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laird387

The Arbuthnot Trial.

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Hi,

Many years ago now, Ian Rennie, who has a passion for old Riley cars, was offered, relatively cheaply, an old Riley - but with conditions - the farmer wanted to use the barn it had been stored in for years - so Ian could have the car for a song, as long as he took everything else in the barn away as well!

Not one to be easily deterred, Ian did just that. With the help of friends, tractors, trailers, vans and assorted dustbins they cleared the required space. Later, Ian started to look at the assorted pile of junk that he had acquired, which included some old travelling trunks, one of which was full of papers including in the midst of it all a Route Card for a motorcycle trial for young naval officers in memory of Admiral Arbuthnot who lost his life when his ship sank in the Battle of Jutland in the First World War - not only his life but also his motorcycle because, being an Admiral, he decided to take the bike on board - just in case..........

Ian, an old friend, got in touch. "Have you ever heard of a trial for naval officers that was run between the wars?"

I hadn't, but we got our heads together and did some research, to find that the trial had run until 1929 - then disappeared off the calendar. But looking at the 'Route Card' that Ian had, it was clear that a lot of the landmarks were in the Salisbury area, so we decided on a different research - how much of the old route could we find.

That was quite a struggle, we knew the Start was at the Green Dragon pub, but then the route said, turn right and in 300 yards turn left up the track. But that was nearly forty years before - and people had been building dual carriageways, motorways and roundabouts in the meantime.....

But, with the aid of old Ordnance Survey maps and helpful County Surveyors officers we reckoned we could just about work out where the old route had run - and since a lot of it was on tracks across private estates, so the next bit was to find the owners, and persuade them to let us run the old trial again. It took nearly two years of work to put it all together and, with the excellent support of the Salisbury club and the A-CU we put the Arbuthnot Trial for rigid motorcycles back on the calendar.

Now I have hundreds of Arbuthnot images in my archive so here we go with the first.

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-09729100-1393778506_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

I may well be stuck in this deep slot - but just look at the grin.

Arbuthnot-mania in full swing.

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-08046000-1393779150_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

Waiting for his 'Start' time, a rider on the eminently suitable Triumph TRW side-valve twin originally supplied to the Navy!

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-57831400-1393779582_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

We attracted all sorts of interesting characters, giving us a bumper entry, to that first Arbuthnot trial.

Just one such interesting device was this 'Montgomery', not a twin, as some youngsters may assume but a good old twin-port single!

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-66015500-1393840885_thumb.jpg

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Hi Deryk,

I know Ian Rennie quite well, usually having a chat with him in the early hours of Easter Saturday on the MCC Land's End Trial. Do you have any photos of MCC events for another thread?

Thanks,

Ian.

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Hi, ian640,

Yes, I have quite `a few images of the Long Distance events - but I never know just where the 'demographic' of TC really is - so often so many of the threads seem to be all about the youngsters on very modern machinery - and then the pre-65 scene is so very different than when I was actively involved and totally immersed in it - but I'm beginning to realise there are also quite a few more senior members and what I really ought to do is just concentrate on getting as much of the history that I know personally to be accurate, out into circulation, then leave the members to make what they will of it - some to enjoy - some to ignore - and some to fall quite in-between those norms.

I know I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but every time I pick up any of the popular magazines I find them strewn so full of historical and factual inaccurracies - not from what I read years ago - but from what I was told by people who not only were there - but actually directly involved.

So, yes, I will add sorting some 'Lands Endy-type' images out of the pile of the archive and start a new thread - but, PLEASE- PLEASE- PLEASE, do let me know anything you would like to see.

That request goes to all those who like some of the scrambling images from way back when - I am getting plenty of you who are kind enough just to 'click' the 'Like This' box on any posting, and that really is a help for me to decide 'which image next' out of the pile where YOU can see it.

Cheers

Deryk Wylde

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Hi,

Back to the Arbuthnot - sorry don't know who this rider is on the pre-war Ariel Red Hunter.

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-43137900-1394616629_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

Don't know who this fat old fool on the 1934 BSA B21 is in the Arbuthnot - probably given number '1' so that he can make a broad enough path through any blockages for the rest of the field to fit through.......

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-46733600-1394617312_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

Tidy little rigid James in the Arbuthnot this time, sorry don't know the rider's name.

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-03829700-1394617654_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

A pre-war Matchless G3 competition model crosses the Stratford Tony ford in an early Arbuthnot trial.

You can tell he's a civilian rider, 'cos any DR-trained rider would mentally hear the Instructor bellowing "Get your hand OFF that clutch..."

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-35957100-1395819023_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

When we laid down the regulations for the reborn Arbuthnot trial, we did not specify 'trials' machines, because the original trial had been for naval officers on their everyday models to compete in a 'reliability' trial.

In the early events we had all sorts of characters turn up to try their hand, as it were, including this devotee of the Excelsior Autobyk marque.

It takes all sorts............

Enjoy.

post-19290-0-60373300-1395819620_thumb.jpg

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On 12/03/2014 at 9:47 AM, laird387 said:

Hi, the first picture shows Ken Hopkins on his  '49 ZB32 , lovely machine but severely lacking in ground clearance. He also rode this in the MCC Lands End & Exeter trials. The lad on the James J9 Commando was his son Doug who rode in many Arbuthnot's in the 80's, even in the pillion class ,as well as the MCC events on the James

 

Tidy little rigid James in the Arbuthnot this time, sorry don't know the rider's name.

Enjoy.

01APICT0013.jpg

 

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On 12 March 2014 at 9:42 AM, laird387 said:

Hi,

Don't know who this fat old fool on the 1934 BSA B21 is in the Arbuthnot - probably given number '1' so that he can make a broad enough path through any blockages for the rest of the field to fit through.......

Enjoy.

01APICT0012.jpg

He looks strangely familiar.....

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