1908: ACU hill-climb

“THE ACU ANNUAL HILL-CLIMB, held this year in conjunction with the Newcastle and District Motor Cycle Club, took place on Saturday last in glorious weather. The event, which had been in everybody’s mind since the holding of it was first announced, was a great success and attracted a crowd of enthusiastic spectators. The fact that the competition brought together the Northern, Southern, and Midland men did much to promote good feeling in every direction, and the officials of the ACU, the Newcastle and District, the Scarborough and District, and the Hull Motor Cycle Clubs all worked together with a will. The police did excellent work, but for both them and the numerous

Class III winner J Marshall (3½hp Triumph).

marshals the crowd proved rather too much. They did all they could and worked conscientiously and well, but the people seemed to be incapable of realising the danger of remaining in the middle of the road or on the wrong side of the dangerous corner…The gradient on the trough is terrible (1 in 3.96), but the men had a fair chance at this, the chief difficulty being to pick up speed after negotiating the corner (1 in 6.10). The condition of the road as regards surface has in no way been exaggerated by our contributor, Mr BH Davies. It is fairly firm, but full of holes, due to rain washing away the binding material of the road…Most of the morning was spent by the officials in weighing the machines and riders, and by the latter in practising on the hill…In Class I (for lightweight machines) there was only one competitor, RG Bell (2hp Moto-Reve), the other, GL Fletcher, having been run into by a motor cyclist, who was taking no part in

Top left: The weigh-in; top right, Resting before the start; bottom left, OC Godfrey (5hp Rex) making the fastest ascent of the day; bottom right, AA Scott reaches the peak.

the competition, during a practice spin. Bell travelled well till he got to the corner, which is about halfway up the course, and then had to dismount. In Class II (for machines with engines not exceeding 82mm bore, minimum weight of rider 154lb), RM Brice (3½hp Brown) made fastest time, 0s; and F Scriven (3½hp Rex) came next, 3.4sec slower. Of the rest, ES Myers (3½hp Triumph) fell at the corner, H Newey (3½hp LMC) dismounted about forty yards from the top, and SW Carty (3½hp NSU) fell at the corner. In Class III (for machines with engines not exceeding 85mm bore, minimum weight of rider 154lb) J Marshall (3½hp Triumph) made the fastest time, 0sec; Brice came second, 3.4sec slower; McMinnies (3½hp Triumph), 16.2sec; and the rest as follows: G Lee Evans (3½hp Rex), 23.2sec; WE Grange (3½hp Triumph), 35sec; and Captain Sir RK Arbuthnot, Bart, 51.6sec. Grange dismounted near the summit. Newsome (3½hp Triumph) lost some ballast on his

Riders gather at the foot of Sutton bank.

first ascent, then had another try and did likewise, and so was disqualified. Newey again dismounted near the finish. The following men took the difficult corner in splendid form: Marshall, Brice, and Sir RK Arbuthnot. Class IV (for twin-cylinder machines not exceeding 76mm bore in each cylinder, minimum weight of rider 154lb) Godfrey (5hp Rex) again proved a winner, 0sec (it was afield day for Rex Machines); F Appleby Jnr (5hp Rex), 4.4sec slower; F Appleby Snr (5hp Rex), 18sec; J Scriven (5hp Rex), 18.2sec; WH Wells (5hp Vindec), 19.2sec; JF Mallett (6hp NSU), 28sec; and G Raper (6hp NSU), 36.8sec. Godfrey rode with great skill and daring, and was heartily applauded. Scriven made two ascents, as on the first occasion he took the wrong road and did not pass the timekeeper. Wells was a great favourite, and though he drove steadily round the comer he made an excellent ascent. Mallett, though a heavy rider, also did well. Class V (for machines with twin-cylinder engines not exceeding 85mm bore in each cylinder), minimum weight of rider 154lb—Godfrey again carried off the honours, 0sec; and Applebee Jnr, was again next in order, being 9.2sec slower, while the rest figured as follows: F Scriven, 15.6sec; WH Wells, 21.2sec; JF Mallett, 24.2sec. Class VI (open to entrants in all the above classes)—Godfrey and his twin Rex for the third time proved to be invincible, 0sec, and Applebee Jnr, also on a twin Rex, was again second, being only 2.2sec behind him, while the following differences in seconds elapsed between the rest: J Marshall 3½hp Triumph), 5.6sec; TH Tessier (6-7hp Bat), 5.8sec; WH Wells (5hp Vindec), 10.6sec; F Scriven (5hp Rex), 11sec; WJ Newsome (3½hp Triumph), 14.6sec; F Applebee Snr (5hp Rex), 19.8sec; WG McMinnies (3½hp Triumph), 20sec; G Lee Evans (3½hp Rex), 24sec. Of the less

“The hairpin corner, half-way up Sutton Bank, proved the undoing of several of the competitors.”

fortunate ones, Myers (3½hp Triumph) failed near the finish, and McMinnies came a cropper at the corner, while Marshall, Newsome, and Lee Evans were much applauded for their excellent riding. Class VII was confined to machines fitted with change speed gears. The competitors were drawn up on a gradient of about 1 in 18 to 1 in 20, and had to start from the saddle by engaging the gear. These performances were most interesting, and served to show how comfortably a properly equipped modern motor bicycle may be started from standstill uphill without any physical exertion. All complied with the rule satisfactorily, but particularly good starts were made by CA Palmer (5hp Roc, Roc gear), AA Scott (3½hp twin-cylinder, water-cooled, chain-driven two-stroke Scott, Scott gear—an interesting machine, of which we hope to hear more at an early date), W Newman (4hp Roc, Roc gear), and J Stuart Shaw (5hp Phanomen, Nala gear), who got away from the mark in excellent form. The results of this class were as follows: G Raper (6hp NSU, NSU gear) 0sec, though he made rather a bad start; CA Palmer (5hp Roc, Roc gear) 31sec; W Milnes (3½hp Phelon & Moore), 41sec; W Newman (4hp Roc, Roc gear), 1min 1.6sec); FW Barnes (3½hp Zenette, Gradua gear), 1min 34.2sec; the Scott stopped at the corner and then restarted, 1min 4min 25sec. Just as the last named competitor started a terrific thunderstorm came on, and the rain fell in torrents. Everyone agreed that the hill-climb was the most successful which the ACU has ever held.”

“F Applebee Jnr (5hp Rex), using his foot as a pivot to assist him in rounding the bad corner.”

“I NOTE THAT IN YOUR ACCOUNT of the ACU hill-climb my machine (Scott) is referred to as 3½hp, and wish to point out that the engine is 3hp only, and was entered in Class 7 as such. As you will see by the cylinder dimensions (twenty cubic inches total displacement), the engine is actually the same size as those generally classed as 2¾hp. It might be interesting to draw attention to the fact that the total weight of the engine is 37¾lb, which is probably about half the usual weight of engines of this power.
Alfred A Scott

1908 SCOTT
Pattern drawing of Scott’s 1908 two-stroke twin.