club news, November 1935





The rally and trial in Waft:. was a great success. Fifteen entrants rallied from any point they cared to choose, to Bala, this part of the test having to be completed at a minimum average of 26 m.p.h. Sleepy Bala was thoroughly aWakeaed by the arrival of the first telegrams and the checking-in marshal in a smart Aston-Martin. About 5 p.m. the first competitor arrived, driving a Brescia Bugatti, and finally, at 1.2.45 p.m. the last toan—I,emon-Burton iii an Isotta Fraschini—A:hecked-in, having been on the roall 61 hours. The club stayed at the ” White Lion,” when-! George Borrow stayed in 1855. At 9 a.M. on the Sunday the trial proper started, led by Col. Giles on the double-camshaft “3.3” Bugatti. The course was particularly stiff, six hills being tackled in the morning, including the Horse Shoe Pass, and six tnOre after I tmeh at Shrcw””rY’ amongst them Ferris Court. The trial ended at ” The Swan,” Bibury, and it is a tribute to the club that only five drivers failed to gain First-Class Awards. The successful cars were :–The Bugattis of Col. Giles and K. W. Bear, Baines’ Humber, Good’s Lagonda, Keevil’s AstonMartin, Mayo-Smith’s 0.M., Mrs. Lind Walker’s Lagonda, Lemon Burton’s Isotta-Fraschini, and Stapleton’s and Monr6’s Invictas. Team Prize :—Baines (Humber), Good (Lagonda) and Burton (lsotta). The next event is the truly adventurous West-Country Night Trial on

November 23. Hon. Secretary : Eric Giles, 2, Queen Street, W.1.


The life of .a trials organiser is a high one. Hills which are notorious for wholesale stoppages staltlenly lose their sting, others which are generzdly innocuous develop an impossibly difficult surface on the very day of the trial. Something of this kind occurred in the second Cotswold Trial organised by the Standard Car Owners’ Club on Saturday. October 12. Secretary Mrs. Richards had carefully arranged for te;inis of horses to deal with failures on t;vpsy Lane and Flinfl Mill, the two tit-bits of the trial, but neither of these hills gave a greal

deal of trouble. Instead, it WAS Iles Lane, that short, thirsty hill which in recent times has lost most of its former rep utat ion. Twenty-nine Standards of various types and vintages assembled at the ,1;11″litig point in The Square, Chipping Calupden, and after forty minutes of motoring arrived at the first bill, Kineton. A. J. Borkett was the first arrival, and he mado light of the gradient, while others who made convincing climbs were W. P. Rhodes, E. L. Hatfield, A. Goldman, A. H. Oxenford and F. E. Salter. 1:11

ubtedly tlw finest performance on this hill, however, was made by C. E. Truett, who rocketed up in magnificent style. Altogether there were six failures on Kineton, mostly through rushing the watersplash at the bottom.

Guiting Wood and Gypsy Lane were both fairly easy, and it says much fur the high level of driving skill that the latter only stopped two out of the twentyvine entries.

Then followed a special test on Langley Hill, to decide ties for the team award. The test took the form of accelerating and breaking downhill, with some most spectacular results.

The competitors then tackled a succession of hills, Piccadilly, Greenway Lane and Stancombe, of which only Greenway stopped three people. Just when everyone was thinking in terms of Premier Awards, Iles Lane put a stop to most of their rosy hopes. The first comers managed it, hut in doing th•v churned up the surface for the others. The real difficulty lay in the fact that there is nit turning back at. Iles

Lane, 4 .V!Arl the most hopeless failure must be manhandled ‘over the summit sttmehow. Horses there were none, and the marshals and some willing spectators had a busy time for many hours. Sixteen failed out of 29, and the 1)4_1-coinage of successful climbs in the circumstances was very creditable. Iles Lane upset the time schedule corn*left, and most of Ow competitors had to face Ham Mill in the darkness. However, all’s well that ends wit11, and once Iii: en failures had been pusind over

the rocky steps at the top the welcome hospitality of the Bear Hotel on Rodborough Common, only a mile away, soon made them forget their troubles. RESULTS Premier Awards : A. .1. Burkett ; A. G. Jones ;

H. A. Tliewl,s ; W. P. Olive, ; R, Blake; E. L. lint lieu! ; A. 11. Oxenford ; C. E. Trnot. Second Class Awards : R. W. Whale; E. L. Hart; C. C. king: II. J. 11c4brook ; 0, c.C. Robert, A.s. c. ttadd: A. U. Cop.:4;0101w; B. 5. Cox;

w, King ; A. A. Garlick ; saltr; C.

Phillips ; B. Banco >fit ; A. (loldnian ; o. Meek.

Third Class Awards : L. I. N iehols ; R. A.

Miss ; K. Rogers; LA.pulk.r. Team Prizes

1st ” C team—R. A. Thewlcs ; W. P. Rhodes ; G. Olive, .1nr.

2nd ” ” team—A. H. Oxenford ; W. F. W. King ; A. A. Garlick.

3rd ” A ” team—A. J. Burkett ; R. IV. Whale; C. D. Phillips.

M.C.C. Fiie Sporting Trial on October 5 was a distinct success. Run in the Derbyshire diStrict, it embraced such hills as Jenkins:. Chapel, Blackermill, Litton Slack, Barn ford Clough and the NVinnats. These hills caused rather more havoc than is usual in present-day trials, and prize had every reason to feel proud of themselves. The results wt re announced at the dinner at Palace Hotel, Buxton, to which over 350 people sat down, many of the tables being enthusiastically &coraled with the flags of competing teams. The M.G. team gained the tearn prize, this trio comprising J. M. Toulmin, A. Bastock and R. .1. Maodermid, who all drove the new I’ll Midgets. The team

rhamPi4m5hip io the Denatn-Chetwynd-Thomson Ford V8 team, with the M.G. team as runners-up.


The trial for the Cavendish Cup was extremely successful, the chief award being won by Cane (Austin 7), with Cooper (Austin Ten) as runner-up. Best time in the acceleration test was made by an Austin 7, while Kearney, Adams, Miss Stephens and Dr. Livingstone-Smith were eligible for silver medals.


The annual run to Brighton for motorvehicles built prior to 1903, will this year be staged on Nov. 17.

As before, the R.A.C. is in charge Of the general Organisation. So much interest does this run arouse, that the police make a special effort to keep the entire route clear, and spectators in modern cars are asked to do everything possible to ensure the competing cars a

free passage. Overcrowding has been rather too evident of recent years. There is nothing quite like this run anywhere else on the calendar. Those who are becoming a trifle blasé of trials in modern motors should procure a veteran and attempt to reach Brighton on November 17. No doubt the Hon. Brian Lewis, Malcolm Campbell, Karslake, Shuttleworth, John Cobb and other well-knoVen drivers will once again take their annual ” busman’s holiday ” on that date !


The Sporting Trial of the M.C.C. was especially interesting, on account of the hills which had to be tackled. In these days trials competitors can usually be stopped on gradients only by slime or boulders, or a combination of both. Slime provides a test of ” drivership,” inasmuch as excessive wheel-spin and hedge climbing will stop the most powerful of motors. Boulders, if abnormally large

or intentionally pre-positioned, are hardly good policy. Entrants whose cars remove sumps and silencers on such obstructions will not regard a club’s future events with very great enthusiasm. So, in the main, slime it has to be. But in their Derbyshire trial the M.C.C. introduced a new factor—steepness of the gradient itself—albeit the hills were all well known to Derbyshire trialsmen. If these hills hardly resulted in fountains of water from filler-caps, dull-red sumps, and buckled thermometer needles, at least Litton Slack stopped about half the entry, in most cases without the excuse of wheelspin, and Jenkins Chapel and Bamford Clough proved thoroughly useful to the M.C.C. ” grease ” being allied to ” steepness ” in these instances.

The plight of light-cars in the old Scottish Six Day Trials is but a dim memory, now that modern cars even make light of the Alps when properly prepared. But I sometimes wonder what support would be accorded to a club organising a really stiff trial over the ” best ” hills of N. Wales or Scotland, and, moreover, attempting to make up for the comparative ” easiness ” of British grades by imposing severe special tests in plenty just before the real fun commenced. It has to be remembered that in these days private owners constitute a large proportion of the entries, and they are not anxious to break good and expensive motor-cars. But would a trial of this sort be any more ” expensive ” to the majority of non-finishers than a blind for one hour round Brooklands at over 80 per?

By the time this issue is in print the Mid-Surrey ” Experts ” Trial will have been run off. As ” experts ” were specified as (a) holders of nine first-class awards or (b) holders of six first and six second-class awards the stoppages on hills should have been phenomenally few –or the course a remarkably interesting one!

Additional interest attaches to the results of this trial, as solid axles and ” comp ” tyres were banned.

” Blowers banned ” say the Monte Carlo Rally Organisers. I sincerely hope that trials organisers will not follow suit. Those persons who have evolved the present, silent and foolproof blower installations deserve to achieve commercial success, and trialmen’s motors should constitute a quite extensive market, valuable as such installations undoubtedly are for ordinary road-use. I have heard blowerenthusiasts say that they are willing to compete with unbloivn motors of twice their capacity, using ordinary tyres and axles against ” comp.” covers and locked ” diffs.” And since I was passenger to an M.G. driver who won the Premier Award with his blown Midget in competition with unlimited V8 engines and solid axles (” comps.” barred to everyone), I am firmly convinced that supercharging counts a great deal in trials tussles.