So after a great xmas you are all tooled up… leather driving gloves from the sister in law, Top Gear aftershave from the kids and a Barbour manbag from the wife… as the novelty wears off why not treat yourself, if you have not already to Deryck Wylde’s great issue fourteen of OFF ROAD REVUe which is now online. Unique and notable articles is a feature on the post war Welsh ISDT events and as with anything coming from Deryck the images are not only great a number are originals unlikely to have been seen before.
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.
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
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.
If you were to ask many current followers of the ISDE what part they might take most interest in.. it will be the ‘Special Tests’ usually one Cross Country and one MX style each days is designed to sort out the wheat from the chaff of the sporting elite off-road motorcycle racers. Back in the early days of the ISDT the to hell or glory race was on the last day and if your national squad got through 5 days unscathed it would be the speed test, usually on a road race style circuit that the race was decided.
Back in the 1950’s it was clear the sport splitting from its roots of being an event to determine the greatness of the bike as the European Nations became more interested in the quality of the riders. However the paymaster of the event, the Motorcycle Industry, wanted to maximise the marketing value of winning the event. However as the global dominance of the British Bike industry started to wain, it was recognised for the sport to thrive required a new objective which was to measure the rider rather than the bike. The drive to this were the european nations however the greatest act to confirm this shift was from Britain’s Auto Cycle Union who supported the need to provide daily tests to identify the best riders as the event progressed.
In 1960 the ISDT in Austria trialled a British idea of having two special tests a day to examine which riders where performing best rather than who was able to hang in to the pace set by the organisers. The trial worked and in 1961 the F.I.M introduced two mandatory special tests a day for the ISDT 1961. The fact this was driven by the British for a British hosted event where the home nation failed to excel is one of the most obvious milestones marking the ultimate demise of the British Motorcycle Industry within 15 years as this editorial from ‘the Motor Cycle’ of the 12 October 1961 alludes to.
“IT made a welcome change to be writing in the sunshine and among the mountains of Wales instead of in the office. Yes, I was having a few days on the “International” and enjoying every minute of it.
On our latest trawl of the internet mining resources I am certainly pleased to have found this short item of a newsreel produced by Movietone news. Apart from some fantastic footage of the entrants set in the vastness of the beautiful remote Welsh Countryside whilst friendly and keen locals look on supporting the riders. We also get to see the final speed test that took place at Donnington. More videos from this and other years can be viewed on our video gallery.
ISDT from LLandrindod Wells
Firstly a short ‘Movietone News’ news reel with sound in fairly good quality.
I am really grateful to reader M Ryan who has been generous in taking the time to scan and send us his own copy of the ISDT 1938 Official Programme which can now be read on this post thanks to our library of documents at issuu.com
You can read the entire programme cover to cover here.
We always welcome the generosity of readers wishing to share their collection of old ISDT programmes or other printed matter
With much thanks to reader Michael Wryan we now have a scanned copy of his original programme for the ISDT of 1933. This event which has it’s 80th anniversary this year was held on the 20th anniversary of the first ISDT in Carlisle in 1913. The event founded in Britain had not taken place on English Soil for 5 years despite the British team being often victorious and earning the right as winning nation to hold the event the awarding of the event was passed to other nations. An explanation of this is provided in the introduction to the programme feature in this Blog post. You can also read (if you are using a flash supporting browser) a copy of the programme online at our issuu.com library. We have added the images of the maps to the ISDT 1933 page
The introduction of the Programme contains a useful resume of the history of the ISDT since 1913 and the previous years conclusion and provides an interesting insite into the background social conditions impacting on traffic and landuse that even then impacted on the organisers ability to hold this event to provide a credible event.
In the year where we see the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the very first ISDT. For many, especially in Wales, it is also going to be noted as the 80th anniversary of the fifteenth ISDT event which took place in Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire, now Powys in 1933. We have a page dedicated to each year the ISDT took place but also its another anniversary as the ISDT changed its name in 1981 to the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE). In 1983, 30 years ago this year, the ISDE rolled back into Llandrindod Wells / Builth Wells, the last time the Six Day spectacular has occurred in Great Britain. During this year I hope to produce a page to commemorate the 1983 event, of which video clips of a Welsh Language TV Show on S4C can be viewed in our ISDT Tube page.
Originally the awarding of the following years event was an honour bestowed on the National Governing Body for the country of the sport whose team won the trophy. However this became increasingly difficult because of the limited number of countries eligible to compete for the International Trophy, which could only be won by a team riding on motorcycles made in their own country. Later on the cost of this restriction limited the number of potential host nations and finding a host with adequate suitable terrain and resources became harder. The Trophy requirements were abandoned teams could ride on what they wanted, and it was later opened up to parties to bid for the rights to hold the event rather than winning the right.
As part of the 1933 celebration we have purchased an original copy of the ‘Motor Cycling‘ report on the week long event which we will be making available on the 1933 page. Below are a couple of images from that report and an extract from the editions forward piece on the ISDT of 1933.