In 1965, we ran the Roy Fedden Trophy trial, as we do each year, sadly not including this Sunday. We kick off at 11:02 each Remembrance Sunday, hopefully again in 2020. Here’s how it panned out in 1965, as described in Driving Mirror, and we can only hope it’s drier for future events…
The Roy Fedden Trophy — 7th November 1965
It rained and ruddy well rained. Lulsgate looked as though it was nine thousand feet up in clouds, and at nine thirty in the morning we were driving along with headlamps on. And yet, no-one even mentioned cancelling the event. Mind you, I suppose that, they must all have been a bit, mental to have entered in the first place.
On to the venue, and Goblin Combe did not on this day look any more attractive than anywhere else. There was the consolation that by ten o’clock we were all as wet as we could get, and when things cannot get any worse it, its natural human optimism to hope that they must get better. They didn’t, of course, but the trial went on just the same. Thirty five entries had been received, and all but two turned up to have a go. What’s more they all seemed to enjoy it. Most of the hills, marked out in the dry on Saturday by the indefatigable Jim CulIimore, were unclimbable after fifteen hours of steady rain, and though there was a problem in getting up them there was an even bigger problem in getting back down again.
Meanwhile the charming lady passengers, somehow managing to look remarkably chic, bounced and bounced hard the mud flew, and the trees kept getting in the way, and the marshals peeped coyly from under their ard all the time it rained and ruddy well rained.
Come lunch time it was decided that if any of the competitors took what they laughingly called their waterproofs off, they would never get them on again, so by common consent there was no break for nosh. Even the most enthusiastic must have had reservations, as there were still fifteen hills to do. By the time Hill 27 had been tackled, a short conference between drivers and marshals decided that enough’s enough, and the last three hills were scrubbed. All the competitors looked as though they ought, to be scrubbed as well and as they trooped off home I felt quite sorry for those with a long way to go.
Who won? No doubt at all. The weather. It rained and ruddy well rained.