The Bwlch y Groes (Pass of the Cross) and its side road Bwlch Eunant probably have a history as a road that lies back in the dark days long before things were ever thought of being recorded as existing. The road summit at 545m, (1788ft) is often claimed to be the highest public road in Wales, however, as far as surfaced roads go, that honour is held by the Bwlch yr Efengyl (Gospel Pass) 549m, (1801ft) in the Black Mountains of South East Wales also used by the ISDT in Wales although its approach is not as steep as the Bwlch y Groes. The unsurfaced Bwlch Llandrillo in the Berwyns, also used in the ISDT, crosses the 580m 2000ft contour at the summit of the pass. The ISDT, when on the Bwlch y Groes, never crossed the high summit as detoured to travel to Bala via the gnarly old tracks through the Euanant and Hirnant valleys. History paints a picture of the route being in use by religious travellers passing between the early Celtic Christian sites and the many Monasteries, Abbeys, Friaries and Priories the church of Rome had established at Welshpool, Llangollen, Llanrwst, Holywell, Flint, Denbigh, Llaneltyd before the reformation. But it was mostly motorsport rather than tourism that rediscovered the opportunities the then many unsurfaced road provided in the early development of motoring on public roads.
I would like to thank Jay Fichialos a follower of this site from Utah in the USA and who is a keen ISDT Collector and historian who found this video posted on Youtube by a Triumph fan who holds the original 16mm film which appears to be a collection of Triumph orientated material possibly originating from the factory which has now been added to our ISDT Tube page of event videos found on the internet.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiXryx56yTo]
Our thanks for this video goes out to Keith Cockayne a member of the Manchester branch of the Triumph Motorcycle Club for sharing his original 16mm home movie film taken in the early 60’s at the Triumph Motorcycle factory in Coventry featuring original shots of classic motorcycles and cars of the period including Edward Turner with a group of riders on their Bonnevilles in front of the factory.
One of our favourite and most helpful ISDT sources of original history of the event is the legendary Deryk Wylde. He knows because, as Max Boyce would say, “Because he was there”. Deryck holds a considerable original archive of images and experiences but rather than keep them gathering dust in his mind is keen to share them. Already he has passed onto us the original Clerk of Course and course markers maps for the post war Welsh ISDT events. We also frequently get source material from Deryck who writes regularly of the popular feet up trials centric ‘Trials Central‘ Website which also is a good source of ISDT material.
Deryck has a long history with journalism and has entered the world of e-publishing making his ‘Off Road Revue’ magazine now as an e-publication available from Trials Central for a very reasonable subscription fee ( we’ve already coughed up the dough its such good value). We are very keen that everyone not familiar with Trials Central gets the chance to catch up with this important magazine.
Taff Isaacs, Site founder has passed on these images he recently acquired from a reader in Shropshire of the ISDT 1954 mostly featuring popular Birmingham motorcycle dealer sidecar jockey W ‘Bill’ T Howard (1914 – 1992). I would strongly recommend before reading any more of this page you check out Taff’s own web page dedicated to WT Howard and featuring these images and more as well as his Trophy Collection at his own website ‘taffthehorns‘
Pat Slinn advises that the passenger is none other than Michael Martin the brother of Brian Martin of BSA