South Wales A.C.
It was very disappointing that the South Wales A.C. should have had such a bad day for the first of their speed events on their new hill on April 3rd. The heavy hill mist and rain never let up for a moment and reduced the visibility on the 600-yard course to something like 50 to 60 yards, making organising an extremely difficult and very wet job.
That this was achieved with the minimum of delays and a cheerful spirit was a fine tribute to the sportsmanship of the 45 competitors and the various officials who stuck to their posts and in the case of a weary few who stayed after it was all over to pack up the equipment. The small cars on the whole made clean climbs but the faster machinery lost time with considerable wheelspin at the start. Fastest time of the day, 24.5 sec., was put up by J. A. Williamson in his magnificent vintage Bentley. It was a memorable sight to see this fine car coming out of the mist and, beautifully handled, streak across the finishing line in a cloud of spray. C. Wick with his Allard was also very fast (only half a second slower) and the new Triumph TR2 appeared in the hands of M. Seal, D. Francis and others Mrs. V. G. Bevan won the ladies’ award with a nicely handled drive in a very snappy Morris Minor.
Up to 1,100 c.c.: Open Cars: J. Andrews (M.G.).
Closed cars: F. W. E. Rutter (Morris).
1,101.1,500 c.c. Open cars: C. Davies (M.G. Special).
Closed cars: P. E. Morris (Lancia).
1,501.2,500 c.c. Open cars: M. Seal (Triumph TR2).
Closed cars: M. J. Clay (Healey).
Over 2,500 c.c.: Open cars: J. A. Williamson (Bentley).
Closed cars: G. E. Davies (Jaguar XK120C).
An arduous but satisfying night navigation rally was held on March 6th/7th; 240 miles of night driving through Cotswold country in pouring rain proved almost as difficult as finding elusive marshals. Many first-ever rally competitors showed real promise. The event was finally won by a left-hand-drive 750 which had been “attended to” and most capably driven by its French owner, Mr. Lee, second Mr. Williams of Sussex, and third Mr. Pink of Oxford.
Hon. Sec.: N. H. Atkinson, 116, Clifden Court, Clifden Road, Twickenham, Middlesex.
On Saturday night, March 27th, the M.S.A.C. held a six-point nocturne, starting at club headquarters and finishing at Richards Cafe, Epsom. Twenty cars started, and six points had to be located from map references. Although the event was planned to be as simple as possible, decoy lights were fixed near these points, and this old dodge succeeded in confusing many. As a precaution against the possibility of a tie, a simple test was laid out at the control on the Epsom racecourse, where competitors had to trundle a weighted tyre between a lot of night lights and round a hurricane lamp against the watch. Best time here was made by Mr. Jenner’s navigator, the experienced W. Wilks. Reports from the marshals at the various points led one to believe that while the event was generally enjoyed by all the competitors, it was not so popular with the many courting couples, whose haunts were invaded by torch-flashing searchers. No competitors got lost, but Ian Tuson was seen to he pushing his fair companion’s Fiat 500 in to the finish with a dead engine. Altogether a very enjoyable evening!
1st : D. Jenner (Morris Minor).
2nd: W. Wood (Standard Vanguard).
3rd: A. Ford (Vauxhall).
The South-West Centre staged their first road event of 1954, a navigation rally, on March 21st, from the Cross Hands Hotel, Old Sodbury, near Bristol.
The varied entry of 22 cars left from 2.30 p.m. onwards, each competitor having four and a half hours to complete as much of the course as possible. Although much depended on the navigators, drivers had to exert all their skill to negotiate the Gloucestershire lanes and still have time in hand. The object of the rally was to collect the greatest number of marks from four separate sections, done in any order the competitors wished. Three sections consisted of five points to visit, each carrying a name and an even number from 2-10, found by map references handed out by the marshal from a key control, to which all cars had to return after each section. The numbers were unknown, the high ones being keenly sought after.
The fourth section was a special regularity one, cars having to cover 20 miles on route card in exactly 35 minutes, and noting down five words placed at intervals at the roadside.
As the afternoon progressed, cars were seen going in all directions, and many pairs of eyes searched for the vital numbers. Meanwhile, only six cars had completed the special section on time, one of them being an Austin A30, driven by J. D. Hall, a fine effort!
As darkness came competitors began returning to the Cross Hands, only one or two checking in without penalty, and more than one navigator complained of map sickness after his or her efforts! But they still thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and voted it a very fine rally.
Results — Sanctuary Trophy
1st: J. D. Hall (Austin A30). 68 marks gained.
2nd: C. J. Toomer (Ford Zephyr), 60 marks.
3rd Dr. M. D. King (M.G. TD), 54 marks.
4th: J. R. Fielder (Jowett Javelin), 50 marks.
5th: B. R. Arkwright (Mayflower), 45 marks.
6th : J. H. King (Triumph TR2). 43 marks.
Dr. King won a special trophy for the open class.
The Herefordshire Motor Club’s Fourth Welsh Rally took place during March 27th/28th over a strenuous course of more than 400 miles. There were 63 competing cars, only one of which failed to arrive at the starting point. Competitors had the choice of five starting points: Cardiff, Trecastle, Shrewsbury, Hanley and Ledbury, the last-named being obviously the popular choice for almost half the entry chose it.
Through the co-operation of Messrs. George Hopkins & Sons, their premises in Ledbury was the starting point there and great interest in the rally was shown by the throng of spectators, and the local constabulary assisted by clearing a passage for the departing cars. From each starting point, all cars converged on the Kings Acre Malt garage in Hereford for final scrutineering, where the Mayor of Hereford, Alderman A. E. Farr; and the Mayoress were interested spectators. To equalise their mileage with that of the starters from farther afield, the Ledbury cars were given a route which involved visiting map references at Leysters (in Tenbury) and at Weobley, where information such as obtaining telephone numbers at kiosks was procured.
After scrutineering care were despatched on their way at one-minute intervals with a list of map references of further route check points and the next control, together with the distance to this place.
The route led via route checks at Peterchurch and Huntington to a control at Heartsease (near Penybont) where the first of two driving tests took place. This took the form of a forward and reverse around a triangle at road junctions, and like the second test, its result was only to be used in deciding ties in markings on the road section.
From Penybont, the competitors made their way viachecks at Fountain Head and Knuckles to a further control at Clunton, thence via further checks at Barrington to the one hour’s break for refuelling of cars and crews at the Fountain Hotel, Tenbury Wells.
At this point, E. D. Woolley’s Porsche called it a day and retired. From Tenbury, a similar route to that of last year’s event led over the Clee Hills, via route checks at Farlow and Stanton Long, to the next control near Church Stretton. A stiff climb over the Long Mynd led to more checks at Ratlinghope, The Bog (Stiperstones) Rowley and Sarnau to Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwnfa at which control the second driving test was held. This proved to be a straightforward acceleration-braking-reverse and acceleration test. Fortunately competitors were not given a test in pronunciation of the control name or there would have been many failures. After this test the course passed Lake Vyrnwy to route checks at Llangower on Lake Bala, over the well-known pass of Bwlch-y-Groes to another at Dinas Mawddy and so to the next control at Pandy. Parts of the R.A.C. Rally route were followed via Staylittle and checks at Fan, Pantydwr, to the following control at Rhos-Grug from whence a short run led to the breakfast halt at the Norton Arms Hotel, Knighton. Here it was announced that owing to the fact of so many cars being late arriving, the stop would be extended to 2 1/2 hours instead of 1 1/2 hours as scheduled.
The day section was organised so as to be more difficult, and at the start at Knighton competitors were only given the map reference for the next control together with the mileage and the time scheduled for it. Controls were situated at Painscastle, Llanegwlys, Pontfaen and Pendre, with others at Stapleton Hill, near Presteign, and Bromfield, with a final route check at Stretford, just before the arrival at the finishing point at the Royal Oak Hotel in Leominster.
Here returning competitors were met by the Mayors of Hereford and of Leominster, Alderman A. E. Farr, J. P., and Alderman N Davis, who had followed the event with great interest.
When all the stragglers had arrived, it was found that no less than 20 cars — nearly one-third of the starters — had failed to finish. Among the retirements were P. J. Anton (M.G.), broken rear spring; A. J. Jones (Austin A30), who overturned near Ledbury, without injury; and P. P. Roberts (M.G.), broken front springs.
After a meal had been served, the results were announced: — 1st: “Hereford Times” Trophy: W L. Edwards of Pembrokeshire M.C. (Ford Consul), 4 marks lost.
2nd: “Peter Wray” Trophy for best performance by H.M.C. member A. L. Yorranton and B. Thompson of Herefordshire M.C. (Morgan Plus Four). 4 marks lost.
Note: A tie between the above who lost the same number of marks on the road section, was decided in favour of the winner by virtue of his better times in the special tests.
3rd: R. M. E. Mayall and V. Henderson of Herefordshire M.C. (M.C. TD), 11 marks lost.
Class 1. Open cars not exceeding 1,300 c.c.
1st “Yeoman’s” Trophy: R. M. E. Mayall and V. Henderson, Herefordshire M.C. (M.G. TD); 2nd: H. E. Hardman, Hagley & District M.C. (M.G. TD).
Class 2. Closed cars not exceeding 1,300 c.c.
1st “Mayall” Trophy: D. S. Edwards, Pembroke M.C. (Ford Anglia); 2nd: Mrs. P. Moon and J. D. Moon, Herefordshire M.C. (M.G. 1 1/4-litre); 3rd: P. Longland, Hagley & District M.C. (M.G. 1 1/2-litre).
Class 3. Open cars over 1,300 c.c.
1st: “Lion” Trophy: R. Stretton. Hagley & District M.C. (Alvis 12/60); 2nd: G. Reason Jones, Pembroke M.C. (Triumph TR2); 3rd: D. J. Parsons and G. Turner, Herefordshire M.C. (Frazer-Nash).
Class 4 Closed cars over 1,300 c.c.
1st “Redex” Trophy: Miss Haynes, Mosley & District M.C. (Ford Zephyr;
2nd: J. J. Bott and J. R. W. Thomas, Herefordshire M.C. (Riley 2 1/2-litre;
3rd: J. P. Taylor and E. W. Lindsay Jones. Herefordshire M.C. (Vauxhall J).
Team Prize (all comers): W. L. and D. S. Edwards, Pembroke M.C. (Ford Anglia and Consul).
Team Prize (H.M.C. team): J. J. Bott and J. R. W. Thomas (Riley 2 1/2-litre) and J. Read and J. K. Morris (Austin A90).
Best performance by all-ladies team: Misses G. Weaver and J. Bott, Herefordshire M.C. (M.G. TD).
Best performance by car manufactured before 1940: R. Stratton, Hagley and District M.C. (Alvis 12/60).
The above results are provisional and subject to confirmation.