THE COLMORE CUP TRIAL.
Strenuous course for the opening event of the Competition Season.
STARTING from Stratford-on-Avon on the morning of February 19th, competitors in this trial were led via intricate bye-ways and obstacles through the heart of the Cotswolds to Cheltenham, and thence by somewhat easier roads back to their starting point.
Two hundred and fifty-six entries were received, of which sixteen were cars, the majority of whom faced the starter.
The first incident of note was the acceleration test at Aston Subedge, over a distance of about 100 yards of moderate gradient ; fastest time in this was made appropriately enough by T. Morton on an S.S. 100 Brough Superior, while good times were set up by G. Dance (Sunbeam), H. Fearnside (Sunbeam), and P. Cranmore (349 c.c. B.S.A. s/c.).
The stop and restart test in Blockley village caused little or no difficulty to any entrants, but a ,few miles further on the really difficult portion of the trial began.
This section opened with Gipsy Lane and its continuation, Langley Hill, consisting of an extremely muddy rutted track leading up among grassy hillocks. Solo riders found great difficulty in keeping their feet on the rests, while all passenger machines were liable to suffer from severe wheel-spin. It is impossible to -mention all those who made clean climbs, but among the most meritorious were P. Cramnore (B.S.A. s/c.), last year’s winner, R. MacGregor (Raleigh), A. J. Williams (Cotton), G. Stannard (Coventry Eagle s/c.), and H. S. Perrey (Ariel s/c.). Downright failures were numerous, and foot assisted ascents even more common: Generally speaking, most riders repeated their performances further up on Langley Hill, though several hitherto “clean sheets” were marred. At this point F. G. Edmond (Triumph s/c.) retired with a broken chain. A brake test was held on the slimy upper portion of Gambles Lane, but owing to the conditions, caused little difficulty, only nine motor-cyclists failing to pull up between the tapes. Then followed the most difficult obstacle of the whole trial, to wit, New Colmore Hill or Mill Lane ; this is a long muddy lane winding up on to Cleeve Hill, gradually steepening to a section of 1 in 4 gradient, thickly coated with mud and dead leaves. Owing to its great length it was a great strain on the riders’ powers of maintaining
equilibrium, while owing to the heavy going and not inconsiderable gradient many engines were hard put to to develop the necessary “horses.” Once more P. Cranmore, in the lead, made a good climb and seethed to be again a likely winner of the premier award. J. H. Amott on a solo B.S.A. was also good, as were B. Kershaw (James), G. Wright (Hutnber), and Wilmot Evans (Triumph), among the solo riders, while the best side-car climbs were registered by G. W. Walker (Sunbeam), H. S. Perrey (Arid), F. W. Giles (A. J.S.), and G. Stannard (Coventry Eagle). All the four-wheelers failed, though a very fine attempt was made by Harcourt (Austin 7). The remainder of the entry either footed, fell or failed through hitting the bank or losing wheelgrip. After a welcome lunch stop at Cheltenham, competitors were required to start their engines in 8 seconds from cold, and in spite of gloomy forebodings to the contrary, and much criticism recently levelled against the starting of modern motor-cycles, roughly ninety five per cent. of the entry were successful. The afternoon run included Bushcombe and Old Stanway Hills, and some miles of difficult ” colonial” sections, calculated to cause late arrival at the first time check. The two hills did not worry many, though a few side-cars suffered wheel-spin, and some of the less fortunate solo riders found they had lost some of their horses. The time check too must have caused the loss of some marks, as the 20 m.p.h. average was not easily maintained over the section immediately preceding the village of Stanton.
The rest of the route was over fairly easy roads back to Stratford-on-Avon, two other hills, Neakings and Dor Knap, being omitted at the last minute.
Two hundred and six motor-cyclists completed the course, while of the cars only two Austin 7’s arrived in time to sign the check sheet.
Altogether, a thoroughly sporting and well organised event, and a fitting opening to the 1927 season.
COLMORE Cup: Alan Watson (493 Sunbeam sc.). WATSON SHIELD: G. Stannard (980 Coventry Eagle sc.). ERIC WALKER CuP : J. W. MOX013. (172 Francis-Barnett). CALTHORPE TROPHY: J. B. Arrowsmith (249 Dunelt).
HUBERT HASSALL Cup: N. P. 0. Bradley (493 Sunbeam Sc.).
CARLESS SOUVENIR: H. S. Perrey (497 Ariel sc.).
SPECIAL MERIT AWARDS: J. H. Amott (349 B.S.A.), G. F. Povey (348 Velocette), H. S. Kershaw (495 James), B. L. Bird (493 B.S.A. sc.), H. G. Uzzell (493 B.S.A. sc.) and F. W. Giles (348 A.J.S. sc.).
TEAM PRIZE: Douglas Solo Team : V. C. King, C. H. King, and E. W. Spencer. In addition to the above special awards, 32 gold medals
were awarded to drivers of ,.k.J.S., Ariel, B.S.A., Cotton, Douglas, Dunelt, Grindlay, James, Levis, Matchless, Morgan, New Imperial, N.U.T., Raleigh, Rex Acme, Royal Enfield, Scott, Sunbeam, and Triumph machines, while 79 silver medals were won.
Among several interesting catalogues sent to us, special mention must be made of a most attractive and artistically prepared brochure issued by the Lea-Francis concern. This contains some beautiful coloured plates of their many interesting models, both at rest and in action. Other noteworthy lists are those of Joseph Lucas, Ltd., Desmo Accessories, Aster Cars and the Triumph Cycle Co., Ltd.
Successful Women Riders.
It is well known that several women competition riders put up performances which compare favourably with those of men, but it is seldom that they triumph completely over the male sex—in motor-cycling matters at any rate ! Yet in the recent Archery Sports Trial, a team entered by the London Ladies’ Motor-Cycling Club, and consisting of Miss K. N. Kerridge and the Misses Debenham, on light-weight B.S.A. machines, won the team prize against six teams of men riders.