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The following blog is in two parts featuring two articles, one the editorial and the other jottings and commentary from the Motor Cycling journalist ‘Cyclops’ that appeared in the 13th July 1938 issue of ‘Motor Cycling‘ which covered the initial few days of the ISDT 1938 held in Llandrindod Wells which was the 20th edition of the event.

Photo - GB Trophy Team on 350's GE Rowley (AJS) #120 J Williams and #167 VN Brittain (Nortons) and #84 WS Waycott (598 Velocette sc) with V Munday - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – GB Trophy Team on 350’s GE Rowley (AJS) #120 J Williams and #167 VN Brittain (Nortons) and #84 WS Waycott (598 Velocette sc) with V Munday – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

The initial article discusses the strategy of the British and German entries in the wildly different choice of bikes for the event, the benefits and disadvantages and ends reming the reader of the importance of winning the event for the British home motorcycle industry in supporting its export market.

Photo - German Trophy Team #17 H Scherzer #76 W Fahler #9 R Demmelbauer (all 173 DKW)  #5 (597 BMW sc) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – German Trophy Team #17 H Scherzer #76 W Fahler #9 R Demmelbauer (all 173 DKW) #5 (597 BMW sc) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Cyclops passes over a few of his anecdotal encounters and thoughts about the event and clearly indicates how in the inter-war years the ISDT held a prestige value in the world no less important than the Manx TT races

Photo - The Czech Trophy Team - #42 A Vivtar #26 V Stanislav, #49 R Protiva, (247 Jawas)  #32 F Juhan (590 Jawa sc) ISDT 1938

Photo – The Czech Trophy Team – #42 A Vivtar #26 V Stanislav, #49 R Protiva, (247 Jawas) #32 F Juhan (590 Jawa sc) ISDT 1938

The International and the Weather

Photo - GB 'A' Vase Team #97 R McGregor (Rudge) #174 (WT Tiffen, jun (Velocette) #102 JA McLeslie (Rudge) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – GB ‘A’ Vase Team #97 R McGregor (Rudge) #174 (WT Tiffen, jun (Velocette) #102 JA McLeslie (Rudge) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - GB 'B' Vase Team #51 FE Thacker (Triumph) #30 JJ Booker (Royal Enfield) #46 A Jefferies (Triumph) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – GB ‘B’ Vase Team #51 FE Thacker (Triumph) #30 JJ Booker (Royal Enfield) #46 A Jefferies (Triumph) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

By the time these words appear in print the International Six Days’ Trial will be into its third day. Much may have happened by then, but it seems certain that the British climate will play an important part in the destination of the Trophy. Reports state that several portions of the route are waterlogged, and in consequence the going is very heavy. More rain will add to the floods; conversely, fine weather will probably make the mountain tracks tacky.

Photo - Riders and Officials with plenty of spectators, assembled in the enclosure all ready for the weighing-in on Sunday - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – Riders and Officials with plenty of spectators, assembled in the enclosure all ready for the weighing-in on Sunday – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

If this be true it raises an interesting point for discussion. In the belief that the Donington handicap favours small-capacity models. Germany has mounted her three solo riders on 175 c.c. supercharged two-strokes. Given dry roads, we would be inclined to consider her action a wise one. but if the Welsh tracks are heavy she may have cause to regret her decision, despite the slower speed schedule set for the “babies.”

Photo - Good cover during the weighing-in. Behind the enclosure is the pleasant Welsh mountain country through which the trial is passing and on the opposite side of the paddock is the starting post - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – Good cover during the weighing-in. Behind the enclosure is the pleasant Welsh mountain country through which the trial is passing and on the opposite side of the paddock is the starting post – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Last year the trial was robbed of a great deal of its severity by badly placed time checks. which enabled riders to make up lost time over good roads after the more difficult sections. This year that fault has been eliminated, and it may be found that the checking system leans to the other extreme. In these circumstances Great Britain has mounted her solo members upon the ideal size of machine, light enough to be handled over rough going, yet large enough in capacity to withstand the week’s gruelling without loss of tune. The Czechs have taken a middle course in selecting models of 250c.c. for their solo riders, a type of machine considered by many to be ideal for the work in hand.

Photo - the start on monday morning. The riders are #51 FE Thacker (Triumph) #50 L Sheaf (SOS) and #49 A Vitvar (Jawa) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – the start on monday morning. The riders are #51 FE Thacker (Triumph) #50 L Sheaf (SOS) and #49 A Vitvar (Jawa) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

The results should prove most instructive if all teams get through “clean” to the final speedtest. It is impossible to overrate the importance of the trial from the angle of export trade. A glance at the list of entries discloses the fact that Sweden and Hungary have selected German machines for their Vase teams, whilst one of the Dutch teams is similarly mounted.

Photo - Trouble with the tyres - a group in a huddle over last minute preparations. At Llandrindod many such scenes were being enacted last week-end just before the competitors were due to present their machines for official scrutiny - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – Trouble with the tyres – a group in a huddle over last minute preparations. At Llandrindod many such scenes were being enacted last week-end just before the competitors were due to present their machines for official scrutiny – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

A convincing British victory is, therefore, of vital importance if Great Britain’s prestige is to be maintained in Continental markets.

Photo - Chief Marshal S T Huggett - a very busy man - on full bore - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – Chief Marshal S T Huggett – a very busy man – on full bore – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - #77 S Moran (Matchless) #128 T Stewart (Royal Enfield) and #169 RC Yeates (Triumph) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – #77 S Moran (Matchless) #128 T Stewart (Royal Enfield) and #169 RC Yeates (Triumph) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - Not a community song leader, but the marshal at the lunch check trying to hold back the crowd of competitors storming the control. The rider in front is the German #76 L Kraus (BMW Sc) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – Not a community song leader, but the marshal at the lunch check trying to hold back the crowd of competitors storming the control. The rider in front is the German #76 L Kraus (BMW Sc) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - #80 HR Taylor, the wel lknown sidecar driver ( who is minus a leg) and his Ariel 4 outfit - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – #80 HR Taylor, the wel lknown sidecar driver ( who is minus a leg) and his Ariel 4 outfit – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - An admiring crowd around DJ Wuis's Harley-Davidson [H81892 - NL] - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – An admiring crowd around DJ Wuis’s Harley-Davidson [H81892 – NL] – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - A general view of the lunch check at Cray. The narrow approach proved to be a considerable disadvantage and greatly hindered the working of the control - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – A general view of the lunch check at Cray. The narrow approach proved to be a considerable disadvantage and greatly hindered the working of the control – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Read this Motor Cycling report of the ISDT 1938 at our issuu.com library here

Cyclops –

The Big Event
THE trial’s the thing, this week. All eyes (as we say) are onWales – and will be until Saturday. And how dramatic a finish, I wonder, shall we see at Donington this time?
A man who is a pretty sound judge said to me the other day that the “International” cuts more ice now than even the T.T. I think that an exaggeration – but the interest taken in the trial is certainly colossal and its results carry a lot of weight. For which reason let us hope our teams have all the luck. Europe, if not the world, is watching how they fare.

Photo - #188 CG Rolles (Matchless) taking in supplies, Note how the Union Jack is flying - let's hope it will be waving as strongly next saturday! - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – #188 CG Rolles (Matchless) taking in supplies, Note how the Union Jack is flying – let’s hope it will be waving as strongly next saturday! – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

He Missed the Story!
IT has not always been like that. Years ago nobody botherd much about the “International” Really we were inclined to take more notice of the late-lamented. A-C.U. Six Days’. And I dare say many readers would now be hard put to it to say when the “International” started; actually the year was 1913, and Britain won.

Photo - CB Lloyd and his interesting home-built Heywood 'three-wheeler' [FO 3705] consisting largely of Austin 7. It has twin rear wheels with the driving shaft between them - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – CB Lloyd and his interesting home-built Heywood ‘three-wheeler’ [FO 3705] consisting largely of Austin 7. It has twin rear wheels with the driving shaft between them – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

You would hardly believe it, but I know of a man who wrote a report of the trial for a newspaper – and gave no account of the teams at all. He just treated the show like any other six days’ event and talked about individual performance. So slight was the international intrest at that time that he failed to notice it.

Photo - Ireland's 'A' Vase Team #139 CW Duffin (Matchless) #146 AHL Archer (Ariel) #115 (AJS) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – Ireland’s ‘A’ Vase Team #139 CW Duffin (Matchless) #146 AHL Archer (Ariel) #115 (AJS) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Credit Where Due
THE rise in the importance of the “International” has been remarkable. And I wonder how much of it has been due to the efforts of one man; I mean, of course Peter Chamberlain. Ten years back there were people who thought Peter slightly potty on the subject of that event. But he put his ideas across and time has proved him right.

Photo - One of the Army riders entered by the War Office #130 Cpl G Davies R.A.S.C leaving the lunch check on his Norton [EOG 80] - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – One of the Army riders entered by the War Office #130 Cpl G Davies R.A.S.C leaving the lunch check on his Norton [EOG 80] – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Men in Uniform
FRANKLY, I should like to have seen more Service teams in the field for the Huhnlein Trophy. Some Territorial units might well have had a crack at it, and could have put up a respectable performance. I know of one in particular where several of the fellows were hoping to be able to show the badge, but apparently the job could not be worked. Perhaps it was too much to hope for on this, the first occasion.

Photo - The Royal Tank Corps Huhnlein Trophy Team #198 Cpl FM Rist #78 Sergt JT Dalby #181 Cpl R Gillam (All BSA's) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – The Royal Tank Corps Huhnlein Trophy Team #198 Cpl FM Rist #78 Sergt JT Dalby #181 Cpl R Gillam (All BSA’s) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - The R.A.S.C Huhnlein Trophy Team #158 Cpl JN Cowley #173 Driver R Campbell #130 Cpl GO Davies (all Norton) - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – The R.A.S.C Huhnlein Trophy Team #158 Cpl JN Cowley #173 Driver R Campbell #130 Cpl GO Davies (all Norton) – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Photo - The Army M.E.E Huhnlein Trophy Team - L/cpl OL O'Brien, L/cpl GM Berry and L/bdr TA Tracy - ISDT 1938 (Courtesy Morton Media)

Photo – The Army M.E.E Huhnlein Trophy Team – L/cpl OL O’Brien, L/cpl GM Berry and L/bdr TA Tracy – ISDT 1938 (Courtesy Morton Media)

For Novices Only
I SUPPOSE quite a number of you who are over in Wales are following a big trial for the first time. For the benefit of such (and others can skip the paragraph) I feel prompted to offer a suggestion. That is, make it a definite rule never to ride “against the race,” round the wrong way of the course. And, for the love of Mike and wherever you are, give any competitor all the road. If necessary, put yourself literally in the ditch in order to do so. This advice ought to be unnecessary. But mistakes of this sort have been made before, and may be made again this week. In an ordinary weekend event they might not matter so much, but if you take the road in the “International” you have a big responsibility if you hold anybody up. And if you fail in this you are not going to be at all popular.

Image - The spring tongue to prevent the steering damper knob from turning on the R.T.C BSAs - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image – The spring tongue to prevent the steering damper knob from turning on the R.T.C BSAs – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image - The quickly detachable rear half of the mudguard of the 250 NSUs. It is secured by three wing nuts while the lamp is readily detachable - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image – The quickly detachable rear half of the mudguard of the 250 NSUs. It is secured by three wing nuts while the lamp is readily detachable – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image - The RAC and Army team Nortons have wheelbraces under the saddles and insert adapters for wheel nuts carried in the toolbags - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image – The RAC and Army team Nortons have wheelbraces under the saddles and insert adapters for wheel nuts carried in the toolbags – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image - The interesting rear springing on the BMW sidecar with self lubricating sliding block - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image – The interesting rear springing on the BMW sidecar with self lubricating sliding block – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image - Waterproofing on the BMWs a rubber cover over the mixing chamber and carburetter control and waterproof plugs - ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

Image – Waterproofing on the BMWs a rubber cover over the mixing chamber and carburetter control and waterproof plugs – ISDT 1938 (image courtesy Morton Media)

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