The History of the Hagley & District Light Car Club, born 1935
The Club was formed in 1935 by an enthusiastic group of 14 young men who met in “The Woodman” pub at Clent. The main aims of the Club at that time were to promote Trials and have regular get-togethers for a “Noggin & Natter”.
HDLCC Winter Trial 1948. A club trial from the immediate post war period. Ignore the Jeep, that's just the photographer. Note especially the Ford V8 Special of CAN May, and a couple of close ups of the trials fraternity's favourite author.
The first major event organised by the Club was The Ludlow Rally, which later became known as the Hagley Ludlow Handicap, which attracted an entry of some 60 cars, mostly MGs, Austin Sevens and Specials. This event continued to form part of the Club's competitive calendar until the mid 70`s.
The Club prospered in the pre-war years, promoting events such as The Clee Hill Trial, the aforementioned Ludlow, and the Welsh 12-hour, however, activities were suspended during the Second World War, but Christmas 1945 saw a re-union, and renewal of Motor Sport activities. Hagley Members` successes were well known in the early post-war years with such famous personalities as Peter Collins and Ken Wharton being members, both becoming Grand Prix drivers, Max Trimble campaigned Jaguar “C” and “D” types, Tony Marsh won the F2 Championship in 1957, and went on to secure Hillclimb Championship wins in subsequent years, and John Handley won the European Touring car Championship in 1968.
The Club also looked to promote new types of Motor Sport, which eventually included the first ever Autocross event, organised at Rushmere, near Bridgnorth. This branch of the sport flourished until the early 80`s. but proved to be a real strain on the Club's resources at this time, because whilst Championship autocrosses were being run in the Midlands, a race meeting was being organised at Castle Combe, the most memorable meeting being the International F3 Championship event in 1971, which featured such names as Jody Scheckter and the late James Hunt, and later at Mallory Park.
The Club also ran Sprints in the 60`s at Wellesbourne, Westwood Park and the Chateau Impney, before taking over the lease at Loton Park Hillclimb, near Shrewsbury in 1970 from Severn Valley Motor Club. This venue has been developed significantly, and the Club now promotes ten meetings every year at Loton, including two rounds of the British Hill Climb Championship and three rounds of the Midland Hill Climb Championship, as well as many regional Championships such as Midland Speed, HSA, Porsche, Ferrari, Ginetta, TVR, Jaguar, Aston-Martin and the Lotus Challenge.
Whilst our attention is now focused on Loton as our premier venue, other branches of the sport still flourish within the Club.
The competitive calendar commences early in February with the Sporting Trial. This is held at Heightington, near Stourport-on-Severn, and attracts the best exponents of this specialised sport in the U.K. This is followed by the Jon MacKenzie Autotest, which is currently held at the Curborough Sprint course near Lichfield, in March and is the first round of the BTRDA Championship.
In October the Ken Wharton Memorial Autotests, which have been a part of the Hagley calendar since 1958, with many of the events being televised live, take place. This event, held at the superb Arrow Mill near Alcester, brings out the best exponents of pylon bashing and attracts teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern and Southern Ireland.
As well as our competitive calendar, we run a social programme which includes the Annual Luncheon & Prize giving and the Guy Fawkes Run in November, which is a fun treasure hunt. There is also a walking treasure hunt in mid summer and together with organised visits to various venues of interest including F1 Teams, Breweries and Vineyards (we are not just interested in cars!).
The Club currently has in excess of 500 members, who live throughout the UK, and as far afield as Switzerland and Africa, and is run by an enthusiastic Committee of organizers and competitors.