VSCC Herefordshire Trial

Originally printed on page 76 of the April 1995 issue of Motor Sport magazine.

This is a much appreciated VSCC fixture but this year rain before and on February 13 made it a very tough assignment, well worth winning. Hanish Moffatt, knowing the area, had found 18 hills, with the sensible idea of using those practical in terms of the weather. But, the weather gods frowning for once on even the VSCC and torrential rain pouring down, this was not 100% successful. But Moffatt deserved, and got, the praise due for the efficient way in which he coped with a desperate situation. Think, too, of the marshalls, some of whom were on location for eight hours or more, in horrible conditions. 11 hills were possible, including two new ones at the now-grisly Much Marcle where pictures of an Avro 504, Model-T Ford and ex-Brooklands Hillman still hang in the village garage.

From The Verzons near Ledbury 85 optimists set off, an excellent entry for such an event. Those who opted out were to have driven 30/98, 12/50 Alvis, a well-known Dodge, four A7s and a blown MG Midget, the cars not necessarily to blame. . . Seven had elected to use trailers to get to the start. There were tales of mysterious losses of power, variously blamed on the damp or modern petrol. Ian Hall had hardly begun than he withdrew, having decided not to replace a broken reverse-chain on his Frazer Nash, and not long afterwards Davison’s s/c MG was towed in with undiagnosed engine failure. As the soaking afternoon wore on Reed’s 1930 A7 joined the casualties, as did Odell’s 1923 Riley, but under the very wet conditions the retirements were notably few. Not everyone took all the sections however, and a delay at Foshalls of some 1½ hours made the trial, for those who did, into something like an eight-hour stint. One of the first to arrive back at The Verzons was Maxwell, who had enjoyed it, in spite of his Frazer Nash also developing a power-loss, a sticking valve being regarded as a possibility.

Great credit goes to Jeremy Flann and his 1933 A7 for winning the Hereford Trophy in this quite exceptionally muddy and difficult trial, and to Robin Harcourt-Smith and his 1929 Silver Eagle Alvis for taking the Andrew Blakeney-Edwards’ Trophy in Class 2. Only six points separated outright winner and runnerup, in that order.

So it turned out very well, thanks to Moffatt, and all the sodden marshall and officials. Apart from the previously quoted Award winners, those who got First Class Awards were N Plevan (A7), B Clarke (GN-A7), B Collings (Bentley), S Baxter (Chrysler), and I Ghosh (30/98). Second Class Awards were achieved by P Lonhursht (Riley), I Williamson (MG), D Rolfe (MG-Riley), P Evans (A7), D Marsh (30/98), R Reed (A7), Dr Fenner (Riley) and N Garland (30/98). Those who qualified for Third Class Awards were C Gray (A7), T Gosling (A7), C Hudson (A7), Georgina Brewster (A7, Dr Gray (A7-JAP), T Threlfall (Ford), E Peppercorn (1914 Renault), C Hamilton-Gould (Ford), R Collings (Mercedes Maybach), P Cassidy (Riley), E Goldsmith (Lea-Francis) and 1 Gough (Riley). One girl, two Edwardians. A fine show all round.   William Boddy

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