Rose Hill climb, and sledges

Your October 2018 edition shows a picture of Birmingham Club members at Rose Hill. Rose Hill is an iconic location in motoring and motorcycling history, and is part of the Lickey Hills area situated just south of Birmingham.

Your former editor, who has moved on to railway circles, would recognise Lickey as in the nearby Lickey Incline – the steepest incline on main line British railways.

One of the first major trials ever held was the Colmore Cup Trial, organised then by the Sutton Coldfield club.

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The event started around 1910/11. The first Colmore Cup started from the Gun Barrels in Selly Oak (near the Ariel factory) then proceeded along the Bristol Road to Rednal where the first serious climb of the event – Rose Hill – was tackled.

The event is still run – the organisers now being the Stratford-upon-Avon club. At the top of Rose Hill lived one Herbert Austin, who travelled up and down Rose Hill to an old print works in Longbridge – about a mile from the bottom of Rose Hill on the road to Birmingham – and that was, by then, producing a significant number of eponymously named motor cars.

I remember when it snowed heavily my big brother, Brian Martin, and myself used to go sledging on the Lickey Hills – but that was before motorcycling took over our lives.

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Michael Martin

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Views in the November 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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