This was the first full length Night Trial arranged by the Club since 2012 and the organisers were rewarded with an excellent entry of 12 Morgans and were supported by an highly enthusiastic group of around 20 Marshals – to whom we express our sincere thanks – especially the catering team.
The Start, Finish and Half-Way Halt were at the Village Hall in Rowsley, Derbyshire not far from Chatsworth House. The route of 120 miles meandered around north Derbyshire and into Staffordshire taking in several challenging climbs, the well-known Tissington Ford and Manifold Valley Tunnel.
Following a hearty meal and an hour for Competitors to plot the route first car was away into the cold but dry night at around 9.30pm.
Competitors were asked to note down Morgan engine names from strategically placed route boards plus names of pubs and given “silly things to do” at the 8 Marshal Posts on route in order to score valuable points.
- Parking the Morgan’s rear wheel in a 20” diameter circle whilst driving forwards in the dark
- The classic MTWC height and width test using Richard Hoskin’s fiendish pulley system
- The Feely Bag – well done Robert and Howard for getting the Lady’s suspender
- Hill Start with the fresh egg strategically placed behind the nearside front wheel
- Timed changing of a rear light bulb and at another Marshal Post, timed changing of two spark plugs.
They also formed themselves into four teams each of three Morgans:
The Flashing Duck
The Missing Wheel
Tired, Cold and Grumpy
Unlike most Night Trials of the past there were no significant breakdowns so the two Steve’s kept nice and warm in the recovery van.
There was good close competition throughout the field but locals Ben Wildsmith and Henry Pearson eventually came out on top. Robert and Howard Joseph in their Matchless Sports were second and joint third were Charles/Julia Smith and Len/Bill Critchlow.
All returned safely to Rowsley for bacon butties and warming drinks around 6am.
- Overall Winners and recipients of the Les Bolton Cup – Ben Wildsmith and Henry Pearson in their JAP Super Aero XJ 639 with a total of 225 points
- The Graves Burton Shield awarded to the best performance in a 2-Speeder – also to Ben and Henry.
- The MTWC Team Trophy (Stork Mascot) to Team C – “Tired, Cold and Grumpy” on 569 points – Ben Wildsmith/Henry Pearson + Charles and Julia Smith (Matchless Super Sports) + Richard and Sheila Simmonite (Matchless Sports).
This was a really close run thing with Team B – “The Missing Wheel on 567 points – Len and Bill Critchlow (Matchless Super Sports) + Dave Anscombe and John Manders (F4) + Adrian Murray-Leslie + James Evans (Blackburne Super Aero)
- The Piston Broke Trophy goes to the crew overcoming mechanical challenges during the event – to Richard and Sheila Simmonite.
- The Trevor’s Trying Trophy for driving a round trip of over 400 miles just to take part – to Gary Caroline and Sam Savage.
- Special 6 volt award comprising a box of 6 volt bulbs and a vintage lead lamp to the crew persevering with original lights to Mike Sythes and Ruth Ross.
- The Special Braking Test was won comfortably by Gary Caroline and Sam Savage. Steve Lister