THE M.C.C. GOES OFF THE GOLD STANDARD!
THE M.C.C. One-Day Sporting Trial held over a route near Buxton is always one of the most important events of this nature during the season. This year a difficult course was arranged, including the observed hills of Jenkins Chapel (two sections), Blackermill, Litton Slack and Highcliffe (twice). It was originally intended that competitors should tackle Litton twice, but the hill proved so difficult that cars were sent up the by-pass road on their second circuit.
The first sound we heard on waking at the Palace Hotel, Buxton, the temporary headquarters of the Club, was the steady hiss of rain, and we could well imagine the thoughts of competitors hearing the same ominous sound. The starting point had been moved from Rakes End to a point nearer Buxton, in order to avoid a rough grass track which might easily have stopped the field within a few yards of the start ! There we met Mr. Masters, the Club secretary, rubbing his hands with glee, for in the fog and rain which prevailed it was obvious that Premier Awards would be few and far between. After a stretch of slippery lane the first hill was reached, Jenkins Chapel. To those who do not know this hill we would say that it begins with a right-angle bend
it begins a bend to the left, and then goes fairly directly to the summit of the first section. The surface is loose stones, mixed with slippery clay, and on this occasion was particularly bad owing to the efforts of a Chester motor-cycle club, who had strewn small pieces of broken stone all over the hill in order to make it more difficult for their own trial. The first section surmounted (?) there is a short level stretch, and then the road narrows between two walls which inevitably scrape the door-handles or hub-caps of large cars. Up the road goes, and then a very sharp left-hand hairpin bend is reached which demands a combination of good lock and expert driving. This is followed by an easier hairpin to the left, and some more collar work to the top. On a wet day both sections offer a difficult proposition. The first section caused 26 failures, most of these being due to lack of power and/or a high low-gear. Quite a number of people failed through wheelspin, these being cases of over-anxiety more often than not. Rileys could not cope with the hill, 8 out of 12 failing to climb unassisted. M.G. Midgets scored 4 failures out of 13 cars, while N. A. Berry and A. S. Whiddington spoilt the Frazer Nash reputation, being the only failures out of 10 starters. On the other hand all the Singers (and there were 11 of them) got up without a hint of stopping, outstanding climbs being made by H. C. Hastings who came up quietly with plenty of throttle in hand, H. M. Avery, L. Sandford, J. R. H. Baker and C. M. Needham. The Ford V8’s were equally consistent, all climbing
effortlessly, and a cicver climb was made by G. M. Denton on a 4 cylinder 24 h.p. model. The six M.G. Magnas in the trial all made easy ascents. One of the fastest climbs was made by J. G. Orford (Austin) and another good Austin effort was that of W. J. Watson, with an old chummy model fitted with very small rear-wheels. D. McLean urged his M.G. Magna on with writhing movements of his shoulders, and made a fast climb. A 1930 Essex coach put a good many sports cars to shame when it was driven up by R. Varley, without a trace of wheelspin and with plenty of power. The horses were kept pretty busy hauling failures to the top, but the organisation was good. The upper section brought 24 cars to a standstill, most of these being unable to round the first hairpin. The bank became quite smooth with the constant wear of front wheels, a factor which materially assisted many cars to continue non-stop. Frazer Nashes were 50/50 clean climbs and failures, the latter being in most cases caused by the drivers not bringing the tail round in order to make up for an insufficient lock. There were three Singer stoppages, L. Sandford having the worst possible luck for this was his only failure during the trial. M.G. Midgets were good, for only 2 cars did not climb out of 13. Once again all the six M.G. Magnas got up without difficulty, as did the V8 Fords. Other good performances were made by H. K. Crawford (Hornet) although his wheels were spinning unnecessarily quickly ; Alan May (30/98 Vauxhall) who showed how to get a large car round a sharp hairpin without fuss, and G. M. McGregor (M.G. Magna) who climbed quietly. Some consternation was caused when A. S. Whiddington went off with the tow-rope, but this was later returned from the top of the hill. S. H. Allard gave a lurid demonstration of bank-climbing, which ended in failure, and W. J. Haward (V8 Ford) gave the bank a good thump but managed to keep going. B. W. Clarke, driving an old Austin 12 (round about 1924) had bad luck to fail on the second hairpin after negotiating the more difficult first one. His failure seemed not unconcerned with the presence of friends on the corner. For some time the trial was held up while a brand-new Talbot ” 105″ saloon driven by P. D. Walker was manhandled down after failing on the hairpin, its the hill after failing on the hairpin, its mudguards losing a good deal of their “
show-finish” in the process. Blackermill, that long rough climb up the valley to the main road, was not in a difficult mood. Actually 10 competitors came to a standstill, these being A. G. Gripper (Frazer Nash), C. I. Robinson (Alvis), H. K. Crawford (Wolseley Hornet) A. P. McGowran (Riley), A. Thomas (Riley), L. R. Rimington (Austin), S. R. Mitchell (M.S.), F. H. Lye (Alvis), E. E. Rednall (Ford 8) and A. G. R. Alexander (Riley). As will be seen, M.G.’s, Singers and V8 Fords all made 100% climbs. Probably the fastest ascents were those of Henry Laird (McEvoy Special Wolseley
• Hornet), N. A. Berry and F. B. Robinson (Frazer Nashes).
Then came Litton, and a farewell to a Premier Award for the majority of those who had so far maintained a clean score. The first man to try was H. M. Avery (Singer) and he faded to a standstill. But the next driver, C. A. H. Cann (M.G. Magna) roared up in splendid style, causing the officials to wonder whether the notorious hill would be so difficult after all. They were not long left in doubt, however, for a dozen cars immediately stopped, until T. C. Taylor (J.2 Midget) broke the string of failures with a fine climb, both on the part of driver and car. After W. W. Whitnall had been removed, another rousing ascent was made, this time by C. H. Wagstaff with the old Lea Francis he races at Donington, where it is generally known as the” Fire-engine.” Eight more failures, and then L. Sand
ford got up cleanly with his Singer, showing that although the surface was being torn up, there was still hope for a stout car, well driven. Unfortunately Sandford had stopped on Jenkins Chapel, so his conquest of Litton Slack did not secure him a ” Premier.” The three V8 Fords driven by H. Hillcoat, M. L. Curtis and J. B. Thompson all got up well, but V. J. Haward failed on a similar car.
The following 42 cars all stopped, some a little higher than others, but all definitely failing. Some reversed down to the escape road while others turned and came down on the grass verge. Near the end, Henry Laird made a rapid climb with his McEvoy Hornet, the car leaving a cloud of exhaust smoke behind it but obviously giving plenty of power. One more climb was made, this time by J. W. Whalley with his green 4 seater V8 Ford. He never showed any signs of failing. Highcliffe was in surprisingly good condition, and the left-hand hairpin, although it looks sharp and narrow, is not very difficult. Only four people failed on the first circuit, these being L. R. Rimington (Austin), S. R. Mitchell (M.S.), F. R. Gerard (Riley) and G. F. Pettit (M.G. Mark I). The second time round there were six failures, Rimington and Mitchell repeating their previous performance, and being supported by J. I,. Higgins (Wolseley Hornet), C. I. Robinson (Alvis), S. H. Roe (Riley), and A. G. R Alexander (Riley). On the second circuit many competitors arrived at Litton Slack before the whole of the first onslaughts had been made, but the M.C.C. organisation dealt with this successfully, and in
Spite of the number of failures the delay was kept down to a minimum. The Trial finished at Hargate Hall, and in the evening experiences were exchanged at a dinner and dance at the Palace Hotel, Which was a first-class affair, thoroughly
cheerful and typical of the good spirit which prevails at all M.C.C. events.
C. A. II. Cann (M.G. Magna). T. C. Taylor (M.G. Midget J.2.). C. H. Wagstaff (Lea Francis). H. Ifillcoat (Ford V8).
M. L. Curtis (Ford V8).
Avery H. M. (Singer Sports), 4. Smith, A. W. P. (M.G. Midget J2), 4. Holland, W. E. (111.G. Magna), 4. Cowcill, L, A. (Frazer Nash), 2, 4. Maxwell, L. (MG. Magna), 4. Gripper, A. G. (Frazer Nash), 3, 4. Drucup, 0. (Alvis), 2, 4.
Hobson, H. C. (Austin), 4. Wason, C. R. (M.G. Magna), 4. Wagner, ‘I’. (Morris Minor), 1, 4. Allott, F. (Patrick Hornet Special), 2, 4. Whitnall, W. W. (Morris Minor), 4. Mitchell, Jnr. M. (M.G. Midget J2), 1, 4. Reid, Jnr. W. C. (M.G. Midget J2), I, 4. Sharp, N. C. (M.G. Midget J2)., 4. Forrest, T. M. (Riley), I, 4. Reid, R. N. (Riley), 1, 4. Dicks, E. A. (Riley), 1, 4. Wells, C. V. (Riley), 4.
Greenleaf, W. E. C. (Riley), 4.
Sandford, L. (Singer Sports), 2.
Richardson, W. J. B. (Singer Sports), 4.
Hastings, H. C. (Singer Sports), 4.
Denton, G. M. (Ford 24), 4.
Allard, S. H. (Frazer Nash), 2, 4.
May, A. (Vauxhall), 4.
Mason, A. I,. (M.G. Midget), 1,4.
MacGregor, G. M. (M.G. Magna), 4.
Clarke, B. W. (Austin), 2, 4.
Haward, W. J. (Ford V8), 4.
Selwyn, J. (Singer Sports), 2, 4.
Garland, A. It. (Jowett Sports), 2,4.
Oxford, J. G. (Austin), 4.
Richardson, R. J. (Austin), 4.
Hall, L. E. C., (Singer Sports), 4.
Middlebrook, J. D. (Singer Sports), 4.
Beeby, G. B. (Morris Minor), 4.
Maclean, D. (M.G. Magna), 4.
Watson, W. J. (Austin), 4.
Varley, R. (Essex), 2, 4.
Cundey, S. H. H. (Frazer Nash), 2,4.
Robinson, F. B. (Frazer Nash), 4.
Berry, N. A. (Frazer Nash), 1, 4.
Twist, B. P. W. (Standard), 1, 4.
Harper, A. (M.G. Midget), I, 4.
Ttutstall, G. (M.G. Midget), 2, 4. Baker, J. R. H. (Singer), 4,
Langley, A. H. (Singer), 4.
Patrick, J. A. M. (Austin), 4.
Wright, R. E. (Frazer Nash), 2, 4.
Harvey, W. G. (M.G. Midget J2), 4.
Needham, C. M. (Singer), 4.
Marsh, K. G. (Triumph), 4.
Nimmo, W. R. (Frazer Nash), 4.
Carr, A. H. (Singer), 2, 4.
Tdulmin, J. M. (M.G. Midget), 4.
Utley, J. W. S. (M.G. Midget), 4.
Porter-liargeaves, H. H. (Frazer Nash), 4.
Bastock, J. A. (M.G. Midget), 4.
Higgins, J. L. (Wolseley Hornet), I, 2, 4, 6. Harrison, J. (Ford ” 14 “), 1, 2, 4.
Crawford, H. K. (‘Wolseley Hornet), 1, 3, 4. Whiddington, A. S. (Frazer Nash), 1, 2, 4. McGowran, A. P. (Riley), 1, 3, 4.
Thomas, A. (Riley), 1, 3, 4.
Roe, S. H. (Riley), I, 4, 6.
Lye, F. II. (Alvls), 1, 2,3, 4.
Grice, J. R. (M.G. Midget J.2), I, 2,4. Rednall, E. E. (Ford 8), 1, 3, 4.
Gerard, F. R. (Riley), 1, 4, 5.
Pettitt, G. B. (M.G. Mark I), 1, 2, 4, 5. Woodhea.d, 3. (Aston Martin), 1, 2, 4.
Robinson, C. I. (Alvis), 1, 2, 3, 4,6. Rimington, I,. R. (Austin), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Mitchell, S. R. (M.S.), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Alexander, A. G. R. (Riley), 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.
Hitchison, K. N. (S.S.1.). Moss, A. E. (Marendaz Special). Walker, P. D. (Talbot ” 105″). Marshall, J. H. (Morris Minor). Appleton, R. J. W. (Riley). Langley, A. B. (M.G. Midget J.2.). Budd, E. E. (Alvin).
Taylor, J. (Riley).
Team Award. Ford V8 (H. Hillcoat, M. C. Curtis, G. M. Denton)
KEY TO FAILURES.
1. Failed Jenkins Chapel (1st Section).
2. „ fl ,, (2nd Section).
3. „ B lackermi 11 .
4. „ Litton Slack (1st Circuit).
5. ,, Highcliffe (1st Circuit).
6. „ Highdiffe (2nd Circuit).