Monthly Archives: November 2011

Trials Champ Tables after the NSMSC Presidents Trophy on 27th November. Gary Marshman confirmed as Champion 2011!

The latest update on the Centre Trials Championship is now posted in the usual place for you.

As I suggested earlier Pete has confirmed Gary as our Champion

Here’s Pete’s commentary

With just one round left congratulations go to Gary Marshman on joining the elite band of riders who have won the Wessex Centre Championship. It’s now between Ben Lovelace & Colin Crease as to who takes the runner up spot.

As reported after the last round, Kevin Hart is the Clubman Expert Champion but the runner up spot won’t be decided until the last round with Rob Scott, Dean Lovelace & Trevor Ashford all in with a shout of becoming runner-up.

The Clubmen class winner is still to be decided with Kevin Miller & Andrew Kibby only 5 points apart. Kevin needs to finish ahead of Andrew to clinch the class win. Regardless of who wins, both riders will be promoted to the Clubmen Expert class for next year with George Papageorgiou looking likely to join them.

With Merv Walker easily the winner of the Novice Class by winning every round he rode it leaves the runner up spot between Michael Ell & Andrew Humpris. Whatever happens, all 3 riders are promoted to the Clubman class for next year.

The Over 40 class has been decided with Mark Talbot taking the overall win preventing Colin Bennett from making it two in a row although I’m still awaiting sight of Mark’s birth certificate as proof that he is in fact over 40!

With Martin Strang confirmed as the Over 50 class winner for the 4th year in a row there are 5 contenders for the runner up spot.

Cheers — Pete Dury

Frank says: first of all don’t forget it’s the Frome Dinner at Standerwick on Saturday. Secondly Pete says Ben & Colin still have to sort out who will be r/up to Gary. This is how I see it, if Ben & Colin both ride the Knut, any points Colin scores will add to his total. If Colin won he would have  a total of 87 points, Ben currently has 86 Championship points,if Ben finishes 3rd [which gains 10 Championship points] or better he would  end up with 88 points or more, as he would have had to discard one  8 point score.

I reckon the odds must be on Ben, don’t you?

See you at the Knut Championship Finale!

This is what you want to see?? NSMSC’s Presidents Trophy Results are posted

Right, we’ve just received the provisional results of yesterdays Trial. Its posted as a .pdf on the Centre Championship Trials & Timed Trials Page

The Experts were very close: Current Champion Colin Crease won on 9m/l, pushing Gary Marshman [12m/l] into R/Up place, Kurt Brain pushed very hard but dropped 13m to be 3rd, & Ben Lovelace fived the last Section to lose 17 in total for his 4th place. As last week we’ll leave Pete Dury to do his magic with all the Champ Tables for you & I’ll post them when we have them

Quite a day, quite a championship battle. My quick back of a fag packet calculation makes Gary our Expert champion this year , as now I believe his points total cannot be bettered by any of the other runners. He would also add any points he may take from riding the Knut, as he wouldn’t’t have to discard any.

Gary was our Centre Champion once before decades ago, back in 1990


Sorry – we haven’t seen the Presidents Results yet

As you know we didn’t get to the Presidents yesterday as we were on babysitting duty.

BTW –  William is now walking when he has a couple of Mums or Dads fingers to hold onto & enjoys opening & closing doors -trouble is you don’t know where he is when he’s pushed it too & he’s the other side!

I know you are waiting for the Results to be posted, & more of you than have ever visited the Centre Website in one day before yesterday,144 of you, came to look for the Results yesterday, but I didn’t have them yesterday.

We’ve contacted the Secretary of the Meeting today & the situation is this, the provisional Results have been worked out but there is an anomaly which needs resolution before they are published.

So if you would be patient for a little longer I hope to have been sent them later on this Monday evening   — Frank

Maler Calling!

Notes from Shepton Mallet Motor Club 

November 11th was a sombre day on it’s own account, but for Wessex club members and competitors it was doubly sad with the passing of that doyen of sidecar drivers Alan Brown. ” Brownie”, as he was referred to by all who knew him, was a brilliant engineer,equally at home with lathe, welding torch and spray gun. Everything he produced had the look of quality about it.

He was the King-pin of the Bristol enclave of the B.S.S.A., known in Shepton as the Bristol Mafia. To see him holding sway at the Mendip Inn following a trial was like witnessing a gathering of tribal elders. No-one would leave the bar until the Commanding-Officer decided it was time. That was usually many hours AFTER closing time. The landlord was heard to say, ” You can’t shift that lot without a stick of Dynamite”

Alan was a man with a devoted band of followers, who readily accepted his brusque comments and would have thought they were out of favour if he didn’t berate them regularly in the Anglo-Saxon manner.

He was instrumental in ensuring a full entry for any club who catered for chairs. He was such a ferocious competitor that others nicknamed him the “Great-White-Shark”, though in all probability not to his face.

We all have our memories of Brownie and will miss his prescence. He was a really great sidecar man and friend to the hundreds who attended his funeral plus many more who couldn’t be there. The Shepton club members extend our deepest sympathy to Marg and family. He was a rough diamond and unique with it.

Rest in peace old friend, Maler.

Thank you Dave, for that Tribute to ‘Brownie’ & reminding us all of the Fellowship & lasting Friendships that motorcycling brings us all.  —-  Frank

Latest Trials Champ Tables are posted!

Pete Dury has updated his Trials Championship Table after Sundays Frome Club Selwood Novice & Bradley Cup Trial, & comments.

The Championship is now realistically a 2 horse race between Gary Marshman & Ben Lovelace.
This brings to an end Colin Crease’s remarkable record of winning every Championship this century having won every year for the last 11 years. In fact I reckon Colin won 17 Championships in all with more to come I’m sure.

Congratulations to Kevin Hart who is confirmed as the Clubmen Expert Champion.

The Clubmen class is another 2 horse race between Kevin Miller & Andrew Kibby with two rounds to go.

Meanwhile, Mark Talbot and Colin Bennett battle it our for the Over 40 award.

Martin Strang was already confirmed as the Over 50 champion for the 4th year on the trot.

Cheers: Pete

Knut Championship Trial Regs available!

As promised, Regs are available now for the Knut Trophy Championship Trial in the usual place. Sorry they’ve been up for  a few hours now but I’ve not told you!

Remember I mentioned Kurt Brain didn’t ride the Frome Trial? Now I know why, he was riding the Western Centre Hurran which ran yesterday. Kurt was  In a classy Entry Sam Haslam won on 16m/l, Ricky Wiggins was R/up on 23, Simon Welch 3rd on 33 & Kurt 6th on 63

Pete has updated the Champ Tables & I’ll post them tomorrow,  a query about one riders grading has been raised which may mean some changes. If it can be quickly resolved it will be, otherwise it may have to be ‘provisional’ as they say. Pete also has some comment on how its looking in all classes with the two Rounds to go.

Watch this space tomorrow!


Wow: The Trials Expert Class: it’s getting tight at the top! Results for todays Trial are posted.

I shan’t usurp Pete Dury producing his updated Champ Tables,   but I think Ben’s win today means that Gary will be kept on his toes for the last two rounds [North Somersets Presidents next weekend] & the Bath & WoE’s Knut Trophy Trial at Dyrham Woods on 11th December whichiRegs will be posted by tomorrow sometime if I don’t get them up this evening.

Gary has an advantage that may stymie Ben in the end as he has ridden one more Round than Gary so Ben will have to drop one score, provided that he does score points in both forthcoming Championship Trial . Gary on the other hand  has only ridden 6 Rounds so he will not need to discard any points he’s scored.

Keep watching this Space,  You know what happened last year at the last Round, Steve Saunders played his Joker  & took the 15 points on offer to the Winner.  So Steve effectively decided our Championship  ———–   Frank

Just back from Frome’s Selwood Novice & Bradley Cup Championship Trial

Hi all, just got back in from the Centre Championship Trial at a venue I’ve never been to before, Fry’s Bottom at Chelwood. This venue is one of North Somersets, & as you all know Frome have lost Asham Woods as a venue so we must all be delighted that North Somerset allowed Frome to use ‘their’ venue. This may be what has to happen even more in the future with Clubs ‘sharing’ ground as ground becomes more & more difficult to find & ride on. In the same way looking forward many Clubs rely on the same workers, & anno domini has caught up with a few of them of late, so Clubs might consider amalgamating so that there are enough shoulders to put to the wheel. Club with a proud history of independence need not ‘disappear’ if two Clubs amalgamated ‘workers’ they could still affiliate both Clubs to the ACU & run events for both Clubs couldn’t they?

Anyway a few thoughts about the day. As this was the first time CofC Tom Crease has laid  out sections here no-one knew how they would ride. I suspect they were easier than they looked, as a number were tightened up after the first lap. An innovation was a section for Experts only, Bill Bailey observed this one [7a] for the first lap & after that the Experts observed themselves, it will be interesting to see their scores on this one! Most of the Experts who are in contention for the Championship were here, Kurt Brain being the exception {at the Hurran in Western Centre?}. There were almost enough Observers!  We missed Nipper Allen who it is rumoured is chopping down trees in the Highlands of Scotland, CofC Tom Crease had to pick up the board on Section 2 after Nicola Golding had to go to sort out a four legged [horse] problem at home. Dean Lovelace had to lend his bike to Ben, whose own needs an engine rebuild, so he observed, the Talbots provided an Observer, Theresa, the Creases provided another, Colins brother Paul, the Hassall’s provided Lee’s Dad Dean & Grandad, Colin, Sue Harding, Daryll Fortune, Phyllis Sweeting, Bob Burt & Denys Plaster. Thanks all of you from the riders! Among the youths its the first time I’ve really known who Jamie Knight is & it’ll be interesting to see who comes out best, Jamie or George Marshman. Jamie I hear has some tutelage from ‘past master’ Martin Strang. Its’ really nice to hear them both lads thank Observers on their last lap, I know Observers appreciate it. I know the other youths I saw, Josh & Luke Golding & Ollie Humphris always do the same, oops forgot Gareth Talbot who I saw jeopardising his lift home when laughing at Mark losing marks in his Mums section. Don’t misunderstand me, I know the majority if not all riders do the same, but it doesn’t hurt to remind all of us that in this amateur sport, a little thanks goes a long way to persuading Observers & Organisers that their efforts are appreciated!

I’ve got no idea who will be the winners in the 55 or was it 56  strong entry as I only saw half a dozen expert rides, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ian Fortune hasn’t had a good ride [top 4?] Oh & the graded hillclimb is something we don’t often see these days, although it seemed easy [if you are just watching] George Papagiorgio & Dave Best on their 4 strokes just sounded wonderful on it, real music to the ears. Only one grumble all day, how did those flags get put in for Section 9? I went up to get the whites & the topmost reds & blues & I did think I was likely to slide back down on my b-m or my back, its a job for youngsters who would bounce better than I did!

As soon as I see the Results I’ll post them up if Mary has been able to sort things out before 22:00 say.

Afternote: I missed out the Observer on Section 12 who I know but whose name I forget for the moment, but he did a sterling job after being issued with a Chair to sit on. When you are hopping about on crutches [a work accident] standing up on uneven ground for four hours would not have been fun without it.

Note to all Riders, next week is another Centre Championship Trial, North Somersets “Presidents Trophy” Trial – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Now we’ve had our tea & checked my mail, Mary has been very quick off the mark with the Results, & I see Ben Lovelace won on 7, Gary Marshman R/Up on 13 & Lee Hassall with a good ride third on 18, Ben Skinner on 20, Colin on 25 & my suggestion Ian F not really in the hunt in sixth on 51, give me moment & I’ll post them up for all of you to see. Sorry the moment is longer than I thought, I was called away to drying up tea duty!


More Sad News: Alan Browns funeral

Some of you will already know that Alan Brown, President of BSSA (Wessex) has, sadly, passed away.

Alan’s eponymous Timed Trial Series is, of course, well known to many off road sporting riders of disciplines, all those trials  enduro trail & scrambles people will ensure his memory lives on, &  if you needed a wheel rebuilding, Alan was your man! He will be missed.

Alan’s funeral will be at Westerleigh Crematorium at 14:30hrs on today week, Wednesday, November 23rd

Sadly,   Frank

The November ‘View from BA House’

The eagle eyed among you will have spotted the last ‘View’ seemed to just ‘stop’ without the punchline Ba usually pulls. Well Ba blames the computer – who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks? – I bet he’s been a past master at ‘the cheques in the post’ – for not sending his complete missive, so here is the full version


The View from BA House

I went to the Mitchell Trial recently over in South Wales.The Mitchell has to be one of my favourite trials,I’ve been watching it for ages.In the early days it started in the town of Neath,the start being in an  engineering works,which has sadly gone now.I remember that the riders were treated to a proper  Breakfast,eggs,bacon and fried bread,and the Mayor of Neath turned up to flag everyone away.Like all the Nationals in those days it was a day-long ride for the competitors,and they would have had a lovely time,visiting hidden valleys and riding over miles of trackless mountain  moorland.
Sadly that’s all gone now and like every other ” Modern” National the Mitchell is held in just one place. This year the course was near Newbridge in South Wales,at a farm with an unpronouncable name beginning with M,and you reached it by way of a five-mile drive up a single-track lane.The place was super,set in a steeply wooded combe with a little rocky stream running through it.There was everything you would need to lay out a perfect short National course.
But watching a British-Championship trial these days is like going to the Pantomime.Sadly it’s not a serious contest anymore.It’s now all about free-style riding.You can still enjoy the skills of the riders for a while though,but eventually it gets boring,all that jumping up and down stuff,so I left early and went home the pretty way.
Unfortunately when you get back to your own Centre,if you agree to observe,then you have to be prepared to put up with all this nonsense in your own back yard.As is usual the great majority of the riders these days are trouble free,it’s just in the A class route where all the grief is to be found.When I’m observing my heart sinks as the experts appear,because I know that they will be looking for every way,short of threatening me with a gun,to gain an advantage.I’ve stood there watching the usual stuff, footing with feet on rests,using the knee and elbow to convince the observer that you are still riding the motorcycle,etc, but in the last two trials they’ve tried something new,well new to me anyway.
What they all did was ride up past where they wanted to be,stop and turn through 90 degrees,then hop sideways back down the hill.At the time I thought it was my birthday,for they’d all gone backwards,job done,fives all round.
But really I suppose it depends on what “going backwards” amounts to in the modern game.I’m pretty sure that the experts would argue that they can’t be going backwards if they’re hopping sideways,but some would say that returning down a hill to the place you’ve just left is going backwards.Still it doesn’t matter that much,the only problem is that observers like me aren’t really able to keep up with all these cunning plans,so perhaps it’s time to let the experts do their own marking.We can trust them to do that  surely ?
Watching trials over the years you get to collect quite a lot of pleasant memories.A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to catch Ian Fortune’s latest triple-salko accident.( How he does it without hurting himself is a mystery to me.),and I did also see a most unusual incident at a charity trial in Somerset.It was run without observers,with the riders in teams of three and marking each other,so it was obviouslywide open to all sorts of things.Well there was some serious gardening going on,and by the time the first rider had finished preparing the section a large rock and a nice little Beech tree had been cleared out of the way.Satisfied he got on his bike,rode two yards on flat ground into the section,and then dived straight over the handlebars.That was good to see.
It’s sad to hear that we’ve lost another promising rider from our game.Evidently she was sick and tired of getting beaten up by the trials sections.I can sympathise with that for I packed up riding for that very same reason.Really organisers of Youth trials have got it all wrong.Instead of trying to find a Dougie Lampkin replacement quickly they should go longer term and concentrate on entertaining the majority of the entry.Good riders will rise to the top naturally,we don’t have to try to force the issue.In my opinion the Youth organisers would do well to lay out a course similar to Classic trials where the competition is won on nought,where no-one falls off and everyone goes home losing less than twenty marks.Most of the little ones would lap that up.   Ba