I - H I H T U O I

Initials – how I hate the use of initials.

It was the trend back in the old days when the results of trials as published in Motorcycle News listed Winner: G.L.Jackson (350 A.J.S.) 5 marks lost; Runner-up S.H.Miller (500 Ariel) 6 marks lost etc, etc, etc.

But these days, life has changed and the use of initials should be looked upon as downright rude. Entry forms given to me at signing on at my van that name the rider as G. Evans, bring forth the response “hello G” , following which he looks at me in a peculiar manner. I quickly ask him (to maintain a good club/rider relationship) that if he tells me his first name then that’s what he’ll be referred to in the results.

It doesn’t happen that often these days, but nobody, but nobody refers to others by their initial. Nicknames are OK, I mean just about everybody in the trials world calls me Rappers and I’ve lived with that since Stinger Nettleton (get it?) called me Rappers at school. But nobody calls me M, so initials only, no, no, a thousand times no!

Some clubs are just as bad. I’ve just looked at the dates calendar on Trials Central and there are three organisations that believe they are so well known they only need to be known by their initials. Come on HUX; NSJMcc and ESTC, reveal yourselves to your public.

As it happens, I know perfectly well the full title of these clubs, but I’ve been in the sport all my life. How can you expect a newcomer, looking for a trial in which to ride, know who, or what these initials are shorthand for.

Many years ago I had a spell typing the regulations and what’s on columns for TMX and it was schoolboy scramble clubs that were the worst. There were stacks of clubs that only used initials and I can recall spending ages trying to decide what they referred to. A shout around the office sometimes brought a sensible reply (rare) but equally, many times nobody had a clue, so if you happened to be looking for an event in which to ride and you lived in say Cornwall, you could well have been enquiring of a club in Scotland.

As I say, Initials, I hate them!

Rant over.

There are remarkably few organisations in the world of motor sport that can celebrate 100 years of existence, but one club that can is the Westmorland Motor Club, founded in 1910, an organisation that can justly celebrate a century of existence next year.

Quite rightly the current members are proud to be associated with a club that has such a long and illustrious history and to celebrate the 100th year of Westmorland, the club are holding a Centenary Dinner/Dance in January next year (the 30th I believe), tickets for which are currently available from Mrs Margaret Brown, 16 Hayfell Rise, Kendal, LA9 7JP, 01539 733791.

Westmorland is more than a trials club for as well as running National, Centre and Club trials throughout the year, they also hold three hillclimbs at Barbon Manor, plus two car trials and also a number of multi lap hare and hounds enduros.

Back in the early 'nineties the club purchased a large piece of rough fell land at Firbank near Sedbergh and more recently (2003 I think) they acquired a 64 acre hillside at Witherslack which is ideal for club bike and car trials.

Their named Centre trials like the Milnthorpe, Lonsdale, Astley, Sporty Boys etc frequently attract large entries and even though these are all held within the confines of the Lake District National Park, the club’s longevity and established reputation allows them to obtain the necessary planning permission to hold these events on a regular basis.

So if you get a chance to support Westmorland this year, then do so and enjoy the history of 100 years that surrounds the Westmorland Motor Club.