This year’s Allen turned out to be a very different one in many ways. It was the first event after the sudden death of John Hayes back in 2020. John, first as assistant to Clerk of Course, Jim Cullimore, then as Clerk of Course himself and more recently as Steward has been part of the Allen team for over 40 years and was the architect of what we know as the Allen Trial. His golden
rules were quite simple, every Hill should be possible, every entry should have the opportunity a good day out, all on the public highway, and never won by a special. OK I made the last one up but John was always pleased to see a production car win and delighted if it was a Pop. When we introduced some private land a few years ago, his blessing made it an easier decision. He is sorely missed.
We went with an online entry only this year. To our amazement we reached a full entry in just 3 days any feedback on the process would be very welcome.
Well, what a weekend for the event! Storm Arwen, Friday night and into Saturday. Set up day had a number of additional issues, 2 vehicle breakdowns and 8 trees to clear. At least Sunday dawned with sunshine and frost. Everybody got into the trailer field under their own power and the event was away. Ground conditions were very dry and that means clean sheets, not quite a record but close. A clean in every class – John would have liked that.
We had a new venue at Fairy Hill a blast round a tree and backwards and forwards for Observed Test 1. FTD goes to Chris Ferin in a Troll on 19.4 secs. The section caught a few, even the landowner had a go in an old Volvo afterwards, so all being well we can develop this site a bit more in future years. It’s normal for Tog Hill to be cleaned by all but Guys Hill that must be a record but no, it happened in 1988 and 1990. All broadcast live to the world thanks to Andy Laurence and his team.
Burledge opened again for us, was under the watchful eye of Michael Leete’s team and his trusty Go Pro, they caught a few on both restarts. Fry’s Bottom had a new look, much more open after much felling due to Ash die back. The Test was on the opposite side of the lake and FTD went to Duncan Stephens in a fugitive in 11.5 secs. Fry’s 2 we thought would test you, we even wound it up a bit on the day given the way things were going, a near vertical bank to the section ends board but no you just drove up it! Dave Haizelden with his wheels off the ground: how does that work?!
We then headed back through the outskirts of Bath to the infamous John Walker, a good blast to end the day but not to be taken too lightly as some found out. The last few doing it as a night section, it’s probably less frightening that way!
The Allen Trophy goes to Josh Moss, in his Cannon (three generations now appear on the Trophy) beating Charlie Merson by just 0.2 of a second.
Many thanks to all of you who help to make the trial such a success. Especially the marshals, many of whom come out year after year, and of course the competitors.
Carlie, Pete, Mark & Tim.
Allen Trophy – Josh Moss, Cannon | Bob Wood Trophy – Phil Tucker
Woodbury-Chillcott -Bill Bennett MG J2
Henly Trophy– Martyn Copleston
Renwicks Trophy – Sam Holmes- VW Beetle
Rumsey Cup – Nick Farmer BMW Z3
Highland Circle – Gary Browning- VW Beetle
Rootes Trophy -Ray Ferguson Liege SS
Gilbert Best Trophy (Best Bristol) – Dave Greenslade