1919 Scottish Six Days Trial

1919 ssdt mrs bellFemale competitor in the 1919 SSDT, Mrs Bell looks happy after negotiating the hairpin at AmulreeAfter the break due to the events of World War I, there were manifest delays to life ‘returning to normal’. Many of the potential entrants had been injured and, sadly, some had been killed. Motorcycle production had either been decimated by transferring the output to military contracts, or taking up armament production. Many factory operatives had been conscripted, then wounded, disabled, or lost.

As late as the last week in May 1919 the club were still debating whether they could even muster the manpower sufficient to attempt to run an event. Finally a decision was taken and at the end of June an announcement of ‘Intent to run’ was made to the press and entries invited for a trial to run between 20-26 July. There was a change to the awards to a system of First Class, Second Class and Third Class, with provision for any Special Awards the committee may feel are merited. Note, the awards still do not allow for a ‘Best Performance’ system, the awards are not grouped in order of achievement because there remains no differentiation of what ‘footing’ comprises, from what a modern rider would describe as a single dab, to running alongside the machine was still described as ‘footing’. 72 entered the 1919 SSDT, but only 50 made it to the start.

The routes for the 1919 Scottish, which covered a grand total of 1013 miles over the six days, were:

First Day - 157 miles

Edinburgh - Stirling - Crieff - Amulree - Kenmore - Aberfeldy - Trinafour - Dalnacardoch - Pitlochry - Tullyruet - Dunkeld.

Second Day - 168 miles

Perth - Coupar - Angus - Forfar - Brechin - Edzell - Cairn o’Mount - Ballater - Crathie - Cockbridge - Tomintoul - Grantown - Inverness.

Third Day - 179 miles

Inverness - Abriachan - Beauly - Braemore Lodge - Dundonnel - Gairloch - Garve - Inverness.

Fourth Day - 179 miles

Inverness - Applecross - Achnashellach - Kinlochewe - Inverness.

Fifth Day - 145 miles

Inverness - Abriachan - Beauly - Drumnadrochit - Cluanie - Tomdoun - Invergarry - Glendoe - Craggie Inn - Grantown.

Sixth Day - 185 miles

Grantown - Tomintoul - Braemar - Pitlochry - Ballinbeg - Kenmore - Crieff - Stirling - Edinburgh.

The awards made in 1919 were:

First-Class Awards

J W Willis (Rover-JAP)
N Black (Triumph)
J A Newman (Sunbeam)
W Westwood (Triumph)
H E Fairley (BSA)
Vivian Olsson (Douglas)
E W Choldcroft (AJS)
Capt Hay-Will (AJS sc)
R B Clark (Douglas)
H G Cassie (Douglas)
A Downie (AJS sc)

Special Awards

Capt Strettell-Miller (P&M)
D M Brash (Harley-Danidson sc)
A F Downie (AJS sc)

Second-Class Awards

D S Milne (BSA)
A H Alexander (Douglas)
Jas Beck (Sunbeam)
J A Jeffreys (AJS)
G C Stead (A.C Light Car)
Alan Hill (Morgan)
A L Downie (AJS)
Mrs Bell (AJS sc)
Duncan Bell (James sc)

Third-Class Awards

Claude Duncan (Douglas)
D S Alexander (Enfield sc)
E J Tanbridge (AJS sc)

Information compiled and provided by Deryk Wylde.

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