Film ID:
YFA 1506



Visitor Tabs


This is a collection of four films of the Darlington Scott Motorcycle Trials taking place in Swaledale in North Yorkshire, part of the C.H. Wood collection of films. It covers the trials over four years, with the last two films having a humorous audio commentary.

Title - The Scott Trial 1951 Photography by C H Wood and F Hill

The film opens showing heavy rain falling into a puddle, and then a waterfall coming down a mountain with people sitting on the grass. Lots of people are crowded on a field among parked cars and motorcycles. Motorcycles are lined up ready for the race to begin, with numbers 63, 62 and 64 lined up in front. The film shows some of the riders close up. Many of the riders are wearing flat caps, many others without any headgear. The riders make their way up to the starting position in single file and a man with a clip board and stop watch sets them underway, one at a time, at regular intervals. They ride off going over heavy mud, using their legs for balance and to help the bikes along. One gets a push from a bystander, another gets off and pushes his bike. A crowd lines the path as they make their way onto an open field. One rider overtakes another who has a smoky engine. A sign states, 'Only 50 more miles'.

The riders make their way along a rocky mountain stream, with spectators watching from the side. They all struggle on the rough terrain, with one bike falling into the water. They leave the stream to go onto dry land only to have to cross another further along. On another section they have to navigate a narrow path through steep grass sides. One or two get a helping hand from spectators. They go over moorland and descend to another stream which they ride along under a bridge. Then up over the moors being directed by stewards.

Coming down the side of a steep hill, again they have to negotiate very rocky terrain. They cross a fairly deep and fast flowing stream at the bottom. Having crossed the stream they have to make their way up a steep twisting track. One rider gets stuck going up the hill and gets assistance from several others, and the one behind gets off his bike to push it up. Next is a woman rider on number 125. Another rider crashes off the slippery path, and blows a kiss at the camera before picking up his bike to resume. Other riders also have to stop for help. One rider makes great progress before his momentum runs out and he tumbles off just near the top. A steward and another rider inspect his bike as it lies on the bank, with the rider lying next to it. Another rider gets off his bike and gets a helping push. Meanwhile another rider stands by his prostrate bike waiting for assistance.

The riders then enter another section of the race passing along a gentle stream lined with trees. One rider stops and huffs, and the following one needs assistance to get up the steep bank. As they come out they pass a sign that states, 'Only 50 more yards'. The riders then speed through to the finishing line. The back of one rider, covered in mud, is shown. The riders that have finished chat with each other either standing or sitting on their bikes. One of the first is a riders in a polo-neck jumper, Geoff Dukes, has a hot drink.

End note - Extracts from the film you have just seen appear with commentary by Allan Jefferies in the Bradford & District Motor Club's new sound film, 'Observed Section'.

Title - The Scott Trial 1953

The film begins at the starting line with an older competitor waiting for the start, joking with spectators and other riders stood nearby. He gets the go-ahead and a steward drops a Union Jack to signal him off. The riders make their way down a steep incline in a field and through a gap in a crumbling stone wall.

Intertitle - Hell Holes

A sign states, 'Observed Section Begins, Motor Cycling'. Having crossed a brook, the riders go up a steep rocky incline. One of them requires a helping hand from a steward and spectators, one of whom is filming. A couple of riders get their wheels stuck in a rock trying to get through a narrow path.

Intertitle - Hurst

The riders then make their way along a stream where cars are parked. Some of the spectators are wearing army uniform. There is a banner besides the brook proclaiming, 'Avon'. Several bikers fall into the water. A man is filmed filming the bikers as they pass. They then cross a stream at another point and go up a steep hill, with several requiring assistance as they come off their bikes.

The End Photography by C W Wood, Bradford.

Title - The Darlington Sporting Trial (audio commentary)

On a sunny day, riders are gathered around their parked bikes waiting for the trial to start. Some riders and spectators queue at an ices van, 'Rocco Rea'. The riders have their jackets off, showing their long waterproof leggings. The Organiser, Mr Winter, explains the route to Centre Secretary Mr Whittaker. The trial gets underway crossing a shallow part of the River Swale, with observers watching from a nearby bridge, with at least one competitor, S Clarke, falling in. On the other side they ascend a steep hill, including rider S Barratt, and then descend a very rocky incline, with one of the riders in a suit and tie. Then on to a country road, past a house where some spectators sit and watch. Stan Holmes, the winner, passes two women leaning against a fence on a Triumph. A rider emerges over a hill as the film come to an end.

Title - The Scott Trial (audio commentary)

The commentary informs us that the trials for this year have moved to somewhere else in North Yorkshire, with a record number of competitors and helpers. A crowd of people are thronged around a bike near a Norton van in the car park for the Scott Trial. Riders are doing last minute maintenance to their bikes. The commentator and Charlie Helm can both be seen. Eventually the riders get themselves ready for the off. The Mayor of Richmond is stood by the starting steward ready to wave them off. The steward seems to have some sort of electronic timing device. The riders are waved off, one them, six-times world champion Geoff Duke, recognisable from 1951 (when he wore a roll neck pullover). Also seen is Stanley Woods, TT winner 1923. As they cross a river a sign states, 'Observed Section Begins, Motor Cycling'. They have to go along part of the river for 50 yards, which is quite deep, keeping within the boundary wires, before leaving, at 'hell holes', to climb up a steep bank, with steam coming off the hot exhausts. Many riders are named, including Tom Ellis, Stewart Hislop, John Midgley and the winner, Bill Nicholson.

A large crowd is there to watch the riders make their way up the rocky path, many of them falling off as they try to negotiate a narrow path next to a dry stone wall, with Don Evans coming off. They continue across a field past a sign that reads, 'Danger Unexploded Bombs. Keep Out'. They go high up over the moors, and pass another sign saying, 'Danger, Main Road'. Bill Nicholson leads over one of the long mountain climbs, closely followed by John Draper, Stanley Woods and Rex Young. A couple of riders go up and down a steep incline, including Geoff Duke on a hybrid Norton Dominator, past a woman steward standing next to a parked Matchless. The bikes emerge onto the road and past the finishing line. Tom Ellis's Royal Enfield is shown caked in mud. The film then switches to see the commentator sat in his audio studio. He lists some of the famous riders who have ridden in the Yorkshire Trials. He states that if any is dissatisfied with the commentary, they should recall the famous Yorkshireman's motto, which he recites: "hear all, see all, say nowt".

Produced and Photographed by C W Wood
Bradford & District Motor Club

The End