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
2014 sees the 50th anniversary of the holding of the ISDT 1964 in Erfurt, East Germany. The event is one which gets a lot of attention and is number one International when it comes to enquiries and hits on our web search.
Thanks to the help of our contributor STB who has sent the route maps for the event which we will add to the ‘mapping the ISDT project’ this winter. Keep watching this page to see how it progresses.
It’s always a great moment when we find a reader who not only has a collection of ISDT images in their photo album but they are as keen as we are to share them with anyone keen to learn more about the history of the event and it’s development and the changes in the riders machines and styles of riding. I was therefore very pleased when Roger Newark made contact to offer us access to his images taken at the ISDT 1971 that he still cherishes. Featuring some of the star riders of the time and latest models of motorbikes taking part in this event in the near mecca of Motorcycle Sport since the sports earliest years – the Isle of Man. If any readers have anything extra to add to the people or places in these photos please let us know.
STT editor recently had a trip out to Valasian Alps on the Southern Swiss border with Italy. Arriving at Genéve was followed by a train ride along the northern shore of Lake Genéve through Lausanne, Montreaux, Aigle and at Martigny I realised this was more or less the reverse of the final closing stages of the ISDT 1929 which had begun in Munich and finished in Genéve.
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.
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.
News recently came in of the long awaited release of the book about the ISDT 1974 that was held in Camino, Italy
“I had ridden several Italian events and I knew the Trial would be hard….It was!” Thus quoted John Pease, British Trophy Teamster.
On the 40th anniversary of the 49th International Six Days Trial. held at Camerino, Italy, we are proud to announce that we have published “ISDT1974”
This book contains results, maps, drawings, classifications, interviews and full background information as the result of many years of research.
This volume of 352 pages contains over 500 photographs, many previously unpublished and includes a complete English translation booklet in the same manner as it’s sister publication “ISDT 1968” After the publication of that book and the “ISDT 1970” book by Javier Benito, this volume adds an important new chapter in the history of this event now with over 100 years of tradition.
More information can be seen on www.mgpublishing.ch
Authors Marcello Grigorov and Roberto Biza.
I’ve not yet seen the book yet but if the content matches the work done on the 1968 and 1970 books do, and I’m told this is certainly the case. If I had a 5 star review series for books this like the other two would get a 7 star award…