Page under construction always…
Committee of Organisation ACU
President Mr H P Baughan
VC Anstice, PS Chamberlain, E Damadian, CH King, HS Perrey, Major HR Watling.
President Major HR Watling
Mr E Landouer (Hungary), Mr V Ronovsky (Czechoslovakia), Mr EP Johnston (Ireland) Mr JA Sjouw (Holland), Mr G Curli (Italy), Mr M Borombon (Switzerland)
Clerk of the Course
CW Stagg, Major A Lewis-Jones MC, AR Lowary,
Mrs ML Anning, F Grove, J McNulty.
Just click www.silverdragons.co.uk to see the full results plus story each day in “The Great Trial” section. International Trial!’ screamed headlines on local papers as 237 competitors assembled at Llandrindod Wells base. The Official programme following has a German BMW Rider passing through Llandrindod Wells main street near the Tom Norton Automobile Palace, the present day National Cycle Museum, in 1938. 93 foreign riders had arrived, foreign flags fluttered from houses, hotels, garages & easterly winds said seldom to touch this area and which from lore are claimed to blow nobody any good prevailed. ‘Period’ Hotels remain to this day virtually as they were then. Organizing party Auto Cycle Union had forsaken its pre WW2 Headquarters the Belmont Hotel to establish its office at Metropole Hotel. An encampment of promotional tents, stalls, boldly marked trade vans plus marquees, banners, bunting, logo emblems, of lubricants, tyres, motorcycle and accessories companies all attempted to be in the background of pictured angles of the starting line, weighing in area & parc ferme. Each attempting to display why & how their own wares were far superior to all else. Feridax provided helmets for the British team, plus for Eastern bloc riders who arrived without crash helmets required for the final Day at Eppynt’s Speed Trial portion of the event held on the 5.2 miles per lap largest TT Race Circuit on Britain’s Mainland. (which remains intact on MoD Land to this day) Unfamiliar languages became progressively louder from first light, more numerous, from more directions sometimes accompanying & being drowned by unheard of before engine noises. Buzzing, barking, purring motors of factories far from UK shores in two strokes, fourstroke varieties. Subdued singles, staccato singles, droning & buzzing multi cylinder power plants of a bright gleaming range of sparkling machines all brought from around the world to Llandrindod Wells, survivors of tests were to grace a grand finale to be held at Eppynt’s 5.2 miles per lap mountain Circuit where Edelweiss grows. Sertum, Morini, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Condor!, Jawa, CZ, Csepel, & many many more supplemented the ones of Britain & Germany & America. Weighing in, sealing, examining entered machinery by Auto Cycle Union officials commenced at 10 am. Morini had up to & inc. 1949 used DKW based twostrokes & entered 3 virtually standard machines, Ernesto Longeni earned them a single Bronze Medal, after this Morini changed to fourstroke machinery.
Dave Hanson from near the actual course was 7 to 8 yrs. old when he aquired a pic. in a book he obtained circa 1950/51 & since there are no Lights fitted & no helmets used this looks to be 1949 ISDT. (Can anyone help us with competitor 104, ‘does not look UK rider. thanks from all to Dave Hanson. If someone cd. identify the location too!!!) SUPERB>THANKS to Arthur Williams we now learn 104 Iszbrojavka Brno is a Czech on a 250 JAWA, many thanks, we always learn more! Arthur has helped further wit hmany of the photos below which he has provided identities to many riders
An amazing collection of pictures of the event are held by the National Library of Wales from a collection of a life’s work placed on deposit by Professional Welsh Press Photographer Geoff Charles. A dedicated website hosts his image collection, which is significant across all aspects of life in Wales after the war. (On the 21/4/2013 the link to some of these photos were unlinked, work to replace the images is ongoing thanks for your patience) A message on the National Library of Wales website ‘Gathering the Jewels’ provided this reason for the temporary loss – ” Gathering the Jewels is offline due to essential security maintenance. We apologise for any problems this may cause. You can view nearly all the GTJ items on the Peoples Collection website” We have been able to identify many of the riders through the results but thanks to Arthur Williams, as ever, who was the first to step up enthusiastically to the mark on this task. Thanks as ever Arthur. The results would seem to indicate by analysing retirements these images were taken on the first or second day of the ISDT. There is als o evidence in the form of some of the bikes by entry number wildly mismatch what the 1949 results say they should be so it is possible that some of these images are from another year, possibly 1950.Arthur Williams suggests #65 H Zuur – BSA based on his programme although the official results suggest #65 was a 500 Matchless Solo which looks likely to be wrong
These images above come from a pamphlet about the ISDT produced by Royal Enfield in 1953 which can be read here.
On the Map!
Unfortunately the copies Taff Isaacs took of these programmes were very lo-res. In order to work on discovering the route of the event we would be very grateful if a scan at a resolution of at least 300dpi could be provided of the maps or whole programme.. thanks.
The first day’s course with times expected for it’s stop at Crai!., Few recall that this was the first event for a John Brittain, privately entered at eighteen years of age on a 125 James!, son of Vic Brittain the pre WW2 ace, & elder brother of Pat Brittain, the Royal Enfield saga continued from the 1950 & onwards, with the Senior expert Jack Stocker a boon to all when the RE twins were being used in the 50’s.
Harry P Baughan had been regarded as the mastermind of these events, precise & supported along with what was regarded as two perfect secretaries, the misses Grant-Heelas. Host Nation’s lightweights & sidecar outfits would be the first to be placed under scrutiny. Next at 10 am. on Sunday, teams from outside UK were accommodated, last of all British Military teams. A late flurry of arrivals along with special dispensation cases plus a gorgeous green Sunbeam sidecar outfit prepared by ace sidecar arrangement specialist Harold Taylor. Switzerland’s Trophy team used machines with a name normally associated with a South American bird of prey, i.e. Condor. transverse sidevalve twins, with shaft drives, solos of 578.5 cc plus sidecar machines of 745 cc capacity the general outline seemed to bear strong resemblance to earlier BMW’s & mystery over the earlier BMW toolworks whereabouts was raised. The Swiss team and crews strangely elected not to spend their settling in day on the old POW camp cum Artillery range, Eppynt. Course card supplied by Steve Wedgbury it had been used by his dad!, several follow below.
The same course route shown here for days 2 & 3 was used but in a different directions, similarly the course shown on the chart below had it’s charted course used in both directions on days 4 & 5.
this is 4th Day, 5th day on course follows below as well, thanks to Steve Wedgbury
What the papers said!
We are lucky to have acquired a copy of the 22 September 1949 issue of “Motor Cycling” which covered the report. The images below come from the article and the written report is based on the article. We will shortly have a copy of this report available via our Speedtracktales Library that can be found at issuu.com
View ISDT report in Motor Cycling at our issuu.com library here
Motor Cycling 22 September 1949
First Day – Within 10 miles of the start a Swiss team rider tumbled from his 598 Condor to retire with a broken arm. Two other Swiss riders were somehow thrown from their Condors to damage them beyond being able to continue at exactly the same corner, blocking the track completely. Hugh Viney not far behind had to lay his machine down to avoid this surprising blockage, fortunately neither he or machine was too badly damaged to continue. Down into river Teame Valley, up to the very shoulder of the Black Mountains, down again to Anchor Inn. Ghiazzi the very first to puncture between checks 1 + 2 a delay to cost him one mark!. Farm vehicles had not been catered for fully blocking narrow roads. Riders were already reporting at check points that this was a more severe Trial than in Italy on the previous year, whilst Czechs were reporting they enjoyed this competition. First checkpoint Sarn, east and south via stamp check at Mainstone, on to 2nd. checkpoint at Knucklas. Fervent applause accompanied partisan vocal support for all Welsh competitors, Bala rider Jac (J.R.) Lloyd felt like a national celebrity on his 500 Matchless en route to his bronze medal. 70 more miles to a lunch stop at Crickhowell. Cray checkpoint proved hard to find, riders whizzed about to locate it. H Veer of Holland’s Vase B team on his 250 Jawa collided with British Vase B rider J E Breffitt, the latter’s machine proved too damaged to continue, Britain thus lost 100 marks. The Jury later waived all lost points caused directly from confusion at Cray. Onwards, and twisting, constantly on loose rough surfaces back to Llandrindod Wells where townsfolk, enthusiasts, lined its approach as strongly as Ramsey on an Isle of Man race day, waving, applauding. Crews and pressmen hailed weary riders closer to the finish for totally different reasons a determined Bill Nicholson 499 BSA beamed and grinned through his road grime proudly first home. T H Wortley 498 AJS next trundled happily home with Fred Rist 499 BSA third. C M Ray came home snugly after a puncture demanded a tube change, he steadfastly slackened all nuts ready for his tyre change now planned for Tuesday morning.-Whew!. Marks lost Italy 1. Switzerland 155. Breffitt’s retirement cost Britain 100. Britain and Czechoslovakia Trophy teams had lost nothing and were neck and neck. In the manufacturers Teams list names such as James, Royal Enfield, AJS, Norton, Matchless, Ariel, Triumph, BSA,Jawa, Jawa-Oger (of Switzerland), “A” Sertum, “A” MV, along with Csepel were all without lost marks.
The Second Day: Llandrindod Wells Tuesday September 13!. Weather cold, dull in a dreary morning, G T Curphey 490 Norton was not allowed to start with his broken frame. ‘232 miles route via Tregaron Pass, Westward over mountains from Abergwesyn. C Ubtali 125 MV and G Strada 250 Sertum tumble within 100 yards of the start. Cyrill Quantrill notes Italian Machines are all higher geared than expected. Early changes, 31 retirements, Swiss Trophy Team Virtually wiped out, Italy Trophy Team had 29 marks lost. British and Czech. Trophy teams still clean and even. Britain’s Bill Nicholson who bravely stepped off to avoid a fallen competitor had to retire, Britain’s B trio now bottom of lists with 300 marks lost. S J Christensen Royal Enfield already takes 20 mins to lash the nose of his sidecar to the frame with wire. Charioteer Ray Ariel takes only seven minutes to remove a rear wheel, change a tyre and refit. A journalistic no sympathy regard for J Novotny 344 Jawa-Oger saw him lashed in print, this time for starting too early, getting ‘five black marks’, foreigners were reportedly finding bringing of three pairs to the starting grid confusing. S H Goddard and S G Plumb on 197 Ambassador machines decided not to start, Goddard with an injured elbow and Plumb with eyes inflamed by dust. Hungary A team lost M Hajdu’s Csepel plus 100 marks when his 98cc motor gave out close to finishing a long series of climbing sections. Guess who? Murray Walker there and then dropped his 490 Norton, smashed his spectacles but still finished his day unpenalized. Before Llanllwni G G Littleford spent valuable time changing a throttle cable on his 348 BSA. At the Check point located up at 1200 ft an ambulance had to pick up Italian M Vola 125 Morini who had looped his machine, he gallantly insisted his machine be carried with him!. On to Abergorlech where surviving Condor riders were reportedly fitting chains to their tyres to cope with muddy climbs. A hairpin bend at Mynnydd Llansadurn saw Christensen leave the road then need to be carried in a ambulance whilst his passenger completed the course with an empty chair. At lunch R S O’Neill 250 Velocette retired with forks damage. H Juni’s Condor had decided to part from its sidecar. Near the first after lunch check at Pont Amman G C Wheeler 498 Triumph took a heavy fall and was taken to Hospital with head and leg injuries. Weather brightening. On a long hill climb off the A40 at Trecastle many 125cc riders were alongside running yet CZ98cc riders were buzzing easily to the top. Sertum riders plus several of the Italian team were noted footing and pushing. L F Clouder 497 Ariel sidecar was seen struggling to reach the top, S J Atkinson with a full touring sidecar on his Triumph ‘Trophy’making better progress than most competition rigged machinery, E Fell was noticed creeping in late, running on one cylinder. At the finishing point an exhausted M Ventura 250 Sertum fled home almost colliding with the timing point after travelling the last 12 miles on a flat tyre. F C Moldenhauer 998 Vincent HRD limped in with broken forks, G G Littleford on a 348 BSA came off near Builth Wells to despairingly watch his machine go up in flames. Captain H G Little came in on time with a badly leaking petrol tank. J H C Daniell brought his 498 Triumph sidecar outfit in with a coach bolt temporarily in place of a broken front spindle.Czech & British Trophy teams still with clean sheets, Italy now with 29 marks lost, Switzerland 584!.
The Third Day Wed. Sept. 14 Weather unchanged as morning rain threatened, Cpt. Little 490 Norton was not permitted to start with his broken tank. C M Ray on Ariel sidecar outfit adjudged ‘probably’ to be the only rider not to have fallen off at least once. Hugh Viney came off right before a Press contingent, J Pastika 123 CZ had a puncture up on Tregaron Pass and coped with it without even losing a mark. R W M Tamplin took over the 3 mins allowance to kick start his 498 Matchless, lost a mark, later to tumble heavily descending at Abergwesyn. M Ventura losing one mark for Italy changing a tyre and tube. Czech Vase A man J Kubes on a Jawa-Oger snapped his front forks braking harshly when hurrying into Llanllwni time check. Hardly one mile further on D D Jones 348 BSA hit a jeep and had to retire. Fred Rist became first man over Tregaron heights to reach a Gallery of spectators at Abergwesyn, closely followed by T M Wortley 498 AJS, applause with shouts of encouragement greeted them. Harold Taylor’s Sunbeam sidecar machine to be applauded and hailed similarly, Olga Kevelos arrived with chain trouble still on time. Frank Whittle’s Panther sidecar outfit struggled on, way out of alignment with the bike leaning in on its sidecar. British 125’s and James in particular were noted as matching their foreign counterparts. Quietest machine reported to be Ministry of Supply Triumph sidevalve twins, by far the noisiest an EMC two stroke ridden by E B Stott. Stott had lost time repairing a primary chain crossing Tregaron but regained most of it later. W H Hemsley 498 Triumph crashed over a hedge near Abergwesyn, Dr R L Galloway stopped to render first aid and was given penalty marks for doing so, later cancelled by the organizers. The last of the Condor machines was to retire.
The Fourth day Thursday Sept. 15th This day British and Czech Trophy teams both ended without losing marks. British Vase A trio plus a member of the previously clean Czech vase B CZ mounted team had lost marks. Italy Trophy team marks rose to 36. Dutch B trio man J Flintermann 499 BSA was to have two marks removed as result of his appeal but by the end of the day had received a further five. Team Members had a 10% more difficult time schedule than individual entries, complications in adjusting were creeping in against earlier scores. 120 miles onward, heading due North had been marked including a long climb at Bwlch y Groes, over mountains to Denbigh then 120 miles back skirting Llangollen then climbing Alt y Bady. Italy Vase B team man F Bertoni MV rebuilt his mudguard to keep their team intact. Frank Whittle was performing miracles keeping his 598 Panther and sidecar intact plus still steerable with ‘U’ bolts, and clamps along with strips. D W Spencer 498 Matchless was able to leave the start only to pull in and spend an hour working on his forks. J Pastika 125 CZ came into the second check at Bidno with a puncture to finish a repair with 10 seconds only to spare. Bwlch y Groes had virtually all ‘Tiddlers’ footing and labouring to its top then tucking in Grand Prix style to get back on schedule on a long stretch to Lake Vyrnwy. Wheels were being rebuilt en route H Zuur’s earlier rebuilt gave up the ghost on his 498 Matchless sidecar outfit. Graham Beamish had more luck with a rebuild on his 125 BSA. Hungarian D Koksis on a 124 Csepel went out before Denbigh with a split petrol tank causing his team to look to individual competition for lower awards. Swiss Sidecarist E Haller’s enormous Harley Davidson had lost so many parts along with its exhaust pipes it had to be towed in to retire. Slight variation on a marked track near Dolanog caused some Czech’s to arrive late at the checkpoint, penalties were possible. Olga Kevelos still on time was to change a primary chain. Harold Tozer brought his BSA outfit home in a Flurry of dust only to find he was early. Other Sidecar lads were suffering, R U Holoway’s BSA outfit had its frame fracture. Only S J Atkinson with his touring Leyton chair seemed to be tidy and simply out for an afternoon spin.
The Fifth Day, Fri. Sept. 16th Rain at the start a few light showers later. Czech protests caused stewards to waive earlier marks for ‘ Dolanog detour’. By end of the day Britain had dropped one point in the Trophy Competition to a Czech score of 29. The Vase however had the determined Czech B trio who were destined to have a last day showdown versus Britain A side in speed Trials at Mynnydd Eppynt’s demanding race circuit. Frank Whittle’s brave run on the Panther outfit never got to the mountains, F Wilkins’s 497 Ariel simply ran out of compression whilst D E Bennett’s solo Ariel died to end an unpenalized first ISDT. All sorts of minor faults were having huge influence on results as at Barber checkpoint Czech Trophy rider J Pastika’s 125 CZ was misfiring. He stripped and rebuilt the magneto within 15 mins to continue but the bush telegraph was already reporting he was experiencing difficulty maintaining schedule, he rode magnificently over a hard section to Minera to save 3 minutes. Luck there deserted Irish rider G A Morrow when his 348 BSA had its frame fracture when on zero marks for him to complete the course as passenger to a travelling marshal. Bob Ray’s Ariel sidecar outfit then on Aber Hirnant had its rear brake rod fractured by a large rock, a hard working front then caused concern and started fading concentration lapsed, Bob Ray then found himself five miles off course in a difficult section. He almost got back on schedule en route to Bidno check but collided with a car entering the control area, dropping the card he carried between his teeth, a frantic run to retrieve it and be timed in narrowly missed his deadline, Britain was now one solitary point down. Speedman Tom Wortley’s AJS team’s chance of winning the manufacturer’s prize was left at Dylife’s narrow shale road between mountains when he and machine went over the edge, his machine too damaged to continue.
The Sixth & Last Day. Sat. Sept. 17th Eppynt Race Circuit. The Closing stage, perfect weather, crowds of thousands, largely from a Wales that had its imagination fired. ‘Oil Barons’ that had been organising daily supplies along with oil changes at last could move to where all could practically view and hear circulating of machinery in assorted states of repair and reliability from lame Duck and Dodo condition upwards.A remote 5.2 mile circuit had to be approached under each competitor’s own steam! Via a 40 miles route with just one check at Upper Chapel near Builth Wells. A lost mark immediately, Dr. R L Holoway for taking 58 seconds to start his Triumph sidecar outfit. A A Campbell’s 499 BSA 19 minutes down at the check point. F H Barnes Ariel Sidecar outfit seized outside the course gates but was freed within regulations time limit. Only T Hankins 348 AJS failed to get to Eppynt, breaking down within sight of the colossal course in its autumnal livery. Leading manufacturers had spent the week acting as hosts to competitors, officials and some say each other throughout, today was ‘Mr Norton’s Day’ and a magnificent cold lunch preceded the speed trials. An hour to maintain a speed calculated for each class and size machinery with a required number of laps to be completed. Any competitor that reached the start line would also qualify as a finisher, a penalty of 60 points would be added to non finishers totals. 1949 ISDT Trophy winners consisted of P H Alves, C M Ray, C N Rogers, Frederick Maurice Rist & B H M (Hugh) Viney. Silver Vase winners the Czechoslovakian 2 stroke tiddlers team of Emmanuel Marha, Frantisek Blaha, J Kremar. The 2 strokes of Europe had started proving they left British 2 strokes way behind. Requirements for 98 cc Machines and 350cc sidecar outfits were 5 laps to be finished in 52 minutes. Only four entrants that reached the speed tests lost any further marks. Worst penalised was W T Tiffen whose 248 Velocette chose to expire just after the start costing him 51 points after carrying him through the trial without penalty, sympathy even gushed from hard men!. J R Lloyd 498 Matchless and E W Jones 499 BSA both lost 6.66 marks for failing to maintain their class average speed whilst D G Miles 498 Triumph lost 20. There were five separate classes, 98cc plus all 125cc. Except the Czech Vase B trio. Then 250’s and 350’s together. Next, sidecars. Then 500’s. In a class of their own came Czech Vase B men with British Vase A team of Jack Stocker 346 Royal Enfield, plus S B Manns and A F Gaymer on 498 Triumphs. Czech trio of E Marha, F Blaha, with J Krcmar all on CZ had to improve on the standard of five laps in 52 minutes. Stocker had to improve on eight laps in 60 minutes with Gaymer and Manns obliged to better 9 laps in 63 minutes. The result was a virtually foregone conclusion even with Marha’s stop for a plug change albeit towards the end of that hour. Given an impossible task, the entire British team effort was superb, an all out effort had been called for and since the day had come it was given. The Pavilion in Llandrindod Wells saw an evening of presentations, honoured by the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Radnorshire and of Piet Nortier, President of the Commission Sportive Internationale of the F.I.C.M.
Where are they now? –
Eppynt Road Circuit
This is where the Speed Trials took place, on the 5.2 Miles, largest TT Circuit on Mainland Britain AND IT STILL EXISTS!!
The lower pointed part of the Circuit, Dixie’s Corner, viewed from behind the Balloted TT starting grid. Dixie’s corner joins the straight ahead road on the far side of the buildings. The Finale! & More than just Grand on both 1949 & 1950 occasions, absolute Speed Trials would be on Eppynt TT Circuit, THE LARGEST ON MAINLAND BRITAIN, a 5.2 miles per lap course, circa 1500 ft up in Eppynt Mountains where Edelweiss still grows & where TT Races from 1948 to 1953 can be seen inwww.silverdragons.co.uk click to see that site or www.sandspeedwales.co.uk for earlier racing.
Sunday actually had a rather grand entry to the location by Swiss Diplomats, Colonel Jean G Reiser as Military and Air Attache along with Mr V Umbricht, their Commercial Attache. Britain’s Teams:
- TROPHY: P H Alves 498 Triumph, C M Ray 497 Ariel, F M Rist 498 BSA, B H M Viney 498 AJS.
- SILVER VASE ‘A’: A F Gaymer 498 Triumph, W J Stocker 346 Royal Enfield, S B Manns 498 Triumph.
- SILVER VASE ‘B’: J E Breffitt 490 Norton, E Usher 498 Matchless, W Nicholson 498 BSA.
- RESERVES: D S Evans Ariel, J Blackwell Norton.
A large number of trade & Manufactured products & accessories were ‘unobtrusively’ supported. British Competition Teams machinery innovations had air inflation bottles fastened to tops of rear chainguards or primary chaincases. Nortons were fitted with the light conical Manx hubs otherwise only seen on the racers. Triumphs had dispensed with the heavier sprung hub fitment, prefering to depend on a lighter simpler quicker to remove ordinary rigid hub. ‘G’ model gearboxes appeared on Royal Enfields with lower than Standard gear cluster ratios.
Big thanks to Steve Wedgbury in helping recall news of the day!
The Speed trials 6th day location on the Largest TT Circuit on Britain’s Mainland, with below the tiny Czechoslovakian machine in the winning Team! at the join of Dixie’s Corner, buildings are out of sight to left of this picture frame.
Here in the afternoon is S B Mann on his brave attempt to gain Bonus points ridiing a 500 Triumph heading thru Dixies Corner.
This picture taken at Llandrindod Wells was puzzling all until we found the assembly of riders was not actually the 1949 ISDT Team but those selected in a 2 days Trial in Petrol shortage days to select the teams to go to the Italy ISDT in 1948. Fred Rist is second from left, (can visitors identify others to us?). The 1948 Team Selection account. That same 1948 Eppynt TT Race day, over in Llandrindod Wells, despite haranguing criticism, ‘Government Officials’ had reduced a permitted level for Britain’s ISDT Team selection trial. They were being described as being so lacking in imagination they would jeopardise success of a National Team in an International contest by forcing a stern 2 day Test to reduce an allowed fuel quantity by more than half!. A revolution seemed imminent, at least in the press!, a Ministry of Fuel and Power official had reduced the amount of Fuel that A.C.U. had applied for, to hold a rehearsal for selecting International Six Days Trial teams. (Sacrilege?) Speed tests were to be held on Eppynt course Tuesday, this time with ‘crash hats’, and a forecasted only a whiff of petrol, though strangely, nobody is actually reported as having run dry. The ‘black market’ saw us right!!. This Mid Wales location had been selected directly since many sections still remained of the 1938 I.S.D.T. which had been held there, course plotter! – H.P. Baughan, the very man that built his own Trials sidecar outfit, with a Stephens motor and called The Stag, Dave James recalls had been instructed to plan a course to find weaknesses in men or machines, now bearing things like improved suspension layouts, WD type air cleaners. Jack Stocker’s rigid frame Royal Enfield ‘J’ model type now seems to have been a link with the past. Neat Triumphs, plunger Ariels, Alloy engined BSA, Pre-featherbed framed OHC Nortons, Batteries to help lighting, KLG plugs expert Rex Mundy was present plus Dunlop tyres man Dickie Davies. Even a Manufacturer’s Union Director, Major H.R. Watling was prominent, ACU’s Harry Cornwell too. Private entries included Miss Olga Kevelos, 347 AJS. Australian D. B. Williams on a 498 AJS. Plus a 3 man B.A.O.R. team all on 498 Matchless, Sgts. A. Hanson & J.W. Ward, plus Pte. J. Hall. A STOP PRESS report on the selected teams – after a ‘late-night deliberation’ by the A.C.U. committee, terminating at 2.30 am Tuesday morning showed the teams as follows, reported by telephone, called in from “Mercury”. TROPHY TEAM
- A. Jefferies, Capt. 498 Triumph.
- V.N. Brittain, 346 Royal Enfield.
- C.N. Rogers, 346 Royal Enfield.
- B.H. Viney, 498 AJS.
- J. Williams, 499 Norton.
- P.H. Alves, 498 Triumph.
- C.M. Ray, 497 Ariel.
- J. Stocker, 499 Royal Enfield.
VASE “B” TEAM
- J. Blackwell, 499 Norton.
- A.F.Gaymer, 498 Triumph.
- F.M. Rist, 348 BSA.
- E.J. Breffitt, 348 Norton.
- G. Eighteen, 498 Matchless.
- T.U. Ellis, 346 Royal Enfield.
Thus had passed 1948! British 1948 ISDT Trophy winning team in San Remo was A Jefferies, B M H Viney, Jack Williams C N Rogers, Vic Brittain, Silver Vase taken there by P.H Alves, C M Ray, W J Stocker some must be in this pic. Individual modifications such as keyhole shaped slots in the securing points of his magneto contact breakers cover saved J Blackwell a need to spend time removing such pins, simply, quickly slacken slightly then turn a little to remove. Cheerful Jack Stocker busily marked his points covers with a hacksaw blade to aid rapid refit positioning whilst pretending to observer that he needed to know whether spanner or feeler gauges went betwee pints faces. Hugh Viney’s machine became declared to be “naturally one of the best prepared”. First accident ‘award’ for newshounds to scoop quickly on Saturday went to C Ubtali of Italy, 123 MV for a collision with a small car, ‘prevailing easterly was quickly blamed for this by a local street philosopher!. Sunday weigh in of foreign teams brought locals out in their ‘Sunday Best’, floral dresses for ladies, Summer wear for Gents. The crowd gathered as interest grew. Monday morning 6.30 am scheduled start was attended by circa 300 well wrapped up enthusiasts, press parties along with the curious. Timekeeper A L Ebblewhite prepared for the Official starter, a Mr Peter Nortier of Holland, President of CSI (The International Sporting Committee) of the FIM to send forth the first pair of competitors. 1949 ISDT officially started when a British 11 years old 346 Royal Enfield sidecar outfit driven by F H Carey set out along with M Hajdu of Hungary on a 98cc Csepel. Shocks commenced plus glee & scarce copy for the presslads when F H Barnes failed to appear with his 348 Ariel sidecar outfit, a Speedtwin screeched off to his hotel to find he had not been called & within 14 minutes a breakfastless Barnes appeared on the start line. R Ghiazzi of Italy took 90 seconds on the line to get his 500 Moto Guzzi running. Czech. J Novotney needed 12 mins to get underway after stripping all electrics including the hooter from his 250 Jawa leaving a scornfull scribe to declare to his readers that trouble had obviously been carburetter starvation not electrics.
From left Johnny Draper, A (Bert) Perrigo BSA head man who had ridden for BSA in 1937 ISDT then Frederick Maurice Rist & the young New Yorker (USA) Tom McDermott adopted & supported by the BSA Team at 18 yrs of age, (Tom made it home) to win a Gold Medal & far right is Bill Nicholson, Fred Rist from 1936 & thereabouts was a staunch BSA man, his Home Neath & Port Talbot club right up to this present day hold the Fred Rist Trial, for old machines too. Fred led British teams to Victories galore & would display BSA’s twins at Pendine Sand Races as well as the Gold Flash Models in Six Days Trials events, commercially the cheapest 650 in Britain, A planned & developing BSA OHC Twin was quietly shelved, few have ever known of or seen the prototype.
Tommy McDermott although enrolled by BSA and an ACU license holder he was the first US rider to compete in the ISDT and he has been enrolled by the AMA into the US Motorcyclist Hall of Fame check out his entry hereThe entire text & results of 1949 can be found in the www.silverdragons.co.uk The Great Trial in 1949 section, here is Geoff Micah’s dream machine, Geoff was an 11 yrs old lad in His Parent’s Hotel at Llandrindod Wells, The Llanerch Hotel when Buster Cunningham & others rode in. (Buster, an AJS Test rider, can be seen in the 1938 section even in Donnington Speed Trial day plus his good lady can be seen being photographed at Cynghordy Post Office with locals plus Swiss Sidecar team riders). Geoff now has this rare machine for himself! Geoff got in the habit of wandering down to look at the bikes, pretending to ride them as 11-year-olds will do. His curiosity was rewarded one morning when a competitor called Cunningham, who rode a big silver AJS, hoisted him onto the pillion seat for a short spin up the road. Geoff recalls: “I hardly noticed the other motorcycles after that.” Rider number 157 was SE ‘Buster’ Cunningham, who had been a factory tester at the AJS works in Wolverhampton. He had a distinguished pre-war record of successful competition in long-distance trials and duly earned his gold medal, one of 50-odd awarded at the event’s conclusion. Cunningham and his AJS returned to Llandrindod Wells for the 1950 ISDT, riding for the Eltham and District MCC club team as number 231. This was the outing captured in Geoff’s photograph. Cunningham was by now already 46 years old, but repeated his gold medal ride on a course that was wetter and tougher than the previous year’s. Four years later, he would return as rider number 289, earning a bronze medal for 33 marks lost in a notoriously arduous and muddled event in which even the amount of hotel accommodation had been underestimated. Consequently, Cunningham’s usual room at the Llanerch Hotel was allocated to a British Army team member and young Geoff never saw his hero again. Now that Geoff owns the AJS, he is determined to preserve it in the condition in which it came to him. The only mechanical change that he has made is to transpose the front brake to the left-hand fork leg, corresponding to his period photograph. The switch was most likely a competition modification, since a 1956 advertisement in The Motor Cycle for Shell X-100 oil clearly shows SE Cunningham with HOY 197’s brake restored to its standard side.
This was the OHC BSA twin felt unneeded in view of the market success of the pushrod machinery, what might have been eh?. 1949 pt8. below is Copied with permission from Silver Dragons Archive with a latter day cartoon of Hugh Viney which emerged when he turned to using his writing skills about motor cycling. from the lower shown emblem you can tell this emerged via ebay!!!
The Great Trial ‘International Trial!’ screamed headlines on Local papers as 237 competitors assembled at a Llandrindod Wells base. 93 Foreign riders had arrived, foreign country flags fluttered from houses, hotels, garages, easterly winds said seldom to touch this area and which from lore are said to blow nobody any good prevailed. ‘Period’ hotels remain now virtually as they were then. An encampment of promotional tents, banners, bunting, logo emblems of lubricants, tyres, motorcycle manufacturers, companies producing accessories surrounded the weighing in area. Each with some special or superior product to promote. Feridax provided fine helmets for British team members.Panther, looking British, any info? (Possibly Frank Whittle?) Unfamiliar languages had became louder from first light, more numerous from more directions too accompanying and being drowned by unheard of before engine noises. Buzzing, barking, purring motors of factories far from UK shores in two stroke, four stroke varieties. Subdued singles, staccato singles, droning and buzzing multi cylinder motors powering a bright gleaming range of colourful sparkling products brought the wide World to Llandrindod Wells with a grand finale of Speed trials of machines that survived tests to be held at Eppynt’s’s mountain race circuit. Sertum, Condor, Jawa, CZ, Csepel, Guzzi, MV’s of a wide range of capacities and many others supplemented the ones more commonly encountered within Britain. Here we have a pic spotted in ebay by Jan, thanks yet again the 6 of 63 has been painted in. Weighing in, sealing, examining entered machines by Auto Cycle Union officials commenced at 10 am. H P Baughan was described as a mastermind and his two perfect secretaries, the misses Grant-Heelass. Host nation’s Lightweight and sidecar machinery would be first to be placed under scrutiny. Next, at 10 am. on Sunday, teams from outside UK were accommodated, last of all the Army team. A flurry of late arrivals along with special dispensation cases plus the gorgeous green Shaft Driven Sunbeam Sidecar outfit prepared by that ace sidecar arrangement specialist Harold Taylor. (Dave Holyoak of Stewart Engineering would be the chap to discuss this with) Switzerland’s Trophy team used machines with a name normally associated with South America, i.e. Condor. Transverse sidevalve twins, with shaft drives, solos of 578.5cc plus sidecar machines of 745cc capacity which seemed to bear a strong resemblance to earlier BMWs. The Swiss team and crew strangely did not spend their first day on the old POW camp cum Artillery range Eppynt course. Methodical preparation was their chosen option. Sunday actually had a rather grand entry to the location by Swiss Diplomats Col. Jean G Rieser as Military and Air Attache along with Mr. V Umbricht, their Commercial attache.
- P H Alves 498 Triumph
- C M Ray 497 Ariel
- F M Rist 499 BSA
- B H M Viney 498 AJS
SILVER VASE’A’ :
- A F Gaymer 498 Triumph
- W J Stocker 346 Royal Enfield
- S B Manns 498 Triumph
- J E Breffitt 490 Norton
- E Usher 498 Matchless
- W Nicholson 498 BSA
- D S Evans Ariel.
- J Blackwell Norton
British Competition Teams machinery innovations had air inflation bottles fastened to tops of rear chainguards or primary chaincases. Nortons were fitted with the light conical front hubs seen only on Manx racing machines otherwise. Triumphs had dispensed with the heavier sprung hub fitment, prefering to use a lighter simpler quicker fitted ordinary hub. ‘G’ model gearboxes appeared on Royal Enfields with lower than standard gear cluster ratios. Individual modifications such as keyhole shaped slots in the securing points of his magneto contact breakers cover saved J Blackwell a need to spend time removing such pins, simply, quickly slacken slightly then turn to remove. Cheerful Jack Stocker busily marked his points covers with a hacksaw blade to aid rapid refit whilst pretending to all that he needed to know whether spanner or feeler gauge went between points faces. Hugh Viney’s machine became declared to be “naturally one of the best prepared”. First accident ‘award’ quickly on Saturday went to C Ubtali of Italy, 125 MV for collision with a small car!. An Easterly wind became immediately blamed by a local street philosopher!. Sunday weigh in of foreign teams brought locals out in ‘Sunday best’, floral dresses for ladies, Summer wear for gents. A large crowd gathered interest grew. Monday morning 6.30 am scheduled start was attended by up to 300 well wrapped enthusiasts along with the curious. Timekeeper, the impeturbable A L Ebblewhite prepared for the official starter, a Mr Peter Nortier of Holland, President of C S I (The International Sporting Committee) of the F I M. to send forth the first pair of Competitors. The event was started when a British 11 years old 346cc Royal Enfield sidecar outfit driven by F H Carey set out along with M Hajdu of Hungary on a 98 Csepel. Shocks, excitement glee for presslads when F H Barnes failed to appear with his 348 Ariel sidecar outfit, a Speedtwin screeched off to his hotel to find he had not been called and within 14 mins a breakfastless Barnes appeared on the start line. R Ghiazzi of Italy took 90 seconds on the line to get his 500 Guzzi running. Czech. J Novotney needed 12 minutes to get underway after stripping all electrics including hooter from a 250 Jawa leaving a scornfull scribe to declare to his readers that it was obviously carburetter starvation. Tongues were already wagging over the amazing low speed torque demonstrated by low capacity machinery riders from Eastern Europe and Mediterranean as they tucked in racing style to leave the start as if pursued by demons!. A power band that seemed beyond anything British 2 strokes could ever hope to produce. Wild riding would be mentioned, spills were naturally of intense interest to pressmen.
The Final Score: Results
Speedtracktales wishes to thank Marc Pétrier of FIM Information Resources who has facilitated the scanning of the FIM archive of ISDT results material and is allowing us to make it available here as a public service. Download a copy of the original Results and Stewards Report at the link below.
Artifacts & Collectibles
Triumph fielded again three of the great british riders of the time PH Alves, S B Mann and A F Gaymer who picked up a manufacturers award for Triumph who celebrated with this advert with the 3 riders and their machines. Alves also rode in the winning Great Britain Trophy team
Where are they now?
(This is a CONDOR still in use in Netherlands, which must have been ‘a lump’ to be taken on the 6 Days trial course both in solo & sidecar trim) It was announced by the Condor team that Methodical preparation was their chosen option.