Category Archives: Franks mutterings

facebook, new Centre website, more mutterings!

Hi all,

the “new” Centre website can be found at:

many of you are aware I don’t do Facebook. I’ve now found out why I don’t, this apocryphal tale is, I understand, appearing in many places on the internet, I came across it in a Saab related website.

Before I do that though, here’s a few little sporting snippets. SSDT News, Adam Norris has an Entry, so does Tom Culliford, a lot of foreign entries too. We chose not to go & observe Kingswood’s Avery Cup Centre Championship Trial yesterday week, we’d had the East wind blowing  across our garden the day before & decided then that it wouldn’t be smart to go out on Sunday & stand around on cold ground  in a a sub zero temperature (taking the wind chill into account). I’m delighted that all Sections had Observers, hats off to them all. Kurt has carried on winning & could well manage to defend both his Centre Trials Championships when the final Points Tables are published.

The weather is affecting events as you know, Wilts Border cancelled their Trial last Sunday as was the opening Round of the Wessex Plant Hire British Sidecar Trials Championship (down on Dartmoor?). The BSSA Reg Lewis Trial on Sunday 11th March is already cancelled

And now “A seniors perspective of Facebook

For those of my generation who do not, and cannot, comprehend why Facebook exists I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.
Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom.
I give them pictures of my family, of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.
I also listen to their conversations, give them the ‘thumbs up’ and tell them I like them.
And it works just like Facebook!   I already have four people following me:

Two police officers, a private investigator and a psychiatrist.”

Well it made us both laugh, & I’m happy not to leave footprints in the worlds server farms for others to track down. I wonder how many of us have given away or told the world where our two wheeled pride & joy is stored without thinking? I had this conversation about thieves, theft& facebook with someone who wanted to renew their Competition Licence just this morning.



Hi all,

So the AGM & Board Meetings have happened & Mike Fear (who has always been helped by Chris) & Phyllis & I have stepped own from our Honorary  posts of Permit Secretary, Gazette Editor & Assistant Secretary respectively. Both teams of us were delighted to be presented with a Flower Display & we also had a Voucher for afternoon tea at the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath – a very swanky place I think. Mike & Chris’s envelope looked the same so I think they too will have a lovely afternoon out.

I have to say it was a complete & delightful surprise. Thank you “WessexACU” !

A couple of things emerged during the Board Meeting that you may need to know.

There will be a transitional period while Mike & Andy Scrivens, the new Permit Secretary, complete the handover. So up to & until 1st March permit Applications should continue to go to Mike & after that they should all go to  Andy Scrivens: email him at

The Centre website has been given a new look & a quick demo given & it’s ready to go. I anticipated that the website would have changed by now, but as it isn’t I’ve no idea how you can see it!    When Gareth lets me know I’ll tell you!!

Bye for now: Frank




Nearing the Finish Line.

Hello all,

Indeed, the finish line approaches, I should get there Tuesday next week, when I step down & hand on the stewardship of your web-site at the Centre AGM. Thank you all for your support & interest over the years.

I’ve a couple of things that have been brought to my attention recently that I’d like to comment on – almost the last of my “mutterings”

I gather that on that well known “social media” site F**e***k there has been discussion of Entry Fees for Trials. I gather this has particularly related to our friends over in the SW Centre.  So what’s it all about? Riders apparently are perplexed that entering a trial before a Closing date specified in the Supplementary Regs. may cost less than entering up to 30 minutes before the Start of the Event. The beef is, it seems, that there should be no differential & that the lower fee available to entrants by the stated closing date should be available to riders who choose to turn up on the day & ride.

Let me give everyone my take on this. Organisers have to issue Supplementary Regulations (over & above the TSR’s) when applying for their Permit to run the event. Many organisers would prefer to have an idea of the number & ability of the entrants before the day. – If no Experts enter you don’t have to plot a course (the white route) to challenge them do you? Remember no organiser sets out a course on the Sunday morning of the Event, all the Sections will be marked out on the previous day, ie the Saturday at the latest. Sometimes usually due to the weather last minute “tweaks” are necessary. So entering beforehand helps organisers & riders alike. So although you may regard the late entry fee as a penalty fee, it actually shows Organisers are realistic people who want to enable riders to come & have a days sport & are flexible enough to let you have a ride if suddenly on Sunday morning a rider realises he/she is able to get to an event & ride. The Closing date for Entries is there to give you the choice of the Entry Fee you have to pay to ride. It certainly isn’t  an effort by the Organisers to penalise you for being unable to enter by the closing date for entries as, in my experience any rider who has entered an event by the closing date, & who has a bona fide reason for not riding the event, will have their Entry Fee refunded or their cheque torn up if you let the Secretary of the Meeting know you will be a non starter before the start – because, for instance you’ve been called in to work unexpectedly, you haven’t been able to source & fit the replacement gearbox mainshaft that broke last weekend you’ve had a fall & broken your wrist on Friday morning – you get the drift? So from where I sit, the late Entry dispensation is a bonus for Riders & not a penalty, as you had the choice of when to enter – before or after the closing date.

It may be true that Organisers aren’t getting this message (refunding Entry Fee) through, I  don’t know. I do know that my Club always specifies a Closing date for Entries and that entering on the day will involve an additional fee when sending event details to TMX for the Regs Available section.

The second thing really relates to the varying abilities of riders. In the “good old days” we all rode the same route – there were no different routes through the observed Sections. That’s changed, most events have multiple routes & different ability groups ride routes considered appropriate to their skill level by the CofC. Schoolboys/girls are graded by age groupings – again & this isn’t so long ago there were often entries of 100+ at a schoolboy only event, presently there may only be 3, or if the Club is really lucky  6, youth riders at an event. There is normally a class for Youth Experts which is an ability, not age, group ie youth experts may come from any age groups. Other Youths will ride in their age groupings & the Route the age group will ride is chosen by the CofC & will be specified on the Entry Form. Recognising that some riders in an age grouping can have very divergent abilities, riders may want to ride or their parents/guardians may want them to ride a less challenging route ie “they ride down”.  They are thus ineligible for their age group award. A similar thing can happen where a youth rider chooses to “ride up” ie he/she chooses to ride a more difficult route than that which the Organisers have considered appropriate for that age group & is specified on the Entry Form. If the rider that “rides up” loses fewer marks that the best performer riding the specified route, it’s quite clear that the boy or girl riding up has made the best performance in the age group. It’s quite possible though that the rider who ” rides up” loses more marks than the rider, who may be of lesser ability and who rode the easier route specified by the organisers for that age group. What happens then? The Class winner will be the rider who rode the organiser specified route with least marks lost, as it isn’t clear who is the “better” rider on the specified route. I would then anticipate that the Provisional Results would show any rider who rode out of Class (& is thus ineligible for an award if they rode down) as “rode out of class” or to make clear a particular rider “rode up” or “rode down” Again, this is what my Club does.

This route distinction should make clear to a third party looking at the Results that the “age group” marks lost in this instance are not comparing apples with apples, it’s more as if they are comparing apples with pears.

Sorry if all the above seems long winded, it’s jolly difficult to explain things so that they can’t be misinterpreted succinctly.


ps Pete Dury circulated the Centre Champ tables after the Wells & Dist.TC Miller Cup Round but I have still to post them.


Dedicated? Indulge me please. Centre Champs: Wells Miller Cup Trial RESULTS from today, multi Centre & organiser fixture list

Hello all,

Went out to the Miller Cup today (despite having seen the weather forecast), it was very wet, if you were there you know that already. Thank you to who-ever corrected me from thinking “we’re all daft” to “we’re all dedicated”. Two laps of 15 sections with 4 or 5 (?) of them in the wood. Ours No 11 looked difficult on all 3 routes. So it proved the downhill entry with a tight turn up a gripless bank took plenty of marks, the yellow route was i suspect a little easier after that, the Main route took plenty of marks as well, although Kevin Nicholas was very disappointed he was fived early on in the section after he had fought his way to the ends  cards. The Expert & Clubman Expert route took most people for fives, I’d guess there were maybe three to six rides that were recorded as “3’s”. Gareth Talbot & his 4stroke Beta sounded nice & his 2nd lap ride was much improved. Champion Kurt had a couple of dabs on his first ride in the tricky beginning & fived on his 2nd lap. I gather some Sections had to be self observed which is always disappointing for both riders & the organisers, & apologies to you if you were waiting longer than usual to be called in, the rain & the observers cards didn’t get on today so recording your scores was much more difficult than usual. Results will be posted as soon as I have them, but I’m guessing they may not be available until tomorrow

What’s this, a multi Centre & organiser fixture list? Retiring Centre Permit Secretary, Mike Fear has collated & updated his Fixture List – this includes Western & South Western Centre fixtures as well as our own, you can see it here:  Mike fears Master Dates List as at 140118 Whoever follows Mike has a hard act to follow, there is a possible aspirant but until the Centre AGM we shan’t know if someone will take the job on, fingers crossed then.

Indulge me please,

They say never look back, & i haven’t often mentioned the “good old days while I’ve been the Steward of your Gazette, but here’s a picture at the 2017 Scott Trial, it’s the section before Surrender. So there’s no riders you say? No, but look at that bike, its the ultimate aspiration for many of us in the 60’s a Greeves Scottish. Once upon a time, I had one of those!

If you’ve never been to the Scott you should go & watch, it was cracking Section you can see a start card & the exit was a 180degree left just after the very top bit of water you can see. If you’ve never entered the Scott & you’re a youngish Centre Expert do it, you might regret it but you’ll never forget it. It’s one of our ultimate challenges & it’d be nice to think that maybe , just maybe Harry Jefferies will …….

Good to hear Mark & Scott Cameron, Tom Culliford, Victoria Payne & Craig Talbot all have confirmed entries for the SSDT – it’s got to be more difficult than last year hasn’t it? I hope the weather god doesn’t make it 6 days of rain like todays to make up for last years 6 days of sunshine.

See you soon: Frank.

Here we are boys & girls, todays Results

Wells Centre Champ Miller Cup 210118

Congrats to Kurt Brain, winner on 25m/l R/up was Ben Lovelace on 43 & Tom Culliford 3rd with 46, the Clubman Experts was headed by Ian Wakeford on 24, Ant Millar R/up on 27 & Henry Pym was 3rd on 30. So you can see it was very competitive despite the conditions, oh & I should mention that the AB’s rode the white Expert route in our Section. I won’t make any more comment in the interest of getting these Results posted for you all to see.




Updated Knut Trophy Results, Congrats to Jon & Matt, Wells ” ‘Mike Cornish’ T/Trial Results” & more NB NSMSC RICHARD SAGE RUNS NEXT SUNDAY. NSMSC Eco Angus T/Trial Regs …

Afternoon all,

We went out to the Knut Trial today, wondered whether we wanted to or ‘ought to’ in the end the vote was yes lets go! Easy enough for us to get there via Langridge Lane where we caught up the Norwegian registered van at the top, just two small fallen trees on the Bradford > Bath A  Kitted up in overtrousers etc before leaving home bearing in mind the forecast snow at 12:00hrs At the start it began around 10:20hrs, although several riders had driven through or around (impassable) snow on their way! Thanks to the band of hardy Observers which included Nipper Allen, Mike & Chris Fear, Gary Scrivens, Andy Jefferies Dean & Colin Hassall, ourselves only until 12:00hrs , thanks to Mark Talbot who relieved us, I expect Theresa Talbot Bob Burt & Colin Noad were as well. Heard the North Somerset Time Trial was cancelled & events over towards Oxford were cancelled as well.

Full wet weather gear was the order of the day as the snow settled but as it was above freezing it became sloppy & gooey mud so grip & throttle control was at a premium in Section 11 where we were. Mark Elms reckoned it was maybe 40 years back when he was a schoolboy riding on Exmoor since he’d last ridden in conditions like today! All 3 routes were doable, but became more difficult while we were still there. Anyway we were back home by 12:30 for coffee from the flask, hot soup and our sandwiches. We’d got the boiler oil leak sorted (new pump – I suspect oil leaking through the bearings – but last night another problem showed up maybe play in the motor bearings as well allowing the fan impeller to chatter on the casing. So when we got back I decided I’d only run it in extreme emergency i.e. sub zero temperatures.

So I’ll sit back & wait for the Results & post them later.

Meanwhile, Congratulations to this years National Sidecar Expert Champions, Jon Tuck & Matt Sparkes who clinched it a fortnight ago in the Final Round by winning the final Round. Josh & Luke Golding were 3rd there & 3rd overall in the Championship as well as winning  becoming Southern Experts recently. David Tuck & Joe Newman were 3rd on the day which secured their 3rd place in the Intermediate Sidecar class.

Now for the Wells&DistTC Mike Cornish TTrial 031217 Results which Martin Lawford has sent over with this resume of the day, ”

Apologies this is so late in the week! ( More apologies the Boiler saga has slowed things a bit this week – Ed.)

Please find attached results of last Sunday’s Mike Cornish timed trial at Maesbury Rings.

The event attracted almost a full entry, which certainly made for a busy hr’s riding on a fairly compact course. Charlie Frost came from the back to set standard time and in the process took the non trials class win, but it was Jason Hamblin who took the premier from Pete King and Paul Manning.

The non trials class was hotly contested with Nick Shephard and Nathan Newman keeping Charlie on his toes and the top 6 only separated by 13 marks.

Regards,   Martin

NSMSC Richard Sage Electrical T/Trial will run next week  – Message from Jerry Walters

“Afternoon Frank,

North Somerset MSC were forced to cancel today’s Richard Sage Electrical Time Trial at Scars Wood, Lulsgate, due mainly to a waterlogged parking field.

We’re hoping to run in  a week’s time (Sunday 17th December) at the same venue, weather permitting. All entries will be carried over automatically, unless riders contact Paul Manning to cancel their entry. Entries remain open for anybody who hasn’t entered but would like to ride on the new date.

Best regards   Jerry”

Here are the NSMSC’s Eco Angus T/Trial Regs & Entry form for 14th January: NSMSC Eco Angus T:Trial Regs & Entry Form 140118

Last but not least, I’m confident you will all want to acknowledge the work that Permit Secretary Mike fear has put in for you all since 1980 as our Centre Permit Secretary. That’s 37 years worth, I know that Mike couldn’t have done it for so long without Chris’s help. They also organised the Centre’s Fixture Card. Thank you both.

Bath & West of England Knut Trophy Final Centre Championship Results (added 20:00hrs 10th Dec)

Here they are:  Bath&WoE Knut Trophy Centre Champ Trial Results 101217  Centre Champ Kurt lost 29, but visitor Tom Moss just dropped 16 to take the win. I suspect he diverted to ‘our’ trial as a result of a cancellation? Kevin Hart rode AB losing just 42 with Henry Pym second on 62. A tough day for the B class where Morgan Blacker was best on 99! Charlie Newman was second on 106. The yellow route C class was bested by Sean Donagy on 38, runner up Ian Newcombe parted with 90,. John Roberts was best o40 on 83 with Richard Elliott R/up on 92 Kevin Miller outdid the other o50’s losing 24 and Dai Clothier was R/up on 34 Chris Wrigley pushed Dai hard though & ended up just 1 mark back. Thanks to Janet for looking out for Phyllis when she was struggling back for section 11.  Neither of us recognised rider 21 who was first Expert through 11 with a stylish ride. Now we know it was Tom Moss, with luck we’ll remember him for next time. Section 7 was the most difficult of the day with no Expert cleans, Tom lost 6 here, the best Expert aggregate score and the only AB clean was from Kieran Reeves, who also was best aggregate score on 8. As Theresa says on the Results “blizzard conditions”, so i think the organisers were sensible for abandoning the two sections on the way out to Shackles they are very exposed & would have been very unpleasant for anyone to Observe

Frank   ps Todays Provisional Knut Results amended by Secretary. and posted to website @22:15hrs


Yesterdays NSMSC’s Centre Trials Champs Presidents Trophy Results

Good morning all,

Jerry Walters sent over these Results yesterday, before my bedtime (!) but I was busy getting info about faults & cures with Riello oil burner pump failures. On Saturday morning we found a leak from the pump that needed & needs sorting out. & didn’t check mail before we did go to bed.

Anyway here they are:  NSMSC Presidents Centre Champ Trial Results 261117.xls  We observed Section 1 which proved fairly comfortable for all 3 routes. Our Section only took one “5” all day & that was from an A/B rider. Tony Hewitt riding number 13 had 3 particularly controlled slow rides, most stylish! Tyler Rendall up from Tiverton found it a little more difficult but he wasn’t riding smoothly like Tony, more on & off with the right hand. Good to see Stuart Keedwell out on the Fantic I hope the RT Keedwell Group will be sponsoring the National Championship Events again next year. In the expert Class, Centre this years Champion, Kurt Brain took the premier on 21m/l with last seasons Champion, Ben Skinner R/up on 33 m/l. As we only saw Nipper Allen’s Section 2 apart from our own  I’m not sure how difficult the others were, but talking to Ben after the finish – he was parked next to us – he thought the winner would have lost some 20 – 40. Pretty good assessment eh! Section 7 which only had a Main & Expert variation was the most difficult judging from m/l.

A good event from our perspective with a reasonable entry of 49 but only 2 of the 5 Experts were “Wessex” riders which is a little disappointing. Thanks to all Observers, with just one Section needing an official – Mandy Jefferies, the Secretary of the Meeting – to observe it. As we didn’t see Stuart Robinson I guess he volunteered to observe as Alicia was giving Harry Jefferies some needed competition in the Youth A/B class. What a contrast, Harry must be close to 1.83m (6′ to you pre decimal folk) & Alicia is well, diminutive? It’s good to see three Ladies riding, Alicia, Chloe & Janet Hillier. Victoria Payne wasn’t entered so I suppose she was somewhere else yesterday.

Don’t forget the next Round is the Knut at Bath, Lansdowne, or the BVM test day this Wednesday.



Yesterdays Wilts Border Autumn Trophy Centre Champ Trial Results, Sporting Mentions

Good Morning all,

Out to Dinner last night! Dropped off the WWilts Youth Dave Townhill Division Trophies with Robin Townhill in Bratton before going on to Clive & Helen’s in Edington to eat.These WWMC Youth Division were last awarded ten years ago & like other Clubs (?) we have many donated Trophies that don’t get used anymore so the Club has decided to dispose of them appropriately – where we know who the donor was,  we try to contact them & return them to the family or, – if they do not want them, just to “get rid”

Anyway, a super Trial at Breakheart, nice weather too, apart from one brief shower of rain as a cold front came over. For the first time Wilts Border used the ACU online Entry system & when Theresa closed it at 15:00hrs on Saturday she had 45 entries. On the day she had 30 more! One clear advantage of the system is that the Secretary of the Meeting only has to get the pre entered riders to sign on as only Licenced/RegisteredACU Members can get through the online entry system. It also shows how many people don’t let Organisers know of their intent to ride.

Centre 2018 Trials Champion in Waiting Kurt Brain was Expert winner on 11 marks lost, without any 5’s & only Sections 3 & 12 taking marks from him on more than 1 lap. I think that this win will assure him of this years Championship, but we’ll wait for Pete Dury to issue his Points Table update to confirm. As an aside Congratulations to Kurt on being this years Western Centre Trials Champion, ending Simon Welch’s long reign. It went to the final Wye Valley Traders Round though, where Kurt needed to be R/up to become Champ irrespective of Simon’s result. As it turned out Kurt won & Simon could only place 4th.

The Autumn Trophy Results are here: WBorder Autumn Trophy Results 051117

I’ve a number of sporting achievements to mention.

First, we don’t often mention the straight line boys in the Centre, but Martin Bracey has for four consecutive years won both the 125cc Racing & the Classic Japanese Racing class of the NSA (National Sprint Association) Champs. The RS Aprilia runs in the low 14seconds at around 93mph over the line & the Honda CB250RS gets him to the line in the mid 15seconds at around 88mph.

Victoria Payne has placed 5th in this years ACU Ladies Trials Championship. Congratulations!

Congratulations also to Todd Kellett on winning the Beach Race again this year. brother Ty  took the last Finishers certificate THE “R.WOODWARD WILSON” MEMORIAL TROPHY. LAST OFFICIAL FINISHER ON TIME.) at the Scott Trial & fellow SW Centre rider Chris Shorey took the THE “S.HUGHES”TROPHY.OLDEST OFFICIAL FINISHER OVER THE AGE OF 40. Chris has some record up there, it was his 37th consecutive ride, & he doesn’t ride week in week out.

I mentioned Joe Millard a couple of weeks back, well he’s now  this years British Sidecar Cross Champion together with driver Stuart Brown. More congratulations.

The British Sidecar Trials Championship hotted up at the last Round, with just one Round to go Jon Tuck/Matt Sparkes are 1 point ahead of Nigel Crellin/Chris Molyneux, 164:163, Josh/Luke Golding are 3rd on 137. On the day the Zona1 Round saw Josh & Luke push Nigel & Chris back into 3rd place which let on the day winners Jon & Matt slip into that tiny points lead. Watch this space!

Keep smiling: todays sunshine helps!      Frank


Wells & District – Mike Cornish Trophy Time Trial – 3rd December. Franks Holiday snaps

Good morning,

Here are the Regs & Entry Forms for the Wells & District Trials Club’s Mike Cornish Timed Trial, the Regs, Wells & D Mike Cornish TT Entry Form021217  Wells & D Mike Cornish TTrial Regs021217  , &   Thanks to Jerry Cross for sending them across

Tom Culliford – Mission Accomplished – A Scott Trial Finishers Award at the first attempt  21/10/17

Sam Ludgate – Scott Trial 21/10/17  – Another Finishers Award – He’s already got 8 Silver Spoons in the Trophy Cabinet

Here’s a couple of holiday snaps

The MV would never finish a wet race – If it rained it would end up without sparks!

 & as some of us go back a while, does it look familiar? Yes, war reparations taken up by BSA as the Bantam.

See you soon – Wilts Border Autumn Trophy Centre Championship Trials Round on Sunday maybe?


Congratulations to & Commiserations to: —

Good morning all from Scott Trial Country,

Congratulations to Tom Culliford, comfortably gaining a Finishers certificate on his first attempt. Even better, he had a round of applause from the large knowledgeable crowd at Bridge End for, i think it was the 2nd clean on the Section. A fine ride to 64th place..

Commiserations to Fred Adams who got no distance at all (in Scott Trial terms) before the rear tyre rolled off the rim, Fred’s a very capable mechanic as well as rider, but couldn’t sort it on site, & we saw him ‘shimmying’ back to the start on the road soon within a mile of the start, after we left the start field. He’d made up a fair number of places too. Very bad luck.

The two Belgian based German first timers Jan Peters & Max Faude both finished, Jan comfortably in time but Max was out by around 20 minutes. I hope we see both of them again next year.

Btw, Dougie was the winner & Ian Austermuhle was R/up

Feet up: Frank