Drivers taking to the hills once again

Bruce Stops comes to a grinding halt in muddy conditions in his Austin 7 at the Mill Close Mine near Clough Wood during the annual John Harris Vintage Sports Car trials.
Bruce Stops comes to a grinding halt in muddy conditions in his Austin 7 at the Mill Close Mine near Clough Wood during the annual John Harris Vintage Sports Car trials.

The Vintage Sports Car Club’s John Harris Derbyshire Trial returns to the area’s hills this weekend.

As ever, some of the UK’s finest vintage car competitors will be taking to the hills for the event, one of six trials the Vintage Sports Car Club holds across the UK each year.

A total of 107 competitors are on the list for Saturday’s event, travelling from as far afield as Devon and Scotland, with around 100 expected to actually take part. The course starts at the Calton Lees car park on the Chatsworth Estate and takes in sections at Clough Wood, Elton, Beeley, Hassop and Ashover.

Parts of the course are open to spectators from 9am-4.30pm with a lunch break from 12.30pm-1.45pm.

Clerk of the course David Hill, who will once again be assisted by his deputy Anthony Costigan, said: “At the moment, parts of the course are looking fairly dry but there is certainly a chance of a good downpour going into Saturday so that should make things very interesting.”

Local Peak District Section members taking part are Middleton by Youlgrave’s David Marsh in a 1925 Bugatti Brescia, Ripley’s Stephen Fathers in a 1929 Austin 7 Abbot Special, Castleton’s Roger Thorpe, driving a 1920 Bugatti Type 23, Sheffield’s Jeremy Cork in a 1929 Peugeot 190, Woodall’s Keith Jones in a 1936 Riley 12/4 Special, Bolsover’s Andrew Staples driving a 1930 Ford Model A and Abney’s Richard Marsh in a 1922 Morris Bullnose.

Members of the public who want to watch are definitely advised to bring wellies and are recommended to go to the Butts Quarry section at Ashover, as that will be the location for toilets, food and hot drinks. David Hill says there are three particularly good sections there for spectators to enjoy.

He went on: “We would like to thank land owners such as Chatsworth, the Stanton estate, local farmers, for the use of their land, Derbyshire County Council for being so supportive and giving their blessing to what we do, to Beeley Parish Council, and to Raynet for their communications equipment. It’s a good day and we attract a good selection of drivers and cars including Austin Sevens, Vauxhalls, Chryslers, and Bugattis too. So we have the ingredients to make it a success.”