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Midland Centre Autumn Trial
23 September 2018

Do you remember the long hot summer and how we stopped talking about the weather because there was only one sort? Then the memory of heavy rain came flooding (sorry) back, particularly how it only ever rained on Saturday and Sunday; well that was what we faced last week. And also how the harbingers of doom; the weather forecasters, quickly got back in the swing of announcing bad conditions and then at the very last minute would issue a reprieve. We were equal to it, playing them at their own game of leaving it to the last minute to say everything was still on and how right we were, the 23rd was a bit breezy but sunny and dry after a damp start. 

We had a healthy entry of A7s and MG TA /TC cars in class 2 but we were a bit thin in the remaining classes so 4,5 and 6 ran together as did 7 and 8, strangely no front wheel drive cars at all, first time in my memory of Autumn Trials.  

The MGF of Adrian Tucker-Peake and George Houghton was well to the fore on the day despite being harried all the way by Don and Helen Skelton’s Austin 7, Adrian won the Allen Trophy with best performance on 16 lost; Don lifted the Autumn Cup on 21 whilst George with 22 was third overall and best in combined class 4,5 and 6.   

Ian Nute and  Tony Burdett in a Dutton Melos were 4th overall and won the combined class 7&8  with 28 lost. 5th overall and best in class 2 were Dennis and Julia Bingham on 45 lost in another of Don Skelton’s very capable A7s.  

Special mention for 14 year old Joe Leach with father Jeremy in their first trial who lost 50, was 6th overall and won the award for Best Newcomer and Young Driver in their classic Cannon. Joe had a clear final round as well, he was in good company with Adrian and George also on zero. More family rivalry as Matt Wills and dad Mike hustled their MX5 to Best Novice award with 78 lost.

Many thanks to Brian Osborn who once again set some challenging sections aided and abetted by Adrian Tucker Peake on a rather wet Saturday afternoon. Dave Bowlas once again scrutineered and towed a number of cars up sticky inclines, many thanks. We managed to rustle up six marshals to run the first round before we despatched two of them to run both timed tests. Thanks to John Grottick, Keith Horton, Roger King, John Fry and particularly Ken Banfield for his vivid depiction of the Autumn Trial as the Grand Old Duke of Bromsgrove. 

Finally, thanks to all of you for keeping the faith at our new venue.


Tony Lake

2018 Autumn Trial Prov Results

In addition to Tony's notes, one of the people who attended the event as a marshal, Ken Banfield, has kindly written a light-hearted report on the day's proceedings. Please click the link below to open and read the PDF document -

2018 Autumn Trial Report

It has been said before, but Trials can be an enjoyable and low-cost entry into one form of motor sport, requiring more driving skills than you might first think. This form of motor sport seems to have lost some popularity amongst mainstream motor club members in recent years, as we have noted from falling attendances at our own events, yet it remains hugely popular amongst more specialist drivers, with events like the Land's End, Edinburgh, and Clee Hills Trials regularly attracting large entries.

Best of all, you don't need a special car fitted out with a roll-cage or lots of expensive clothing in order to compete. Although some serious competitors do bring along specialised vehicles, a bog-standard road car will do the job just as well, and a classification system evens out the chances for awards. As you will see from the report, it can be a very enjoyable way to use your car with minimal risk to your safety and your car's bodywork! Oh, and it's very cheap to enter, too.

In 2017 and 2018, we held 'Taster' Trials as our opening events for the year, both at East Lodge Farm, and both were well-received, with several entrants electing to have a go at the 'proper' event in the autumn. We may host another 'taster' next March, so please keep an eye on our website for further information. Why not give it go - who knows, you might get hooked!

If you would like further information on Trials driving or our Trials events, please drop us a line at our main email address -



Midland Centre Welsh Rallye
11th - 13th May 2018

Now in its 23rd year, the MG Car Club Midland Centre’s Welsh (Touring) Rallye continues to be popular and takes the participants to some hidden gems of Wales that folk might not normally venture to.

The MG Welsh (Touring) Rallye was started in May 1997 by then Centre Chairman - Rick Howson - as a non-competitive variant of the proper rallies that the Centre used to run many moons ago in the 50/60’s. Hence the Rallye spelling to differentiate it as non-competitive, and then the addition of ‘Touring’, to indicate that it was held under an MSA Touring Assembly Certificate of Exemption.

Its main aim was to give drivers who like to use their Classic Cars a decent run on roads that would not usually be visited on one’s own and be of a length to be interesting and challenging rather than just a tootle round the block.

The first 18 years were one nighters, meaning that the Saturday mid-May start was from somewhere in the West Midlands area and headed West to finish at various hotels in Wales large enough to accommodate a group of some 50+ cars. That is, apart from two Centre anniversary years in 2003 & 2013.

Distances of the runs varied from 160 in ’97 to 180 in the early years, with some a bit less  as many folk had some mileage just to get to the start, or some stayed nearby, thus making it a two nighter for them. Some of the suggested route’s mileage was to head West from the Start to the borders and into wild Welshland.

 In 2015, after the success of the Anniversary Peake Rallye which was a 2 nighter based on Buxton, it was decided to try a 2 nighter Welsh Rallye, initially on an alternate year basis. However this has very proved very popular and has continued thus to date with the main run still on the Saturday .  As nearly all folk were already on site, mileages varied, but aimed at 150-160, with four parts or stages of around 40 miles each and three Controls or refreshment stops.

The most recent event was over the weekend of 11-13th May 2018 and was luckily blessed with good weather. That is, if we forget the Friday evening when it absolutely chucked it  down. At least it got it out of the way, as thankfully, the rest of the weekend was beautiful top down - bright, sunny and warm.

The base was the Marine Hotel in Aberystwyth. Where it was generally agreed that the staff looked after us very well, the food was good, and the rooms, whilst some were a bit on the cosy side, were clean and comfortable and some had a sea view.

The Saturday ‘suggested’ route took cars South East from Aberystwyth following the Ystwyth and Teifi valleys for a scenic drive to Tregaron and then along the very scenic mountain road with fantastic views of the lake, deep valleys and mountains to and around Llyn Brianne Reservoir to a Coffee Stop at the riversideTowy Bridge pub, near Rhandirmwyn.

The next stage then headed SW past the Roman Gold Mines at Dolcaucothi and  further South over some wild moorland to Newcastle Emlyn on its way to a Lunch Stop at another riverside pub. The Nag’s Head in Abbercych, most folks said that their Welsh Lamb Cawl was the best they had tasted!!!

After time to digest and relax it was onwards South and up the enchanted Cych Valley before turning West into the Pembrokeshire National Park to and over the Preseli Hills. After following the Gwaun Valley to the famous Dyffryn Arms pub at Pontfaen it then swung North to negotiate the switchbacks over Carningli (Mount of Angels). Spectacular coastal views were enjoyed on the decent into Newport. The coast was then followed as close as possible via Caibwr Bay, Poppit Sands, and the Teifi Estuary to Cardigan with its 12C ruined castle, then alongside the northern shore to a great Tea Stop at Cardigan Golf Club with fantastic sea views.

The route back to Aberystwyth was via Aberporth, then North along the coast road to head inland a bit at Aberaeron. This route took in some pretty Welsh towns and villages on the way back to the main road and a drive along the Prom into Aberystwyth and back to the hotel where it was  re-fuelling time for most in the bar.

Saturday evening saw many of the guests adopt the Fancy Dress theme for the year – ‘Pirates of the Ceredigion’ (note the play on words there!) for The Gala Dinner with a good local Welsh group providing the music.

Sunday morning's excursion was on the Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge steam railway, which was quite stunning, with beautiful weather and precipitous drops off the side of the track up to Devil’s Bridge and back. We returned to the hotel for a good Sunday lunch, several trophies were awarded, including the P J Evans Chairman’s award for services to the Centre during the previous year and and the Wilf Hale Cup for services by a non-committee member. Then most guests made their way East and home, although many opted to stay over until Monday and make the most of the good weather.

The next event is scheduled to be held over the weekend of 17-19th May 2019 and based on Llangollen with a Saturday run to NW Wales and Snowdonia and back. Entries are coming in fast, but at the time of writing there are still places available. For more details of the weekend package and an Entry Form please contact rogerking43@gmail.com or phone 0121 476 6649.


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