Film ID:
YFA 4540



Visitor Tabs


Made by C.H. Wood of Bradford, this film contains footage of motor bike racing events from 1955 including the Ilkley Grand National, the Yorkshire Sports Car Club `4/44 Trophy Trial', and Scarborough Road Races.


Title-Hepworth and Grandage present.

Title-`Hot Work!'

Title-Smooth Roads or rocky paths. 2 wheels or 4 it was Hot Work in 1955.

Title-Photographed and produced by C.H. Wood

Commentary by Geoff Duke.

The film begins with Geoff Duke in a studio doing a piece to camera. He says that in this film they will be looking at lots of motor bike racing events from 1955 and footage of racing of other types.

Title-The Experts' Grand National Scramble.

In a sunny field full of tents and vans at Rosewood Warm near Stratford-upon-Avon, lots of motor bike riders have gathered with their bikes. The riders stand around chatting to the other competitors, fixing their bikes and smiling at the camera.

In the next shot the bikes are off and race along the grassy track while Geoff gives a constant commentary about the riders and their racing histories. They race up and down hills, through woods and past the large crowds that have gathered along the side of the tracks. Some of the riders jump over a ridge while some weave through it.

There is a shot from across a field capturing the riders as they race through the field full of long cereal. The constant commentary about the riders and their bikes continues. Men and women of all ages wearing summer dresses and suits have gathered along the tracks. There are a few brief shots of some of the riders who have stopped to fix a bike problem. Geoff informs us that J. B Smith wins the George Holsworth Trophy.

Title-The Ilkley Grand National.

This section begins on a snowy country road. The riders try hard to ride through the deep snow, and many of them fall over or get stuck. A small crowd have gathered to watch.

The following competition takes place at Middleton Moor in North Yorkshire where the riders struggle to ride through very wet, sticky mud. Some judges stand around watching as the riders use their feet to push them along. Many of the competitors end up in the mud with lots of the bikes getting stuck. There is a brief shot of a young boy and girl sitting astride two ponies watching the events.

Elsewhere a four-wheel drive stuck in the deep mud and spins the wheels trying to get out. A young boy rides his bike on the moors and gets stuck in a deep pond; he can't pull his bike out. There are more shots of riders struggling along, throwing up lots of mud and having to quit when their bikes stop working.

Following this are shots of another competition on another snow-covered course. One of the riders needs the help of another man to push his bike up the ridge. There are shots of some very muddy competitors having bowls of hot soup at the end of the course. Geoff comments on one of the men, Jeff Broadbent, and he smiles at the camera.

Then Geoff Allan says that motocross trials are not the only sport that people take part in.

Title-The Yorkshire Sports Car Club `4/44 Trophy Trial'.

From the top of a hill looking down, are shots of motorcars trying to bounce their way up the hill at Eyredale. The drivers drive as quickly and steadily as they can while the passengers bounce hard in order to give the car grip as it goes up the hill. Lots of people stand around watching as many cars compete. Some of the drivers give up as their cars get stuck or roll backward down the hill. Geoff comments on one of the competitors, D.H. Smith, who gets help from the spectators.

Title-Scarborough Road Races.

Geoff informs the viewer that a crowd of 10,000 people attended the two day event at Scarborough. There are shots of the vans, cars, branding on vehicles and spectators gathered at a field. Down at the starting line the motor bike riders dressed in leathers start the race. Crowds of men and women sit in the fields and on the grass along the route. The bikes go around tight corners, up hills and along open roads with a constant commentary by Geoff Allan remarking on their techniques, the track and the rider's position in the competition.

There are shots of a section called `Memorial Corner' and in this section are competing bikes which have sidecars. The sidecar riders lean very far out of the bike to help it to go around corners more efficiently and Geoff says that they deserve a lot of credit and sympathy.

Back at the motorbike races again and F.T Perris is leading the group but then he suffers engine trouble and comes in further down the line. Geoff talks about the riders and says that John Surtees wins another of the races; the winner smiles at camera.

Title-Speedway Championship.

This section begins at a test match between England and Australasia at Odsal Stadium in Bradford. There are shots of speedway star and one-time English captain Eric Langton as well as Ronnie Moore, a speedway champion. Following this are shots of the English team lined up.

At the starting line a row of bikes is lined up and then they take off. Geoff comments on the race and that it's a lot cleaner and safer than it used to be; he also talks about the best technique to use. The riders go around the track throwing up black cinders all around them.

Title-Stock Car Odsal.

Lots of damaged cars are parked around a field before the event and people are milling around. There is a shot from the stand looking down onto the track where the stock cars are driving around, banging into each other, smashing into the barrels that line the course, beeping, over taking and generally making a mess. One car drives up onto a barrel and the driver has to climb out. The final shot from this section is of a driver sitting on the top of a car talking to people and shots of the bashed up cars after their competition.

Title-The Banbury Run.

This section opens with a shot of the town square at Banbury Cross in Oxfordshire. Geoff says it is well-known for its agricultural machinery and that once a year people bring along adapted and improvised bicycles for a race.

There are shots of people gathering, fixing their bikes and being pushed along so that the engines attached to their bicycles will start. The Mayor of Banbury sends the riders off.

The cyclists drive along country roads towards the camera, some have to push broken-down bikes; there are lots of spectators lined up along the roadways. At one section there is a road check and they stop the bikes and take notes. The cyclists go along Lady Elizabeth Hill and here there are from along the side of roads and at the top of the hill looking down at the cyclists heading up the hill. Some men are at side of the road trying to fix their bikes.

Geoff talks about the makes of bicycles that used to be common and familiar but not so much anymore. As he calls out the different names there are shots of them all. The bicycles are all loaded up onto vans again.

Geoff talks about the most interesting bicycle that took part in the race- the 1903 Slinger. There is a shot of the owner, by J.P Smith of Yorkshire, riding the bicycle up and down a country road. The bicycle had two smaller wheels at the front that are powered by an engine.

There is a short section which shows two young men cycling down a hill on trick bicycles. The bicycles have strange wheels and steering and as one of the boys attempts to ride one of them, he falls off again and again.

Title-The Allan Jeffries Trophy Trial.

Geoff goes on to talk about something that is a bit more dignified. This competition is held every year in Wharfedale and there are shots of the area and of one of the competitors, Hugh Viney as well as Mrs Wood.

A rider makes his way up a dry rocky track which is lined with spectators. Some riders get stuck among the rocks and there are shots taken from different angles following the riders.

Following this are shots of a section near Grassington called the Rock Garden; the riders struggle along a track littered with rocks. There are shots taken from the top of a road looking down at a rider.

In another section the riders make their way across an almost dried up river bed beside a bridge. Mrs Alan Jeffries stands with a score card and observes the riders, including Mr R.C Cartwright, as they ride along the river bed. Mrs Jeffries' son sits in the river with his head sticking out of the water and then runs out in front of a bike and gets a slap on his bottom by his mother.

On another hill, which is also covered in stones, riders struggle up towards the camera. Some men ride up at speed and some get stuck. Geoff says that one of the riders is flying up the hill as his wife is there providing water and visual relief. The shot cuts to her and she is wearing a dress that reveals her shoulders. One rider needs help pushing the bike up the hill while many of the others have to push their bikes.

The final shot looks down a hill onto the base camp with the cars, bikes, spectators and competitors milling around. There is a brief shot of the Hepolite Sign on top of a van.

Back in the studio, Allan Jeffries says that he is looking forward to meeting us at another event as a spectator or competitor.

Title-The End.

C.H.Wood Bradford.