Lampkin: a man on a mission
All Scott Trials are long and hard, but when we started to look at the 1965 event through the camera of Brian Holder it was only when we noticed the results we realised just how tough it had been! There were only 34 finishes in on time from 173 starters. Organised by the Darlington and District Motor Club this National time and observation trial was as prestigious to win then as it is today. The mighty and proud manufacturing giants from Great Britain still led the way in the production of off-road machinery, with the choice of either the new breed of two-stroke Greeves pitched against the four-stroke power from BSA with an engine capacity of 249cc or the 199cc Triumph the desired choice.
Sammy Miller had made the brave move to the two-stroke Spanish Bultaco from his legendary four-stroke 500cc Ariel GOV 132 in 1965 as he was convinced this was the way forward. He had a vision of the future development of the trials motorcycle and he wanted to prove a point in the toughest of all one-day trials competitions: that the single cylinder two-stroke was far more favourable than what he considered the long out of date fourstrokes that the British manufacturers still believed had a future. His next target for victory was the Scott. His only obstacle on the day turned out to be a man on a mission — Arthur Lampkin and his BSA.
The 1965 event would turn into a very savage day of action on the North Yorkshire Moors as the ever changing weather conditions threw all they had to offer at both man and machine. The 60-mile course was covered one minute with bright sunshine and the next thunder, lighting and rain combined with a strong wind that would blow the riders up the hills such was its power!
Under the watchful eye of the Clerk of the Course, Eddie Bentley, an army of helpers and enthusiasts had plotted out more than sixty hazards on the single lap charge over the demanding terrain. Many legendary Scott Trial hazards such as Cold Knuckles, Bridge End, Whaw Bridge, Tottergill, Rock Garden, Underbanks and the final hazard at Clapgate were included which are still used today.
Representing the Yorkshire Centre in his official capacity as the Centre Steward was the very well respected Tom Ellis, who would make sure the day’s proceedings were carried out in a fair and honest manner. As always, to help with the local charities, many donations were made which would bring the total to over £2,500 raised since this was first supported by the organising club and the trial over sixteen years ago. The monies have provided support to St Dunston’s Institute for the Blind, a guide dog for the blind and St John of God at Scorton, and it is always very well received by the local communities.
Boulders and Bogs
The demanding conditions for the Scott have not changed over its 150-year history as it’s always thrown the best available rivers, boulders and bogs at the off-road motorcycle trials rider who has wanted the ultimate one-day challenge. The terrain camouflages a multitude of conditions hiding under its autumn moorland topping, as the trees and bushes shed their leaves over bottomless muddy bogs and the hidden rocks in the long grass that can cause machine damage or a puncture. This can jeopardise a much-cherished trial finish or a much sought after Scott Silver Spoon —awarded to all the finishers on this occasion but usually only to the top 30 riders.
The healthy entry held many past winners, including three-time winner Sammy Miller (Ariel) in 1958, 1962 and 1963, Arthur Lampkin (BSA) in 1960 and 1961, Jeff Smith (BSA) in 1954 and 1959, and, in more recent times, Bill Wilkinson in 1964 on his Greeves.
BSA would also field two very strong manufacturer teams, with Arthur Lampkin joined by Jim Sandiford and Jeff Smith in the number one team and Dave Rowlands, Scott Ellis and Alan Lampkin in the number two team. Triumph had one team with a mix of youth and experience with Gordon Farley, Ray Sayer and Roy Peplow. Greeves would bring the two-stroke challenge with a team including 1964 winner Bill Wilkinson, Malcolm Davis and Don Smith. The other two-stroke challenge was expected to come from Sammy Miller on the new Bultaco, but with no team support, it would be very much a solo effort from the Irishman.
Proving a point to the trials world, Miller had won the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1964 on the four-stroke Ariel and in 1965 on the two-stroke Bultaco, the first win for a foreign machine. The 1965 Scott was, on paper, looking like it was going to be an event of epic proportions as Miller’s riding number would put him starting behind the fancied Lampkin brothers and the previous year’s winner Wilkinson; it was a case of ‘Game on’ to find the worthy winner.
With the ever changing weather conditions, it was a rainbow high above Richmond that would cast a ray of light over the motorcycling warriors who were about to engage in battle with the North Yorkshire Moors for the start of their longest day – The Scott. With the strong smell of good old Castrol ‘R’ in the air from the predominately four-stroke field of riders, each one set off at a shake of the starter’s Union Jack flag.
The first really testing hazard of the day was situated after a five-mile ride, taking in five hazards before they arrived to an enthusiastic crowd at Orgate Splash; aptly named as it would take some prisoners into the cold depths of its fast flowing water situated just in front of the steep foaming waterfall.
Midlands-based brothers Bob and Sam Cooper would arrive close together, but with Tony Holt (Greeves) hot on their tail followed by Peter Gaunt (Royal Enfield) who needed a steadying foot to help him on his way. Maurice Newsham (Greeves) was next, and it would be he who would shortly take the lead at the head of the field. Despite the fact that his speedometer fell off and jammed his clutch mechanism, costing him around ten minutes while he made running repairs, Newsham would make the time back up to head the field of riders for the rest of the day.
Cold Knuckles is still used in the present day, but in 1965 it was the first testing hazard and did not succumb to a single clean ride through its two testing sections.
The best rides would come from the eventual winner Lampkin, Miller and Paul England on the Cotton, who all cleaned the first hazard and footed their way through the second one to record three-mark penalties as the rest of the entry recorded fives. The two hazards at Hell Holes were just as tough, with the fast climb taking marks from the entire entry and the best rides coming once again from Lampkin, who had the BSA on full throttle for his spirited attempt, and Cheshire based John Roberts. They were both happy to leave the hazard parting with a single mark each.
The rugged open moors where the road leads to Barnard Castle from Reeth passes over the hazards at Bridge End, which is always a good guide as to who is well up on time as it offers four hazards, giving the huge crowd of spectators plenty of action to watch. The fearsome rocky slot witnessed Maurice Newsham on his Greeves attempt them first, followed by Peter Gaunt as these two were well in front of the others, with Peter Fletcher next on the Royal Enfield. Next along was Ray Sayer who paused to have a quick glance at the hazards and rewarded with a single mark lost. 1964 winner Bill Wilkinson was next up but shook his head in disappointment as he parted with marks.
As the four hazards became more rideable, they were cleaned by six riders including Colin Dommett on the prototype 246cc Villiers engine Cotton, Norman Eyre (199cc Triumph), Mike Savage (246cc Greeves), Blackie Holden (199cc Triumph), Jim Sandiford (249cc BSA) and Dixon Metcalfe (199cc Triumph).
Bill Wilkinson was pushing hard, which was showing on both the man and machine, to take another win as he approached Whaw Bridge well in front of Arthur Lampkin and the other fancied winners. The narrow, fast-flowing river took many prisoners who drowned their engines or fell foul of the slippery rocks. Noted rides came from just three of the entry, including Miller who went clean, along with Blackie Holden and 16-year-old Malcolm Rathmell in his first Scott Trial who would later retire.
The small market town of Reeth is very much the hub of activity on Scott Trial day and the village bakery, as is so often the case, sold out of its nourishing pies and sandwiches, much to the amusement of the locals, who already had theirs!
Now very much on their way home as they head to Fremington Edge and its exposed rocky outcrop, the riders first pass through Underbanks where the field of remaining riders now looked very tired.
Ray Sayer was the only rider who posted a clean ride, followed by single mark attempts from Miller, Metcalfe, Scotsman Derek Edgar on the DMW and a very tired Scott Ellis, who was struggling having picked up a bout of the ‘flu bug prior to the event spending his training days in bed as he tried to recover in time for the event.
It’s the usual chaos of dropping off your fuel cans and signing on.
Not a van in sight — it was a case of using a pick-up or a car and trailer as transport for your machine.
The crowds lined the hazards at every opportunity, as here they focus on Gordon Farley.
Sammy Miller’s Bultaco carried ISDT-type oval number boards on either side at the rear and he also had a belt with his riding number on to help observers identify him.
Riders assemble as they prepare for the toughest one-day trial in the world.
As always it’s 100% concentration from Sammy Miller on the Bultaco.
Roy Peplow was an easy choice for the Triumph manufacturer’s team as his experience in the ISDT stood him well, and as always he would return a good solid result.
1964 winner Bill Wilkinson takes a deep breath on his way down Washfold as he tries to keep the chasing Arthur Lampkin at bay.
For a rider in his first Scott, and a Southern based one at that, Gordon Farley easily justified his faith in the Triumph management with his manufacturer’s team place as he came home in 7th position, and with it the awards for the Best Newcomer and Under-21 rider.
Determination is written across the face of Ray Sayer as he chases after his young team-mate Gordon Farley who was riding number 74.
Looking as professional as ever, Jim Sandiford was part of the BSA manufacturer’s winning team.
Greeves were delighted with Mick Wilkinson’s Best Over 350cc award on the 252cc Villiers engined machine.
Over the next few years Peter Gaunt would move away from his four-stroke Royal Enfield and move into the new small engined capacity trials machines with Suzuki.
Alan ‘Sid’ Lampkin would follow in his elder brother Arthur’s footsteps twelve months later when in 1966 he won both the Scottish Six Days and Scott Trial for BSA. The youngest of the three brothers, Martin, would take Scott victories in 1977 and 1978 on Bultaco and with SWM in 1981 and 1982. The wins on the SWM were the first for an Italian machine.
T Mason (199cc Triumph) The ‘Tiger Cub’ was still a very popular machine with many riders.
The crowd eases forward to watch Maurice Newsham on his Greeves as the first rider through ‘Washfold’ on his way back to the finish.
Scott Ellis, on the left, shares a joke with fellow BSA team-mate Dave Rowlands on the left. It was a tough day at the event for Ellis who had been bed-ridden with the flu bug on the run up to the trial.