Britain’s two oldest motoring clubs are the Motor Cycling Club and the Midland Automobile Club. The MCC, which was founded on November 10, 1901 and which caters as much for cars as motorcycles as it has done for very many years, claims to be “Britain’s Oldest Sporting Club for Motorcycles and Cars”, while the Midland AC, which was formed at a meeting in the Grand Hotel in Birmingham on January 11, 1901, organised early speed hill-climbs at Gorcott and Sunrising hills — the latter reflected in the motif of the Club’s badge. MAC activities at Shelsley Walsh began in 1905, and though it was more of a car club than the MCC, motorcycles competed there in 1911, an entry of 44 having been obtained via the Birmingham MCC (it was a two-wheeler which made FTD, the 7hp Indian of AJ Moorhouse clocking 55 seconds and beating the quickest car). Motorcycles were to have been admitted to the famous hill again in 1939, but war intervened and this did not happen until 1946, when one of their number again beat the cars (Ernie Lyons’ Triumph was 0.13 seconds faster than Raymond Mays’ ERA). Thereafter motorcycles competed against the cars until 1964.
It is of academic interest which of these great Clubs is the older. What is more to the point is that Shelsley Walsh continues to thrive. The MCC will be holding its 65th Edinburgh Trial on October 3 (entries close August 29) and a new Sporting Trial at Mere, off the A303, on September 13. WB