A HARDY ANNUAL
GOOD ENTRY AND SPORTING COURSE FOR THE LONDON-GLOUCESTER
ALTHOUGH one cannot remember the LondonGloucester ever starting from London, it used not only to go to Gloucester, but to return thence to the start. Having for some years now refrained from going to Gloucester it now elects to finish in the wilds instead of at home. All these changes of route, however, have not altered the character of this run of the North West London Club, and the 20th trial of this name, run on the 13th of last month was the same thoroughly enjoyable, sporting, well-run show that we have learnt to look forward to.
The start this year was transferred, to everyone’s satisfaction, from the desolate surroundings of the Slough Trading Estate, to the cheerful atmosphere of the Bridge Hotel at Staines, scene of many like events, and midnight saw the varied assembly getting ready for the fray.
Maidens Grove—By Night.
The first hill was Maidens Grove, whose surface is fairly permanently slippery at this time of year, and though not difficult, was made harder by being tackled in the dark. The posts, which are being fixed on the hill at present, cut down the available room, and one or two motors bent wings by being a bit too frolicsome on the lower part of the hill.
M.G. Midgets were entered in force, and registered some excellent climbs and a few failures, Crump, Welch and Price representing the former.
G. A. Lester’s De Soto was not too steady, and proceeded to knock itself about on the posts mentioned above, and was pushed up. Miss Roper’s A.C. failed in an overheated condition while Chetwynd (LeaFrancis) got up—but only just !
A refreshing exhibition was provided by the FrazerNashes which all rushed up in a joyful manner, Hopkins and Ponting being the fastest.
From Maidens Grove the trial was simple going to the check at Farringdon, and thereafter there was nothing but the rain to make things unpleasant till Cheltenham and breakfast. Having fortified themselves against the elements, the elements relented, and the stiffest part of the course was tackled under very pleasant conditions.
Five observed hills came close together and kept everybody busy. Stancombe, Bismore, Mackhouse, and Knapp, produced very few failures, and Bownham, which followed was not difficult, but caught many unawares who did not maintain sufficient speed to rush the slimy section at the top. The next excitement was provided by the restart on Bushcombe, and many failures were caused not by the surface, but by lack of power. M.G. Midgets with one
or two exceptions, were again effective, as were the small Triumphs. Other good performances were recorded by Chetwynd’s Lea-Francis, May’s Ceirano, Hopkin’s Frazer-Nash, and Foster and Livesey on Wolseley Hornets, while the larger classes produced a rousing performance when W. M. Couper shot up on his supercharged Lagonda.
Mill Lane was cut out as being likely to cause too much baulking, and the next and final test of importance was the climb of Ferris Court. This is quite a long hill with an acute right hand hair-pin, which called for good driving without being unfair in any way. This hill was made the scene of a restart and acceleration test, which included the hairpin. As a clean climb was only recorded if the time was within 10% of the class average, some fireworks were to be expected, and duly occurred.
The Triumph Sevens were good and had ample power, while the M.G. Midgets upheld their reputation. Among the larger cars things were livelier, however, and the terrific getaway of the Frazer-Nashes led Buting and Hopkins to be over enthusiastic in approaching the hairpin, with the result that they both crashed into the bank good and hard. Their cars did not appear to mind this treatment in the least, however, and they restarted and disappeared over the top. Lester in another Nash, however, showed that a little restraint would have saved them from failing as he came round neatly and made a good climb.
The Wolseley Hornets were again impressive while Baker’s Lagonda was neat and fast, as was Miss Allan on a similar car.
It was only a few miles on to the finish. at Birdlip, where all competitors, successful or otherwise, agreed that it was a thoroughly good trial, and that many thanks are due to the North West London Club and their various willing helpers. The following cars checked in at the finish :—
L. A. Welch, J. B. Carver, J. A. Berry, E. A. Denton, R. V. Price, T. G. Clarke, M. F. L. Falkner and A. C. Fairclough (M.G. Midgets) ; Miss V. Worsley and G. H. R. Chaplin (Alta-Austin Sevens) ; R. C. Prince and W. L. Watson (Austin Sevens) ; J. F. Cooknell, C. H. Lawford, C. F. Widmann, R. A. Roy, and H. W. Wells (Triumph Super Sevens) ; C. V. Wells, R. J. W. Appleton, and H. C. Hunter (Riley Nines) ; V. H. ‘Fuson (Fiat) ; C. A. Biddle (Salmson) ; E. C. Lester, B. Johnson-Ferguson, W. A. Ponting, R. L. Bellamy, and D. G. Hopkins (FrazerNashes) ; F. N. Foster and C. H. Livesey (Wolseley Hornets) ; W. J. Haward (Bayliss-Thomas); Miss L. M. Roper and Miss E. F. M. Caulfield (A.C.’s) ; M. W. B. May (Ceirano) ; Hon. A. D. Chetwynd (Lea-Francis) ; J. R. H. Baker, W. M. Couper, G. W. Gemmel’, Lord de Clifford, and Miss M. Allan (Lagondas) ; G. W. Olive (Standard) ; C. S. Hollinghurst (2-litre Rover) ; R. M. Mere (M.G. Six) ; E. A. L. Midgley and E. H. L. Sexton (Fords) ; A. H. de Solla (Crossley).