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PPPP = preparation prevents pisspoor performance

In the 20th January 1966 issue of the popular motorcycling magazine ‘the Motor Cycle‘ is an article  written by Peter Fraser and covering the plans of the newly appointed British Team Manager and ISDT medal and trophy winning Stalwart Jack Stocker and his deputy Eric Davey.

Photo - Jack Stoker

Photo – Jack Stoker

Age 49, first rode in the ISDT 1937 on a sidecar outfit; member of British teams from seven years from 1948 to 1954, won a gold medal on every occaision. Was factory supported by Ariels from 1935 to 1948 and Royal Enfields from 1948 to 1954. Rode three-fifty singles, five hundred singles and twins and seven-fifty twins in the isdt. Following illness in 1955 assisted with organization until 1961. Well known as a successful one-day trials rider and scrambler on both solos and sidecars.

Photo - Eric Davey

Photo – Eric Davey

Age 42, joined the Royal Artillery in 1937, transferred to REME in 1943, became manager of Army motorcycle team for 1961 for the ISDT in Wales, has become well known to riders at ISDTs since. Noted for his capabilities in the organizing sphere, knows the terrain in Sweden, scene of this year’s trial. Eric is a regular soldier with the rank of Major, at the Army MT school, Bordon, Hants.

Photo - Stocker (left) and Eric Davey (right) discuss plans for this year's international with Peter Fraser

Photo – Stocker (left) and Eric Davey (right) discuss plans for this year’s international with Peter Fraser

A BOLD plan to bring, British ISDT teams to fighting pitch for the world’s top nation-v-nation tussle came to life as I chatted with Jack Stocker and Eric Davey. They spearhead the new, on-the-ball policy of the ACU and the Industries Association. Though the lSDT is eight months ahead, Jack has already been appointed team manager and Eric administrative controller.

There’s no doubt we needed a new-look set-up after the sorry showing of our teams in the Isle of Man last September If that debacle did no more than shake us out of our lethargy, the price was worth paying. This imaginative scheme far exceeds anything done: in the past and if the various idea are faithfully carried out our riders, and their machines, must go to the line in Sweden far better prepared than ever before.

Photo - Hankley Common in 1953; Jack Stoker (499 Royal Enfield) leads Bert Brett (596 Norton) in the Sidecar

Photo – Hankley Common in 1953; Jack Stoker (499 Royal Enfield) leads Bert Brett (596 Norton) in the Sidecar

Broadly speaking, the plan is this. On April 19 to 21 at Llandrindod Wells, in Wales, there will be a preliminary try out for men and machines, the actual machine. Intended for use in September. A circuit is being plotted plus a variety of tests, mechanical and riding, which will tax the riders and their bikes severely, The object of all this is to note the behaviour of both under the pressure of these conditions.

On the evening of April 18, before the activities set under way, Jack Stocker will hold a briefing to make sure that everyone realizes, without any ifs or buts, exactly the object of the exercise. Next stage comes on May 16 and 17 when it is back to Wales again for two more days of ISDT training to see how the snags, if any, uncovered in the first spell, have been dealt with.

This time, however, there’s a difference in that the select band of potentials will then be required to weigh-in for the Welsh Three-day Trial with the: same machines.
So, in effect, potential team men and bikes will undergo a five day outing.

Additionally, manufacturers are being asked to enter their riders in either the German Three-Day Trial (June 17 to 19) or the Italian Villi Bcrgamasche Trial (June 27 to 29), Or both, to provide still more competitive experience and testing of machines.

Photo - Stoker (second from left)briefing the British Team for the 1959 ISDT in Czechoslovakia. On Jack's right is Harry Baughan, doyen of ISDT planning in this country.

Photo – Stoker (second from left)briefing the British Team for the 1959 ISDT in Czechoslovakia. On Jack’s right is Harry Baughan, doyen of ISDT planning in this country.

FIT IN

Every effort has been made to fit this programme into the calendar so that it causes the minimum interference to riders who have motocross commitments and such-like. At this stage, the riders named will be on the machines with which their names are usually associated. Just what is finally agreed as regards machinery will be revealed later.

Rather than acting as separate entities, Stocker and Davey regard themselves as a two-part unit doing one job. Namely attending to all the needs of the teams both at the start and finish and at the controls during the day.

The idea of Army support arose out of a discussion between representatives of the Army and the Fighting Vehicle Research and Development Establishment following the I965 ISDT.

When support for Army and FVRDE riders in Sweden this year was mentioned, it was thought to be a good idea to make the facilities open to British teams as well. The offer was enthusiastically welcomed by the ACU and the industry.

As a result there will be available several Land-Rovers equipped with wireless and able to carry tbe tackle to meet most contingencies (without breaking any rules, of course!).

As team manager, Stocker has been given the wide powers necessary to get to grips with the job and, so far, is receiving excellent co-operation from everyone else interested in our success.

Plans are also in hand to recruit a small band of ex-ISDT riders to ride the routes in September a day ahead, to provide briefing material for our teams.

Photo- Stamp control shot of Stocker (499 Royal Enfield) in the 1948 ISDT at San Remo in Italy. On that occaision he was a member of the winning British Silver Vase team

Photo- Stamp control shot of Stocker (499 Royal Enfield) in the 1948 ISDT at San Remo in Italy. On that occaision he was a member of the winning British Silver Vase team

Naturally, much of a team manager’s work, as anyone with any knowledge of the ISDT will know, remains behind the scenes, He relies on the support of his riders and helpers to do the unexpected without stopping to ask questions.

Jack Stocker and Eric Davey are the sort of men who, once you get to know them, command that sort of support.

They will make a point of getting to know everyone involved in our effort this year and drawing them into a team set up. As they see the picture, this is what winning the Trophy and Vase means – a team effort from now until the end of the speed test on September 4.

Team Great Britain Shortlist for 1966

Mick Andrews, Scott Ellis, Gordon Farley, John Giles, Ken Heanes, Arthur Lampkin, John Lewis, Sammy Miller, Dave Nicoll, John Pease, Roy Peplow, Jim Sandiford, Ray Sayer, Peter Stirland.

Next Blog ISDT 1960 – report on the Austrian event as experienced by Ken Heanes

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