V to C miscellany, January 1994

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Another tough event for historic cars will be the fourth Swansea MC’s Rally of the Vales on January 2, a daylight 150-mile run using some of the best of classic rally territory in the mid-winter mountains of Wales, laced with off-road special tests. This is the first round of the 1994 Welsh Speed Sport Design Welsh Historic Rally Championship. It concludes with dinner in Swansea with Stuart Turner as guest speaker. Limited to 70 crews, entries will be reserved against a returnable £10 deposit, payable to Swansea MC and an s a e, to Alun Morgan, Castle Villa, Llandello Road, Gorslas, Llanelli, Dyfed, SAI4 7LY. Funds to the British Diabetic Association.

The Hants & Berks MC organsed a memorial evening in October on the 30th anniversary of the death of Holland Birkett, who was killed while flying a light aeroplane from France to England in 1963. Birkett played a prominent part in the formative years of the 750 MC, developed their 1172 Formula, was a prolific builder of A7 Specials and later ran Bugattis, with both of which he competed in trials and races. Holly also invented the I in ordnance trials route-card and those highly-individual night trials, with amusing scenarios at the hidden checkpoints. He will also be remembered for the introduction of the Mobil Economy Runs and for much more besides, in our world.

A short replica of his hilarious night trial routes was held before the evening’s meeting in Alton, which was supported by 100 H&B members who had known Holly or had taken part in the Club events that had the Birkett stamp. It is nice to know that among those who attended to pay tribute to the memory of this unique motor-sporting personality were Joan Passini-Birkett, both Holly’s daughters, and those who knew him well, such as Joe Lowrey, Ann Jones, John Bagley, Bob Newton, Bill Bengry, Denis Jenkinson, Ronald Barker, Les Needham, Beryl Nelms, Norman Sharpe, Charles and Heather Bulmer, Dick and Nan Corthorne, Jack and Amy French, John Derisley, and Geoff Tapp, etc. The organisation was in the hands of the Club’s David Madgwick, and a Holland Birkett scatter-rally was held on December 4/5. The Club’s Hon Secretary is Bill Bonney, 283 Lodden Bridge Road, Woodley, Reading, Berks, RG5 4BE.