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, then the Marlin went into the garage for far too long, finally re-emerging in Spring 2019 after an extensive rebuild which included replacing the B-Series engine with a Ford Crossflow (on twin 40s) and many other ‘improvements’. I competed in a handful of classics in autumn 2019 and winter 2020 before Covid-19 locked us all down (and the Marlin went back into the garage for ‘repairs’).
I’m a member of the MCC, Stroud & District Motor Club, and the Marlin Owners Club. I’ve been Rights-of-Way Officer for the ACTC for 20+ years, and I was the Chairman of LARA from 2016 to 2020. Now (Spring 2020) released from my LARA responsibilities I’ve had much more time to spend updating my Trials Sections Database.
Page updated : 1 July 2020