The Cotswold Clouds Trial was first run on 18th March 1962, so the event is sixty years old this year. The trial did not run on five of those sixty years, so it’s not actually the sixtieth event, but sixty years since the first running is still an anniversary worth celebrating.
The Cotswolds had, of course, been a major venue for trials in the PreWar period, with the North London Motor Club’s Gloucester Trial and SUNBAC’s Colmore Trial, both overnight events, considered as equals to the three MCC trials in the 1930s. But, by 1961, Falcon’s Guy Fawkes Trial and Bristol’s Allen Trial were the only significant trials in the classic format using the hills in the Stroud area.
It was clearly time for the Stroud & District Motor Club to reclaim their local hills from the interlopers. The 1962 event attracted 50 entrants and 45 starters, started from the Five Mile Garage, and finished at the Stratton House Hotel in Cirencester, via 12 observed sections and two special tests. The trial started with a special test at Jack’s Green and an observed section at Bull’s Cross (both used by Falcon in previous years), then south to sections at Butterow and Avening (both Stroud ‘finds’), before looping back to The Ladder at Nailsworth (used over many years by too many clubs to list). It was then back south to Fort 1 and Fort 2 (above Dursley and used by both Falcon and Bristol in previous years), Axe (another hill with a long PreWar and PostWar history), Moreton, Roddy’s Pimple, and the Roddy Lane Special Test (all three Stroud ‘finds’), Througham (an ex-Falcon hill), and the two sections at Bull Banks (rare examples of a first use by Stroud and subsequent use by Falcon). So, a total of 14 sections, seven used on previous events and seven new Stroud ‘finds’; the Cotswold Clouds had arrived with a bang.
The classes were: Class 1 for front-engined saloons, Class 2 for sports cars, Class 3 for specials (including Dellows), Class 4 for rear-engined saloons, and Class 5 for front wheel drive cars (only one entrant, in a Mini, who non-started). At the finish there were just four clean sheets: Thompson’s Ford in Class 1, Goodall’s Morgan and LeFevre’s Sprite in Class 2, and Wood’s Messerschmitt in Class 4; the event was judged a great success.
In 2000, the Stroud & District Motor Club published a small booklet to mark the club’s Golden Jubilee and this included a report on the 1962 Cotswold Clouds taken, I think, from a club newsletter of the time. I’ve scanned the relevant pages and they’re available here: