Swansea M.C. Rally of the Vales
The first cars to start from Swansea were started by the Deputy Mayor. No. 1. R.H.G Rumble (M.G.-A), was followed by the 1957 and 1958 winner W.G. Cawsey, trying to make it a “triple.” The remaining 43 cars, less a few non-starters, left Swansea, to be followed by 35 cars from Gloucester and after them by the remaining 22 cars from Cardiff.
All routes converged at Ebbw Vale and followed a combined route to a point outside Brecon. The first route card section started from Brecon after a 10-minute break. This section of 15 miles terminated outside Cray near the reservoir. The first section claimed several victims, some of whom appeared to be unable to read a straight forward route card and were not seen again.
On reaching the end of the route card section the competitors were faced with a full navigation section of 150 miles with 32 map references. This section was a real sorter-out and needless to say the “chaff” was soon sorted from the “wheat.” The section became progressively tighter and time lost crept up to the limits, so several controls were cut out in order that the end of the section could be reached in time. Many more fell out during this section, including Tony Lister (A35), who after failing to negotiate a rather sharp corner became inverted in a gully. Other competitors who rushed to help saw the occupants climb out through the back window none the worse for their experience. Hunt (Zephyr) tried motoring over a hedge but the bank was too hard and he became stationary, with the fan drilling a rather neat hole in the radiator. Weather conditions which were atrocious, with pouring rain at the start, cleared at about 10 p.m., to give way to nasty fog patches. Very many competitors failed to reach the end of the section in time, including the 1957/58 winner, who was unfortunately compulsorily retired.
After a refreshing 90-minute halt with ham and eggs at High Noon, near Carmarthen, the cars were ready for the “off” on the next section of another 30 map references through Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire, and ultimately back to High Noon again. The pattern was the same as on the previous section but no more “bent” machinery.
The rally concluded with a very crafty regularity section which finished at an acceleration test. It was unfortunate that the rain was again coming down heavily, so times varied considerably.
The termination of the event at the Caswell Bay Hotel saw a welcome breakfast—a lot more had paid to eat than actually sat down. Here, unfortunately, the organisers have to pay for what they order, not for what the competitors eat.
After all the hardships of the event it is gratifying to see one car lost only 30 marks and another only 31 marks. However, it was no dice for the sports cars, the saloons certainly having a field day.
One competitor said to another, “I have never been on a rally run by this Club before but it has been the toughest, best marshalled event I have ever been on.” This was the view of a National and International rally driver, so the Club is hoping that having met one of the requirements of the R.A.C. for a National Permit they will be successful and be able to provide a National event on December 3rd/4th, 1960.
1st: E. Malkin/G. A. A. Robson (Sunbeam). 30 marks lost.
2nd: B. S. Harding/H. J. C. Liddon 31 marks lost.
Best in general classification (opposite group): P. G. Giblott/David Stone, 39 marks lost.