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O.S. reference - SS 568 914
O.S. reference - SS 961 714
Llandow paddock 1976, Crossle C7/9S in foreground
O.S. reference - SN 397 033
Pembrey paddock 2005
Ty Croes, Anglesey
Anglesey circuit 2007 layout, courtesy of Kevin Hughes.
O.S. reference - ST 683 113
This was the first location in Wales to hold a competitive motor sport event (for cars). Buttrill's Hill is a long, steep, but wide road that leads away from the docks in Barry, South Glamorgan. It was here on July 8th 1905 that the South Wales and Monmouthshire Auto Club held a closed hillclimb. The event attracted 42 entrants, and was won by G.S. Seccombe, who covered the 500 yards in his Wolseley 12hp in a time of 1m22.4s.
Further events were held on June 29th 1907 (1st in classes: W. Parker Thomas, 35 hp Daimler (two classes); Henry Webb, 40 hp Itala), and Jun 27th 1908 (FTD: W. Graham, 35 hp Daimler).
The final hillclimb at Buttrill's Hill was run on June 11 1910. This attracted a number of works cars and was won by G.A. Phillips' two-seater Humber in a time of 44.4s, beating amongst others, a 16/20 hp Sunbeam, and a 30/40 hp Ariel.
Buttrill's Hill 2005
O.S. reference - ST 843 158
In 1907 the Mountain road at Caerphilly was the venue for the first open hillclimb in Wales. Organised by the Cardiff Motor Club, the course was 1194 yards long and had an average gradient of 1 in 8.6. Fastest time of the day was made by Sidney Smith in a 60 hp Napier. Another solo event was held on 14th October 1911. In 1912 the South Wales Auto Club and the Cardiff Motor Club joined together to promote a Welsh weekend, a hillclimb at Caerphilly, and a speed trial at Rest Bay, Porthcawl. These Welsh "doubles" were to become, along with the Shelsley Walsh and Saltburn events, the most important on the racing calendar, attracting the top drivers of the period. Between 1912 and 1924, when events came to an end, drivers who had competed included; H.F.S. Morgan, W.O. Bentley, A.C. Bertelli, Malcolm Campbell, Raymond Mays, Humphrey Cook and Bertie Kensington-Moir.
H G Day in a Talbot at Caerphilly 1913
A hillclimb that was organised by Cardiff Motor Club, and ran on a road that leads to Caerphilly mountain. First event was on May 19 1907, won by T. Gibbons-Brooks driving a 20/28 hp Darracq. Continued intermittently till 1920, winners including; 1909 E.M. Griffiths - 15 hp Lancia, 1913 E.W.Lewis - 27/80 Austro-Daimler (first in class E.M. Griffiths in an early 10 hp Bugatti), and 1919 Charles Sgonina - Humber TT.
T. Waite driving a Minerva 4hp in 1907. Is this Rhiwbina Hill or Caerphilly?
A closed event that ran over a 1000 yard course in 1907, won by Capt. D. Hughes-Morgan in a 28hp Daimler.
Another 1907 hillclimb, won by Gordon Chapman in a 30 hp Daimler.
Organised by Manchester Automobile Club in 1908. F.T.D. H. Hollingdrake in a 35/50 hp La Buire.
Hillclimb of 1333 yards. Ran in 1908, organised by Camarthen Welsh Automobile Club, F.T.D. Capt. D. Hughes-Morgan (45 hp Daimler); and 1912, organised by Welsh A & Ae C. 1st on formula E.E. Fletcher (Talbot).
Arnold's Hill near Haverfordwest
Between 1908 and 1924 Pembrokeshire A.C./Pembrokeshire L.C.C. held a 3/4 mile hillclimb on Arnold's Hill, leading out of Haverfordwest. In 1908 it was won by J. Thomas in a 18/25 hp Siddeley. 1st in class in 1924 was D.M.K. Marendaz in a Marseal.
Held in 1909 and 1910, organised by Manchester A.C.
Cross Hands Hill, Usk
On May 20 1911 Cardiff Motor Club's hillclimb of Cross Hands Hill managed to attract a number of high profile entries. F.T.D. was Louis Coatalen in a 12/16 Sunbeam, while Sunbeam works driver Edward Genna was 1st on formula in a 16/20 hp Sunbeam.
Black Mountain, Llangadog to Brynamman road
A rather "alpine" pass between Brynammon and Llangadog. Hosted hillclimbs in 1910, F.T.D. W.D. Davies in a 16-20 Singer, and 1911. Also formed part of Bugatti O.C. Welsh Rally in the 1950s.
W.D. Davies driving a 22HP Daimler in 1913 (courtesy of Barry Kendall)
Swansea - course unknown
A Welsh A.C. event held in 1911. Won by H.G. Davies in a 12 hp Talbot.
Speech House, Forest of Dean
A 1912 hillclimb organised by Cardiff Motor Club.
Sportsman's Inn, between Denbigh and Bettws-y-Coed
Part of Manchester A.C. reliability trial. F.T.D. E. Harding in a 25/30 hp Sunbeam.
Golden Grove near Swansea
A 1913 hillclimb ran by the Swansea branch of the Welsh A.C.
Catash Hill, Newport
Held on a 1/2 mile course from 1921 to 1924. Entrants included F.J. Boshier-Jones in a Gwynne.
Llangar Hill near Mostyn
A 1924 hillclimb held on a 816 yard course. Organised by Chester and District M.C. the F.T.D. was by Basil Davenport in a GN.
St. George's Hill, Abergele
A 1/2 mile hillclimb organised by Colwyn Bay M.C. in 1924. Won by K.A.B. Wilson in a Morgan.
The above were run on public roads. This was outlawed from 1924.
O.S. reference - SS 884 732
Southerndown 2005 (note dangerous cliffs sign)
O.S. reference - SS 090 981
840 yards. Ran from 1949 to 1960. More details to follow.
On July 21st 1951 the Welsh Counties Car Club held a closed hillclimb, venue unknown.
O.S. reference - SS 847 886
Originally 600 yards, later extended. LLangynwyd near Bridgend. Ran from 1954 to 1967. More details to follow.
top straight of Castel Farm in 2004
In 1954 Pembrokeshire M.C. attempted to organise a hillclimb in Pembrokeshire, exact location unknown. This was abandoned because of difficulties with the Civil Aviation Authority.
O.S. reference - SO 286 008
850 yards. Ran from 1967 to 1977. More details to follow.
Chris Cramer at Pontypool Park 1976
O.S. reference - SS 498 884
Penrice Castle, on the Gower, held five hillclimbs between October 1972 and October 1974. Organised by Swansea Motor Club, these ran over a 840 yard course through the attractive grounds of the Methuen Campbell's estate. The first event was held on October 8 1972 and F.T.D. was set by Peter Voight, driving a Palliser Repco, in a time of 30.05s. The other F.T.D.s were: May 27 1973 - Richard Thwaites, McClaren H10b, 29.13s. October 14 1973 - Chris Cramer, March, 29.13s. June 16 1974 - Nick Williamson, March 712S-DFV, 30.14. October 10 1974 - David Morris, Ensign LN1.
Llys y Fran
O.S. reference - SN 039 243
880 metres. 1995 to present day.
Giles Beck in Fiat X1/9 at Llys y Fran 2005
O.S. reference -
First run in 2007 by Brecon Motor Club.
Sue Hollis at Epynt 2008
Speed Trials / Sprints
O.S. reference - SN 234 077
Pendine Sands first held a speed trial on June 24 1909. It was organised by the Pembrokeshire Automobile Club and was held on a 2 1/2 mile long, 150 yards wide section of the beach. The winner was George Ace in a 38 hp Daimler-Knight. Further events were held in 1910 and 1923. In 1925 the Porthcawl speed trial was switched to Pendine, and attracted a small but distinguished entry list, including; Malcolm Campbell, Raymond Mays and Jack Barclay. The F.T.D. was set by Malcolm Campbell in the ex-K.L. Guiness, Sunbeam "Blue Bird".
ex Malcolm Campbell Sunbeam "Bluebird" at Pendine museum 2005
Rest Bay, Porthcawl
O.S. reference - SS 801 781
From 1912 the South Wales Automobile Club organised a Welsh weekend, combining a hillclimb at Caerphilly with a speed trial at Porthcawl. The course at Rest Bay was 1 mile long, 150 yards wide and allowed six cars to run at the same time.
H F S Morgan (left) in a Morgan at Porthcawl 1913
The Colwyn Bay speed trials were held on a 1/2 mile road course between the promenade and the railway. They ran in 1913 and 1914 (organised by the Mersey Motor Club), were revived in 1922 (by Liverpool Motor Club), and continued until 1927. The first winner was W. Watson in a single-seater 20 hp Vauxhall who covered the 1/2 mile in 28.2s.
O.S. reference - SS 808 862
Ran in the 1920s. Organised by Neath and District Motor Club. Competitors included D.M.K. Marendaz and Charles Sgonina. Currently used as a stage of Wales Rally GB, also a motor cycle hillclimb venue.
A 1/2 mile course that ran on the main access road to John Summers & Sons' Steelworks at Shotton, Flintshire. 1949-1965.
In 1951 the Welsh Counties Car Club ran two sprints in Monmouth, exact location unknown.
O.S. reference - SJ 208 665
Rhydymwyn was a 1/2 mile motorcycle circuit near Mold, Clwyd. For car sprints it was covered twice to provide a 1 mile course. More Details to follow.
Pembrokeshire Motor Club ran sprints at Talbenny Airfield from the late 1950s until the early 80s. It was used as a round of the British Sprint Championships in 1978 and 1979. British Rallycross Championship rounds were also held at the venue.
In 1963 Queensferry was unavailable, a sprint was held instead on the main runway at R.A.F. Sealand. F.T.D. was T. Fletcher in a Lister-Jaguar, 14.77s.
O.S. reference - SS 961 714
Jane Farthing setting FTD at Llandow 2005
O.S. reference - SN 397 033
A sprint at Pembrey in the 1950s (photograph courtesy of Dermot Johnson/Colin Priddey)
Land Speed Record
O.S. reference - SN 234 077
Sunbeam Talbot Darracq register meeting at Pendine on July 21 2005 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Malcolm Campbell becoming the first driver to exceed 150mph.
Parry Thomas and Babs at Pendine in 1926
Malcolm Campbell and Bluebird at Pendine in 1927