Club History

On 4th April 1927 25 local motorcycle enthusiasts got together and founded the RINGWOOD MOTOR CYCLE CLUB. At the first committee meeting a week later the car sport members voted that LIGHT CAR be added to the title.

Don Rickman, 1962, HGNDuring the first year a few local reliability trials and grass-track races (at the Mount, Ringwood) were organised. Later on the committee members donated cash to buy the COMMITTEE CUP to keep up with local celebrities who had been already approached to donate trophies. That first big trial took place in early 1928 and hence is the oldest surviving event in our calendar.

The "Club" continued to steadily grow until 1935 when a decision was made to expand and run another speed event, a scramble called the HANTS GRAND NATIONAL (HGN). The following year the PERCE SIMON TROPHY was presented to the "Club" in his memory, to be used for the winner of an annual trial. This famous event is now regarded as the most important event in our calendar. Also that year the SILVER JUBILEE CUP was purchased for an annual light car trial. It is believed that the event only continued until 1939 due to the commencement of World War II.

Jeff Smith, 1960, Perce Simon TrophyObviously all sport closed down for the duration of the war, but surviving members were quickly off the mark in 1946 by running all the big events. Only petrol rationing during the rest of the decade hindered the events and support.

The 1950s decade saw the start of the halcyon days of motor cycle sport. In 1951 the "Club" added the 4th big event to our list with the IBSLEY ROAD RACES. To mark the occasion the "Club" logo was designed (not to be confused with the roundel). The races ran successfully until 1955 when local bureaucracy put "a spanner in the works". During this period closed-to-club and novice trials were introduced to the growing trials popularity.

In 1960 the HGN started to be run as a moto-cross (although the programme's titles still used scrambles). That change was made to coincide with that of Europe in preparation for 1967. In that year HGN upgraded to International (i.e. HGI) to attract Continental and American entrants. The other major events for trials and grass-track grew with the same popularity and so the decade was regarded as the halcyon days. Fortunately whilst the "Mount" venue was lost to building developers in 1967 other farmers came to the rescue and grass-track continued.

Derek Powell, IbsleyThe 1970s decade started with the same gusto for the sport in spite of the fact that the "Club" had two set backs. In 1971 we lost Les Hext, our president, who had led us through our halcyon days, whilst 1972 saw the last PERCE SIMON (PS) to be run over the New Forest. In memory of Les, the long running NOVICE & BEGINNERS TRIAL was renamed the LES HEXT. From 1973 on, the PS was run over the remaining available land, but sadly the 20 plus mile circuits off-road were lost for ever. Later on in the decade the LES HEXT was declared open to all classes as there were fewer novices and beginners, but the major trophy still goes to the best novice.

The 1980s decade saw a big change in the way events were run. Big professional businesses started to take over the financial running of major events. Clubs run by amateurs, however skilled, were not able to compete and hence the decline started. 1983 saw the "Hants" return to it's National status and 1985 saw the last ever Ringwood HGN. Another club took over the title and event, but it did not last out the decade. Again the last grass-track expired at that time leaving the "Club" with only trials to promote.

John Draper, 1961, Perce Simon TrophySadly the 1990s decade saw the decline affect even the PERCE SIMON. By 1995 it had been downgraded to Regional Restricted (RR) and by 1997 down to Open-to-Centre, although there was a sporadic return for a few years. This downfall was due to the decreasing amount of suitable available ground and the lack of enthusiastic members and helpers.

The 2000s decade started still in the doldrums with no improvement on the previous decade. By the middle however many things had changed rapidly for the better with many new club members joining and some becoming committee offices. Happily these improvements have continued to this day. The ancient club organisation was soon moderinised as was the approaches to improving the trials themselves by obtaining the use of more ground on the Somerley Estate and by recruiting more enthusiasts to help with layout out new courses and sections. This proved to be very successful and attracted more riders and even volunteers to observe. The main target was to restore the “PERCE SIMON” back to it’s National Status - this was accomplished by promoting a round of the “Sammy Miller Products Championship” which, despite the inclement weather, was a great success.

The 2010s decade started with continuing progress. In addition to the long standing three O.T.C. trials a new event, the “APPLEBY CUP”, successfully took place in March on the Somerley Estate. This was followed by the C.T.C. “SUMMER SERIES” on a fresh location which attracted over 40 riders at each of the five evenings. In all aspects the “Club” continues to go forward.