Lamp­kin: a man on a mis­sion

Classic Trial - - CLASSIC COMPETITION 1965 SCOTT TRIAL - Words: John Hulme, Mor­ton’s Ar­chives, Mo­tor Cy­cle • Pic­tures: Brian Holder

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com­pe­ti­tions: that the sin­gle cylin­der two-stroke was far more favourable than what he con­sid­ered the long out of date fourstrokes that the Bri­tish man­u­fac­tur­ers still be­lieved had a fu­ture.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.

Rainbow War­riors

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.

Bridge End

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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