The M.C.C. revives the great Easter Trial. Very arduous run, under fearful weather conditions.
This Easter, after all those years of trouble and strife, the M.C.C. revived its classic “Land’s End” Trial, under modified conditions. The slight leather-coated figure of Organiser “Jackie” Masters was again to be seen conducting the most famous trial of all time. From Taunton, after breakfast at Deller’s, the competitors — car, motorcycle and three-wheeler — set out on a very stiff test, which finished at “Land’s End.” In the later stages torrential rain and a gale rendered conditions not only difficult, but decidedly unpleasant for those not sheltering beneath roofs or hoods. Wick changed a fuse in his Allard on the way to the start, and in the huge car park we noticed Goodenough’s Horstrnan, rather lurid with home-brewed body and modern lamps, amongst the moderns.
At Darracott, the fourth observed hill for cars, the surface soon became very sticky and few competitors managed the re-start test. The higher reaches proved easier and of the motorcycles only Grace’s Triumph stopped while we were watching, although Christensen’s Norton combination all but failed. Excellent riding was done by Kentish (B.S.A.), Adcock (Royal Enfield), Moncur (Ariel), Hosking (Scott), Newby (Triumph), Simes (Excelsior-Manxman), Denton (12S Royal Enfield), Mrs. Anning (P. & M.), Case (Matchless), Gurden (Ariel), Oxborrow (B.S.A.), Chidley (B.S.A.), Sugden (vintage Sunbeam), Saunders (B.S.A.), Hampton (H.R.D.), Hawtin (Scott), Dicks (Velocette), Bray (Royal Enfield), French (E.M.C.), Merrett (H.R.D. V-twin) and Axford (Velocette) while we were observing. Of the cars, Uglow (H.R.G.) was sure, Cleave’s astonishing Morris Ten excellent, but the body of Maclean’s B.M.W. fouled the road and Roundhill’s Jaguar was fluffing at very high revs. Len Parker’s Allard treated spectators to a real mud bath, Brunyee’s Triumph used low pressure for the rear tyres, Widman’s A.C. was neat, and Morrish’s old Frazer-Nash made a grand ascent, sliding the bends. Haywood’s vintage Bayliss-Thomas was one of the many who failed at the re-start, only to climb faultlessly thereafter, as did Barton’s Morris Ten. We moved down the hill to see how the Special Test was conserving the M.C.C.’s “Premiers” and saw Richardson, Davis, Guernier, Allott and Scobey, all in M.G.s, and Grindrod’s Riley, in spite of its passenger’s Riley badge, fail by the line. Then, using lots of r.p.m., Morrish made a grand getaway in his blown M.G.
Competitors soon ran into heavy rain after leaving Darracott, where there was eventually some five hours delay, largely because Wilcock’s gallant old 1911 Clement-Talbot couldn’t cope with this sticky trials’ hill.
Near Wadebridge Lloyd’s Ariel sidecar outfit was delayed by the wet, and Cornish’s Panther was in trouble.
So to the notorious Bluehills Mine. It could hardly have been more difficult, and the terrible weather conditions made things almost unbearable for officials, police and spectators. Yet quite a crowd, wet to the skin, lined the rails by the re-start on the concrete patch, which test was to lose so many their awards. The marshal with the chock was none too slick, so that Warner (D.K.W. motorcycle) experienced a nasty fall and twisted his handlebars so badly he couldn’t take the test. Those in cars who failed dismally included Maclean’s B.M.W., Brunyee’s Triumph, Widman’s A.C., Allott’s M.G. with spin, Davis’ M.G. likewise, Guerrier’s M.G., Grindrod’s Riley, Clare’s “TA” M.G., Boutle’s M.G., Burman’s new Lea-Francis with vast touring body, Cookson’s M.G., Scobey’s M.G. with no power at all, Squillario’s Hillman Minx saloon, Barrow’s Vauxhall, and many, many, more. Frey’s “TA” M.G. did not even reach the re-start unaided, Walker’s Riley “Falcon” couldn’t get from the line, and Richardson’s M.G. hadn’t a clue. In contrast, Uglow’s H.R.G. never faltered, Mansell’s Allard was excellent, and Morrish got up splendidly in spite of the high ratios of his Frazer-Nash. Barton’s Morris Ten was again astonishingly capable, crew still able to assist by bouncing, and Pilkinton’s M.G. got off and away really fast, leaving an aroma of burning rubber in the rain-swept air. Mansell took his Allard off skilfully to the accompaniment of a nice exhaust beat, and Morrish (M.G.) put up the best show yet. Hayward’s Bayliss-Thomas behaved perfectly, climbing with a harsh whine after the re-start, the H.R.G.s were excellent, and then Scroggs’ Trojan did everything faultlessly, receiving the first and only applause from the sodden spectators as it two-stroked slowly upwards. Wick’s four-seater Allard was well handled, and Nicholl’s M.G. “Magnette” was good, after which a closed A.C., a Riley saloon and a Vauxhall-radiator-ed “Special” all failed early after the re-start. C. A. N. May’s Ford V8 got away with certainty and accelerated fiercely thereafter. At this point our notebook was in danger of becoming pulp and we apologise to those competitors who are not mentioned — already many of our observations had become unreadable. Cars were still going out to Bluehills at about 10 p.m. after the marshals had left. Wilcock and his very brave mother arrived in the Clement Talbot, lightened by removal of hood and screen, and, although they did not attempt the hill, the old car returned strongly the way it had come after its oil lamps had been lit — how many years, we wondered, had elapsed since oil lamps were lit in the shadow of the famous tin mine? In Perranporth there was rather a lot of parking, two, even three, abreast with headlamps blazing, in a main road by a check, on the part of some competitors, and a competing Wolseley saloon had a minor accident with a non-competitor. However, it was a “Land’s End” again and the greatest possible satisfaction was experienced by all.
The following car-drivers won well-deserved Premier Awards: –
Cleave (Morris), F. Morrish (Frazer-Nash), A. Morrish (M.G.), Parker (Allard), Crossby (Vauxhall), Wick (Allard), Mansell (Allard), Delingpole (H.R.G.), May (Ford), R. Holt (M.G.), G. Holt (M.G.), Molly (Riley), Scales (M.G.), Undery (B.M.W.), Symons (Morgan), Hellier (Morgan), Moore (Ford), Grove (M.G.), Newton (H.R.G.), Wood-Dow (H.R.G.), Morgan (Riley), Mores (M.G.), Brayshaw (Humber), Morley (A.C.)., Murkett (M.G.), Campbell (Morgan), Tyrer (B.M.W.), Hellyar (Singer), Morgan (Morgan), Goodall (Morgan), Couzens (M.G.), Eekett (M.G.), Imhof (Allard), Appleton (Allard), Denyer (Lea-Francis), Potter (Allard), Ellis ( B.M.W.) and Harrison (Riley).