Harvey (348 Raleigh), L. N. Stannah (498 Arid), F. J. R. Heath (1,3°1 Henderson), F. N. Wood (348 A. J.S,), B. Kershaw (349 Omega-B. & S.), L. Yendall (349 O.K.), H. Spottiswoode (700 N.U.T.), C. J. Wheeler (499 Triumph),
L. E. Chirney (346 Rudge), W. K. Hanning (348 Cedos), A. C. Payne (348 Connaught), H. E. Surman (344 Zenith), B. H. Gifford (348 Beardmore-Precision), M. K. H. Miley (348 RexAcme), G. H. Goodall (1,096 Morgan), 0. S. Brideutt (499 Dunelt sc.), H. M. Hicks (596 Douglas Sc.), R. P. Purnell (348 Connaught sc.), E. C. Lunniss (98o Matchless sc.), S. G. Smith ( 1,075 Morgan), F. G. Morgan (348 Cotton sc.), L. A. Welch (349 O.K. Sc.), L. V. Freeman (1,204 Indian sc.).
SILVER SPOONS (90 per cent. marks).—R. S. Davies (499 P. & M.), F. D. Forster (211 Levis), H. B. Thompson (348 A. J .S.), C. P. minnett (499 Sunbeam), R. P. C. Franklin (349 New Scale), P. F. Lucas (492 Sunbeam), G. F. Simond (347 Sunbeam), J. B. Perkins (499 Triumph), W. W. Lawrence (492 Sunbeam), E. J. Pike (499 Sunbeam), L. Hedlam (596 Scott), D. P. C. Neave (596 Scott), A. C. Godfrey (493 B.S.A.), G. Baxter (348 Indian), J. L. Jolmson (499 Triumph sc.), C. Cleare (798 Raleigh sc.), R. Pugh (499 Triumph sc.), and H. G. Uzzell (980 New Imperial sc.). CERTIFICATES (within half an hour of Schedule Time).—W. V. Beach (490 Norton), F. W. S. Osborne (348 Raleigh), K. M. Hurst (490 Norton), C. B. Hemphill (147 Excelsior), N. Hall (172 Excelsior), G. I,. Werts (172 Ray), A. H. S. Love*(98o Matchless), I’. C. Spokes (348 Cedos), F. W. C. Bennett (292 O.K.),
M. Pearson (247 Levis), C. S. Hubbard (348 Indian), R. Snell (799 A. J.S. sc.), L. Parker (494 Douglas s.c.), E. Bland (770 B.S.A. sc.), V. T. Brennan (976 Royal Enfield sc.), E. M. Grose (633 Norton sc.), W. S. Braidwood (348 A.J.S. sc.), W. H. Browning (799 A. J.S. sc.), H. W. Furness (980 Rex-Acme Sc.). Miss R. M. Mackintosh (348 Calthorpe se.), M. MacMahon (r,o96 Morgan), G. Stace ()8o Brough Superior sc.), J. Doland (770 B.S.A. sc.), and P. Geldard (992 Arid sc.).
The Southport–Scarborough run, organised by the Southport Motor Club, was instituted in the hope that
it would eventually prove an attraction in the north, to correspond with the London–Exeter in the South. So far the results have been disappointing, as only fourteen competitors turned up, of whom twelve were motor cyclists, the rest being car drivers. The route was roughly 150 miles each way, starting from Southport and passing through Preston, Clitheroe, Shipton., Harrogate, Thirsk, Pickering to Scarborough, where the night was spent. The homeward run was but slightly different to the outward journey. As the course was mainly over roads well marked with signposts, little official marking was done, and the actual onus of finding it was placed upon the competitors, who were penalised if they left it. Amongst the hills which had to be climbed en route, were Sutton Bank, which now, as the result of the operations of the road repair authorities, has lost all its terrors, Rosedale Abbey Bank, White Horse and Greenhow.
Sutton Bank was climbed, of course, on the outward run, being actually reached just as it was turning dusk. All the competitors, however, climbed it successfully, and the subsequent run into Scarborough was accomplished without any difficulty whatever—almost without incident.
Amongst those whose performances are worthy of special mention we would place S. Doward (798 Raleigh sidecar), E. F. Dackers (490 Quadrant sidecar), E. G. Abbott and J. McGowan, both of whom were riding Matador machines.
Cole Cup Trial.
The Cole Cup Trial, organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Clubs, took place too late in November for it to be included in the December issue. These clubs chose as a route the same as that they had already used earlier in the year for the Clincher Trial. It included two well-filled official water splashes, as well as a third, not marked on the map, or officially recognised, but quite a respectable one nevertheless. Canley was the first to be negotiated, and it was, of course, an observed point. As the water was unexpectedly deep, being very nearly two feet in the centre, there were many failures at this point. A. Henley, (249 Rover), G. S. Wright (349 Humber), W. J. Montgomery (Montgomery sidecar), g A I
‘2ornson (499 Triumph sidecar), and F. H. Brown (596 Rex-Acme sidecar), all made good passages, and the same quintette, and also L. Crisp (349 Humber), were also successful in getting through the other splash at Kenilworth, without loss.
The Piece de resistance and the Waterloo of the whole party of seventeen entrants, proved to be Windmill Hill, which, with its greasy and grassy slope of i in 5, steepening to I in 3, was, as the result of the rain, absolutely unclimbable. Henley and Tomson were again prominent, for if their performances were far from perfect, at least they managed to scramble up in some sort of fashion. Other riders whose work on this, the most difficult portion of the course, was worthy of mention, were D. Brandish (348 A. J.S.) and A. Jervis (349 B.S.A.).
SPORTING EVENTS OF THE MONTH continued.
After the negotiation of Windmill Hill, a stiffish bit of cross country work had to be tackled, and thereafter a fast and slow test was arranged. A further two miles had then to be covered to the final check, which was reached just before dusk.
The Thomson Cup Trial.
The Camberley Club, which already has the name for being one of the most sporting clubs in the Southern counties, will soon acquire like fame as the organiser of Trial Routes which, as no one can deny, thoroughly deserves the title. Indeed, there are some who incline to the view that it is infame, and not fame, which will be the portion of this club if its efforts in this direction do not decelerate a little. The Camberley Club, it was, at any rate, who found the route for the Thomson Cup Trial, run under the auspices of the South Midland
Centre of the which, for sheer frightfulness—no other word fits the case—would be hard to beat. It was a course in which slithering hills, approached by right angle turns, and deep muddy water splashes, were only exchanged for country lanes which apparently had been specially trenched for the purpose of disconcerting the ill-treated riders who dared to traverse them, and, as if that were not enough, .a morass, carefully hidden behind and under a rush grown path, was also included.
Best Event Ever.
At the same time, it has to be placed on record, as showing the hardihood and true sportsmanship of the motor cycling sportsman of to-day, that the event was voted by the competitors as one of the most sporting and enjoyable that they had had for many a day, which is in strong contrast to the contrary views which we have seen expressed in some of those journals whose appreciation of the sporting side of motoring is not so keen as it should be.
So stiff and unorthodox was this course, that the organising committee had even to go to the trouble of inventing special names for some parts of it. The names themselves are significant, one of the so-called water splashes was called the Canyon, and another part of the course was well named ” Twin Rise.”
Crossing the Canyon.
Canyon was, as a matter of fact, the first redoubt which had to be taken in the course of this event. The best description that we can think of is just” Mud Bath.” Most of the failures occurred after the riders in question had got through the splash they carried so much of the mud through with them that they could not grip the moderately reasonable road surface which lay beyond, j. S. Wakelin (989 Harley-Davidson), G. Richardson (348 Raleigh), and A. B. Sparks (Scott), were amongst the successes, the first-named having equipped the driving wheel of his machine with a nonskid chain, and his outfit roared along like a tank at speed. W. Julian (Levis) also did well, and also H. R. B. Waters (499 Sunbeam), while passages of more or less satisfactory nature were made by H. L. Grimes (348 O.E.C. Blackburne), A. C. Godfrey (493 B.S.A.), R. B. Budd (348 A.J.S.), E. Wilkinson (596 Scott)
A. E. Cooke (346 Rudge)—very late, incidentally—G. Kuhn (249 Velocette), F. S. Bailey (77o B.S.A. sc.), L. V. Freeman (976 Sunbeam se.), R. L. Richardson (996 Matchless sc.), E. J. Over (989 Harley-Davidson sc.), L. Heller (249 Velocette) and E. C. Lunniss (976 Matchless sc.).
Floating Motor Cycles.
The Canyon was not more or less than a foretaste of what was to follow, and the next obstacle was more difficult. A stretch of road had enough in all conscience, on account of its surface, had been carefully hidden under water—just how the Camberley Club are able to influence the weather to aid them in their nefarious designs is not known—and through this a variety of machines were part pedalled, part driven, part carried, and part floated by their unfortunate riders. This part of the journey was best covered by Gus Kuhn, but other good performances were put up by J. A. Middleton, H. R. B. Waters, H. L. Grimes, and E. Wilkinson.
“Twin Rise” Hill was approached through a mud hole of uncertain but considerable depth. The hill itself was easy as to its first part, but the second proved anything but a twin to it, and called for considerable skill in its negotiation. Grimes, Budd, Wilkinson, Godfrey, Lunniss, and Cooke were again conspicuous, Budd perhaps taking the palm.
A Bit of One-in-three.
After the descent from this little pimple, anotheri discovered immediately after a sharp turn, had to be negotiated, and this hill_ was responsible for several failures. It was shortly after this that the corrugated section, the part to which we have referred as being specially trenched for the run (we may be mistaken about this, of course), had to be negotiated, and here again, some quite good competitors were weeded out. Then there was the concealed morass, and after that, as if we hadn’t had enough, White’s Hill with its nice little bit of boulder-strewn “one in three” to clinch an argument which might develop. Successful negotiants of this part of the course were : G. Kuhn, Budd, Wilkinson, Li Lunniss, Skidd, Godfrey, Middleton, Fairs, and Sparks. The following were the results, concerning which it is interesting to note that the premier place goes to a rider of a miniature.
AWARD. MACHINE. NAME.
Thompson Cup … Velocette Gus Kuhn.
Devil’s Punch Bowl Lagonda … P. W. White.
Lunniss Cup … Scott … … A. B. Sparkes.
The Peerless Cup … Matchless … E. C. Lunniss.
Captain’s Cup Velocette … Gus Kuhn.
All the above, with the exception of the Captain’s Cup, are Challenge Cups, to be held by the winner for a period of one year. A Miniature will be awarded with each.
SILVER MEDALS. BitoxzE MEDALS.
R. B. Budd … A.J.S. A. E. Cooke • Rudge.
R.. H. Fairs … Scott. I. L. Skidd … Enfield.
G. Richardson … Raleigh. E. J. Burt • Norton.
J. S. Wakelin … Harley. G. G. Kitson … Scott. B. Alan Hill … Rhode. F. J. R. Heath … Henderson
E. Wilkinson … Scott.
L. V. Freeman Sunbeam.