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This report appeared in the December 1926 issue of ‘Motor Sport‘ of a Sporting and Classification Trial held by the Liverpool M.C in North Wales starting from Chester. This trial shows that the riders by even today’s standards rode for a considerable distance on machines that today many would be surprised to find out how versatile these machines were.

Photo - BSA S26 500cc 4.95Hp 1926 still going and ridden in VMCC Trials similar to the BSA ridden by J B Donaldson 1926

Photo – BSA S26 500cc 4.95Hp 1926 still going and ridden in VMCC Trials similar to the BSA ridden by J B Donaldson 1926

From the start in Chester competitors headed via popular unsurfaced roads that attracted motor trials to test the machines as much as the riders ability Heading to Llangollen and the Allt y Bady before Maes y Safn, which I think is the village of Maeshafn near Loggerheads where the hill into the village may have provided as much of a challenge as the notorious road still named ‘Trial Hill’ in near-by Cilcain. Riders then headed to Bala and onto Dolgellau with the return visit featuring the Bwlch y Groes before crossing the Conquering Hero which headed from Rhewl near Llangollen  heading towards Bryneglwys over Llantysilio Mountain and very popular with motorbike trials at the time. It is named after a now long closed pub called the Conquering Hero that lay outside of Rhewl by this old mountain road servicing the commons of Llantysilio Mountain

Photo - The Conquering Hero Inn (now a House) and Road (Google Streetview)

Photo – The Conquering Hero Inn (now a House) and Road (Google Streetview)

“Liverpool M.C.

There were 31 entries for the sporting trial run over a mixed course, consisting of” rough stuff” and main and secondary roads, starting at Chester. Only three riders failed to face the starter. Many competitors lost their chance of gold medals on Maes-y-Sain and Alt-y-Bady, and only eight clean climbs of the first-named hill were recorded ; the successful riders being C. H. Joynson (4.9 h.p. Norton and sidecar), H. Morten (4.9. h.p. P. and M.), E. Brook (5.5 h.p. Ariel), A. D. Elgar (3.46 h.p. Rudge-Whitworth), P. G. Thomason (4.94 h.p. Triumph), J. B. Donaldson (4.93 h.p. B.S.A.), Sgt. S. W. Sparkes (4.99 h.p. Rudge-Whitworth), and G. Edmunds (3.48 h.p. Raleigh). On Alt-y-Bady there were also eight clean climbs, E. F. Dackers (3.48 h.g. Raleigh) had a spill just outside Maes-y-Safn village, which caused him to retire with a buckled back wheel. His team mates S. Higson and G. Edmunds, sportingly retired in order to give him assistance. After lunch the course led along the shores of Bala Lake to Dolgelly, and back over Bwlch-y-Groes, which caused no trouble. Conquering Hero, although in a very wet condition, was climbed by all the remaining 20 competitors. The Classification trial, run over an easier course having the same start, lunch stop and finish, was divided into three sections, namely—expert, general and novice, and attracted 20 starters. There were three observed hills—Maes-v-sain (easier side), Bwlch-y-Groes and the Old Horse-Shoe Pass, Llangollen, only one of which claimed no failures. G. W. Prior (4.99 h.p. RudgeWhitworth and sidecar) failed on Bwlch-y-Groes, while L. A. Clarke (6.80 h.p. Zenith and sidecar) was baulked at the very foot by a non-competing car. He was allowed to stop while the car extricated itself from its difficulties. All the starters finished. Final results will be announced at a later date. Hon. secretary, L. H. Lumby, 10, Seaton Road, Wallasey.” Flt Sargeant S W Sparkes who is mentioned in this event report later took part in a successful record breaking attempt to ride a 3.5HP Rudge and sidecar around the world in 1927

Photo - Stanley T Glanfield and 3.5 hp Rudge

Photo – Stanley T Glanfield and 3.5 hp Rudge

On the 2nd July 1927, Stanley T. Glanfield along with Flight-Sergeant S. W. Sparkes set off from London with the aim or riding their 3.5hp Rudge motorcycles around the world in just 120 days. The journey would take them through 22 countries and cover 17,000 miles.  Sparkes had not been well, so he left for home from Bombay leaving Glanfield to finish the rest of the trip alone. Glanfield reached Calcutta on October 10th after covering 1,800 miles in Monsoon conditions in just 6 days. After being shipped to Australia he went from Darwin to Sydney covering 3,700 miles across the central Australian Desert – the first motorist ever to complete the journey alone. Once in America he crossed the continent in 13 days covering a further 3,700 miles, joining up again with Sparkes in London on March 4th 1928.