On this day in 1949, we ran a sporting trial. We still run a sporting trial each November, the Roy Fedden Sporting Trial.
Half-Day Sporting Trial
19th NOVEMBER, 1949
At one Tuesday meeting when reading Motor Sport, instead of paying attention to Club business, I found I had “volunteered” to be scrutineer at this Trial. Well, on the day of the event I went out to the Willsbridge Motor Co.’s garage near Bitton to have a look at the cars. Nobody seemed to be breaking any of the Trials car regulations, though we didn’t care much for the car with Trade Plates, and a noisy exhaust. Morgan Marshall and W. V. Kethro fitted wheels with smooth tyres to their cars, which seemed rather comic, but I suppose it saves wearing out one’s everyday treads. The local small boys thought Tolman’s “Betsy” very funny. So it is. The beauty prize would have gone to C Brough whose Ford-based Brough was fitted with a very handsome body by a Gloucester coachbuilder. The only non-starter was J. S. French.
The first hill was at the end of the lane through North Stoke. It was half as deep in mud as it was long. Nobody got to the top.
The other five hills were about a mile away in Percy Radford’s Happy Hunting Ground. They were approached across a couple of fields and through a wood. Passing through the wood we noticed that the last section was out the same way! Beyond was a little valley, rather like a saucer with cracks radiating from the middle.
In the middle of the saucer was Len Parker, his immaculate (to start with) Allard pointing all ways at once and entirely surrounded by Roberts Brothers. It was difficult for marshals to keep the cars under control as the machines wouldn’t stay where they were put.
No cars climbed Hill 2, few even managing the first section. Six cars completed the first of four sections on Hill 3, but got no further. Owing to the bad conditions, Hills 4 and 6 were omitted. Hill 5 was better, being climbed by six though many people got stuck on the approaches.
Len Parker broke his car’s starter motor, then its starting handle, and was finally towed out by the tractor. The marshals did a lot of hard work led by Ian Robertson, who had a rope and got very, very muddy.
C. C. Evans in the A-C. engined “Dacy,” won the Trial for cars and collects the Anthony Cup. First-class awards were given to G. W. Best (Rad Ford) and L. G. Tolman (“Betsy”). David Bollom’s Ausford and B. Fitzwater’s Riley-engined Austin collected second-class awards.
The course was far more suited to the motor-cycles, six of which took part, being ridden by Messrs. Green, Minter, Cox, Douglas, Hartman and Parsons. L. R. Parsons won the Scampton Cup, and a first-class award went to Philip Green.
In the evening we went along to the Mauretania to hear Laurence Pomeroy talk about his beloved’s “Prince Henrys” and “30/98s.” A pity there were no 4.5-litre Bentley owners present to ask awkward questions about brakes; but we all enjoyed “L.P.’s” story about the lady who said she’d rather commit burglary than drink.
By the way, before I’d got to the advertisement section of Motor Sport somebody said I’d volunteered to be scrutineer at the Roy Fedden Trial too! The Chairman said something about “plenty of practice by then.”
Ah well ! See you on December the tenth.
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