Lightweight Welsh vintage

Author

Bill Boddy

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The Light Car & Edwardian Section of the VSCC held another of its traditional two-day Welsh events on April 16/17, based at the Abemant Lake Hotel, Llanwrtyd Wells. Saturday afternoon was devoted to the usual driving-tests in the hotel grounds, but punctuated this time by a road run and tests elsewhere — I heard the one-in-four Devil’s Staircase mentioned. Sunday wass devoted to the trial, using 10 varied hills found by Seymour Price. Entries were down a little, and there were some shared cars, but it was none the less enjoyable for that.

The runners were further decimated by the absence of David Roscoe’s Overland and Ian Rendall’s Stutz Bearcat, Edwardianism being confined to the two two-cylinder Rileys and Mike Bullett’s endearing tandem-seater Bedelia cyclecar. Tradition was again upheld when the first test, involving circling, reversing and avoiding markers, was set up in the same place as in previous years. with a chill wind for good measure. Even Luscott-Evans’ experience of Trojans did not prevent him needing two reverses at the encircling bit, with a bollard-hit to boot.

Lea’s Chummy A7 also had to to-and-fro, as did Liz Fynn in her magneto-engined Chummy, and Tedder’s Riley had arguments with the bollards. Hancock was ensconced out of the cruel wind in his wire-wheeled 9/20 Humber coupe, and the second of the Edwardian Rileys stopped better than its fellow, which, after much reversing in mid-test, overshot the stop-line with back axle juddering in protest. lenny lohns managed to lock a back wheel of her 9/20 Humber when applying its contracting rear-wheel brakes and Rosoman’s similar, albeit four-seater, Humber was seen to have similar brakes and a bone hanging from its radiator cap, the purpose of which was obscure.

The Talbot-Simmins seemed healthy and Dr Gray had his 1AP/A7 going well. David Marsh and labrador went extremley well, as usual, in their A7 top-hat saloon and Alex Thorpe drove his A7 Chummy with splendid determination. Roger Thorne tried hard in his Swift Ten but was hampered by its poor steering lock. Rouse’s Singer Junior also seemed to lack luck, and past-president James Crocker’s 12/35 Clynotook its time, appearing, like so many of us, to be about to expire from the cold. Hutchings’ A7 Chummy stalled in mid-go but a marshal ran out and wound it up, only for the same thing to happen at the stop-line — I noted that it was equipped with fog-lamps, presumably in case more stalls caused its journey home to be completed after dark.

Back to Rosoman’s Humber. He had a good try but his motor was too long for this kind of frolic; I expect he wished for his AT, perhaps like the one Simon Price drove very quickly with, as Magnus Magnusson might say, no passes. It took him to a Second Class Award, but then broke its crankshaft. The Sunday sections were mostly too dry, but the fearsome gradient at Caefagu sorted them out.

The long grassland uphill of Dolyfan had proved easy although the beaded-edge tyres of Paul Barker’s Fiat 501 wouldn’t grip. Here the somewhat improbable 7/5 hp Citroen conducted by Georgian Kynsham made a perfect ascent, although running more noisily than those which wealthy Parisian gentleman used to buy as presents for their mistresses.

Suzanne Hirst’s Morris Minor took it slowly; Charlotte Peacop’s Minor went well at the bumpy section at Liwynbarried and had an ET registration to help its upward departure. That evening the lightcarists were regaled after dinner by a fine and fondly applauded talk on his experience at Rolls-Royce by David Roscoe, who had been racing his 4.3 Alvis at Silverstone on the previous snowy Saturday.

The menu included a Peacop quiz and the next morning the Bedelia was to be seen in the hotel foyer, with manager sitting happily therein. The LC & E Section was fully up to form! Spectators’ cars included two fine Sunbeams and an unusual-looking 20 hp Austin towing a mono-wheel trailer which was halfway round the world from New Zealand. Edward Riddle had brought his Anzani Frazer Nash. And as the sun was shining again, in expected VSCC form for Sunday’s trial. The Bell at Llanyre was full of happy finishers.

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