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To show how machinery had developed since the first Six Days Trial in 1913, here is the Phelon & Moore of Cleckheaton first P&M (Panther Team)

Pontardulais & Dist. M.C. & L.C.C. the sort of title emanating from the 20's into 30's when this region supplied competitors & marshals to all events.  This was located by Top Trials man plus racer, rallyist & Owner of Pontarddulais Tyre Centre where every day bikers assemble!. With thanks to Trevor Richards!, (Disputes over the true spelling of 'Bont will continue long after I shall be pushing up daisies.


1937 Course, you will see the pics at Pontargothi further on. this should be turned 90 degrees clockwise to have North at the top.

We shall be adding far more information to this and other pages plus identifying riders. The programme has an upper pic. showing Winners of the Trophy 1936 in Germany. from left G E Rowley, V N Brittain, W S Waycott & sidecar passenger E Belsten.  The lower pic. shows 1936 Winners of the Silver Vase in Germany in 1936. From left first we see Graham Walker, Murray Walker's dad who was team manager ,then riders, R McGregor, J A McL Leslie, & J E Edward. Having lost the Trophy in 1936 actually in Germany an all out effort seemed to be imminent at Llandrindod Wells in 1937 & teams from Branches of Military personnel amounting to 79 riders with a 60 strong back-up team arrived in Britain into Southampton (they wanted a prominent presence on arrival) by sea aboard the Steamship SS Europa, a 4 propshaft Blohm & Voss built sister ship to SS Bremen, almost 50k DWT. SS Europa became a vessel so significant, adorned superbly within, intended to be part Officer Invasion Admin.  a large part of HQ plus transportation to be a main Organizing section of Germany's Operation Sealion Victory fleet planned to conquer & occupy Britain with almost 600 first class accomodation plus almost 500 2nd Class.  It was run by NDL, Nord Germanischer Lloyd & in German Military hands during WW2, briefly Post Axis hostilities used as an American Troop tranport it was sunk in shallow water at New York after being formally given to France & immediately renamed Liberte & a fire plus mechanical damage had followed during a refit, & after striking the sunken French vessel, of all wrecks, SS PARIS !, now SS Liberte the vessel had initially been an immigrant transporter and Post WW2 saw it return to those same duties, being refitted in 1950 then in service until lay up in 1961 & final scrapping in 1962.  Far more than was even guessed in 1937 ostensibly bringing a German Military team with support force to the ISDT, Europa's previous Master, Kapitan Sharfa helped with PostWW2 Refurbishment & extensive Swastika Insignia & Official Embellishment of staterooms & main quarters were more than just prominent, a ship always has stories if you search for them.


Recce parties had preceded this & Practice commenced well prior to other teams, German teams wore incredibly thorough riding leathers, Field-grey of normal army units, Light brown one piece suits of Storm troopers teams plus SS teams had their expected black leathers. Contrary to its normal September time this event had been brought forward to July! & tourist holiday traffic with roaming sheep confrontations predicted! plus competitors 'were wary of each other'.   Stuart Waycott's Velocette outfit motor had been made larger capacity & spark plug had to be reached via a tube through its petrol tank.  Vic Brittain's Norton 350 had an ohc motor, & the trio which was made up again by George Rowley's AJS was the type which post WW2 became the 7R Boy Racer to compete for the Trophy against Stelzer & George Meier on 500 BMW's with Kraus to drive the 600 BMW sidecar outfit, he replaced Henne of 1936 team who had been injured in car events, 213 prepared for the 'off'.. (This vessel pic was sent in, whilst if this is offends copyright anywhere it will be immediately removed) there are a number of pics with which we can replace it.

1937 Program showed the 1936 winners teams

First day only was heavy rain affected & at 6 am machines were collected from parc ferme, Dutch Harley Davidson sidecar entry H M Persoon recorded the first 'bump' striking a wall on a r/hand bend & his passenger suffered a bad cut above his eye, a quick check up & they continued.  Allt y Budy the first tough climb followed by difficult Dol y Wern.  Press became impressed over Klopfer's performance on the 98cc DKW, Harold Tozer overturned his BSA outfit & retired & naturally special attention was paid to ladies efforts, Marjorie Cottle on the 250 BSA plus Frau Thouret on the 245 DKW had made praisworthy climbs. This picture in the Archive at Llandrindod's National Cycle Museum is marked 1938, however the flag mountings were far different & we would appreciate a few more eyes scanning this pic for ID of this chap plus Nationality.

 We may all wonder where & when the Barbour suits emerged?, well in 1937 Submariner Capt. George Phillips took Command of the 'URSULA' & found their wet weather clothing so useful that he and a crewman visited the South Shields Barbour factory & using their own finance arranged for Navy issued apparel to be made into a 2 piece suit with elastication at the waist, after 1937 each British & many other teams wore Barbour suits!! I hope that solves a mystery. The man in the suit is shown,


FO3647 is Gold Medal Winner, Arthur (Archie?) Colcombe, (the dad of the late Austin Colcombe, an old friend from Builth Wells who was riding plus making superb Grass Track Machines at his motorcycle Shop in Builth a 250 BSA version of which he allowed me to ride at Llanbadarn in an early 60's event to compare it with my 500 GP Triumph 500 powered BSA framed scrambler.)  That  New Imperial on the left has P C Sivell & Gorseinon man & Swansea Clubman E G Bennett a superb ex Sand racer whose pictures you will see in Oxwich & Aberavon Sand Races Section http://www.sandspeedwales.co.uk has the other Ariel. Photo kindly provided provided by Swansea Motor Club Historian Mike Evans. please note:-JohnB now is rebuilding that very same Ariel 350, FO3547 here held by Arthur Colcombe then of Franksbridge, Hundred House Nr. Builth Wells, he had Gold in 1937 ISDT and like perhaps ALL others did not get reported as a finisher in the 1938 ISDT listed to have been curtailed at 3 days mark. The machine was transferred from Radnor to Brecon CC on 30/1/39 and then back to Radnor 8/12/1955, does anyone have anything to help us fill in any happenings to the machine during that period?. Percy Sivell's 250 BSA machine of the 1938 ISDT is now owned by John Harding, the 'Pistons' man who is a store of brilliant data on long past Trials, I should have a pic. shortly. 

 Identities & data to follow at the start alongside the boating lake at Llandrindod Wells, 25 is BSA Cycles Ltd entrant M (I believe Marjorie) Cottle on a 250 BSA, 27 alongside is Czechoslovakian private entry R Protiva on a 250 Jawa, both in the 'A' Class of entries. The findings to follow are thanks to Chris Stevens of Surrey & Isle of Man Historian & Author, David Wright.

31 is Austrian W V Millenkovich in Class A on a 250 Puch, 30 is a German RFSS/SS.-Hauptamt(16) entrant H Steger dressed also in the customary SS riders uniform, riding a 250 DKW in Class A.

36 is private entry A C Kelly on a 600 Norton Sidecar outfit in Class F, 64 is Norton's entry J Williams on a 350 Norton 'outfit,  Tom Norton owned the largest  sales & development premises for Cycles to Aircraft in Llandrindod Wells & it is now the National Cycles Museum & really well worth a visit. 

90 is Versuchs abteilung Wunsdorf's German entrant H Behrens on a 569 Zundapp  in Class F.

Cometh a horrible WW2 & machinery developed in separate ways as we see in 1940

Norton here shown as a Bren Gun Carrier in 1942

154 is Welshman Eddie M Stephens of Carmarthen on a 350 Triumph in Class B, 155 NSKK's German entry A Drax on a 500 BMW in Class C, 156 is Zundapp Ges. m.b.H works entry German rider G Heimbucher on a 493 Zundapp in Class C. First wet day passed without major mishaps & huge force of helpful police directed competitor plus tourists traffic along with carefully advising controlling spectator volumes. Course route markings inevitably came in for complaint too which seems par for the course wherever the ISDT takes place, second day press turned to passing comments on the weather & scenic aspects of the event whilst by the thirds day the people seriously in with a chance had begun to emerge.

77 is British entrant P. Head in B Class on a 350 Royal Enfield, 79 is the famous George Meier from Germany, entered by Versuchs abteilung Wunsdorf in C Class on a 500 BMW.

Superb Picture Section follows kindly contributed from the Richard Clare collection, Grandson of the great Mumbles Photographer M A Clare who used to cycle to his photo shoot locations. several others of Richard's Collection will follow.

197 in the background is entry by Versuchs abteilung Plon, German rider in C Class on a 494 BMW, H Sauermann.

A closer look at what is stated on the building itself, above the lamp & how apt for British & German Army members shortly to go to war once more.

The Irish Vase 'B' Team by Thursday had seen Stewart became lost but returned to forfeit points for his mistake & Doc Galloway similarly got lost but returned to course without points loss & Vivtar of the Czech Trophy Team became lost & ran out of petrol before he could return to the route. Dust tiredness & low cloud on areas they travelled on higher mountainous routes Dutchman Eysink on his own 122 Villiers engined Eysink machine had frame breakage to retire.   Tommy Meeten who in 1935-6 took over the initially Len Vale-Onslow designed & produced  172cc SOS retired after a heavy tumble.(Tommy by this stage had taken over all to do with SOS & many thanks to Colin Atkinson of the British Two Stroke Club for sorting this out for me!)  Returning to Llandrindod Wells the BMW of Stelzer had its tyre changed spectacularly & speedily using the detachable rim flanges used by several of the German team.  Irish Vase 'A'team consisting of R C Yeates on a 'pushrod' Norton & H L Archer whom we take to be Les Archer Snr unexpectedly on an Ariel not a Velo! along with C W Duffin on a Matchless had lost no marks entering the lat days & maintained their nothing lost rides to the finish.


'Archie' Colcombe of Builth Wells & Gordon Bennett of Swansea/Gorseinon



Pontargothi then

Pontargothi in April 2004!, not all that much changed.

186 is Briton W Clarke on his 499 Vincent HRD & 187 NSKK entry German W Gabriel on a 493 Zundapp, both in Class C.

The rider to left could again be Marjorie Cottle on her works 250 BSA with Czeck Protiva & Jawa in the background.

The sidecar outfit appears to be the Fabrique des Armes Ing. F Janecek entry of a 598 Jawa ridden by Franta Juhan in Class F. Franta was a superb & well respected rider on GP IoM Speedway & Dirt bike Circuits & Competitions prior to establishing his own Jawa CZ & Motor car business in 1938.

In 1948 Franta Juhan & family arrived in Vancouver to start HONDA Centre there & he continued to race & with his family became parts of a successful venture, a picture similar to this appears in Honda History section with "year & location not known" well look again at the number etc, this was him at the 1937 ISDT out of Llandrindod Wells we believe near the Crai Reservoir/village.  

107 is E G Rowley, a winner in the 1936 event & entered by AJS factory on a 350 in Class B. Number 14, a significant machine of that SOS marque Len Vale Onslow initially produced, after acquiring control of SOS in 1935/36 that 172cc SOS is ridden by SOS's total OWNER Tommy Meeten, (is that Trevor's dad?). 105 is John Ashworth's 500 BSA in Class C.  106 W James on his 346 New Imperial in Class B.  behind him is KNMV Dutch entry W Zylaard on a 122 Eysink.   

118 is Velocette Ltd works entry W S Waycott another 1936 winner & here on a oversize 595 Velocette sidecar outfit in Class F.

E. George Rowley, another Brit 1936 team winner.

10 is KNMV's Dutch entry listed simply as Heusden on a 98cc DKW in Class 4, 9 is Auto Union's German entry W Fahler on a 173 DKW in Class 6. 103 is RFSS/SS, - Hauptumt rider E Hainz, naturally in immaculate black leathers with SS insignia,  on a 494 BMW in Class C. 102 Enfield Cycle Co Ltd works rider J J Booker on a 350 Royal Enfield.

This looks again like a (from left) W James E G Rowley & John Ashworth line up.


68 is entered by NSU-D-Rad Vereinigte Fahrzeugwerke A G & a 348 NSU ridden in Class B by R Knees, 4 is Britain's H R Taylor in Class F on his 498 Ariel 'outfit.

Bayerische Motoren Werke's entrant Kraus on a 596 BMW 'outfit. 

182 Ariel Motors Ltd Factory British entry L Heath on a Ariel 500 in Class C, 184 NSKK's German entry R Seltsam on 498 Zundapp in Class C. 183 is British entry T N Blockley on his 348 BSA in Class B.

186 W. Clarke again on his 500 Vincent HRD.

181 whose rider A Fritsch you will see further back entered by  Versuchs abteilung Wunsdorf  on the 730cc BMW in Class G.   Thanks to Glynneath ISDT Historian & enthusiast Roger Simon we are able to note that this commercial media cum maintenance & caravan & escorts had to be fed each day & at CRAI Village Hall constructed in 1935 was used to feed rest, check in & report to the world on that first day & ISDTevents since!.

Crai Village Hall & Post Office received entrants with an enthralling range of differing languages, machinery, diets & customs, they paused at Crai then and at subsequent pre & post WW2 International Six Days Trials events.   Soup made in a type of boiler with a gas ring beneath it coped with providing a nourishing soup to precede the main course, behind much of this was Mrs Sally Lewis of the shop in Crai. The shop remains much the same to this day in 2004, we sat actually discussing the ISDT events in Welsh in Spring 2006.

The shop at Crai today seems to have hardly changed!.

Crai Telephone Kiosk as soon as it became installed there became proudly maintained by Postmistress Sally Lewis, Windows plus surfaces polished & even with a seat plus carpet inside, it was an example of Village pride & Norman Burns of Cwm Dulais Historical Society could vouch for that pristine condition continuing at least to seen here at the end of June 1980, Norman & his late wife pose at that Cray (Cray) kiosk which impressed so many users. 

This is the 1949 route, each time since 1937 virtually the same course & tracks were used & CRAI there spelt 'CRAY' was the 'replenishment' stop at virtually a 30 miles mark. 

209 NSKK's entry, German rider H Klett on a 730 BMW 'outfit.


NSKK German entrant H Walter in Class A on a 247 DKW.  Friday again saw no mighty casualties & British along with German Trophy Teams remained unpenalised, plus the British Vase 'A' team Ireland'A', Holland 'B' team and the two German teams, all was to be settled at Donnington Park. 

Competitors left to Donnington Park Circuit where many machines failed on the steady flat circuit, one to blow at the halfway stage was Marjorie Cottle's 250 BSA but she still had a Bronze medal,  Five 'clean' teams fought out the Vase prize throughout the Speed Test, German army A team dropped their BMW's at Coppice but still took the flag after remounting.  A protest from the Dutch team uncovered that lap scorers had missed lap 12 out for Moejes & Holland proudly won the Vase.  Trophy Speed test had the 500 BMW's called on to complete 19 Laps against 18 required of the British 350's. Racer George Meier kept his BMW ahead for most of the duration but George Rowley & Vic Brittain stayed within sight of him to win The Trophy by just 10 seconds. 

T C Whitton's son David kindly allowed us to place a pic of his father's 1937 ISDT Medal, the awards he had won were impressive. he became a top rider in Trials Scrambles & Grass Track events. A west countryman, 'Tom Whitton', T.C.Whitton won that Devon award , The Patchquick Trophy when presented for the very first ever time on a 350 Velocette in 1934, & later became an AJS team man, we shall also include the Scottish Six Days award of 1939, this year the Austrian round of the ISDT from Salzburg came to cancellation & British ISDT guests of the German Army were advised by the British Consul to 'leg it home' via Switzerland, Petrol was provided by their hosts to help this, any further info on this wd be appreciated. FIM logo, ACU logo are shown high, plus Welsh Mountains view from the high course corner at Ystradfellte background with the LEEK of WALES shown to the right of the  World Symbol with an English rose to it's left. (Go to Glynneath, turn off there, on the road past the Golf club, take the only back road to Crai & you will come to the corner mentioned and you will see that very on course mountain view which was used) Tom became a Post WW2 motorcycle dealer with premises in Exmouth and Plymouth but like so many had tales to tell:  He joined the Royal Artillery as a gunner and when German Army advance in Europe became 'unstoppable' his second bid for freedom on a motorcycle came when Hazebroek became surrounded & Tom found his way through to Dunkirk Beaches then back to Britain where he was transferred to the Royal Signals Divn. training the 'source of many great post War riders. He was transferred to R.E.M.E. promoted to Captain & made a War Office Inspector of vehicles. (the tale stems from Colin Edge who was also a Competitor in the 1939 ISDT, Colin actually was one of a few and perhaps even the only Competitor that brought his machine back, his straightest route actually cut through Germany itself & where he was able to gain a Gestapo escort from the Frontier to cross an actually at War Germany!, the Colonel Grimm responsible for it could have been script written.) Colin & his wife Peggy were highly popular joint Presidents of Chester Motor Club.

Ladies & Gentlemen took part in this After 1937 ISDT event Banquet, the ISDT Banquet Menu kindly supplied from Thomas C Brierley gives an insight to the stars & talented folk involved. All is kept in these hues & sizes to prevent these items being copied from the web, in fairness to Thomas.  an absolute record of a time pre WW2 when all was well whencompared to the mayhem to follow.



Another Award anyone would be proud of.




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