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St Briavels; Forest of Dean MC 1969 sprint venue


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#1 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:53

Author Julian Hunt has just asked me if I have any information on a proposed sprint that he found listed for 1969 to be run by Forest Of Dean MC at an unspecified venue near St Briavels, between Coleford and Chepstow.

This is only a few miles up the road from where I have lived all my life but I have never heard any previous mention of it and cannot for the life of me think of any suitable venue!
There are no nearby airfields, military bases or stately homes with long drive ways. Maybe it was a farm road? Or a quarry (lots of those nearby)?

I checked and it's December 1st today, not April 1st, so I'm hoping TNF can come to the rescue yet again...?




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#2 RS2000

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 16:47

Bristol MC (or its longer title a the time - BMC&LCC?) were talking of a "new" venue somewhere around there more recently (10 years ago? or a bit more?) that was definitely a quarry road. I think it was described as a hill climb rather than a sprint - but the definition is pretty flexible as long as there is a token increase in altitude.... Obviously it never happened and I seem to recall some reluctance to give any more detail.

As you have "Forest of Dean" in the title, hopefully Aitchman will be along sometime soon.

Edited by RS2000, 01 December 2011 - 16:56.


#3 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 20:33

My God that's another I don't remember!
Where have I been?


#4 RS2000

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 21:04

My God that's another I don't remember!
Where have I been?


As far as I recall it, the possibility was only known to BMC&LCC members and those (like me) told of it by a BMC&LCC member. Might have been as much as 20 years ago (time flies...) but seems later. Chepstow was the place mentioned but I understood it to be a quarry road somewhere north of there.


#5 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 22:52

As far as I recall it, the possibility was only known to BMC&LCC members and those (like me) told of it by a BMC&LCC member. Might have been as much as 20 years ago (time flies...) but seems later. Chepstow was the place mentioned but I understood it to be a quarry road somewhere north of there.


Sounds like like it may have been a quarry on the A48 at Tidenham which closed about 10 years ago and has since become the NATIONAL DIVING CENTRE . Now looks like a big rectangular lake on Google Earth.

I have heard one mention of a much earlier plan for a hillclimb up the driveway at Lydney Park Estate, 9 or 10 miles further up the A48. On the face of it this still has quite a promising layout, not dissimilar to Barbon Manor in some respects. This might have been a pre-war scheme. Most likely it involved the local Watts family who operated buses, garages, car dealerships, tyre factories and assorted transport related engineering operations in the area, the offices of which were only a mile up the road.



#6 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 23:38

Doubt there was a sprint, more likely an Autocross. FoDMC organised a couple in the late sixties. I recall (I think) an invitation to the Morgan 4/4 Club, as it then was. Might be wrong, long time ago. :|

#7 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 00:05

Doubt there was a sprint, more likely an Autocross. FoDMC organised a couple in the late sixties. I recall (I think) an invitation to the Morgan 4/4 Club, as it then was. Might be wrong, long time ago. :|


I think they were quite big on Autocross , as a club. I think they were still running events even when the sport had almost fizzled out nationally (early 80s?) a former co driver of mine, Mike Davis, had a Mini Marcos he shared with his cousin Geoff and they both ran in FOD events for a number of years.

Bizarrely that car, which passed to my brother after a long and hard life with a lot of repairs to the fibreglass shell, was sold on to someone who then turned back into a road car !


Sorry a little OT moment there!

#8 RS2000

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 20:13

Given the autocross-orientation, there is the possibility, I suppose, that the earlier event might have been planned as what is today called a rallysprint or gravel sprint.
There was a diver drowned in a quarry thereabouts that made the national news around the time I first heard the rumour of the later planned hillclimb on a quarry road. I remember wondering at the time whether a diving club had weekend access rights along the road concerned and wouldn't accomodate the hill climb.

#9 Stephen W

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:57

Bristol MC (or its longer title a the time - BMC&LCC?) were talking of a "new" venue somewhere around there more recently (10 years ago? or a bit more?) that was definitely a quarry road. I think it was described as a hill climb rather than a sprint - but the definition is pretty flexible as long as there is a token increase in altitude.


I understand the two Bristol clubs (quiet appropriate) have been looking into a 'new' sprint venue and there will be an announcement soon. This being a replacement for the now no longer available Colerne.

As for the definition of a hillclimb there is some elongated formula by which the MSA define whether a venue is a hillclimb or sprint course. For example despite what the commentators kept saying the Cholmondley venue is a sprint not a hillclimb as the percentage of elevation over its length is far too low to be considered a hillclimb. Also I seem to recall that Cadwell Park and Knockhill have both hosted sprints and hillclimbs in the past with the two discipline being held over differing layouts to achieve the required percentages.

:wave:

#10 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:58

As for the definition of a hillclimb there is some elongated formula by which the MSA define whether a venue is a hillclimb or sprint course.

May well be the case now, and the idea probably came in to avoid what happened at one time when an event at Debden airfield (run by WECC I think) could be called a hillclimb.


#11 fuzzi

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 15:34

Thank you for the responses on this thread Gentlemen.

I don't know that I merit the honorary title author. Let's get the book out first and then it will be honestly prefixed "one-time..."

St Briavels certainly sounds like an off-road event, so as I don't have room for all the autocross, grass-track, or trials hills I'll remove it to a footnote. :wave:

P.S. In the early 1930s the Oxford University Car Club called their event on the Eynsham by-pass a "hillclimb" rather than the more honest "Speed Trials" as the University Proctors were said to be averse to anything involving speed (under graduates were not allowed cars any way). - The road did have a barely percetible gradient, carefully surveyed by the road engineer who ran his Riley in the appropriate class.

#12 BRG

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 20:10

May well be the case now, and the idea probably came in to avoid what happened at one time when an event at Debden airfield (run by WECC I think) could be called a hillclimb.

Ah, but there are airfields and airfields. Some would make very legitimate hillclimbs.

landing uphill

#13 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 23:31

Ah, but there are airfields and airfields. Some would make very legitimate hillclimbs.

landing uphill

In another existence I came across the happily-named Wau in Papua New Guinea, which has a runway gradient of 13% (the AIP note was "land uphill; take-off downhill. Park at rightangles to slope") and I can assure you that Debden is not in that league!

#14 aitchman

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:47

Not sure how I have not found this topic before.

 

The "Quarry Road" that was was looked at for competition was in Tintern Quarry, which is actually on the Gloucestershire side of The Wye. The road is best seen from the A466 Chepstow to Tintern road but was not used because of the proximity on the explosive store.

 

I am not sure about a Sprint venue in St Briavels, but the road from Bigsweir Bridge to the village via The Fence was a classic road rally section.