Jump to content


Photo

Kop Hill


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,888 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 24 September 2009 - 20:08

Just heard from an old friend

"I shall be marshalling at Kop Hill this weekend - Orgy of 200 old cars and motorbikes at the old hill climb venue near Princes Risborough. [url="http://www.kophillclimb.org.uk/""]http://www.kophillclimb.org.uk/"[/url]

Anyone else know about this, and the history of the course? Any TNFers going?




Advertisement

#2 RS2000

RS2000
  • Member

  • 2,170 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 24 September 2009 - 20:36

Kop Hill was one of the better known of the many "illegal" public road hill climbs that ended in the 1920s with the law being enforced. I believe there is some sort of event being held to recall it. I assume there is a formal road closure to enable the procession/demonstration but of course the national speed limit will remain on the mainland without an Act of Parliament (and there sure as hell won't be one for such as this...).

Edited by RS2000, 24 September 2009 - 20:36.


#3 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,042 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 24 September 2009 - 20:54

Kop Hill was one of the better known of the many "illegal" public road hill climbs that ended in the 1920s with the law being enforced. I believe there is some sort of event being held to recall it. I assume there is a formal road closure to enable the procession/demonstration but of course the national speed limit will remain on the mainland without an Act of Parliament (and there sure as hell won't be one for such as this...).

In its heyday the national speed limit was 20 m.p.h., whereas it's now 60!
Nicholson tells us that "the timed distance was usually 3/4 mile"
At the final meeting in 1925 FTD was Segrave's GP Sunbeam at 28.8sec, so I doubt the full 3/4 was used as that's about 94 m.p.h. up a hill that was 1:5 in places and probably from a standing start.
Don't think they'll demonstrate as fast as that . . .

#4 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 24 September 2009 - 21:05

Kop was where the era of RAC-licenced open-road speed trials and hillclimbs came to an end. In 1925(?) Francis Giveen, an inexperienced driver who'd just bought Raymond Mays' potent Brescia Bugatti (Cordon Rouge, or was it the twin, Cordon Bleu?) ran off course, into the crowd, broke the leg of a spectator, rejoined the course and continued to the end apparently more concerned about his time that those he left in his wake.
Although not the worst of it's kind, this incident caused a huge stink, possibly due to the high profile of the event and it's proximity to London. The RAC soon declined to licence any more speed events on public roads and the sport was decimated overnight. Hundreds of popular and well supported events suddenly ceased and hillclimbing literally shrunk to Shelsley Walsh , and almost nowhere else, for a number of years.

Edited by simonlewisbooks, 24 September 2009 - 21:06.


#5 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,042 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 24 September 2009 - 21:17

Yes, March 28 1925
The spectator, according to R.R. Jackson, reported in Nicholson, had been asked to move farther back out of harm's way, but exercised his right to do what he liked. Despite that, it was the last straw and as Simon said, the RAC pulled the plug before it was otherwise would have been forced to.
As it happened a Bill was before Parliament which would have permitted the closing of public roads for racing as was already possible (and still is) in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man but, after the RAC (and A-CU and RSAC) withdrew permits for speed events on the public highway, it was not proceeded with.
A great shame, that.

#6 fuzzi

fuzzi
  • Member

  • 477 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:50

I've entered my Austin Seven (out of period I know, it's 1935) so that I could get some photos of period cars on the hill and running a car was cheaper than paying spectator charges. Entrants have been warned that if they are going too fast they will be slowed down by the marshals, so a gentle exercise is in prospect. All the Austin has to do is get through the MOT today - everything was working when I put it away yesterday. I am running number 339.

The centenary event commemorating the first climb is next year - see the website.

#7 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,115 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:52

Just heard from an old friend

"I shall be marshalling at Kop Hill this weekend - Orgy of 200 old cars and motorbikes at the old hill climb venue near Princes Risborough. [url="http://www.kophillclimb.org.uk/""]http://www.kophillclimb.org.uk/"[/url]

Anyone else know about this, and the history of the course? Any TNFers going?

First I had heard of this event.Fist attempt at that link produced a 'this website is not available' message-you need to delete the sufix!
Bit late to organize a trip-shame as seems its within walking distance of rail station,which no current UK circuit or hill climb can claim? Maybe I will make it for centenary event next year.

#8 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 25 September 2009 - 09:15

First I had heard of this event.Fist attempt at that link produced a 'this website is not available' message-you need to delete the sufix!
Bit late to organize a trip-shame as seems its within walking distance of rail station,which no current UK circuit or hill climb can claim? Maybe I will make it for centenary event next year.



Yes the event seems to have slipped in under the radar for most of us . I would have made an effort to be there if I wasn't already booked in for Prescott.
Maybe next year and we can have a TNF get-together?
It'll be interesting to hear from anyone who attends this weekend. Old photos from eventa at Kop feature in many books so a then-and-now comparision would be good.

Slightly O/T - Does the name of the hill have anything to do with the Boer War I wonder? There was a famous battle at Spion Kop in about 1899 and I think the word means 'hill' in Afrikaans ? For some reason in Britain we have a peculiar habit of naming places after the locations of apparant military disasters - a lot of towns boast a Dunkirk Road or a Balaclava Terrace or a pub named something similar!


#9 2F-001

2F-001
  • Member

  • 2,283 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 25 September 2009 - 09:28

I'd heard mention of a proposed Centenary event (next year) but hadn't realized there was an event this year as well. Has it been an annual occurrence in recent times?
Unfortunately already treble-booked this weekend for work, meetings and family stuff.
Certainly looks like something worth supporting with our attendance next time.

#10 garyfrogeye

garyfrogeye
  • Member

  • 579 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted 25 September 2009 - 09:38

I will do my utmost to get there on Saturday. I'll be in the red Frogeye wearing my TNF badge (that's me not the car).
By the way, how about a TNF sticker or car badge, or do they already exist, Barry?

#11 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,440 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 25 September 2009 - 09:57

Stickers are available from TNFer 'swintex' - full details in the relevant sticky thread on the front page.

#12 RS2000

RS2000
  • Member

  • 2,170 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 25 September 2009 - 19:45

Yes the event seems to have slipped in under the radar for most of us . I would have made an effort to be there if I wasn't already booked in for Prescott.
Maybe next year and we can have a TNF get-together?
It'll be interesting to hear from anyone who attends this weekend. Old photos from eventa at Kop feature in many books so a then-and-now comparision would be good.

Slightly O/T - Does the name of the hill have anything to do with the Boer War I wonder? There was a famous battle at Spion Kop in about 1899 and I think the word means 'hill' in Afrikaans ? For some reason in Britain we have a peculiar habit of naming places after the locations of apparant military disasters - a lot of towns boast a Dunkirk Road or a Balaclava Terrace or a pub named something similar!


I'm pretty sure (but haven't checked) that Chris Mason's "Uphill Racers" mentions that Kop Hill was named after Spion Kop (as is the Cop end of some stadium where 11 bags of wind kick around another bag of wind?).

#13 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 19 April 2011 - 17:37

Slightly O/T - Does the name of the hill have anything to do with the Boer War I wonder? There was a famous battle at Spion Kop in about 1899 and I think the word means 'hill' in Afrikaans ? For some reason in Britain we have a peculiar habit of naming places after the locations of apparant military disasters - a lot of towns boast a Dunkirk Road or a Balaclava Terrace or a pub named something similar!



Yes, "kop" refers to a rather large hill or even the summit of a mountain range. Spioenkop actually means something like "spy's hill".

The most common meaning, though, is the same as the english word "head".

#14 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 19 April 2011 - 19:07

... or German word Kopf

#15 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 19 April 2011 - 19:17

Also here...if you can believe half of what is written on WIKI. At least check the section "Legacy of the Name".

http://en.wikipedia....le_of_Spion_Kop



#16 Bauble

Bauble
  • Member

  • 1,040 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 19 April 2011 - 19:48

Having cycled up it, I can confirm it is definitely a very steep hill, whatever it's name.
Local legend has it that when a cyclist looked up from the foot of the hill he would 'cop-out' and find another way.

#17 Concreteconrods

Concreteconrods
  • New Member

  • 18 posts
  • Joined: August 10

Posted 21 April 2011 - 10:28

I used to live near Kop Hill & cycled up it sometimes. It's an almost straight 3/4 mile with the steepest part about 1 in 4. Fabulous coming down - 40 mph on a push bike is thrilling!

The only sporting event that used it when I lived there was the Tour Of Britain (Milk Race) in 60's or 70's.

Edited by Concreteconrods, 21 April 2011 - 10:31.


#18 dank

dank
  • Member

  • 5,191 posts
  • Joined: August 07

Posted 19 September 2011 - 18:22

Anyone thinking of going this year? Dick Skipworth's Ecurie Ecosse collection should be something to savour.

#19 Lotus Elitist

Lotus Elitist
  • New Member

  • 5 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 19 September 2011 - 20:18

Yes, I'm going again this year, with wife and two mates on the Saturday in a Lotus Elite. A near-neighbour in a Jaguar XK150 is attacking the hill. Coincidentally, I've just heard that my Elite has been shortlisted for Classic Car of the Year 2011, see http://ccoty.co.uk/

Advertisement

#20 Stephen W

Stephen W
  • Member

  • 11,735 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 20 September 2011 - 08:38

When is it on? :wave:

#21 johnwilliamdavies

johnwilliamdavies
  • Member

  • 186 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 20 September 2011 - 08:53

When is it on? :wave:


This Saturday (24th) and Sunday (25th). Kop Hillclimb 2011.

#22 RS2000

RS2000
  • Member

  • 2,170 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:13

Kop Hillclimb 2011.


Which reveals the rather disturbing fact that Stan and Olly will be there! (see comments on Goodwood Revival thread).

I have some issues with the way this event is promoted. "Storming" the hill appears in the link and "Attacking" the hill in a post above. I haven't looked at every line on the web site but the impression is definitely created that this is a competitive event/recognised competition. The same occurred on another forum. Surely it's (necessarily) a non-competitive demonstration and the very last thing needed at a time when closing public roads for motor sport is closer to being on the official agenda than ever before - and ironic that Kop Hill was where the earlier "turning a blind eye" was ended, driving speed events off public roads. ("Speed" in its official MSA context, many of us were road rally competitors once....).


#23 Stephen W

Stephen W
  • Member

  • 11,735 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 21 September 2011 - 10:55

This Saturday (24th) and Sunday (25th). Kop Hillclimb 2011.


Thanks, I have already committed to being at Loton Park! So another year slips by!!! :|