Alastair's Blog

Hero 1000 Mile Trial

- Friday, September 12, 2014

1000 Mile TrialRe-run of original 1900 Trial

July continued with the Hero 1000 Mile Trial Website - this is a rally for pre-war cars and is a re-run of an original race first held in 1900. The original race took 20 days, but we did it in 7 - that's progress for you.

I took my lovely 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500, recent winner of the Paris Madrid for the second year running and was accompanied by my navigator, Catriona.

We were waved off by an RAC Club official with the actual flag that was used to start the original rally in 1900 and followed a route as near to the original as was practical. The route started at Epsom in Surrey, went all the way up to Edinburgh and then back again, taking the picturesque route through lots of lovely towns and villages, including my namesake village of Caldwell, pictured below!


Leaving home to get to Epsom                   At the start in the Alfa

Leaving home in the Alfa  At the start in the Alfa

The objective of the original trial, was to allow the people of Britain to see the wonders of the then new motor car. Many people laughed at the idea that the motor car could become a commercial success and so the Automobile Club organised the rally to show people what these cars could do.


My namesake village of Caldwell!               Being waved off by the original flag

On my way to my namesake village of Caldwell 

There were many highlights on the route, one of which was having cocktails and dinner on the Royal Yacht Britannia, pictured here. The other was a very moving and well done memorial on Leith waterfront to the heroes of the Merchant Navy who ran the gauntlet of the U-boats to take freight to Russia and win the war. We also visited Belvoir Castle, which iis a pretty bonkers place!


On the Royal Yacht Britannia                      At Belvoir Castle

Royal Yacht Britannia  Outside Belvoir Castle

It was a pleasure, as always, to have the marvellous Wyatt sisters as fellow competitors, in their Austin 7.

There was a bit of lighthearted pranks during the trial, with some fellow competitors (who shall remain nameless!) who were a little worse for wear (code for drunk) converting a sad Morris Minor into a plant pot!

We managed to come third overall, and won our class - we made two silly schoolboy errors on tests, which cost us two minutes. Then we had the Barantz trip meter go wrong, which cost us time. We replaced it and then the new one did the same! As you'd expect it waited for us to be in the middle of a regularity test on the last day to ambush poor Catriona at the worst possible moment - so it goes!


The Morris Minor Plantpot!                         More plant-based pranks!

The Morris Minor Plantpot  Plant-based pranks


The lovely Wyatt sisters - there's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing!

The Wyatt sisters in the rain The Wyatt sisters in dry weather


At the finish line!                                      Alfa livery - sponsored by Space Station

The Alfa at the finish line  Space Station Storage Sponsor

Following the Wyatt sisters in their Austin 7 - behind a tractor




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