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Naish Hill hillclimb course


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#1 Charles Helps

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 16:32

Naish Hill
The site of the first timed speed event by the RAC after World War II, Naish Hill was used in August 1945. The road was loose surfaced, and is now the link road between the B3128 and the B3124 to the south of Clapton in Gordano (west of Bristol and south of Portishead). It is named after the nearby Naish House. from Great Britain & Ireland Hillclimb Venues

I went to what I was told at the time was the old Naish hill with some Bath Motor Club friends in the 1970s. The course was mostly unsurfaced but did have concrete or tarmac (can't remember which) at a couple of the corners. I'm fairly certain we went in via a track past Naish House. Aerial View Naish Hill© Multimap Naish House in the bottom right corner (SSW) and then on upper right hand side of the picture you can see a lazy S with two hairpin bends with the course defined by a few trees or scrub along its length.

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Dick Pease in the Bearspeed Ford Escort exits one of the hard surfaced hairpins
Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting


You can just see part of the hillclimb course as you pass on the M5 (which you can also see in the aerial view) but its better not to try if you are driving :) .
Have I got the right place?

Does anyone know what length the hillclimb was?

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#2 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 16:49

The Naish House course was 800 yd long on August 18, 1945, won by Walter Watkins driving his Watkins-Nash Special race car in 51.6 seconds. You can click at my signature, which will bring you to the Hill Climb Winners list. Check under the letter 'N' and look for 'Naish House'.

#3 Charles Helps

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 18:46

Thanks very much, Hans. I ought to check but my first thoughts are that 800 yards is about right for what we see in the aerial view above.

OT I hadn't realised that the Watkins-Nash chassis later got recycled into the Freikaiserwagen until I did a Search BB.

#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 22:02

I've mentioned this video before in a couple of other Fry/Gordano/Bristol-related threads. Among the various bits of old home movie footage is a sequence showing the surfacing of Naish Hill by local motor club members. There's also footage of some of the hillclimbs: it's called Bristol Motor Sport and was produced by First Take Video of Yate. For some reason their website seems to have disappeared though ....

#5 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 10:56

Naish originally had just a grass surface and the hairpins were later given a concrete surface but the straights remained grass/dirt. It must have been quite an experience in an ERA!

There was a reunion event a few years ago which sadly took place in lousy weather and wasn't a great success, a pity as the place has quite a history.

I believe the M5 truncates the lower part of the course with the paddock and startline being down the hill from the motorway and the rest of the course above it (which is clearly visible on that link).

I was once told a nice story by Bristol enthusiast Bill Innoles who cycled to a 1954 event and found a stock car sat in the paddock compelte with dents and lurid signwriting. Stock cars had just been introduced into Britain and a track opened at Knowle dog stadium nearby. The driver complained to Bill "None of that lot will even bloody talk to me!" indicating everyone else in the paddock! Those in the established forms of motor sport looked down with near disgust at anyone taking part in this new type of racing... which was making several promotors and a number of drivers rather rich in it's first mad year. Not the done thing at all, old boy!

Interestingly the stock car did indeed compete in the event (I have a photo somewhere) which is surprising as anyone taking part in non-RAC approved motor sport (stock cars, like CAPA being among them) stood to lose their RAC licence for life.

Another aside to all of this was a certain B C Ecclestone is said to have raced stock cars for a while at Neath Abbey stadium (which had a surface of crushed coal apparently !). Obviously he didn't have any problems with the RAC and any lifetime ban as a result. If he had motorsport today might be very different....

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#6 Ted Walker

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 15:46

THE DRIVER OF THE STOCK CAR COULD HAVE BEEN TERRY SANGER.

#7 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 15:52

Originally posted by Ted Walker
THE DRIVER OF THE STOCK CAR COULD HAVE BEEN TERRY SANGER.


Blimey is Terry old enough to have been a stock car pioneer in 1954 Ted? I only associate him with Cortinas and F5000 about 15 years later and of course being a familiar face at Castle Combe for many years.

Simon Lewis

#8 Stephen W

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 16:50

I believe copies of the VIDEO are available and a visit to the Bristol Motor Club's website should solve the problem - www.bristolmc.org.uk

:cool:

#9 Pete Stowe

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 18:47

Naish was, I think, first used in 1938 (or possibly '39), with a grass/loose surface. The three hairpin bends and start area were concreted in 1952. This is probably a CAPA special, in 1947
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Terry Sanger started motorsport when he was a young apprentice at BAC in the mid-1950s. I'd not heard the stock car story before though.

#10 Charles Helps

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 15:09

Lovely photo, Pete with a pretty intrepid photographer. I believe the location must be on the second bend, with the Rectory in the distance out to the West.

I was given the video (Bristol Motor Sport from 1st Take) for Christmas. Wonderful stuff and a lot on the Naish Hillclimb. Getting back to the course, the map extract below shows the road winding up from the village of Clapton-in-Gordano south-west towards Naish House at the top of the hill. I have added a yellow colour for the tarmac road to the East from C-in-G past the entrance to Naish house and outlined in blue the course with its three hairpin bends although I am not sure of the actual start and finish lines. As the map is from 1884-1889 the road may have changed slightly when the bends were concreted.

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Image produced from the http://www.old-maps.co.uk/service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey

I have the 1" Ordnance survey map which shows the winding road up from the village. It also shows the path of the future M5 motorway obliterating the start and first bend of the course. Not sure about copyright permission on this so I won't post it. Might be able to get a photo of a Ford special from the 1950s, post corner concreting, to post later.

#11 Charles Helps

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 15:37

As promised a couple of pictures. Both of Gerry Bath in a couple of his specials.
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The concreted start on 20 June 1953


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The hairpin in 1955 - a similar view to Pete Stowe's 1947 photo.