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In the year where we see the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the very first ISDT. For many, especially in Wales, it is also going to be noted as the 80th anniversary of the fifteenth ISDT event which took place in Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire, now Powys in 1933. We have a page dedicated to each year the ISDT took place but also its another anniversary as the ISDT changed its name in 1981 to the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE). In 1983, 30 years ago this year, the ISDE rolled back into Llandrindod Wells / Builth Wells, the last time the Six Day spectacular has occurred in Great Britain. During this year I hope to produce a page to commemorate the 1983 event, of which video clips of a Welsh Language TV Show on S4C can be viewed in our ISDT Tube page.

Originally the awarding of the following years event was an honour bestowed on the National Governing Body for the country of the sport whose team won the trophy. However this became increasingly difficult because of the limited number of countries eligible to compete for the International Trophy, which could only be won by a team riding on motorcycles made in their own country. Later on the cost of this restriction limited the number of potential host nations and finding a host with adequate suitable terrain and resources became harder. The Trophy requirements were abandoned teams could ride on what they wanted, and it was later opened up to parties to bid for the rights to hold the event rather than winning the right.

The history of the Welsh Events in 1933, 1937, 1938, 1949, 1950, 1954, 1961 can be followed on their own pages.

As part of the 1933 celebration we have purchased an original copy of the ‘Motor Cycling‘ report on the week long event which we will be making available on the 1933 page. Below are a couple of images from that report and an extract from the editions forward piece on the ISDT of 1933.

Photo - ISDT 1933 (from Speetracktales Archive)

Photo – Victory and vanquished, the German and English Trophy teams get together for a friendly chat after the speed test. L to R, Stelzer, in white suits, Rowley seated on BMW, Tetstall Bradley’s passenger, bo-peeping over Rowley’s shoulder; Mauer-Mayer’s passenger; Bradley seated; Mauer-Meyer; Perrigo and Ernst Henne ISDT 1933 (from Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1933 (from Speetracktales Archive)

Photo – The stalwart International Vase winners – Great Britain ‘A’ team comprising l-r Jack Williams, Vic Brittain and Fred Povey who drink each others’ health in Horlicks – or something. ISDT 1933 (from Speedtracktales Archive)

Photo - ISDT 1933 (from Speetracktales Archive)

Photo – A typical scene on Dinas Rock which was climbed on Wednesday. Several riders unable to restart on the hill went back on foot for another try – (L-R) #95 W F Bicknell 346cc works Royal Enfield #118 G A de Ridder 500cc Ariel #55 G Berger 496cc Douglas #117 PF Lucas 348cc Norton ISDT 1933 (from Speedtracktales Archive)

Germany Wins the Trophy

AGAINST the pick of the world’ trials’ riders, a team of Germans, which included the redoubtable Ernest Henne, holder of the motorcycle speed record, has won the coveted International Trophy.

Which is to say, obviously, that Great Britain has lost the Trophy. For that we are sorry; and we join with all other motorcyclists in this country in commiserating with the members of our trophy team, who put up a most gallant fight in an unsuccessful attempt to retain the much sought-after honour in the sphere of trials-riding. The greatest consolation of defeat, however, is that the famous Trophy was won by a team which deserved to win it. All three of its members, mounted on beautifully made (and very expensive) B.M.W.s, the victorious German team furnished, every day of last week, a wonderful display of clever riding. Nothing seemed to bother them; they were as “at home” in the valleys and mountains of Wales as in their own favourite trials ground – the forested slopes of the Harz Mountains, in Saxony.

 Not that the British trophy team did not do a!most equally well; Bradley, Perrigo and Rowley behaved throughout the week like the staunch trials’ geniuses they undoubtedly are. Their machines, too – the Sunbeam, the B.S.A., and the A.J.S.- stood up to the gruelling they received in a manner that wins our most cordial approbation. To lose the Trophy by a single point is galling; yet it i not so galling as it would have been had the honour been filched by a team that only secured it by an amazing stroke of good luck. It is pleasant to reflect that, although we lost the fight, it was cleanly waged on all sides.

We have the pleasure, moreover, in acclaiming our own” A” team – Jack Williams (348 Norton), G. F. Povey (499 B.S.A.) and V.N. Brittain (490 Norton) as the victors in the hard fought tussle for the International Silver Vase. The contest for this award was tremendousIy keen; no fewer than 11 teams had high hopes of securing it. One of the Irish teams – H. McKee (498 Levis), S. Moran (495 Matchless. ) and C. W. Duffin (408 Matchless) was second in the Vase contest, and the other English team – R.McGregor (499 Rudge), L. Heath (499 ArieI) and F. E. Thacker (346 Royal Enfield) – beat the German D.K.W. team for a well deserved third place. So with a very close second place to our credit in the Trophy contest, as well a first, second and third places in the Silver Vase competition. Great Britain and Ireland can well congratulate themselves. It was truly a magnificent achievement. It is tribute, too, to the wonderful reliability of modern motorcycles when it is recorded that no fewer than 87 of the original 140 starters finished. How great a tribute that is, can only be appreciated to the full by those of us who actually witnessed the event. The trial was calculated to search out the weakness in both man and machine; yet all its terrors could find no sign of weakness in the 56 men and machines who finished with clean sheet. Bravo!

The 1933 International Six Days’ Trial was, in every sense, a magnificent event, and every credit is due to the Auto-Cycle Union for the wonderful organization. The manufacturers of the motorcycle that were set to face such trying conditions deserve our most earnest congratulations too, and as for the competitors themselves well. perhaps this instance will serve to illustrate the spirit of the riders :-

It was on Dinas Rock on Wednesday. The hill was far, far more difficult than was anticipated. “Outside assistance” in any form was attended by penalization. A rider fell (not the only one) and his leg was being painfully lacerated by the driving chain of his machine, which lay on top of him. A spectator offered to lift it off him . . . .

The competitor’ first thought, as he lay there, was to ward off the unwanted help of the spectator; his next was to reach for the compression-release lever, in order to stop the engine and the seering, whirring chain. This done, he heaved the machine from off him, wrested it into an upright position, restarted and went on up the hill ….

The spectators round about started clapping. But they did not clap on account of any spectacular display of trial riding; the man’s performance, in fact, was not outstanding.

Neither, for that matter, was his pluck – 140 plucky men were competing.

But it was for his pluck they clapped him; for the indomitable spirit that was typical of last week’s International Six Days’ Trial.”

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