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3 Vase B team at left, 5 man Trophy team, then 3 Vase A at the right, all reserves organizers & officials are in this picture kindly given to us by Barber Clothing from their Heritage Archive


Just click www.silverdragons.co.uk to see the full results plus story each day in "The Great Trial" section. 

International Trial!' screamed headlines on local papers as 237 competitors assembled at Llandrindod Wells base.  The Official programme following has a German BMW Rider passing through Llandrindod Wells main street near the present Day Museum in 1938.  93 foreign riders had arrived, foreign flags fluttered from houses, hotels, garages & easterly winds said seldom to touch this area and which from lore are claimed to blow nobody any good prevailed.  'Period' Hotels remain to this day virtually as they were then.  Organizing party Auto Cycle Union had forsaken its pre WW2 Headquarters the Belmont Hotel to establish its office at Metropole Hotel.  An encampment of promotional tents, stalls, boldly marked trade vans plus marquees, banners, bunting, logo emblems, of lubricants, tyres, motorcycle and accessories companies all attempted to be in the background of pictured angles of the starting line, weighing in area & parc ferme.  Each attempting to display why & how their own wares were far superior to all else.  Feridax provided helmets for the British team, plus for Eastern bloc riders who arrived without crash helmets required for the final Day at Eppynt's Speed Trial portion of the event held on the 5.2 miles per lap largest TT Race Circuit on Britain's Mainland. (which remains intact on MoD Land to this day)  Unfamiliar languages became progressively louder from first light, more numerous, from more directions sometimes accompanying & being drowned by unheard of before engine noises.  Buzzing, barking, purring motors of factories far from UK shores in two strokes, fourstroke varieties.  Subdued singles, staccato singles, droning & buzzing multi cylinder power plants of a bright gleaming range of sparkling machines all brought from around the world to Llandrindod Wells, survivors of tests were to grace a grand finale to be held at Eppynt's 5.2 miles per lap mountain Circuit where Edelweiss grows.  Sertum, Morini, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Condor!, Jawa, CZ, Csepel, & many many more supplemented the ones of Britain & Germany & America.  Weighing in, sealing, examining entered machinery by Auto Cycle Union officials commenced at 10 am.  Morini had up to & inc. 1949 used DKW based twostrokes & entered 3 virtually standard machines, Ernesto Longeni earned them a single Bronze Medal, after this Morini changed to fourstroke machinery.

'International Trial!' screamed headlines on local papers as 237 competitors assembled at Llandrindod Wells base.  The Official programme following has a German BMW Rider passing through Llandrindod Wells main street near the present Day Museum in 1938.  93 foreign riders had arrived, foreign flags fluttered from houses, hotels, garages & easterly winds said seldom to touch this area and which from lore are claimed to blow nobody any good prevailed.  'Period' Hotels remain to this day virtually as they were then.  Organizing party Auto Cycle Union had forsaken its pre WW2 Headquarters the Belmont Hotel to establish its office at Metropole Hotel.  An encampment of promotional tents, stalls, boldly marked trade vans plus marquees, banners, bunting, logo emblems, of lubricants, tyres, motorcycle and accessories companies all attempted to be in the background of pictured angles of the starting line, weighing in area & parc ferme.  Each attempting to display why & how their own wares were far superior to all else.  Feridax provided helmets for the British team, plus for Eastern bloc riders who arrived without crash helmets required for the final Day at Eppynt's Speed Trial portion of the event held on the 5.2 miles per lap largest TT Race Circuit on Britain's Mainland. (which remains intact on MoD Land to this day)  Unfamiliar languages became progressively louder from first light, more numerous, from more directions sometimes accompanying & being drowned by unheard of before engine noises.  Buzzing, barking, purring motors of factories far from UK shores in two strokes, fourstroke varieties.  Subdued singles, staccato singles, droning & buzzing multi cylinder power plants of a bright gleaming range of sparkling machines all brought from around the world to Llandrindod Wells, survivors of tests were to grace a grand finale to be held at Eppynt's 5.2 miles per lap mountain Circuit where Edelweiss grows.  Sertum, Morini, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Condor!, Jawa, CZ, Csepel, & many many more supplemented the ones of Britain & Germany & America.  Weighing in, sealing, examining entered machinery by Auto Cycle Union officials commenced at 10 am.  Morini had up to & inc. 1949 used DKW based twostrokes & entered 3 virtually standard machines, Ernesto Longeni earned them a single Bronze Medal, after this Morini changed to fourstroke machinery.

The first day's course with times expected for it's stop at CRAI!., Few recall that this was the first event for a John Brittain, privately entered at eighteen years of age on a 125 James!, son of Vic Brittain the pre WW2 ace, & elder brother of Pat Brittain, the Royal Enfield saga continued from the 1950 & onwards, with the Senior expert Jack Stocker a boon to all when the RE twins were being used in the 50's.

Harry P Baughan had been regarded as the mastermind of these events, precise & supported along with what was regarded as two perfect secretaries, the misses Grant-Heelas.  Host Nation's lightweights & sidecar outfits would be the first to be placed under scrutiny.  Next at 10 am. on Sunday, teams from outside UK were accommodated, last of all  British Military teams.  A late flurry of arrivals along with special dispensation cases plus a gorgeous green Sunbeam sidecar outfit prepared by ace sidecar arrangement specialist Harold Taylor.  Switzerland's Trophy team used machines with a name normally associated with a South American bird of prey, i.e. Condor.  transverse sidevalve twins, with shaft drives, solos of 578.5 cc plus sidecar machines of 745 cc capacity the general outline seemed to bear strong resemblance to earlier BMW's & mystery over the earlier BMW toolworks whereabouts was raised.  The swiss team and crews strangely elected not to spend their settling in day on the old POW camp cum Artillery range, Eppynt. 

The same course route shown here for days 2 & 3 was used but in a different directions, similarly the course shown on the chart below had it's charted course used in both directions on days 4 & 5.


The Finale! & More than just Grand on both 1949 & 1950 occasions, absolute Speed Trials on Eppynt TT Circuit, THE LARGEST ON MAINLAND BRITAIN, a 5.2 miles per lap course, circa 1500 ft up in Eppynt Mountains where Edelweiss still grows & where TT Races from 1948 to 1953 can be seen in www.silverdragons.co.uk  click to see that site or www.sandspeedwales.co.uk for earlier racing.

November 2007 is a Janet Isaac pic of that lower pointed part of the Circuit, Dixie's Corner, viewed from behind the Balloted TT starting grid. Dixie's corner joins the straight ahead road on the far side of the buildings.

This is where the Speed Trials took place, on the 5.2 Miles, largest TT Circuit on Mainland Britain AND IT STILL EXISTS!!

Eppynt mid afternoon Nov 2007 awaits her cold mist coverage

Eppynt, still a barren Mountain Top Army Training Range a minute later

Taken 3 minutes after that cold shroud coverage approaches. (Oo'er I'm off!)

(This is a CONDOR still in use in Netherlands, which must have been 'a lump' to be taken on the 6 Days trial course both in solo & sidecar trim) It was announced by the Condor team that Methodical preparation was their chosen option.  Sunday actually had a rather grand entry to the location by Swiss Diplomats, Colonel Jean G Reiser as Military and Air Attache along with Mr V Umbricht, their Commercial Attache.  Britain's Teams: TROPHY: P H Alves 498 Triumph, C M Ray 497 Ariel, F M Rist 498 BSA, B H M Viney 498 AJS.  SILVER VASE 'A': A F Gaymer 498 Triumph, W J Stocker  346 Royal Enfield, S B Manns 498 Triumph.  SILVER VASE 'B': J E Breffitt 490 Norton, E Usher 498 Matchless, W Nicholson 498 BSA.  RESERVES: D S Evans Ariel, J Blackwell Norton.  a large number of trade & Manufactured products & accessories were 'unobtrusively' supported.  British Competition Teams machinery innovations had air inflation bottles fastened to tops of rear chainguards or primary chaincases.  Nortons were fitted with the light conical Manx hubs otherwise only seen on the racers.  Triumphs had dispensed with the heavier sprung hub fitment, prefering to depend on a lighter simpler quicker to remove ordinary rigid hub. 'G' model gearboxes appeared on Royal Enfields with lower than Standard gear cluster ratios.

The Speed trials 6th day location on the Largest TT Circuit on Britain's Mainland, with below the tiny machine in the winning Team! at the join of Dixie's Corner, buildings are out of sight to left of this picture frame.

The slick Italian team on the Speed Circuit at Eppynt here on Sertums & riding as if in formation

Here is an Italian Sertum as it emerged in 1938, developed & later with modern rear suspension it was used in the 1949

Here in the afternoon is S B Mann on his brave attempt to gain Bonus points ridinig a 500 Triumph heading thru Dixies Corner. Again this was kindlysupplied by Barbour Suits from their Archive

This picture at Llandrindod Wells was puzzling all until we found the assembly of riders was not actually the 1949 Team but those selected in a 2 days Trial in Petrol shortage days to select the teams to go to the Italy ISDT in 1948, Fred Rist is second from left, can visitors identify others to us?. 

Individual modifications such as keyhole shaped slots in the securing points of his magneto contact breakers cover saved J Blackwell a need to spend time removing such pins, simply, quickly slacken slightly then turn a little to remove.  Cheerful Jack Stocker busily marked his points covers with a hacksaw blade to aid rapid refit positioning whilst pretending to observer that he needed to know whether spanner or feeler gauges went betwee pints faces.  Hugh Viney's machine became declared to be "naturally one of the best prepared".  First accident 'award' for newshounds to scoop quickly on Saturday went to C Ubtali of Italy, 123 MV for a collision with a small car, 'prevailing easterly was quickly blamed for this by a local street philosopher!.  Sunday weigh in of foreign teams brought locals out in their 'Sunday Best', floral dresses for ladies, Summer wear for Gents.  The crowd gathered as interest grew.  Monday morning 6.30 am scheduled start was attended by circa 300 well wrapped up enthusiasts, press parties along with the curious.  Timekeeper A L Ebblewhite prepared for the Official starter, a Mr Peter nortier of Holland, President of CSI (The International Sporting Committee) of the FIM to send forth the first pair of competitors.  1949 ISDT officially started when a British 11 years old 346 Royal Enfield sidecar outfit driven by F H Carey set out along with M Hajdu of Hungary on a 98cc Csepel.  Shocks commenced plus glee & scarce copy for the presslads  when F H Barnes failed to appear with his 348 Ariel sidecar outfit, a Speedtwin screeched off to his hotel to find he had not been called & within 14 minutes a breakfastless Barnes appeared on the start line.  R Ghiazzi of Italy took 90 seconds on the line to get his 500 Moto Guzzi running.  Czech. J Novotney needed 12 mins to get underway after stripping all electrics including the hooter from his 250 Jawa leaving a scornfull scribe to declare to his readers that trouble had obviously been carburetter starvation not electrics.

From left Johnny Draper, A (Bert) Perrigo BSA head man who had ridden for BSA in 1937 ISDT then Fred Rist & the young New Yorker (USA) Tom McDermott adopted & supported by the BSA Team at 18 yrs of age, (Tom made it home) to win a Gold Medal & far right is Bill Nicholson, Fred Rist from 1936 & thereabouts was a staunch BSA man, his Home Neath & Port Talbot club right up to this present day hold the Fred Rist Trial, for old machines too.  Fred led British teams to Victories galore & would display BSA's twins at Pendine Sand Races as well as the Gold Flash Models in Six Days Trials events, commercially the cheapest 650 in Britain, A planned & developing BSA OHC Twin was quietly shelved, few have ever known of or seen the prototype.

This was the 650 BSA twin swinging arm version at Pendine with Mr Rist aboard, Roland Pike had been involved in Race development. 

Tommy McDermott

This was the OHC BSA twin felt unneeded in view of the market success of the pushrod machinery, what might have been eh?.

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