One of the more demanding of the VSCC’s many competitive events is the annual Lakeland Trial, held this year on November 12. It was centred on Buttermore and took in 13 “sections” including the dreaded Drumhouse, others with such appropriate names as Grisedale, Widow Hause, Spout Forge and Buttermere. Heavy rain made things even tougher than usual but 98 drivers and navigators set off into the unfriendly terrain. Nineteen cars had come on trailers, which used to give me hysterics but which I now think excusable, in view of the cost of vintage-size tyres, M-way hazards and so on. Higgins (1930 Morris Minor) found it hard going, but nobody seems to have retired. Time penalties were incurred by the A7s of Bennett, Bee, Williams, Wedlock, Uprichard, Simon Price, Rouse, Green, Flann, Marchant, Barnett, Thorpe, Miss Arnold-Forster, Dobinson, McWhir, Bullock, Knill Jones, Sellers and Gosling, the Riley 9 of Firth, the Fiat of Toms, and to show it was not only the smaller cars that the Lakeland trial delayed, Roger and Judy Collings in the 19-litre Mercedes-Maybach suffered a puncture and then grounded the petrol tank. As consolation, their youngest daughter, Sally Collings, drove the 4½-litre Bentley with great determination.
The results were astonishingly close, as they were on the Welsh Trial. On the Lakeland the premier trophy was won by Johnson’s 1923 Bugatti, by four points from Geoff Winder’s A7, and the third placing was a tie between the A7s of Henry Stringer and lames Baxter, with Tony Moy’s but another point away. Of the Class 1 third-class award winners, Raymond Pettet’s A7 tied with Debbie Diffey’s A7, and Dennis Johnson’s Frazer Nash was one point in arrears, Davis Lee’s Salmson another point behind. In Class 2 the Kirkstile Plate was won by Robin Harcourt-Smith, whose 1929 Alvis was just a point ahead of Adrian Goding’s 1925 Morris. Considering the terrible weather, this was quite remarkable. The Roy Patterson Cup went to Ian Hall’s Frazer Nash, the MacDonald Audacity Award to J Percival’s 1928 Bentley.
Results: First Class Awards: A Johnson (Bugatti). G Winder (A7), H Stringer (A7), J Baxter (A7), T Moy (A7), R Harcourt-Smith (Alvis), A Goding (Morris), Miss S Collings (Bentley). Second Class Awards: Miss J Tomlinson (GN/A7), I Flann (A7), K Hill (Crouch Helix), F Giles (Frazer Nash), D Rolfe (MG-Riley), B Gray (A7/JAP), P Longhurst (Riley 9), R Thwaites (Chrysler), E Peppercorn (1914 Renault), D Marsh (30/98), D Bond (Morris). Third Class Awards: R Pettet (A71), Debbie Diffey (A71), D Johnson (Frazer Nash), D Lee (Salmson), N Plevan (A7), B Clarke (A7), S Hirst (Riley). M Joseland (Frazer Nash), J Meeks (Austin 20), N Garland (30/98), S Baxter (Chrysler), R Marsh (Morris).