Guy Fawkes Story



Falcon’s first trial was in October 1949 and called the Presidents Cup Trial. In the following summer of 1950, it was suggested that the Presidents Cup Trial should take place in the Welsh Mountains, but it was decided that this was a bit too ambitious and with petrol rising to 3 shillings a gallon, the highest price since 1920, would probably put a lot of people off. So a route was laid out taking in parts of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.  The trial was also upgraded to a Closed Invitation Trial and renamed The Guy Fawkes, as it took place on the 5th November. The invited clubs were, Herts Auto & Aero M.C.,  North West London M.C.,  West Essex, M.C.,  Berkhamsted M.C., and 750 M.C. Entries were divided into three classes, Class “A” Open Cars not exceeding 1200c.c., Class “B” Cars having a cylinder capacity not exceeding 2000 c.c., and Class “C” cars over 2000 c.c. The entry fee, for Falcon members was 15/-  (75p) and for non Falcon members 20/- (£1).


The trial started at 11.30am, from the car park in Stevenage, which was at the side of the A1 Great North Road, and is now the High Street, Old Stevenage, and was described in the regulations “Will be of non-chassis breaking nature in the Hexton Barton area and will include a number of observed sections and special tests of a straightforward nature”

The method of scoring was very different from that of today. Competitors were credited with 200 marks. Marks were lost or gained as follows:- For each 1/5 second slower than fastest time in each class - debit 1 mark.  For breaking or crossing marking tape - debit 5 marks. For failing on an observed section - debit 10 marks. For failing to complete special test - debit 10 marks. It went on to say in the final instructions, “Sections 2 & 7. Bonus marks will be given on those sections by measurements taken from a predetermined point on the section as follows:- 1 mark per 3 inches of the section climbed.

 Start of the Guy Fawkes. Stevenage High Street.

The final instructions also informed the drivers that 12% petrol benzol is available for competitors only at Messrs Shelford & Crowe, High Street, Stevenage. (Now, Stapletons Tyres), and Tea will be provided at the Yorkshire Grey opposite the start.


Yorkshire Grey, Stevenage High Street 2006


The twenty two competitors were led away by R. Barrow in a 1172 c.c. Austin. The course took them through Wymondley to Hitchin and out towards Hexton where they turned left to tackle the first section, Icknield Way before attempting Telegraph Hill. The competitors then followed a route through Streatley and Sundon to section 3 called Harlington. Lunch was taken at the Royal Oak in Barton, before the drivers attempted to climb Hill House and Jeremiah’s Knob, both on the one track at the end of Old Road in Barton. Telegraph Hill, tackled for a second time, was approached from the other direction via The Bump, before the competitors made their way via some green lanes to Tatmore End where an extract from a book by Ron Warren (Behind The Falcon Badge) reads, “I remember this day so well because of the sunshine, it was glorious, so nice in fact, that to make the restart line better on Tatmore End, a small water trailer was towed up just above the line and the contents were then released”.


After Tatmore End the route card reads, “Straight on bearing right to Sections 9, 10, 11 & 12 Bramble Lane”. The competitor’s then returned to the Finish in Stevenage via Preston Village Green passing the Hermit of Red Coats along the way.  The Presidents Cup became the main award and was won that year by Best Falcon member Ben Brown in a supercharged 1172c.c Dellow. Best member from an invited club was C.Buckler (1100c.c Buckler), while J.C.Smith (1172 Bartlett) took best performance in the up to 1200 c.c class C.F Crossby (1203 Vauxhall Special) took the honours in the up to 2000 c.c. class and T.A. Davidson (3622 c.c Ford) in the over 2000 c.c class. The team award went to Messrs Richards, (1172 Austin) Brown (1172 Dellow) & Smith (1172 Bartlett).


The use of a Gravel Pit just outside Wymondley had been obtained for the second Guy Fawkes in 1951, which apparently “would considerably improve the existing course”. However, the event clashed with another trial being held on the same day. As no other dates were available, it looked like the Trial would have to be cancelled. Fortunately, Herts Auto and Aero Club, which had an event on 18th November, very kindly cancelled their event to allow ours to run. Tucker requested that all marshals for the event should meet on the Sunday before. They would then be conducted around the course and their duties explained to them


C.J.M Abbott led the 20 competitors through Wymondley to the Gravel Pit where two sections “Quick Sands” and “Squib” were set up. G. Hancock (Dellow) and D. Render (Harford) were the only two to clean the first section. But both failed the second section as did most of the field. J.C. Smith (JCS) was the only one to make the grade. Section 3 was at Tatmore End with a stop and restart test which only caught out C. Abbott (Austin), D Roberts (Special) and C. Crossby (Vauxhall Special). Bramble Lane was followed by section 5, Offley Bend. All the competitors lost marks here, most at the 8 marker. G.A Brooks  ( D.R.P Special) made it to the 5 marker as did J.C Smith (J.C.S). Section 6, Pack Horse, had to be abandoned due to the weather, which I suppose, means it was raining. Jerimiah’s Knob was in good form and stopped most of the field at the 10 marker, G.A Brooks, J.C.Smith, A Curwen (Austin), G. Hancock (Dellow), E.J Chandler (Chandler Special) and Captain Overton (Overton Special II) were the only ones to get cleans. Sections 8 and 9 (Telegraph Hill 1 & 2) were also cancelled but Telegraph Hill 3 went ahead and only stopped R. Burrows (Dellow) at the 10 marker.  The drivers then made their way back to Wymondley and the Gravel Pit where section 11, Stoney Bank was cancelled and Falcon Bank, section 12, stopped everyone at the 10 marker except J.C.Smith who climbed the Bank and took the Presidents trophy as best Falcon. The finish was at the Roebuck Inn, Stevenage. Best Invited Member: C.A. Hancock Dellow (Herts County), Class awards went to:- Captain Overton (Overton Special II), E.J.Chandler (Chandler Special), A.Curwen (Austin). Second Class winners were:- J. Tucker-Peake (Scarlet Runner), and S. Ress (Dellow).

(In 1951 C Hancock took the Best Invited Club members award in a Dellow. That Dellow (NPP597) is now owned by Falcon member Peter Mountain and has been fully restored. According to Peter, C Hancock was from Aylesbury. The Car was originally supercharged, fitted with a magneto and painted scarlet.)

The third annual Guy Fawkes trial took place on 2nd November 1952 with 19 entries starting from what is now Stevenage Old Town. The competitors followed a now familiar route to Tatmore End, Bramble Lane, Offley Bend, Pack Horse, Jerimiah’s Knob, Telegraph Hill 1,2,&3, Quick Sands, Cliffs Climb and Falcon Bank, with tea again provided by the Roebuck Inn.. The weather was kinder that year and no sections had to be cancelled. J.C Smith made it a double by winning the Presidents Cup for the second year running with A.C Wood, the Best Invited member. Class winners were:- H.R.Smart, D Read and Miss P Price.


By 1954 John Tucker-Peake had ably taken over organizing the Guy Fawkes Trial, from David Chiles, but plans were afoot to change the format of the Guy Fawkes Trial. A team of members went to marshal on the Colmore Trial in the Cotswolds which would give members a chance to explore the area for possible sections to be used later that year. The new format would have  3 starts, one  being in Taunton, another in Virginia Water,  although this was later changed to The Ace Service Station on the North Circular the following year, and Southampton. The event would have a mileage of approximately two hundred miles. Entries were received from as far away as Cornwall. This new format attracted forty three entries with six non-starters. It was reported that, “with the exception of the lack of  petrol at the breakfast stop, the whole trial had gone very well”.

Jack Davis on the 1954 Guy Fawkes


John Aley recalls a poignant moment on the Guy Fawkes. Armistice Day and my thoughts go back to one of the most poignant I can recall. It was in 1954 and the Falcon Clubs Guy Fawkes Trial was running as long distance event. By 11am we had just climbed I think Nailsworth Ladder and found ourselves on an open area surrounded by noisy cars and talkative people. As if by magic, right on the hour everything stopped and we all stood to attention for the required two minutes, alone with our own thoughts in the autumn sunshine. Then without a word, the world, unlike those we had just been remembering, came back to life and we carried on trialling. The trophy I won that day has long since disappeared but the memory will last forever.


Guy Fawkes programmes from 1959, 1960 and 1957


Following on and encouraged by the success of the previous years event, the 1955 Guy Fawkes was held on 29th October and had an entry of 50 starting from three start points, Birmingham, London and Taunton. From these three start points, competitors made their way to the Cotswolds and converged on the first hill, Bubbs, near Birdlip. Competitors had to stop astride a line on this tarmaced hill and re start within three seconds.


Fort 1 followed last years success and failed all the saloons and sports cars except the four HRG’s all of which roared up in fine style. Axe, had cars being pushed to the start line and of course, further up the long hill. Nailsworth Ladder lived up to it’s reputation. En route to the finish, three hills were timed as well as observed, and it was on the aggregate of these times that the awards were made. Best Performance: (Falcon Cup) J.T. Skinner (Dellow), Presidents Cup: D. Price (HRG). First Class awards went to: F. P. Barker (Dellow), W. Riviere (HRG),      H. Alderton (P.S.M.),  P. Parsons (Dellow).


The 1956 event followed the same basic format as the previous year. Another start point, Southampton, was added, twelve observed sections some with restarts and three timed tests. A Lotus, five H.R.G.s, two TR2s, a Fairthorpe as well as a selection of Dellows and Volkswagen’s were among the 59 entries. G. S. Edwards won the Falcon Cup in a Dellow with zero marks lost. Also with zero marks were, Presidents Cup winner D. Price (H.R.G) and Peregrine Cup winner, J. P. Davies (Popular).


Action on Nailsworth Ladder 1957


The Guy Fawkes  took on another change in 1957, another start was added in Cambridge, and the Guido Vase was run in conjunction with the main trial. (Guideo being the true Christian name of Guy Fawkes). The Guido Vase was run for the novice drivers, the course being easier, to allow the novice driver a chance to gain the experience needed before taking on the challenge of the Guy Fawkes. This new challenge was taken up by a crew of Autosport reporters who entered an A35 into the Guideo Vase competition. Their quest was to see what went on and whether a perfectly standard modern small car running on standard tyres at standard pressures could fulfil the watered-down tasks of the Guideo Vase. Their answer was NO. The A35’s first fail was in the morass at the bottom of Woodmill Lane. The Guideo Vase competitors missed out several hills including Fort 1. Described as a real specialist hill with wet leaves on sog. Nailsworth Ladder was also left out from the Guideo competition but the muddy stone surfaced Mackhouse and Knapp were contested by all the competitors. Best Performance by a Falcon member was A. Joyce in a Dellow. The Guideo Vase presented by  Mr. & Mrs. H. Tucker-Peake, was awarded to Mr. F.A. Freeman (Morgan). 


 B.R. Parsons 1963 Guy Fawkes


The Guy Fawkes “200”  Best performance by Derek Fleming (Primrose)” was the headline in Autosport, November 13th 1959 edition.  London, Southampton, Taunton, Birmingham and Cambridge were the starting points for that years event, which was again supported  by the Guideo Vase competition. Unlike the previous year’s torrential rain, 1959 was a glorious day, the sunshine bringing out the best of the Cotswold countryside.


Derek Fleming, Michael Lawrence and Michael Barker all drove trials specials. Jack Davis (VW), E.G. Walsh (VW) and Alan Blick ( Renault 750) were the only six drivers to keep a clean sheet. The event, however, was slightly marred by an accident to a competitor, who turned a Sprite over on the main road and injured his passenger. 



In the Guideo Vase competition, H.J Norris put up a staggering performance in what appeared to be nothing more exotic than a two seater Morris Eight of the middle to late thirties vintage. This formidable combination climbed every hill and recorded highly commendable times in the “sprints” and special tests, and would have been unpenalized but for a timing error that cost a mere one point.


Guiting Cross was the first test for the drivers after assembling at Puesdown. An engine restarting test on a moderate grassy slope. Woodmill Lane which followed claimed only one victim in a Standard Vangard.  Postlip was followed by two new sections, Greenwood I, a somewhat rough section that failed no one, and Greenwood II, a straight leafy climb that defeated four. Another new hill followed Stancombe, called Throughham, but pronounced Thruffum, it was a climb beside a typical Cotswold wall. It failed only three but in wet weather the story would have been rather different.


After a rather good breakfast the field moved on to Ferriscourt and Jacks Wood before moving on to “The Ladder”. Only thirteen cars made successful climbs of this hill, mostly Ford Saloons. Fort I, was next and again caught out thirteen, followed by Fort II with a wonderful coating of potting compost at the seven marker, where the specials restarted. Nine cars died in this area. The very long hill called Axe followed and Old Hollow was the alternative hill for the Guideo Vase competitors. Two new sections followed to close the trial. Scrubbets Lane only failed five but would have been a real stopper in the wet. Boxwell Road was a timed climb that failed no one.



There was a record entry for the 1960 Guy Fawkes, with nearly 100 entries. Another new category was introduced into the trial. It was for cross country type vehicles such as Land Rovers, etc., using either two or four wheel drive. This class was introduced to allow the Army Motor Club to enter the event with their vehicles. Despite being able to use four wheel drive, there was not a clean sheet amongst the Land Rover boys. It seemed that the regular trials drivers had the edge over the army boys on the Stop-restart tests.




The event took place in glorious weather and despite the torrential rain experienced over the rest of the country before the event, the hills were deprived of the expected mud baths, and were in surpassingly good condition. Postlip and Guiting Cross opened the event. The ink-black swamp at the foot of Woodmill Lane had incredibly disappeared and the hill held few terrors claiming only four victims. The rough, mile long track named Stanway was used for the first time on this event, brought in thanks to the enthusiastic co-operation of the residents at the foot of the hill who were there to welcome the cars. With dawn breaking, the competitors moved on to Jacks Wood. Througham was deleted and after breakfast the drivers moved on to tackle Ferriscourt and another new section Catswood. Catswood was described in the 25th November edition of Autosport as ”A real beauty in the classic tradition, a steep winding lane between high banks, liberally carpeted with wet beech leaves”. It was originally intended to be on the menu for all except the competitors in the Guideo Vase event but in view of the heavy rains it was restricted to the specials and four wheel drivers.


Following Catswood, was a stop and restart test at Stancombe, where John Tucker-Peake, who was driving Tuckers, “Tucker-MG”, for the first time, got confused with the fly-off hand break and collected a penalty. The Ladder in Nailsworth was easier that year with more successful climbs than expected however it did catch out last year’s winner Derek Fleming. After the remaining hills of Fort I and Fort II, Axe, and finally Scrubbetts Lane there were five clean sheets from Michael Lawrence, Michael Barker and Arthur Hay all driving Specials and two civilian Land Rovers driven by Peter Marr and John Bracey. W.W. Bridges was the only clean in the Guideo Vase competition in his Volkswagen.



The results for 1961 showed that Ron Warren had a good Guy Fawkes in his Dellow. Ron had one of the fifteen clean rounds out of the eighty nine entries, so it all came down to who completed the special tests in the fastest time. Looking at the results, it seems that a tie was decided on your first special test time, rather than a combined total of the three special tests. Ron won by nearly two seconds ahead of G. Edwards. Looking again at the results, reveals that there were twenty two sections and three timed special tests. The first two tests were cleaned by all the competitors. Hill 3 claimed one competitor as did Hill 4 with both competitors scoring 12’s. Hill 7 claimed another two victims. Hills 11, 12 and 13 were the only other hills cleaned by all the competitors. The other award winners were, Bouncers Bowl;  A. Preston.  Best Rear Engine Car;  B. Wilson (VW).  Falcon Cup;  G. Edwards (Morgan).  Peregrine Cup;  A.Hobbs (Simca).  Kestrel Cup;  B. Moss (Ford Special). Best Cross Country;  E. Painter (Land Rover). The Guido Vase was won by Maralyn Tucker-Peake (Tucker M.G.) who's only score was a six on Hill 10. The team award was again decided on time with Messrs, Dives, Fleming and Warren, the victors by five seconds.



The 1962 event was considered to be the best trial the club had run to date. There was widespread and unpleasant mist through the night, until the sun had burnt it off in the morning. There was also a willing band of helpers equipped with Land Rovers that were used to recover or remove failed cars from the hills quickly.


Sweetslade, Postlip, Woodmill Lane, Greenway and Bull Bank were all tackled before a hearty breakfast at the Kings Head in Cirencester. Ferriscourt, Knapp Hobbs Choice, were attempted before The Ladder. The Ladder was “hell bent on revenge” after the contemptuous treatment it had received in recent years. Falcon’s Peter Le Couteur in a Dellow and Ted Dive’s Roche, were the only two specials to beat the hill. Ted in his first Guy Fawkes. Results were as follows:- Kestrel Cup (best special) P .Le Couteur (Dellow), Falcon Cup (best Sports) W.B. Caldwell (TR3), Peregrine Cup (best Saloon) K Hobbs (Simca), Rear-Engined Trophy: N Pow (VW), Presidents Cup (best Falconer) T Dives (Roche), Bouncers Bowl (best Falcon crew) B Butler, 4 by 4 Trophy: Lt. S. P. Etheridge (Champ).  Guideo Vase Competition. Best Performance W. W. Bridges (VW1500). 



Autosport 15th November 1963, reported that this was the 10th running of the Guy Fawkes 200. I think someone had got their dates wrong, as the first Guy Fawkes was in 1950 and the first of the long distance events started in 1954. Anyway the 1963 Guy Fawkes was held on the 2nd & 3rd November, and a fundamental rearrangement of the route,  where the order of tackling the tough hills after breakfast was more or less reversed, designed to achieve an earlier finish than in former years. However, the vagaries of the British weather upset the smooth running of the trial and the actual time of the finish proved to be an all time lateness.  The culprit which caused all the delay was Axe, a hill which for some years had been something of a cat walk but which, on this occasion, was in a vicious mood and gave even the recovery vehicle food for thought.


1961. On the left is Tucker talking to Derick Flemming along side Primrose.

Number 107 is Dericks former car. A rare Ford Greyhound. Behind is the Beetle of Jack Davis.


Having converged on the Windrush Control from starting points at Dursley, Taunton, Southampton, London and Stevenage, the competitors were given a gentle introduction at Fox Hill from where they went on to an old favourite, Woodmill Lane, which had a fairish bog at the bottom. Postlip, with the hairpin at the bottom included, proved to be fun for everyone as a timed test. The Trial then went a few miles down the road to Draper’s Farm which was supposed to host three sections but due to the rather soggy conditions after three days of heavy rain, only Noverton 1 was used.


The first hill after breakfast was Axe and fortunes here were very varied. A saloon would happily reach the top and immediately after, a special would fail low down. A queue of such gigantic proportions formed at the start, that under the guidance of a travelling marshal, the tail end of the field went to Fort and returned later to tackle Axe.

Fort I came back into its own with a vengeance and virtually decided the destination of the premier awards. Despite the removal of the worst tree root at the top before the trial started, the summit was nigh on impossible and those who obtained a clean here, could nourish a contented feeling of achievement.


Fort II had a restart line near the top, which far too many people overshot, was followed by Nailsworth Ladder and probably hardest on the specials, whose restart line which was sited well below the step, was extremely slippery. Maralyn and Susan Tucker-Peake in the Tucker Nipper threw all their weight at the ground in a concerted effort to get under way after the halt and were rewarded with their first success on the hill.


Minor frolics at Bulls Bank led to Catswood, which was pleasantly gooey and another timed climb at Honycombe, before the final two climbs of the day at Bulls Bank I and II. Presidents Cup ( For the best Falcon) went to P Le Couteur ( Dellow)  0 points.  Kestrel Cup (Best Special)  A. E. Hay ( Lotus)  0 points.  Peregrine Cup (best sports car)  W.B Caldwell (TR3) 5 points.


The Cotswold Stone was also introduced in this “anniversary” year. This was an attractive piece of Cotswold Stone mounted on a plinth. This was to be Falcon’s equivalent of the MCC’s Triple. To win the Cotswold Stone you had to win your class, or an individual award, in the Guy Fawkes for three years running. A quite formidable task apparently. The results from 1961 and 1962 were combined with the results from the 1963 event to give us four winners, Peter Le Couter, W.B Caldwell, C Bigwood and K Hobbs. I could only find records of two other winners of the Stone.  Miss R Cond and Mr. Dudley Sterry both won their respective classes in, 1968, 1969, and 1970 to win the award. However winning is one thing and receiving is another, as Dudley never did receive his trophy.


According to the reporter in Autocar in 1964, “Fog which shrouded much of the country as October gave way to November, might well have been the main talking point after this year’s Guy Fawkes Trial, the neo-classic long-distance event organised by the Falcon Motor Club. The presence of this unwelcome and unpleasant manifestation certainly made motoring a penance rather than a pleasure and at times robbed the event of much of its  incidental enjoyment, the breathtaking beauty of the Cotswold in the late autumn.


Due to the low rain fall throughout the year, most of the hills which could be counted on to stop a fair proportion of the cars were, with skill and determination, climbable. Two types of stop and restart were included. Type 1, the old favourite involved stopping astride a line half way up the hill and restarting on a signal. Type 2, was an elaboration of a normal timed climb, in which a line part way up the section, had to be traversed three times, up down and up again by the front wheels of the car on the way to a flying finish at the top of the hill. Overall times from start to finish were used as tie deciders and as over a third of the entry had clean sheets, these times were of great importance.


From five starting points the field congregated, through varying degrees of fog, at the Windrush control near Burford and headed for a new hill called Long Barrow, where six competitors fell foul of the lane. At Guiting Cross, no fewer than 16 did likewise, some going so far astray as to be in danger of rolling down the bank. Woodmill has lost all its terrors: the bog at the bottom has apparently vanished for good, and the hill claimed no victims. Another new hill, Barton, came next. This was a long lane which included a type 1 restart. Postlip was used with the hairpin included and a type 2 restart thrown in for good measure. A time control at Greenway ensured that all the competitors tackled this hill in daylight before going to Cirencester for the best yet, of a long succession of excellent breakfasts.


The first hill to be tackled after freshening up and feeding was Scrubbitts Lane. This one has not been used for some years and the organizers felt slightly guilty about its inclusion in view of  the way it had recently been chewed up by tractors engaged in tree felling. It was short, narrow, rutted, wet and very frightening and unfortunately accounted for a number of bent wings. The ‘field’ then went on to Boxwell, Fort 1 and Fort 2 before Nailsworth Ladder, Bulls Cross and the final hill Honeycombe.


In the results, Brian Butler, (Dellow), who for many years has bounced for Ted Dives, took the wheel this year and carried off the award for the best performance by a member of the promoting club.  Dennis Allen another Falcon member and a gallant trier for a very long time, finally coaxed his A30/35 to the top of Fort 1 and the Ladder to record a clean sheet.   A splendid effort in a car with this rear axle configuration.  The Tucker-Peake family kept itself in the news, the daughters of the Clark of the Course, (H W Tucker-Peake), notching up a first class in the Tucker Nipper and Uncle John recording a really shattering time on Postlip with,  of all unlikely vehicles, a perfectly normal Cortina. The Falconers, V Prior,  R Warren, Miss M Tucker-Peake, were the winning team”.


The 1965 Guy Fawkes had another full entry, with twelve entries returned. Rain before and during the event caused a few changes to be made.


The Guy Fawkes had to be cancelled in 1966. This was because part of our route copied part of a Rally's route held the week before and Gloucester Police thought this was too much and withdrew permission for the event to run.


The Guy Fawkes of 1967 again had to be cancelled. This time the police were not to blame, but an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease put a halt to the event at the very last minute. This was a great shame as the organisers had gone to a lot of trouble to get a route approved by the Gloucestershire Police. However, all was not lost and a new date was approved for April 1968 and 68 crews entered. The start was at Fortes Motor Lodge on the Oxford to Windrush A40 at 4 am  with a breakfast halt in Cirencester, the finish was also in Cirencester.  Hills used on the 1968 trial were:-

1. Long Barrow,   2. Guiting Cross,   3. Woodmill  1,   4. Woodmill  2,   5. Postlip Mills Test,   6. Postlip Mills Obs,   7. Cleeve Common,   8. Hobbs Choice,   9. Ladder,   10. Bulls Cross Obs,   11. Longridge,   12. Harwood,   13. Bisley Bank,   14. Slosh,   15. Reddings,

16. Holly Lane. The award winners for 1968 were:-


Falcon Cup &  Replica,         R Dennis          HRG        13

Class 2 Trophy                      F Edkins          VW           5         

Peregrines Cup & Replica     G Best             Cortina        12

Kestrel Cup & Replica          P Le Couteur   Dellow        10

Class 5 Trophy                      R Chapman      Mini            10

Presidents Cup & Replica      H Frost            VW              3

Bouncers Bowl                      P Hall               

Ladies Award                         Miss R Cond    Imp            48

Second Class 1                       D Sterry           MG            14


Due to a Rally three weeks before the 1969 Guy Fawkes, which used some of the same route, the trial had to be postponed, so the March Hare was run in November leaving a date in March or April 1970 for the Guy Fawkes.


Once again the organising team of 1970 ran into difficulties in the Cotswolds, so it was decided to put on a trial with a difference in Hertfordshire on the date of the March Hare. It was decided that there should be two venues, one at Ringshall Farm and the other in Tring Park. There was to be no road mileage in-between, just two venues. In the end it would appear this idea did not come off, as the Guy Fawkes was again held in Tring Park in very slippery conditions.


Best Falcon in the Guy Fawkes Trial went to Jack Frost in his “big banger” VW with a score of 5. Cliff Morrell who did well in his Hillman Husky, but with a score of 13 didn’t win an award. The award winners for 1970 were:-


Falcon Cup            R.H. Newton           MG          2 mks

Guido Vase            M.J. Crome             Morgan    0           

Peregrine Cup        E.H. Briant              Escort      2         

Kestrel Cup           D. Sterry                  MG          0         

F.W.D. Trophy      A. Greenaway          Mini        20       

Best Lady              Miss R. Cond           Nipper     15

Presidents Bowl     J. Frost                    VW          5

Bouncers Bowl      R. Rule


It is not clear whether or not the 1971 Guy Fawkes was run in the Cotswold or in Tring Park. My money would have to be on Tring Park. I would have lost my money though. Andrew Brown informs me that the event did rur in the Cotswolds with 69 entries with 8 teams.


The 1972 Guy Fawkes was definitely run in Tring Park and not in the Cotswolds. This was because of another permit clash with the rally boys in and around Gloucestershire.

There were fourteen Falcon crews in the field of forty seven. The event was split into three sections, one in the morning and two in the afternoon. Each section was to be of twelve climbs but the last section was cut short due to failing light. The results:-


Guideo Vase                S Woodhall

Pereguine Cup             L Knight

Kestral Cup                 D Greenslade

Class 5 Trophy            R Chapman

Presidents Cup            F Edkins

Bouncers Bowl            I Bates


1st class awards went to:- M Potts, M Furse, D Sterry, A Tucker-Peake,  J Tucker-Peake and J Poynter.  2nd class awards to:-  A Booth, R Newton, G Jackson,  E Haywood.  3rd class awards to:-  W Durling, A Davies, P Haywood.   Ladies award:- Sue Halkyard.


I know the 1973 Guy Fawkes was cancelled but I don't know why, (the minutes from the committee meetings are sometimes not as clear as perhaps they could have been). However, that's where my history of the Guy Fawkes ends until 1976 as there are no records of any events available between 1972 and 1976.


By the time the records start again the Guy Fawkes has reached its thirtieth birthday. By now it’s 1979 and no longer a road trial but a single venue event, held at Bury Farm, Houghton Conquest. Run to Classic regulations, 28 entries enjoyed a difficult days trialing in, what was described as “a bog”. One of the toughest hills was the special test, which was a timed section run across the slope. Competitors kept sliding off the test. Murray Macdonald won the Presidents Cup for the best Falcon, with his passenger, John Prestage winning the Bouncers Bowl. John also won the Beginners Award, driving Murrays VW 1600. The Falcon Cup for best overall went to Colin Hook in a Cannon with the only clean sheet.


The Following year the Guy Fawkes Trial was again held at Houghton Conquest on the 23rd November. Tucker was Clark of the Course and Alan Davies, Secretary. Maralyn Knight and John Newberry were to be Stewards. All this information is of no relevance because, with only 5 entries received the event was cancelled. 


There are no other records of the Guy Fawkes taking place after 1980, but Tucker did run a   conducted trial in 1981. Starting in Hemel Hempsted, the 14 competitors followed Tucker in convoy to four hills local to Hemel including Hill Farm at Heath End, south of Berkhamsted and Tunnel Hill in Nettleden. The idea of the event was to get people interested in trialing again but life and competitors had moved on and the Guy Fawkes remained a distant memory until 1996.


A Production Car Trial held at Kensworth, Bedfordshire, on the 3rd November 1996 took the name The Guy Fawkes. An entry of over 20 had an enjoyable day in dry conditions. The eventual winner was Matt Clark.


Matt Clark Kensworth 1997


Matt Clark (Nova) took the honours on index again the following year but it was Jack Williams in his Tempest that had the lowest score dropping just 2 marks on a dry day at Kensworth. Other award winners were Dave Smith (Kitten), Best Clubman, Kevin Alexander, Best Class Zero in a Fiat followed by Chris Bonnett (Peugeot 306). Peter Stafford took his first class win in his Escort and David Sheffield won Class 5 in his nicely prepared Midget.


Heavy rain caused the 1998 event to be cancelled, but in 1999 the team (Peter Manning,  secretary, Arnold Lane, Clarke of the Course and Verdun Webley, Chief Marshal) were again in action only this time Arnold Lane took over the responsibility of Clerk of the Course, without the help from friend Andy Clark. The event took place on a fine Autumns day at Kensworth. Barrie Parker took the overall honours on the day with Jack Williams  taking a class win in his Tempest. In the Clubsport Class, Andy Curtis took the honours. David  Alderson won Class C.


Barrie Parker (Peugeot) won again in 2000. There was a close battle between Barrie, Simon Harris (Golf) and Robin Howard (Marlin) for the overall title. Barrie took the honour with an index of 32. Simon Harris won Class A with an index of 66, Stewart Cairney was the Class C winner with an index of 65, Robin Howard’s index of 57 was good enough to win Class D.


In the Clubsport Class, winner Ross Nuten (Dellow) had an index of just 17 to take the  overall honour with  Murray MacDonald (Golf), Richard Tompkins (Imp) and Andy Curtis (Buggy) all winning their classes. Best Novice went to David Russell and Best Falcon, went to Dave Smith.


Foot and Mouth hit the country again in 2001 which caused the cancellation of many events throughout the country, The Guy Fawkes included. However whilst having a clear out, several old trophies were rediscovered, one of which is the Presidents Cup Trophy. The first trophy the club was given back in 1949. The trophy used to be given to the winner of the Guy Fawkes Trial. It was decided upon it’s rediscovery, that it should be awarded to the best Falcon in the next Guy Fawkes trial which was to be held at Kensworth in 2002. However the good old British weather stepped in and we had to cancel the event due to a water logged field.


It was touch and go as to whether the 2003 event would run, but Arnold Lane took the decision to run and despite a wet start which had the competitors sliding all over the slope at Kensworth, the event turned out to very successful. The hill dried quickly in the post lunch sunshine and everyone's scores improved. Eventual winner was Barry Parker.


Barrie Parker 2003


From the moment Arnold Lane hit the first post into the ground on the Saturday before the 2004 Guy Fawkes, until late after the event on 7th November, that fine drizzly rain never stopped. This caused a few problems on Kensworth’s grassy bank for the 36th running of the Guy Fawkes. The entrance to the field had been well and truly churned up by the cattle that usually reside in the field and several competitors wondered how they were going to get through. Arnold had the solution and created another entrance  further along the hedge. Due to the very poor light, Arnold made the decision to have only three rounds and this, proved to be the right decision as it was very nearly dark as the last officials left Kensworth in the late afternoon. The National B event was won on index, by a delighted Malcolm Brown in his controversial Westfield. Simon Harris won his class on index in the well prepared Golf ahead of Robin Howard in a Citroen AX. Dave Smith won class D, driving one of the seven Marlins taking part.


John Parsons Guy Fawkes 2004


In the Clubsport event, the day was dominated by Duncan Walch, driving his highly modified Healy. Over the three rounds Duncan only dropped 11 points, the lowest points total of the day. Ross Nuten in his Dellow was 2nd in class D with Mark Ibbotson (Imp) winner on index of the combined classes B&C. David Holmes in a Nova took the index win in class A. President Cup winner as best Falcon, was Colin Reid, in another Nova. The best novice award went to new Falcon member Peter Tobin.


Guy Fawkes trials for the past few years have been dominated by the weather, and 2005 was no different The following report is from Michael Leete’s Classical Gas web site.

New organisers Ed Nikel and David Smoley had a worrying time prior to the event as it rained for several days and on Saturday they even considered cancelling. Fortunately Kensworth’s upper slopes had been very dry underneath and absorbed most of the water, leaving a fair amount of grip, despite the rain that fell all day. There were 27 entries, which was reduced to 24 on the day after a couple of non-starters, including Mark Tompkins who dislocated his shoulder playing Rugby during the week.

Richard Tompkins was one of the drivers setting the pace on round one, along with Geoff Hodge, Jack Williams and Roger Dudley in Clubsport and Colin and Michael weeks in National B. All were driving rear wheel drive cars; the ground conditions being against the FWD boys, even though some of the sections were quite tight. Section six was the one that really sorted things out. There was a very muddy patch on a steep gradient, with a 90 right just after. Geoff Hodge was the only Clubsport driver to negotiate the 90 right and even he couldn’t get past the five. In National B Alun Lewis actually cleaned the section in his Marlin, the only driver to do so.

At the end of round one Jack Williams was leading the trial, having only dropped 10 marks, eight of them on the notorious hill six. One mark behind came Colin and Michel Weeks and Geoff Hodge, all on 11. Robin Howard was on 12 and best FWD car, then Roger Dudley and Richard Tompkins on 13. Roger had replaced the diff he broke at Brickhill and straightened a steering arm as well. Richard was very pleased with his Imp, now fitted with an ex-Ed Nikel engine.

Geoff Hodge had an excellent 2nd round, only dropping 10 marks (5 of them on hill six) giving him 21 at the lunch break. This was a full nine marks less than Roger Dudley on 30, with Jack Williams and Richard Tompkins on 31 and Simon Groves on 32 after an excellent second round.

In National B Michael Weeks and Robin Howard were equal on 31. Robin running ballasted in class B on this occasion. Running un-ballasted Colin Reid had the lowest 2nd round score in his Nova but couldn’t pull back his losses on round one. Lunch provided the marshals with some respite from the rain and they were able to shelter in an open barn along with the chuck wagon, which Ed Nikel had thoughtfully arranged. Unfortunately we had lost Alun Lewis during Round 2 when his yellow Marlin’s engine wouldn’t run and he had to retire.

Mike Hinman put in a storming performance after lunch and cleaned round three but couldn’t make up for his scores before the break. Geoff Hodge continued an excellent drive to drop six to end the day on 27. Jerry Hughes also had a really good last round of 11 and won the Novice award. Jack Williams dropped 12 to win class D. Roger Dudley slipped back but still won the Best Falcon award.

In National B Robin Howard had a really good third round, dropping 7 to finish on 38, ten better than class rival Chris Smith. Robins score for the day was 38, lowest in National B and second only to Geoff Hodge overall. Robin had overhauled both Colin and Michael Weeks who finished with 72 and 74 respectively. However, after the index was applied National B honours went to Colin and Robin had to be satisfied with a class win.

David Smoley produced a rapid set of results, enabling everyone to get on their way before the darkness set in. Well done all for a very good Falcon Guy Fawkes.



Simon Groves (picture by Ed Nikel) and Geoff Hodge (picture by Michael Leete

Guy Fawkes 2005


For the 2006 Guy Fawkes, Dave Smith took over as Clerk of the course with David Jackson as Secretary. A new venue was also used, Mile Tree Farm near Leighton Buzzard. A record (for moden times) entry of 36 with 31 starters had a fantastic days sport in the disused sand pit. Several cars retired with mechanical problems including Martin Cheshire and Arnold Lane in the Peaguet with a broken diff. Vice President John Parsons (Buggy) took the overall award with another Vice President, Mike Pearson (Dellow Rep) winning the Best Falcon trophy. Other class winners were Robin Howard (Citroen), Ted Holloway (Fiat Uno), John Rowland in Peter Thompson’s Opel, Keith Oakes (Dutton), Richard Tompkins (Imp) with Don Stringer winning the Novice award in his Austin 7.



Peter Thompson (Opel),  and Don Stringer (Austin 7) 2006 Guy Fawkes

For those of you who are interested, I have listed the venues and map references of the various hills used throughout the history of the Guy Fawkes Trial.


Icknield Way            166/ 132300 to 166/ 120290

Telegraph Hill          166/ 115280 to 166/ 119289

Harlington                166/ 047306 to 166/ 045308

Hill House                166/ 081300

Jeremiah’s Knob       166/ 081300

Tatmore End             166/ 178271 to 166/ 172256

Quick Sands              166/ 207276

Squib                         166/ 207276

Stoney Bank              166/ 207276

Falcon Bank              166/ 207276

Cliffs Climb               166/ 207276

Offley Bend

Postlip                       163/ 006274  

Cleeve Common,       163/ 989275

Nailsworth Ladder.    162/ 853998

Guiting Cross             163/ 084259

Greenwood I,

Greenwood II,

Stancombe,                162/ 881073

Throughham               163/ 924080,

Ferriscourt                  162/ 889047 to 162/ 885050

Jacks Wood

Fort I, /Fort II             162/ 757972 to 162/ 754971 Also kown as Nunnery Lane, left of the approach to Crooked Mustard.


Axe                             162/ 758964

Old Hollow                 162/ 768966

Scrubbets Lane            162/ 814924 to 162/ 809930

Boxwell Road              162/ 809930 to 162/ 814924

Woodmill Lane            163/ 080266 to 163/ 082269

Stanway                       150/ 070315

Catswood                     162/ 878078 to 162/ 880074

Fox Hill

Honeycombe                163/ 922090 to 163/ 933087

Bulls Bank/Bulls Cross 162/ 876087 to 162/ 877087

Barton                          163/ 102255 to 163/ 117257

Long Barrow                163/ 078207 to 163/ 096212  

Hobbs Choice               162/ 889978




Bisley Bank



Holly Lane

Ringshall Farm

Tring Park.                    165/ 928105    

Bury Farm, Houghton Conquest       153/ 052406

Hill Farm                      165/ 952062                           

Tunnel Hill                   166/ 019105 to 166/ 017099   

Kensworth,                   166/ 021184   

Mile Tree Farm             165/943278