The Club was formed in 1935 by an enthusiastic group of 14 young men who used to hold their meetings at “The Woodman” at Clent and other local hostelries. The main aims of the Club at that time were to promote Trials and have regular get-togethers for a “Noggin & Natter”. The first major event they organised was the Ludlow Rally, that 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 1970s.
The Club prospered in the pre-war years, promoting other events such as The Clee Hill Trial and the Welsh 12-hour. Activities were suspended during the Second World War, but Christmas 1945 saw a re-union, and the 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 - and Max Trimble campaigning 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.
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 Geoff Taylor Sporting Trial. This was held for a number of years at Heightington, near Stourport-on-Severn and more recently at Ratlinghope and Buildwas, Ironbridge. This event attracts the best UK competitors of this specialised sport.
The Club also looked to promote new types of Motor Sport included the first ever Autocross event, organised at Rushmere, near Bridgnorth. This branch of the sport flourished until the early ‘80s but proved to be a real strain on the Club's resources at this time, because whilst Championship autocrosses were being held in the Midlands, race meetings were also being run at Mallory Park and Castle Combe. The most memorable of these meetings was the Castle Combe International F3 Championship event in 1971, which featured such names as Jody Scheckter and the late James Hunt.
The Club also ran Sprints in the 50’s and ‘60s 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.
This is followed by the Jon MacKenzie Autotest, held at the Curborough Sprint course near Lichfield in March; the first event of the year for both the BTRDA Championship and the MSA.
In October, the Ken Wharton Memorial Autotests, which have been a part of the Hagley calendar since 1958 take place. This event, held at the Arrow Mill Hotel 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 that includes the Annual Luncheon & Prize giving, various visits of interest including F1 Teams, Breweries and Vineyards (we are not just interested in cars!) and our annual skittles night.
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.
Photo Above: Peter Blankstone driving a Brabham round Triangle in April 1969 (Credit to Mike Hayward)