THE-4, INTFR-VARSITY TRIAL
IF ever there was an event which fully qualified for the title ” Amateur” in every way it is the Intervarsity Trial, and the 1930 event run off on the 15th of last month was no exception. The thoroughly cheerful spirit which characterises this show gives it an atmosphere shared by no other. Little details of the route, regulations, etc., don’t seem to worry anybody. and the spirit in which the whole event is run is fairly well shown by the fact that at the end of the trial nobody could say who had won because the organisers had left the formula at home and no one could remember it ; though much exercise in mathematics was provided at the meal following the trial by everybody submitting their own ideas of what the formula should be !
Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to get a course which is suitable for both motor cycles and cars and the course used this year, although quite a good one from the point of view of cars, was not in our opinion anything like stiff enough for the motor cycles. We do not like to think it, but there seems a tendency to make this event too easy, or for what other reason would Alms Hill have been cut out of the trial just because the previous day a little rain had fallen ? Alms Hill dry is easy, whereas the same hill wet is a real test of riding without being in any degree unfair, and although we would not advocate using this hill for cars they can quite easily be sent another way, while any motorcyclist who considers himself fit to ride in any trial should be able to tackle a wet Alms Hill and expect to get up clean. Several of the hills in this trial were really not worth while observing at all as the observers merely sat and shivered while one climb after another was made without any difficulty. The first hill, Hastoe, came in this category but Hawridge which followed became the cause of trouble owing to some slimy patches which made it impossible to rush it and the majority of the motorcycle competitors came considerably unstuck, the best climb being Dykes’ (P. & M. C.) who throughout showed a very good form indeed, riding extremely steadily. Murray (Sunbeam 0.) also made a good climb but the rest of the motorcycle
competitors were very nervous or incompetent. S. A. Scott got his Vauxhall firmly embedded and so managed to provide work to keep the spectators from catching cold. Shortly after this, the meaning of the well-known phrase “the onus of finding the course rests with the competitor,” became evident, a large number of them proceeding to scour the countryside in the hope of finding the next hill ! Unfortunately there seemed to be a complete absence of dye on the roads and though such cleanliness is highly desirable in the interest of preserving the beauties of our countryside, we could not help feeling that the said beauties would be sacrificed in a good cause during the trial if competitors could be made to find their way easily thereby. The system of fixing cards to trees, telegraph poles and other items of interest on the landscape is hardly sufficiently conspicuous, and by the time one has missed one of these and arrived at another from the wrong direction, it is not very easy to regain the course in the right direction. The next few observed hills call for no comment beyond the fact that the observers would have been better employed elsewhere, but Maidens Grove produced some more amusement for the spectators and again showed that the standard of riding, at any rate as far
as two wheelers are concerned, does not seem to have improved in the last year or so at our famous seats of learning. P. K. Dykes again made a good climb but W. T. Pitt (Brough Superior C.), Brittain (B.S.A. C.) parted fairly violently from their models through taking the wrong course, while F. E. Wilson managed to pilot his Rudge safely but not too confidently to the summit. C. S. Jones (C.) on an Ariel made an effective climb while Murray appeared to have some difficulty in directing his Sunbeam up the narrow way, but managed to make a clean climb and avoid going over the edge Lutman Norton (0.) made a rousing climb and managed to keep a good course. W. M. May on his Ceirano seemed to be in a very considerable hurry during the whole of the trial and started to make a fast climb but unfortunately failed owing to a wheel spin higher up. The cars on the whole made a much better show than the motorcycles, and King’s Salmson and Bevan.’s Bugatti made good climbs for Cambridge and Oxford respectively. The Austins, driven by V. L. Willis and T. S. Fisher, were also good, while Bellamy (Derby Special) got up, but only just. The M.G. Midgets and Rileys including J. S. Neale, C. S. Scrutton and Ripley, were good. Lewknor Hill was by no means as bad as we have known it but its chalk surface was just sufficiently moist to catch the unwary and its ruts were about the same con
dition as usual, that is fairly deep. By this time the order of the trial had become very vague -and cars and motorcycles were arriving in every sort of order but the correct one, and mostly late, due to the difficulty of finding the route. The motorcycles apparently did not seem aware of the nature of the surface until they arrived on it and a considerable number measured their lengths at various points of the hill, most of them giving up without much of a struggle and grovelling unceremoniously in the ditch. W. T. Pitt (Brough Superior C.), J. R. Sugg (Norton 0.), S. H. Murray (Sunbeam 0.) got to the top by footing heartily. C. S. Cockerell on his Velocette started to come up in a rousing manner
having evidently heard that slippery hills should be taken fast, but he apparently omitted to hear also that on slippery hills machines do not, naturally, proceed in a straight line and after a valiant struggle went end over end in the middle of the steepest part, but later continued unflurried. W. Clarke on a -Vincent H.R.D. was making a good climb but had the bad luck to break a chain when nearly over the worst part of the hill and had considerable delay in re-fitting. this. May’s Ceirano made no mistake about Lewknor and a very fast climb was also made by G. le Grice for Oxford on a Lancia, while the Austins and M.G.’s also put up a good
show. Whyteleafe Hill provided no excitement and everybody toured up happily and a non-competing Austin 7 saloon with 3 up buzzed merrily up in the middle of the proceedings to show it was hardly a good hill to observe.
The last observed section, Great Kimble, was really quite sticky and as by this time everybody was well behind, nobody took much care over the section, which produced some fast runs. C. S. Jones (Ariel), B. Atherton (Scott) and Dykes made good crossings, while the star turn among the cars was undoubtedly M. W. May, who came over so fast that his wheels left the ground well and truly on nearly all the bumps. Not always by the right route the competitors, with very few exceptions again reached the Rose and Crown at Tring, and the worries of route finding, etc., were soon forgotten in a meal, at which the chief argument was about the lost formula!
MUNICIPAL aerodromes are to be established at Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent, and agreements have just been signed whereby they will be managed and equipped by National Flying Services, Ltd., as lessees under the Corporation, following the example set at Hull.
At Nottingham, the Company is already in occupation of the aerodrome site purchased by the Corporation at Tollerton. The Nottingham Aero Club has joined the N.F.S. organisation, and it will be provided with a clubhouse, hangar and all necessary equipment at the new aerodrome.
It is the ambition of Nottingham to make Tollerton the Croydon of the Midlands. The site, covering 140 acres, was purchased by the Nottingham Corporation last year. It is under four miles from the centre of the city and is well situated to become one of the main flying centres.
The Stoke-on-Trent municipal aerodrome will be the first flying centre to be established in the Potteries, and will serve a large industrial area of great importance. An excellent site has been acquired by the Corporation and will be taken over on lease by the Company and equipped on the same lines as Tollerton. In anticipation of this development the South Staffordshire Aero Club has been formed at Stoke-on-Trent.