Club News, September 1954

The British Automobile Racing Club announce that the national car race meeting originally planned for Aintree (Liverpool) on September 4th has been replaced by an international meeting to be held on Saturday, October 2nd. October 2nd was originally scheduled as an international fixture or the Scottish circuit, Charterhall, and the Winfield Joint Committee, organisers of Charterhall motor racing, have agreed to an exchange of dates with the B.A.R.C.

Thus, the revised autumn programme for the two circuits is:
September 4th. — National meeting, Charterhall.
October 2nd. — International meeting, Aintree.

The chief sponsors of the M.C.C. National Rally (November 10th-13th) will be the Wayne V. Myers Co., Ltd., proprietors of Redex, and the event will be known as the M.C.C./Redex National Motor Rally. Certain other firms are co-operating in regard to the prize list and the event, which for the past four years has been the biggest rally held in this country, promises to be the most popular and best ever.

Starting at 8.01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 10th, from seven starting points — Manchester, Glasgow, Norwich, Cardiff, Plymouth, Kenilworth and London — competitors will converge on Harrogate and will then take a “round Britain” route of some 800 miles to the finish at Hastings. Day and night tests will be held en route, with further tests on arrival at Hastings. The first car is due at the finish at about 8 a.m. on Friday, November 12th.

On Saturday morning, November 13th, a Concours d’Elegance will be held, open not only to those who have been through the rally (who will compete for rally-concours prizes) but to all others who wish to enter for concours only.

Entries, which have always been over-subscribed, will be limited to 450 for the rally and to 200 for the concours. Regulations were ready early in August and have been sent automatically to all last year’s entrants and to all M.C.C. members. Others interested should write as soon as possible to the promoters, the M.C.C. Limited, 7, Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge, London, S.W.1 (Telephone: Sloane 9087).

Southend A.C. “300” Rally
Of an entry of 85 cars, five of which were non-starters, 52 cars reached the finish at the Queen’s Hotel, Westcliff,on-Sea, of this year’s Southend “300” rally, which was held during Saturday night and Sunday morning, July 24th/25th.

The organisation of the rally was such that a large proportion of the entry were expected to finish within the time allowance for an award. Emphasis was made in the instructions to competitors that in the event of difficulty on any one or more sections, it was to their advantage to lose marks by missing route checks rather than incur heavy penalties for lateness at time controls.

Once again the Thames Estuary Automobile Club succeeded in finding a winner on the road section. It was gratifying to see that the club succeeded in their aim of a high proportion of finishers, and yet at the same time, to provide a varied and interesting route through which no competitor passed with a clean sheet.

From Chalkwell Park, Westcliff-on-Sea, where the first car was given the signal to start by the Mayor of Southend (Councillor H. N. Bride, J.P.), the route for the first section, which was of a closed nature, led to a time control near Colchester. Turning westwards competitors then had to visit nine route checks before reporting to a time control near Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. One route check was at a ford: it was at this point one competitor became confused about his directions and chose to proceed downstream rather than follow the road out of the ford. His enthusiasm for the rally was not dampened to any extent, the water was quite warm!

After a break of 1 hour 20 minutes for supper at Stansted, competitors set off on an “Eight Clubs” type of section which took them through Haverhill to a control near Stradishall in Suffolk.

The fourth section was the longest of the 300-mile rally. Competitors could visit the 18 route checks in any order, but the correct method gave three 37-mile legs between controls 6 and 7. 7 and 8. 8 and 9, visiting 6 route checks between each control. Departing from control 6, control 7 had to be visited after 1 hour 20 minutes, control 8 after a further 1 hour 20 minutes and control 9 after a further 1 hour 20 minutes. This section covered Suffolk and parts of Norfolk before returning to a point near Clare on the Essex-Suffolk border.

From Clare, the route for the fifth section passed through Great Yeldham and Cressing to the breakfast step near Witham; section 6 continued the homeward trend through Danbury, Battlesbridge and Rayleigh to a control on the London-Southend Arterial Road just inside the County Borough of Southend-on-Sea.

The final and “home for a pint” section was of a closed nature taking competitors to the driving tests on the Eastern Esplanade at Thorpe Bay and back to the finish of the rally .at the Queen’s Hotel, Westcliff-on-Sea.

As a result of a new system in preparing the route, cards, the organisers were able to announce the provisional results shortly after the last car arrived at the finish. The official announcements were made at an informal gathering in the Queen’s Hotel, where competitors and friends, organisers and the faithful and hardworking marshals all enjoyed a well-earned pint or two before making their way home from a not-so-sunny Southend-on-Sea.

After congratulating the various prize winners on their victories, a word of special praise is due to R. J. Byrne who having been timed out at the start had to spend an hour at a garage attending to valve trouble in his Singer. Undaunted by such misfortune he and his crew drove straight to the supper stop and from there continued on the rally. (Results next column.)

Best Performance:
F. A. Freeman/R. J. Randall (Austin A40 Sports). Navigator’s Award: Mrs. R. Randall.
Best Open Car: F. A. Pye (Wolseley). Navigator’s Award: P. Michelson.
Best Closed Car: B. M. Bowring (Austin). Navigator’s Award: D. Turnbull.
Ladies` Award: Mrs. E. M. Price (H.R.G.).
Novices’ Award: C. D. Boulton (Healey Silverstone).
Team Award: “The Red Lions” (J. M. C. Shand/W. T. Harris (Jaguar XK120), D. J. Morley/G. E. Morley (Ford Consul) and C. D. Boulton (Healey Silverstone).

Class Awards:
Cars up to 1,500 c.c., Open:
1st: A. Graham-Brown (M.G.); 2nd: J. Shove (M.G. TF); 3rd : R. G. Forster (M.G. TD).
Cars up to 1.500 c.c., Closed: 1st: R. McTurk (Ford Prefect): 2nd A. R.. Willcocks (Hillman Minx); 3rd: D. H. W. Thompson (Ford Prefect).
Cars, 1,501 to 2,500 c.c., Open: 1st: C. D. Boulton (Healey Silverstone);
2nd: D. I. Rees (Triumph TR2); 3rd: S. Wilcox (Triumph TR2).
Cars, 1,501 to 2,500 c.c., Closed: 1st: N. K. W. West (Ford Consul); 2nd: D. P. Speed (Vauxhall); 3rd K. W. Monk (Sunbeam Talbot).
Cars over 2,500 c.c., Open 1st: J. M. C. Shand/W. T. Harris (Jaguar XK120).
Cars over 2,500 c.c.. Closed: 1st: M. Mostyn (Jaguar XK120).
Special and Supercharged Cars Closed: 1st: D. J. Morley/G. E. Morley (Ford Consul).

Sunbeam M.C.C. Commemoration Rally (July 25th).
The weather for this year’s vintage and veteran rally was, alas, abominable, but this did not prevent most of the entry of 107 vehicles from turning up at California-in-England, near Reading, at the conclusion of their wet morning excursions, which, if marks were not to be lost, had to equal 50 miles in a “crow’s line.”

In the afternoon a circuit of just over 12 miles had to be completed at set average speeds, ranging from 12.m.p,h. for an 1894 vehicle to 30 m.p.h. for those-constructed in 1930. No sort of order prevailed at the start, competitors being dispatched as they came to the starting point, where we were disturbed to see a clown from the near-by circus busy amongst the veterans The circuit was well marked and marshalled but lacked hills and included some very rough and muddy lanes and tracks — no doubt the vehicles entered had such surfaces to contend with in their youth but not when they were required to keep going at considerable speeds! Also, we are not sure that a lengthy watersplash some 9 in. deep is appreciated by owners of beautifully-restored veterans, fun as it was in a vintage vehicle.

The route, however, certainly provided its amusements. H. B. Twallin’s 1915 16-b.p. Sunbeam tourer with canvas side-curtains took it with notable circumspection, F. D. Longhurst’s smart and snug 1926 12/25 Humber saloon finished late, while W. Boddy, whose 1922 8-h.p. Talbot-Darracq two-seater contrived to average nearly 30 m.p.h., in spite of being largely sans brakes; he over-shot one left-hand turn but returned non-stop (as the regulations required!) by making a vast right-hand turn, and passed both a modern car and B. Donovan’s very nice 1926 11-h.p. o.h.c. Wolseley tourer going into another hectic left-hand turn. G. de Jongh had no difficulty in his air-cooled 1926 sports A.B.C. but T. Mayhew’s 1927 two-speeder Morgan three-wheeler had to be returned “on a string.”

The B.R.D.C. was represented by C. McCallam’s 1900 4 1/2-h.p. de Dion voiturette and Bert Coffin, in a blue suit and bowler hat, drove his well-known 1914 model-T Ford tourer. Results : —
TwItches Trophy (Best Veteran): W. Moore (1901 Dart). 64.8 points gained.
Blockley Bowl (Best Vintage): H. S. Cussons (1915 Sunbeam). 62.9 points gained.
McNab Memorial Bowl (Age): C. McCallum (1900 de Dion). 64.2 points gained.
Best Two-Wheeler: L. Manchester (1912 Humber). 63.1 point. gained.
Best Three-Wheeler: H. G. Plumb (1914 New Hudson). 61.7 points gained.
Best Four-Wheeler: B. Coffin (1914 Ford). 62.9 points gained.
Best Sunbeam MCC. Member: T. E. Hubbuck (1914 Rover). 62.7 points gained.
Best V.M.C.C. Member: W. Searl (1914 Levis). 62.0 points gained.
Best V.C.C. Member: J. Lindley (1912 Belsize). 61.3 points gained.
Team Prize: Humber Register (R. A. May, F. D. Longhurst and W. S. May). 147.6 points gained.