Giles Greenslade was in worse trouble when the steering went funny and closer
investigation revealed the steering box had become detached from the beam. One of the
securing bolts had sheered and the box was flopping around. Giles quickly had the petrol
tank out and with the help of Michael Collins and several other competitors rigged a jury
repair with the aid of exhaust clamps and jubilee clips. It wasnt very elegant but
it was good enough to get him round the route, shepherded by David Sargeant and Michael
Simon Woodhall had put a lot of thought into avoiding delays and had organised
alternative routes to "spread the load" on Round Oak where there had been
considerable delays last year. The plan was that later numbers would do the last two
sections first, while the early runners went to do battle with Farlow. This is a
relatively short section for The Clee, with mud and ruts presenting the challenge. It was
the downfall of quite a few fancied runners, including Roger Bricknell, Mike Hobbs, John
Looker and Keith Vipond, yet half the class ones breezed to the summit.
There was a long run to The Craven Arms where the route divided. Odd numbers tackled
Round Oak while evens did the Rattlinghope, Gattens Gamble, Adstone loop. This
started with a trip over The Long Mynd, in the reverse direction to usual. There were
fantastic views and fantastic unguarded drops. The views continued at the top of
Rattlinghope, which was cleaned by the entire field. Gattens Gamble was more challenging
as the start was on a steep muddy bank which stopped all the class fives and few others as
well, including the DAF of Fred Mills and Derek Reynolds whose Variomatic transmission
wouldnt play ball.
Adstone was next, after a hairy downhill approach road with extremely deep ruts on the
right, which leaned the cars right over into the trees lining the track. The section
itself wasnt too difficult, but it did catch out Peter Thompson in his Opel Kadett.
Peter had been on of the competitors who did Round Oak first, and by the time he got to
the Rattlinghope, Gattens Gamble, Adstone loop he was behind the course closing car.
The marshals had gone on the first two section but he went over the first one anyway.
Later numbers faced an hour and a half in a queue at Round Oak. There were a lot of
failures on the first part of the section that had to be dragged our backwards with a Land
Rover, which took a ling time. Its worth describing this fascinating section, which
you either love or hate! The first fifty yards or so is more or less flat, which is very
rutted and muddy. The ruts weave about a bit and the track drops away into a ditch. Too
much power in the wrong place and you slip into that ditch. Then theres a ninety
left and the track gets a bit steeper and the ruts deeper! There were a lot of failures
including Mike Chatwin and Tony Rothin in class eight and all the Marlins in class seven.
Round Oak wasnt very kind to class there and Dave Turner was the only competitor to
come out the top. Most of the Beetles got up and plenty of ground clearance was a definite
advantage. The hill saw the end of the trial for a couple of the Austin Sevens when both
Barry Clarke and John Bamber broke their transmissions.
The ruts at the top of Hungerford were pretty deep this year and the class eights had a
restart just before as well to slow them down. None of them could build up enough momentum
to get through without a tow and neither could any of the class sevens, even without a
restart. Four of the Beetles did, Giles Greensalde, Keith Vipond, Richard Peck and
eventual winner Terry Ball and so did Adrian Tucker-Peake in his Peugeot 205. The bottom
corner was a problem for some and Peter Thompson gave the bank a fair old wack to the
detriment of the bodywork. But Hugerford is about more than the section. Getting through
the ruts on the escape road is a challenge equal to any section! In fact it was to much
for some Land Rovers who were out green laneing and one of them rolled over, delaying the
Rob Cull was in charge of the diff test just before a rather Mickey Mouse special test.
Just up the track the routes divided. Class eights tackled Majors Leap, which stopped most
of them. The rest of the entry had to try and get round the hairpin on Ippikins Rock, with
a restart right on the corner itself for some of the classes, although there was some
confusion as this wasnt in the route card. Andrew Brown and Peter Thompson were some
of the few front engined rear drive re-starters to get round. Classes one and two did much
better without a restart and all but one were successful.
It was dark when the later numbers reached The Jenny Wind. This was a total stopper and
four was the best score anyone got. The hill was the end of Richard Pecks trial when
he retired from the Clee with suspension breakage for the second year running. Last year
it was the back, this year the front. Harley Bank was next on the agenda. A long, long
section, with quite a bit of mud towards the top. The class eights had a diversion, which
stopped them all, and only Adrian Marfell got any where near the top and even he only got
to the two. The other classes had an easier route but it was still tough going for many.
Classes seven and eight tackled Meadowley, although it was cancelled after it was
closed prematurely, but not before Andrew Brown got within spitting distance of the
The final sections were on the Boyne Estate, very muddy and marked out in the woods.
They were rather out of character with the rest of the event and not so popular with some
of the later numbers who tackled them in the pitch black. The finish was just around at
the Boyne Arms and Terry Ball was soon announced the winner in front of Adrian
Tucker-Peake and David Haizelden. It was The Jenny Wind that decided it, with Terry
getting all the way to the four while Adrian stopped at the Seven. Adrian managed to get
one mark back on Hillside but it was Terrys day and he was the worthy winner of an
excellent Clee Hills Trial. There were a few organisational glitches. The last couple of
sections werent universally popular, but it was a very good event. Most of the
sections were long and not to damaging as even when the ruts were deep it was mud rather
than rocks that jammed underneath. There were plenty of friendly marshals and some
||Terry Ball (VW Beetle)
||Adrian Tucker-Peake (Peugeot 205)
||Jeremy Flann (Austin 7)
||David Turner (BMW)
||Giles Greenslade (VW Beetle)
||Gregor Dixon-Smith (Morgan 4/4)
||Mark Tooth (VW Beetle)
||Roger Bricknell (Vincent)
||Peter Fear (Dingo)