1947 Scottish Six Days Trial

fred rist 1947 ssdtFred Rist on his Ariel climbs out of Kinlochourn in the 1947 SSDTIn the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, everyone was keen to get back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible - but the ravages of the war on manpower and materials put Great Britain into a significant period of austerity and that just made the national spirit dig in even more.

So, on Monday 5 May, 1947 the Lady Provost of Fort William cut the ribbon stretched across the road outside the official garage and at 10 a.m. started the first entrant on his way. The move to the Fort William start was made mainly because of the shortage of fuel because of rationing, so most competitors made their way to Fort William by train. There they received a concessionary fuel allowance granted by the UK government to enable them to take part in the event - in passing the legislation to create this extra fuel ration the official description was given that it was to be used for a ‘Holiday in the Highlands’ for the returning troops as well as the workers who had remained to help the war effort - and thus created another ‘legend’ of the event.

There were 96 entrants, of whom 29 received Special First-class awards, 20 First class awards, 10 Second class awards and 28 Third class awards. There was only one non-starter and eight competitors retired with problems during the week. The awards continued the pre-war pattern of a series of separate awards for the various classes plus a Manufacturers award and Team awards.

The results for 1947 were:

The J R Alexander Challenge Trophy (best solo performance): B H M Viney (347 AJS), lost 6 marks
The MacNaughton Challenge Trophy (best sdecar performance): H R Taylor (497 Ariel sc) - (yes, the one-legged Harold Taylor who was to Captain many British Motocross teams in International Grand Prix), lost 73 marks
The P S Chamberlain Challenge Trophy (best newcomer): A C Lacey (500 Ariel)
The Under 200cc Award: F W Clark (125 James), lost 209 marks
The Under 250cc Award: J Plowright (248 Royal Enfield), lost 68 marks
The Under 350cc Award: L A Ratcliffe (347 Matchless), lost 25 marks
The Over 350cc Award: C M Ray (497 Ariel), lost 32 marks
The Runner-up Sidecar Award: H Tozer (499 BSA sc), lost 88 marks
The Allen Hay Memorial Trophy (best Scottish rider): R MacGregor (497 Ariel), lost 54 marks
The Jimmy Beck Trophy (best non-Scottish rider): C N Rodgers (346 Royal Enfield), lost 33 marks
The Henderson Trophy (best Edinburgh & DMC member): G K Baird (348 BSA), lost 62 marks

Information compiled and provided by Deryk Wylde.

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