THE LAND’S END TRIAL
THE dry, dusty weather of recent Lands End runs, gave place this year to conditions more usually associated with the” Exeter.”
As if to encourage and mislead competitors, the Friday night was clear and fine, though cold. This however was not to last, and the starlight gave place to rain and cloud, and then to sleet and snow ! However this run has always been noted as one of the most cheerful and interesting of the M.C.C.’s repertoire, and the large band of enthusiasts who braved the Easter weather, were determined that the Lands End run of 1930 should be in no way inferior to previous years, and they succeeded. There were several new features in the regulations which were greatly appreciated by the competitors. For one thing there were no secret checks to cause anxious dawdling for fear of losing a
gold.” The actual checks being well out in the country, drivers were able to halt for sleep or refreshment in peace, both for themselves, and also for the more normal inhabitants of the countryside who chose to go to bed instead of travelling by night. Another point which added interest this year to the trial was the inclusion of two new hills, Grabhurst and Ruses Mill, which although in no way serious obstades to the modern car or motorcycle properly driven, are quite sufficient to
find out any weak spots should the driver prove careless or over confident.
The first non-stop section, and far the most popular, was breakfast at Dellers Café at Taunton, which event however was a little too ‘non stop’ for some hungry fellows to whom an hour is none too much for a meal, when it also includes a walk to and from, to say nothing of personal ablutions !
After this the route departed from standard to some extent to include Grabhurst. The surface being somewhat loose care had to be exercised by the solo men, but the standard of riding was good and failures chiefly due to carelessness. The sidecars were also uneventful except for a difference of opinion between D. W. P. Ellis and J. F. Kelleher, both on Matchlesses who came up too close together, got closer still, collided, and upset. The others of the same make were good, however, and Ariels, who were well represented, were all good. Of the cars the M.G. Midgets were excellent and throughout the trial put up wonderful climbs and seemed to laugh at all gradients. The Austin Sevens also ran them close in spite of their slightly smaller capacity, while the supercharged Triumphs showed their real suitability for trials work.
Rileys, of which there were no few than 33 in the trial, performed well, with S. C. H. Davis about the fastest. Of the larger cars the Frazer-Nashes stood alone for speed on hills and were all very adequately handled. Their remarkably high bottom gears instead of being a. disadvantage, merely seemed an excuse for climbing faster than ever.
The Porlock restart test proved without difficulty to anything in mechanically sound condition, and it was necessary to go to Beggars Roost to find incidents of interest, Lynton being dealt with easily by the majority.
This seemed to present less difficulty than in previous years, and failures were the exception where in comparatively recent years they have been rather the rule. The motorcycles were on the whole fast, but the riders in most cases avoided trying to be spectacular.
A Wonderful “Baby.”
Probably the most meritorious motorcycle performance of the whole trial was that of T. G. Meeten who, driving a 172 c.c. Francis-Barnett and sidecar, made rousing climbs of every hill and quite overshadowed many of the larger machines. The M.G.’s, Austins and Triumphs were again good, and the Frazer-Noshes as fast as expected, which is saying a good deal !
Ruses Mill was not nearly as difficult as was thought before the trial, and it was left to the famous Bluehills mine hairpin to blot a few more copybooks, and also to damage several perfectly good front wings on some motorcars whose drivers ought to have known better !
The babies were again good, and so were the larger foreign vehicles whose ample lock proved very useful, but there were several cases where it was seen that some English makers would do well to improve this point of their vehicles. FrazerNoshes slid round the bend, Aldington being about the fastest, but T. H. Wisdom did not quite manage it and came momentarily to rest. Bluehills once past the finish was not far away, and so to rest with one less Lands End to look forward to in the future.