VSCC Welsh Week-end

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(March 31st/April 1st)
THE HARSH winter weather gave over just in time for this popular event run by the Club’s Light Car and Edwardian Section, and the relentless Welsh rain didn’t fall until competitors were wending their homeward ways. An entry of 47 was the norm, of which the Edwardian element comprised Roger Collings’ 1912 Zust and Barry Clarke’s little 1913 Singer Ten racer. Having assembled at the Abernant Lake Hotel in remote Llanwrtyd Wells, the after-lunch Saturday frolic was a 90-mile road run which took in the decidedly interesting Abergwesyn-Tragaaron mountain-road, well known to drivers of modern rally cars. The hairpinned “snake” caused little trouble, although Hamilton-Gould’s 1921 Citroen tourer met an obstruction and was forced to give way, and Keith Jeddere-Fisher’s 11.9 Lagonda coupe and two of the Austin Sevens had to reverse up. The Singer, and the Zust with six occupants, came up powerfully, and Geoff Lee’s Swift had no trouble incidentally it was joined in the hotel car-park by a similar Swift. There was little trouble, apart from a paucity of sparks on Mike Baxter’s Riley Nine tourer, which has been converted to coil ignition, and that was quickly cured, and anxiety on Clarke’s part about one of his tyres, disposed of when we found him a knobbly “boot” of the right size which for years had adorned, believe it or not, a Cluley chassis. Tea was taken at the Editor’s ancient homestead.

That evening the annual Section Dinner took place, after which Mrs. de Salis presented the De Salis Cup to David Cochrane and Mrs. Soddy the 1978 awards. The Club film, lasting some two hours, and seemingly taken mostly at night, rounded off a long evening. Hector Chappell received a standing ovation for the work he and his wife have done for the Section, so we were sorry to learn that they are relinquishing the Competition Secretaryship after a three-year stint. On the Sunday morning came the more serious part of the week-end, devoted to ascents of muddy hills, three in the Editorial open spaces. Again there was very little trouble, apart from Tony Jones’ Austin Chummy having developed dickey-bird noises in its under-belly, the Swift retiring with clutch slip which manifested itself if the gradients were of trials severity, and Ivor Phillips’ flat-twin 1925 Jowett having temporary “refusal-to-fire” tendencies. Incidentally, this vintage light-car stuff has become a fine family-sport, with many wives taking over their husband’s light cars, which helps to swell the entry. Not only that, but Jim Whyman from the Main Section was driving Jeddere-Fisher’s Fiat 509A tourer, Bill Wallace had his Standard Canley two-seater out again, with his Membership-Secretary wife as navigator, Monica Gray, wife of Section Secretary, was sharing their Austin Chummy, and Rosemary Burke from the Establishment had her Morris Minor out again. As a gesture to April Fool’s Day the first of the Llwynbarried hills had its markers reversed, so that those achieving a clean climb scored one mark, those who couldn’t get away from the restart gained full marks – although we think this system may have been reversed after twelve-noon!

The event ended at Newbridge-on-Wye, where the results were anounced as:

Llwynbarried Trophy (best performance): Mike Hurst (1930 Morris Minor)
Beaded-Edge Trophy: Roger Collings (1912 Zust)
First-Class Award: Ruth Hurst (1930 Morris Minor)
Second: Janet Diffey (1916 Humber 9/20)
Third: Jack McEwen (1930 Riley Nine)
Fourth:Keith Hill (1930 A.J.S.)
Fifth: Ivor Phillips (1925 7/17 Jowett)

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