Two questions about early issues of Restart

Can anyone help? I had always believed that my collection of ACTC magazines was complete (from Four Wheels Out No.22 onwards), but there are two possible gaps:

  • Were any issues of Restart magazine published in 1990? My collection jumps from the last issue of Wheelspin in May 1990 (Vol.3 No.9) to an issue of Restart for March 1991 (Vol.2. No.1). Does anyone have any issues of Restart in this gap?
  • Was there a Volume 3, Issue No.3 of Restart in late 1992? My collection jumps from July 1992 (Vol.3 No.2) to March 1993 (Vol.4 No.1).

A new tagline for

The more observant of you will have noticed that, together with the hosting changes described in the previous posting, the site’s tagline has changed from “The Where and When of Classic Trials” to “The When and Where of Classic Trials”. This reflects a subtle change in the bias of my trials-history-related research.

Although making the Trials Sections Database as comprehensive as possible is still my ultimate goal, I now think that this will be more easily achieved by concentrating, first, on the trials themselves, then moving-on to the sections used for those trials.

I have therefore created a new Events Database which currently holds the dates of nearly 800 trials from the earliest MCC events (remember the first ‘Edinburgh’ was held in 1904) to the present day. This database is split into two parts – up to and including 1983, and 1984 onwards – to reflect the start of the ACTC Championships in 1984.

Up to 1983 I add events on an ad-hoc basis but with no intention (life is far too short) of trying to make the list comprehensive. From 1984 onwards my magazine collection should allow me to create a comprehensive record of every event in the ACTC Calendar, whether part of the ACTC Championship or not. I’m currently adding events from the 1980s and 1990s and will make the complete list available on this website as soon as I believe it to be worth publishing.

Website changes

I’ve recently moved this site from a WordPress.Com website to a self-hosted WordPress.Org website. Although the site looks much the same at the moment, minus the annoying pop-up ads which are now ubiquitous for WordPress.Com sites, it will allow for more flexibility in the future.

Although I’ve moved all the pages from the previous site, essentially unchanged, I will be doing some consolidation, tidying-up, and adding a few new pages, over the next two to three weeks.

I’ve also, finally, started wading through the mountain of unactioned trials-history-related emails received over more years than I care to admit. These emails have unearthed some interesting items which don’t justify a page on this website but might justify a blog posting, so I’ve moved the blog posts to the front page of the site to make these future posts more visible.

Cotswold Clouds section list updated

In anticipation of the 2019 Cotswold Clouds on Sunday, I have updated my list of the sections used for the Clouds from its first running in 1962 up to last year (2018). I’m still missing quite a lot of records from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s, so if you have any route cards or results sheets buried away somewhere, please dig them out and let me have a copy!

The list is linked from the Cotswold Clouds page.

Marlin Roadster page re-published

I’ve just updated, and re-published, the Marlin Roadster page, complete with a comprehensively updated Register of Trials-Prepared Marlins (open the Marlin Roadster page and scroll down to find a link to the PDF file). All the information is from sources in the public domain or has been provided to me by owners and ex-owners over many years. The Register now lists 111 cars, assuming that there are no duplicates in those noted as “?” in the Registration column, out of a total of 193 database records. 193 -111 = 82, which is the number of previous owners in my records.

This is the first update for several years and I hope that I have incorporated, correctly, all the information provided to me by owners and ex-owners. If you have sent me something, and I’ve omitted it or got it wrong, please accept my apologies and please send it to me again.

Minor design changes

I’ve made some minor design changes to the site in anticipation of more frequent updating during 2019: the About page is now the Home Page; the Recent Posts are now shown in the sidebar; the header image has been removed; the header menus have been tidied-up; and the Miscellany page has been updated.

The ‘Perfect Trial’?

Day 6 of Michael Leete’s research project, over on the Classic Trials Facebook Group and available from this link, has caused to me think, once again, about the formula for a ‘Perfect Trial’, as discussed many times in the past but maybe unknown to recent newcomers to the sport.

Tony Branson once referred to this as the Toulmin/Brown Formula, but I know it’s been chewed-over by many others, including Pete Hart, so I make no claim for originality. There is, of course, no such thing as a ‘perfect trial’ (except maybe the one that you win) but the intention was to define a trial that would be enjoyed by the maximum number of average competitors – “to please most of the people most of the time”.

The Formula states that the ‘Perfect Trial’ has:

  • 1/3 of the sections climbed by every competitor, unless they make a stupid mistake. These sections might include the ‘Classic Lanes’ which Michael refers to in his Day 6 question.
  • 1/3 of the sections climbed by most competitors, but presenting a challenge to the less expert, or those in less-developed cars.
  • 1/3 of the sections are where the trial is decided, and can be as challenging as the organisers wish (to get a result on the hills and without resorting to special test times). These sections would probably include the forests and private land which Michael refers to in his Day 6 question.

It would be a boring world if every trial worked to this formula, and no one wants to change events like the Camel Classic (traditionally won with ‘cricket scores’), but I still think it’s not a bad re-starting point for events which may be struggling in their current format.

Someday I’ll get-around to analysing recent trials to see which are a best-fit with this formula, but don’t hold your breath.