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Classical Gas is an independent web site and is not affiliated to any of the clubs or organisers of the events featured. Words and Pictures by Michael unless attributed otherwise. Michael is a proud member of the MCC, ACTC, Dellow Register and Falcon amongst others, but does not represent their views nor the views of any other organisers or clubs.
November 2003 - Part 1

Edinburgh 2003

If you were car classes 1 to 5 it wasn't a competitive trial because it was so dry and only the higher classes were let loose on Bamford and Corkscrew. But what a good day out. Nice weather, gorgeous views, a new road route and a nice club supper to finish the day. Super news, Brian Sussex won a gold and his triple.

Start at Moto Services Tamworth

The start was just as sterile and devoid of atmosphere as last year and most of the facilities were closed and locked up behind steel shutters. The President participated in scruitineering, shaking spare wheels vigorously  to make sure they were secure. There were lost of abandoned tow cars and trailers around the car park and the management will have made a few quid if they all paid their 6 long term parking fee.
 

Agnes Meadow

 
 
Dave Nash deviates off the main track at Agnes Meadow in the Skeetle. A Beetle floorpan and running gear with a Skoda convertible body.
 
  The run to the first section followed the usual route up the A5 and north through Litchfield to Ashbourne and out on the A517 to Agnes Meadow. There was a deviation here for classes seven and eight but it didn't catch many people out this year as they knew all about the sharp turn back onto the main track. Everyone wasn't lucky though as both Maureen Chattle and Neil Bray were shown as failures in the results. I don't know about Maureen but not only did I see Neil not fail I videoed him not failing!
 

Clough Wood

 
 
With John Alssop not available Clive Booth coerced car builder Geoff Jackson into the passengers seat of his Dellow Replica. Corkscrew was Clive's only failure.
 
  There was along run of around 20 miles through Matlock to petrol at Two Dales before crossing over the Peak Railway to a rather rough Clough Wood where the sharp rocks ripped the sidewall out of one of the front tyres of Stuart Harrolds Troll. The sidewall was too badly damaged to put in a new tube so Stuart and Chris put on a wide rear wheel so they could continue.
 

Wigber Low

 
 
The dawn has broken as Neil Bray eases Primrose gently down the Wigber Low exit road with a decidedly wobbly front wheel.
 
  Cars had the usual holding control in the breaking dawn before to prevent queuing on the main road. The section was pretty straightforward and the marshals, which included Morgan racer Rob Wells, weren't troubled by many failures. Neil Bray was in problems on the following road section as one of his knock of hubs was coming loose from the flange. The problem was that the securing nuts had hobbed their way into the hub leaving almost no flats exposed to get a spanner to.
 

Bentley Brook Inn

 
Leiges  hunt in packs and are seen here passing time in a lay-by before clocking into Bentley Brook.
Ian and Phillip Bovill entered their ISOC Sports which has its origins in a Sherpa Van! According to the owner it qualified for class 7 because of the long wheelbase.
  The organisation creaked a bit here as the  wait for breakfast grew longer and longed and the really late numbers had to wait for around an hour and a quarter. Needless to say quite a few left without any food inside them!
 

Putwell 1

Ian Blackburn is still enjoying the luxury of Tim Short chauffeuring him around Classic Trial sections in his Singer Nine Sports. Here they are tackling the big bump immediately after the start. (Picture by John Salter)
Tim Hellings struggling to find grip on the loose stones on the so called preferential start line that was to cause problems for a lot of the Front Wheel Drive cars. Tim had to retire before the end of the trial.
The normal start was just before a raised hump over a pipe but the big hole from last year was filled in. It was tricky getting away though, even for the front wheel drive cars who had a preferential start a bit lower down. There was quite a bit of blue smoke as competitors burned their tyre getting over the hump and the diff in Richard Tompkins Imp cried enough. Earlier Stuart Harrold and Chris Phillips had gone to let down their rear tyres only to find one was flat already so they were down to no spares!
 

Special Test One

 
 
Richard & Edward Cooper raising the dust as they round the 90 right on the Putwell Special Test. (Picture by John Salter)
 

 

The route card explained this as start on Line A, Stop astride Line B, Stop astride Line B affair but competitors were greeted on the start line with the news that it was a straight blast, stop on line B and that's it. Nice and simple.
 

Putwell 2

Brian and Kevin Alexander restarting their diminutive Fiat under the eagle eye of the master. Brian claimed a Gold but was down as failing Litton in the results. (Picture by John Salter)
Dudley relaxing while Stephen and Phil Potter take their time in restarting their Trojan. Both the Trojans went on to Gold. (Picture by John Salter)
Dudley Sterry and Eric and David Wall were in charge here with John Salter taking pictures. The re-start was in the usual place on the rocky slab and was very, very rough. Most competitors got away OK but positioning was critical.
 

Litton Slack

 
 
Dave Nash and Julie Fleet attacking the upper reaches of Litton in The Skeetle.
 
  The old hill was kind to competitors this year with plenty of grip all the way up.
 

Black Harry

After Litton the route divided. Bikes and Classes 6 to 8 went straight to Great Hucklow while 1 to 5 went east on the A623 to turn off into the quarry complex to Black Harry, a nice simple straight track which didn't trouble the scorer to much.
 

Great Hucklow

 
 
Michael Leete and Mike Hayward demonstrating that their Beetle has plenty of ground clearance. (Picture by Derek Hibbert) Click Here to go to Dereks Website
 
  There was a special test before the section which deviated up the bank as usual. There was plenty of grip and this was one section that didn't seem as rough as usual. Brian and Kevin Alexander had a few problems and had to stop just before the section but soon got going again to claim a gold, only to find they were given a fail on Litton Slack.
 

Gliding Club Control

This was a compulsory 30 minute rest halt and the holding control for those lucky enough to be allowed to tackle Bamford Clough. The organisers had clearly been taking lessons from the Lands End as they had found the coldest, windiest godforsaken spot in the whole area for Stuart and Chris to replace the tube in one of their flats.
 

Bamford Clough

Classes 1 to 5 weren't allowed to have a go this year as water erosion had washed out the surface in front on the steps which most competitors reckoned were the steepest ever.
 

Haggside

Brian Partridge and Julie Hebditch in happy mood on Haggside
Chris and Linda Beaumont from Hereford arrive at the summit.
  The restart on Haggside was in the usual place just around the corner immediately after the start. There was plenty of grip in the dry conditions and only competitors who got their positioning totally wrong had any problems.
 

Old Long Hill

After Haggside it was back alongside the Ladybower Reservoir and the local constabulary wasting the taxpayers money in a very expensive camera vehicle trying to trap speeding motorists. At least they were nice and safe inside their van which they wouldn't have been on the streets of nearby Sheffield protecting innocent citizens from murders, rapists and muggers. The long road section wound its way along the valley through Hope and Castleton and up the spectacular Winnats Pass before coming into Buxton from the north down the A6 and out on the A5004 where the car entry split. Classes 1 to 6 tackled Old Long Hill, complete with downhill start.
 

Corkscrew

Classes Seven, Eight and the bikes went on to Corkscrew, which was to pose a real challenge. Not only was it rough, narrow and twisty but it had a difficult restart, between the two hairpins, and it was wet. No, the MCC assure us it was not doctored, a natural spring runs down the hill. Amongst the bike entry Brian Sussex was on tenterhooks as he listened to first a crescendo of noise and then total silence. Fortunately when his turn came Brian kept his nerve and cleaned the section for  a well earned triple.

It was a tough section for the four-wheeled brigade but it was cleanable with a lot of care and a fair slice of luck. The section was very slippery for the early numbers and Stuart Harrold was one of the few early numbers to get a clean. It wasn't easy, although they got the Troll away from the restart Stuart and Chris had to fight for grip all the way to the summit.  Fred Gregory got off the re-start OK only to come to a halt on the left hand corner. Mike Pearson came to grief when his left front wheel went up on a rock and the car pivoted on diagonal corners loosing drive. Ed Nikel failed as well but was happy as he was enjoying a nice reliable trial with VW power even if the engine was fluffing a bit. Corkscrew was Peter Montain's only failure in his newly refurbished Dellow which was going very well apart from the carburation needing a bit of tweaking.
 

Haydale

As the routes re-joined there was another very long road run, north and then east in a huge circle around Buxton to Haydale where John and June Blakeley presided over a comparatively easy section in the dry conditions.
 

Calton

Philip Pontin and Tina Ashby displaying that their Kingfisher Chenoworth has plenty of ground clearance.
Bryan and Gail Foreshew needed sunglasses at the top of Calton.
  The final hill was Calton. It was pretty easy in the dry but the ruts are a slowly stating to come back so it could soon be returning to be a competitive section.
 

Bull L'Th Thorn Inn, Flagg Moor

 
 
Reg Taylor and Bill Rule at the finish after a successful class 0 run in their RDT Anglia.
 
  The finish was at this rather desolate pub in the middle of nowhere again. But inside it was noisy and crowded with competitors eating and drinking as they signed off. Popular opinion was that it was a very nice day out but with the very dry conditions not a competitive trial unless you were one of the lucky ones allowed to have a go at Bamford andCorkscrew.
 

Pavilion Gardens Buxton

The MCC had organised a club supper at The Pavilion Gardens which made a very nice conclusion to an enjoyable day. Hopefully this will be a feature of future Edinburgh Trials. The only thing wrong was that many of us were waiting for a few words from the hierarchy which never came!
 

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