LCS of the VSCC’s Welsh Week-end

April 8th/9th

With entries down for the main VSCC fixtures since the Measham, it was gratifying to the Light Car Section, run by Liz and Hector Chappell, to receive the biggest entry ever for its annual Welsh Week-End; 49 modest vintage cars in all. There were a few non-arrivals, including Ivor Phillips’ 1925 Jowett, which ran a big-end when driving to the start at Builth Wells in company with the other Jowett entries, and Roger Collings’ stripped-for-racing 1903 Sixty Mercedes (more’s the pity), which had contracted “Wessex disease” the previous week-end en route. Undaunted, Roger was towed home by his wife in their BMW and he appeared later as a spectator, with his son, in his Speed Six Bentley. On arrival Batchelor set about improving the exhaust system of his 1925 Morris-Cowley.

The spacious grounds of the Royal Welsh Show site enabled eight driving tests to be taken on the Saturday afternoon. These light machinery, except that Mike Tebett’s Riley 9-engined Vernon Derby broke its back-axle radius-arm and Simon Coates caused his Austin Chummy to go backwards from the start-line of one of the manoeuvres. . . . Incidentally, there were 16 Austin 7s entered, including Laxton’s rare 1927 Duple two-seater. The Saturday evening was occupied with diming at the Glen Usk Hotel in Llandrindod Wells, listening to guest-speaker Michael Bowler, seeing the 1977 prizes presented by Winifred Boddy, and watching the very excellent 1977 Club film, complete with disappearing Odeon organ. They say some even danced into the small hours. . . .

Sunday was trials day, with three sections in the fields surrounding Llwynbarried Hall before the coffee-break and some interesting hills to follow.  Dry weather (who says it always rains in Wales?) made the first ones easy, but Section III started to sort out the trials cars from the touring models, although Gledhill’s Austin, Riddle’s GN, Bullet’s Austin Burghley with his young son bouncing, Cochrane’s Austin, Winder’s Austin, and Read’s Austin 7 Mulliner two-seater climbed it easily, and Buttle’s 1929 Utility-model flat-twin Jowett romped up. Wood’s 1923 Riley coupe was on the boil, as some of the 9/20 Humbers had been the previous day, casting away much-needed water under braking. After lunch at the New Inn in New-bridge-on-Wye (where the river bridge was rebuilt in 1910 by the same Hennebique Company that had been responsible for constructing the banking over the river Brooklands in 1907) the results were announced. The Llwynbarried Trophy had been won by Roger Read’s 1930 Austin Mulliner. The runners-up, in order, were Bob Buttle’s Jowett, the ex-Rosemary Burke 1930 Morris Minor two-seater in the hands of its new owner Mike Hurst, James Peacop’s 1930 Morris Minor, Winder’s Austin Chummy, and Cochrane’s Austin 7. Rad scored top marks in both the tests and the trials and the Beaded-Edge Trophy was won by Phil Diffey’s 1924 8/18 Humber. An interesting car came to spectate–and Ansaldo saloon – W. B.