I can precisely date the start of my interest in classic trials. One of the first copies of Motor Sport that I ever bought (October 1967) included an article by Bill Boddy on his attempts to follow the route card of the 1935 Colmore Trial through the Cotswolds. This seemed like fun but it was another year before I acquired my first car, an MG TC (in the days when even impecunious students could afford classic MGs). By this time I had started to read more about trialling history, bought a copy of ‘Wheelspin’, and ensured that my regular trips from Bristol to Cirencester included a diversion via Nailsworth to view the Ladder. Competing in a few MGCC trials wetted my appetite but the poor old TC eventually cried “enough” and had to go.
Several years abroad, and the inevitable time, effort, and cost of bringing-up a family, prevented active participation in trials for over twenty years although I became a regular spectator on the Cotswold Clouds Trial, an occasional spectator on the MCC trials, and continued my research into historic trials sections in the Cotswolds. I’d also maintained my contacts with the MGCC and was delighted to be asked by Roger Stanbury to accompany him in his MG 18/80 on the Kimber Trial that formed part of the MGCC’s 1995 celebration of the works trials cars. I’d been making noises about buying another MG for some time and I think Roger was on a mission to get me to return to the MG fold but the Rodborough weekend didn’t have quite the desired effect. I came away having decided to forget about buying an MG, but to get into classic trialling as soon as possible. Within two weeks I’d bought my Marlin and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
I competed regularly, with a variable amount of success, between 1996 and 2006, since when the Marlin has been in the garage undergoing a never-ending rebuild. I’m a member of the MCC, Stroud & District Motor Club, and the Marlin Owners Club. I’m Rights-of-Way Officer for the ACTC, and have recently become the Chairman of LARA, so the Marlin rebuild will probably now take even longer to complete.
Page updated : 28 September 2016