Although the VSCC arranged for fine sunny weather for the popular Herefordshire Trial on February 5, it could not arrange for the 15 hill-sections to be dried out after a week of heavy rain and snow. Consequently, this was a tough event for a change, which is no bad thing, and those I spoke to had enjoyed it. Observing at “Moffat’s Meander”, it was evident that this was to be no simple meander over the shorter of his two landing strips, but muddy and wet grassland which defeated all the cars except the A7s of Welch, Clarke, Gosling, Densham, Miss Winder and Baxter, but O’Dell’s Riley did well here, losing only one mark, and Hall’s Frazer Nash two marks. Not so fortunate was the 1936 A7 Special of T Wilcox, nor did a racing-start avail Rides’s Riley Special. The big cars were absolutely hopeless, making for much work on tow ropes by willing marshalls, aided by as many pushers. Williamson’s “Cream Cracker” MG was revved hard, the exhaust note and blower whine reminding me of more professional pre-war trials.
At last a big Universal tractor came to the rescue but there were still delays as bogged down cars were hauled out. Barry Clarke went well in his A7 Chummy, as did Firth’s 1906 Nordenfeld, both helped by rather bigger than original back tyres, but Collings’s gigantic Mercedes-Maybach needed a tow to the start as well as from early on the section, but I hear it did well overall. Seymour Price had a king-pin collapse on his A7 and the trial took its toll, Hall’s Frazer Nash needing attention afterwards as its clutch was vibrating, Sythes’s Frazer Nash having a burnt-out clutch, Colledge’s Riley 9 tourer a rocker jump out, Odell’s side-valve Riley, which had done the MCC LEJOG troublefree, retiring with a burnt-out valve and a suspected blown gasket, Dear’s supercharged PB MG Midget non-starting due to main-bearing problems and Gosling’s A7 having back-axle trouble. But by early afternoon they began to arrive back at The Verzons near Ledbury, muddied but unbowed. An interesting runner among the 79 entries, was Williams’s American A7 coupé, on appropriate number plates, which somehow contrived to retain its immaculate shine. To end on a modern note, whose was the smart Chrysler coupé that occupied the centre of the car park? W B
Hereford Trophy (best in Class 1): J Densham (1929 A7).
Andrew Blakeney-Edwards Trophy (best in Class 2): R Harcourt-Smith (1929 Alvis)
First Class Awards: J Densham (A7), J Baxter (A7), R Harcourt-Smith (Alvis), P Garland (30/98)
Second Class Awards: S Diffey (A7), S Welch (A7), I Williamson (MG), R Collings (Mercedes-Maybach, P Tebbett (Riley), R Thwaites (Chrysler), B Spollon (30/98).
Third Class Awards: J Brewster (A7), D Rolfe (MG), B Clarke (A7), R Low (A7), P Blakeney-Edwards (Frazer Nash), P Cassidy (Riley), J Wheeler (Morris), W Urry (Riley), E Getley (Bentley).