Speeds Trials Revival – Bringing the past to life at Syston Park

After taking part in this year’s Syston Park Speed Trials re-enactment in Lincolnshire, Nigel Stennett-Cox describes this historic and thoroughly enjoyable event.

A participant in this year’s Syston Park Speed Trials revival gets away from the start line on a fine late summer’s day as a decent crowd watches from behind the palings.

It seems like an obvious formula when someone else thinks of it first: organise an event that isn’t a static rally, road run, concours d’elegance or indeed a competition, with the latter’s need for special licences, vehicle scrutiny and so on.

Well, there was some scrutiny at this year’s Syston Park Speed Trials for obvious safety reasons – leaking oil and the like – but primarily the entrants took along their pre-war bikes (and cars) to climb the modest hill and have fun in an atmosphere contrived to resemble that of the pre-war club competition event as closely, yet informally, as possible.

In their diamond-pattern short-sleeved pullovers, two Sunbeam owners re-live the 1930s.

It might not be so well known today that the Syston venue has a long and distinguished history, with hill climbing and even circuit racing taking place from 1906 until just before the Second World War.

Then, the present hill continued around and back towards the main road before looping back to the start and finish, and such famous motorcycle racing names as Eric Fernihough and Freddie Frith sometimes averaged 60-odd miles per hour, and car-driving exponents such as Raymond Mays of Bourne also competed.

Read more and see more images in the October issue of OBM – on sale now!

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