Film ID:
YFA 5234



Visitor Tabs


This is a film of the Scott trials competition taking place in Swainby in the Cleveland Hills.  The film is in two halves, the first showing the motorcycle trials, and the second showing a fun bicycle race over the same course as the result of petrol rationing during the Second World War.  Taking place in winter and often humorous, the film vividly shows the difficulty of the terrain and the determination of the riders.

Title – The Scott Trial 1947: and with that elastic thankful of “basic” growing perilously low, Saturday 15th Nov.

The film begins showing the start of the race in Swainby in the Cleveland Hills.  Cars and motorbikes are parked up at the side of a stream in the village, with riders and others stood around chatting.  The riders set off through the village and onto the course, beginning with a steep hill, with number 23 in the lead.  They then make their way down a steep rickety path, bounded by flags.  They gingerly make their way down a slippery slope, with some getting stuck in the mud.  Rider number 103 gets off and steers his bike holding it to his side.  Another rider comes off and needs assistance to free his bike from the mud.  There are further mishaps as they go over the rough and muddy terrain, watched by the odd spectator.  Parts of the course show signs of snow and frost.  One rider goes down a steep slope smoking a cigarette.  Many riders ride without any headgear, the others wear an assortment of caps – one wears a top hat.  There are several more riders who come off their bike and need assistance in pulling their bikes out of the deep mud.

At the end of the race a scrutiniser with a clipboard stands next to a car with a placard announcing ‘Time Check’.  As the riders arrive they sign their names on the finishing sheet.  One of the riders has a cup of tea while others push a cart loaded with two bikes.

Intertitle – and then came the greatest trial of the year!

A coupon for petrol rationing for the month of December 1947 is shown, issued by the Ministry of Fuel and Power.

Intertitle – Won by the Ministry of Fools and Power (runner up – the motorist)

A man pours petrol into his Triumph motorcycle tank from a can.

Intertitle – Hopes for the future fade [showing another coupon for just 2 units for the month of February 1948 – which disappears and is followed by a bus ticket]

The Triumph trials bike is shown, and fades out to be replaced by a bicycle.

Intertitle – So we conclude with Bradford’s first basic-memorial event on one man-powered model old and new.

A woman rides past the camera on a bike, followed by two men vainly trying to cycle up a steep hill.  Then someone on a penny farthing sets off, only to fall off.  A steward, who looks like Geoff Duke, checks his watch as he sets the cyclists off racing, each having a number, with the penny farthing going first, and again falling off.

Intertitle – with demonstrations of what a 98cc corgi can do

Geoff Duke unloads a miniature motorcycle from a car and takes it for a ride along part of a trial track, having to give it an extra boost with his legs at some points.  Then a woman has a go on it, followed by Geoff Duke giving a small child a ride on the back. An older boy has a go as well, and the small child follows on his trike along with his mother giving another child a help in riding a bicycle.  Other cyclists vainly attempt to cycle up a steep muddy hill, only for each of them to come off.

Intertitle – but you can’t expect a Bradford clubman to keep away from rocks and water.

The cyclists continue around the course, often coming off, with some attempting to cross a rocky stream, including the penny-farthing.  One goes straight into the water and has to wring out his gloves.  Then this is a passage of speeded up film, and film going backwards, of cyclists and the corgi mini motorbike going around the circuit. After the race the penny-farthing gets loaded onto a trailer, while the small boy carries his tricycle, and one participant walks off on crutches.

The End