I can thank Dave Giles from the VMCC for providing all the content for this Blog which is very much an appeal for help in trying to locate any of the team or other BSA’s that were ridden in the immediate Pre-war period.
Photo of British Army Team Motorcycles #156 Sgt O. Davies Matchless 350cc #113 Pte. JL Wood BSA 496cc [EOG 22] #75 Cpl A C Doyle BSA 496cc [EOG 20] #68 Lt. J. F. Riley with Norton 500cc at ISDT 1939
I have been provided with a list of the last three events of the ISDT prior to the outbreak of WWII in 1939, an event which for the second time interupted the ISDT. If anyone is able to help us identify any of these bikes by providing a registration or other ID and if they are aware if any collectors have one of these bikes kept under wraps somewhere we would be grateful if you could contact us here by messaging on this post
Dave says “A fascinating chance conversation with Georges Wander on the Gold Star Owners club stand at Stafford (owner of the oldest G.S. in the land) led to our wondering how many, if any, of the Gold Stars used in the Pre War ISDT had survived? Diligent research of a variety of sources at the VMCC Library led me to believe that the number of Gold Star, or Silver Star, entries for 1938 was probably 12 and for 1939 I know of 9 – although I have uncorroborated evidence of more, as other nationalities were also involved.
About the entrants for the 1938 ISDT I can be fairly sure as the event occurred in Wales and we have the programme. But for the fascinating 1939 event held in Salzburg we do not have the all important programme. I also know that again not all the 500 BSAs were Gold Stars, for example in the CMSA team of 3 there were 2 Silver Stars, and in the BSA team Jack Ashworth rode a 250cc Silver Star. (intriguingly, so did a Mrs M. Anning in the ‘38 Welsh event).
Because of my personal interest in the Empire Star model (I own one) I extended my research to 1937 which was in Wales and find we had 9 BSAs of either 350 or 500cc capacity which were, presumably, all Empire Stars. I have now been introduced to a member who intends to write a book based on the adventures that befell the British contingent in the extraordinary ’39 event; and any information our members might recall about any rider of any make we would be most grateful: and in particularly for sight of a 1939 programme.
The BSA Riders involved were:
1937: R. Spokes; J. Ashworth; E. Savell; S. Bell; H. Ogden; T. Bleakley: E. Perks; A.E. Perrigo; H. Cartwright.
1938: Mrs M. Anning (250cc) J. Dalby: H. Cartwright; A. Fletcher; D. Barber: J. Ashworth; F. Perks; R. Yeates; J. Amott; R. Gillam; P. Sirell; H. Tozer; T. Blockley; R. Spokes; F. Rist, L. Vanhouse (748cc).
1939: T. Tozer; J. Amott; J. Ashworth (250cc); L. Ridgeway; T. Blockley; J.Wood; R. Money; F. Whitehouse; F. Rist; P.Doyle.
BSA entries in the ISDT’s of 1937 – 8 – 9
ISDT 1937 Wales
ISDT 1938 (very wet and difficult)
ISDT 1939 in Austria (Salzburg)
It is believed that all the 500cc were M24s with the exception of 2 bikes in the CSMA team: Fred Perks rode a M23 Silver Star and Les Ridgeway a M23 engine in a M24 Gold Star frame. (see Classic M/C Dec 1984)
When the British contingent withdrew at dawn on Friday they were 200 miles from the Swiss border, and a further 800 miles to go through France – made difficult by the turmoil of French mobilisation. Staying behind to ride on Friday were the British Army Team with Bert Perrigo of BSA who was supporting them) and
255 Marjory Cottle 250 cc Triumph
166 Colin Edge 350 cc Matchless
132 Hugh Sim 350 cc Triumph
140 Alan Sanders 350 cc Triumph
War office instruction to the Army team withdraw arrived during the day, so kit was collected and bills were paid, so that, on their return, the riders could fill up with fuel and be ready to depart as soon as the last rider came in at 5pm. They then rode hard all through the night in torrential rain to the Swiss border, some falling asleep as they rode – but fortunately without injury; to arrive in Switzerland at dawn on Saturday.(see Bert Perrigo’s account in MCG 6th Sept 1939).
See also: Peter Chamberlain’s addition to the end of the ISDT report in M/cg 30/08/39, where he describes the withdrawal of the main party during Friday.
And Fred Perks recollections of the event in the Classic Motor Cycle of Dec.1984.
German Teams won the 1939 Trophy, Vase and other Cups. But the results were declared null and void by the FMCI (later FIM) in 1946.
1st Sept 2012
David Giles said:
Addendum & corrections from Dave Giles.
Since writing the original text I have now obtained a photo-copy of the 1939 ISDT Programme, in German of course, but the details of the entrants etc are clear.
There were 12 BSA machines, all ridden by English entrants, and all 500s except for a 250 ridden by Jack Ashworth and a 350 ridden by C.R. Bates, who together with Fred Perks was somehow overlooked in my original text. However this is corrected in the later tables. However in the reproduction some brackets have been omitted which groups individuals into teams. For example Tozer, Amott and Ashworth made up the BSA works team: Ridgeway, Whitehouse and Perks the CSMA team; Rist, Doyle and Wood the British Army team (who were still without loss of marks when they had to withdraw at the end of Friday the fifth day)
Positive identification of the machines in the accompanying photograph are: No 156 a 350 Matchless ridden by Sgt O. Davies; No. 113 a 500 BSA ridden by Pte. J.L. Wood; No 68 a 500 Norton ridden by Lt. J. F. Riley; No. 75 a 500 BSA ridden by Cpl. A.C. Doyle.
I have also obtained a copy of the trial as reported in the September 1939 edition Das Motorrad, again in German of course, and I would be grateful for the assistance of anyone who is bi-lingual to give an accurate translation.
Dave you may find recent additions to the 1937 page and other stuff may provide further assistance
Rich Payne said:
Have you seen the engine and frame details of the Army team EOG registration JM24s from the MEE (Mechanization Experimental Establishment) ledgers in the National Archive ?
Jane Landymore said:
My father was a Jack Ashworth from Bury. He died in 1966 but i do know he had a passion for bikes and went onto rally cars in the 60`s. I would be interested to know if he is the Jack Ashworth mentioned. My mother told the story that he was offered a job by the triumph works after working on a 4th gear mechanism?Any information would be wonderful.
Hi Jane. I dont know myself yet but hopefully somebody might come along check out the VMCC web site they have an impressive archive on bikes and riders
Bradley McCreary said:
The CSMA Club Archive, located at the Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection in Bourton on the Water, contain materials related to the 1939 ISDT which include photos,programmes and memoirs from Fred Perks.
Bradley are any of these available online or could they be made available or a list of what is still held that we could publish here to assist those researching the ISDT to locate what you have available.
Andrew Longworth said:
Hi I own a 1937 B S A Trials Bike previously ridden by Jack Ashworth during his time as a works rider for B S A Andrew
Jane Landymore Nee Ashworth said:
Do you have any further details re Jack Ashworth? I am trying to find out if my father who was also Jack Ashworth from Bury is one and the same? If you have any information about him, his age and any photos would really appreciate it! Many thanks
Stuart Black said:
Do you have any details of the private BSA entry number 167 in the ill fated 1939 ISDT ridden by C.R.Bates,I know it was essentially a 350 cc empire star but who owned it and could it possibly be the one I have found that eventually went to Stockport BSA dealer Mr Cartwright?Does anybody know any more about C.R .Bates and what became of the machine he rode?