swanmoco.jpg (28382 bytes) Swansea Motor Club

1924 to 2013

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The Rally of the Vales 1958 to 1970

Road Rallying became a major sport in the early 1960s and the Rally of the Vales became a significant part of the British Championship. Many of the top teams in the country entered the events. The basic format would be for crews to be given an hour to mark the course with 100 plots. The event then were basically a test of a drivers ability to drive down roads they had never seen before, in the dead of night, and the navigator/co-drivers ability to guide the driver to the next turn by using their skills to read an Ordnance Survey map and shout out directions whilst the car was on the move! Don Barrow,who won the Rally of the Vales with Jim Bullough, in 1967, became legendary for his skill in doing this difficult task, and then became a successful business man selling his patented navigation aids. His excellent autobiography page gives a splendid insight into the period, when entries on some events could top 100 cars (see the links at the foot of the page).

Rallies in the late 50s and 60s were a mighty challenge. For instance, in common with many big rallies the 1956 November Night Rally had starts in Swansea, Cardiff and Hereford. Having assembled, the wpe18.jpg align=field started at 7.00 pm on Saturday 17th November and faced an awesome challengeof doing 500 miles at an average speed of 30 mph!  After a rest halt, the survivors were due to finish at midday on Sunday the 18th at Fairwood! Penalties were severe with 100 marks added for damage, 1 mark for every minute late/early, 500 marks for missing a control and disqualification for anyone exceeding a 40mph average, the winner having the fewest or fewer marks.

By 1960 the marathon mileage had been reduced to 330 miles with one section of 160 miles starting from Brecon, and continuing for a further 170 miles after a rest halt.

By 1968 the mileage had fallen to a still substantial "200 miles of competitive motoring". Club members were also organisers as well as competitors. Amongst stories recounted by club members were wpe16.jpg (30948 bytes)Derek Davies recounting how he drove to the event on his motorcycle, leaving at 6.00 am and   using the very edge of the road, as the road itself was a sheet of ice. On another occassion Christine and Ceri Gibbon had to take times in the teeth of a gale on the mountain top, but never missed a time!

However the Rally of the Vales appears to have been a casualty when the RAC Rally began to move to a November date.

(In contrast to the marathon mileage in the original rally, in the 1990s the Classic Rally of the Vales started from the Hilton National for "150 miles of classic rally routes in Mid Wales".)

Roll of Honour (including the events run prior to renaming & the last known running in 1973)

Date                                               Winner(s)                         Car (if known)                

1955 Rally of the November Night      GF Reason-Jones                    Triumph TR2

1956 Cancelled due to the Suez crisis

1957 November Night Rally    WF (Bill) Cawsey                     Triumph TR2

1958 Rally of the Vales    WF (Bill) Cawsey                              Triumph TR3

1959 Rally of the Vales    F Malkin/G Robson                           Sunbeam Rapier

1960 Rally of the Vales    A E (Bill) Bengry/David  Skeffington   Volkswagen

1961 Rally of the Vales    A Griffiths/D Stone                                 Triumph Herald Coupe

1962 Rally of the Vales    J Latrobe/J Chitty                                     Sunbeam Rapier

1963 Rally of the Vales    F Grange/J R C Brown                              Ford Anglia

1964 Rally of the Vales    M Gibbs/R Morgan                                  Ford Anglia          (Information supplied by Randel Morgan in June 2013)

1965 Rally of the Vales    G Bloom/A Taylor                                    Ford Cortina GT  (Information supplied by Randel Morgan in June 2013)

1966 Rally of the Vales    B Bean/C Nash                                         Mini Cooper S      (Information supplied by Randel Morgan in June 2013)

1967 Rally of the Vales    Jim Bullough/Don Barrow                      Lotus Cortina

1968 Rally of the Vales     Roy Fiddler                                               Triumph 2000

1969 Rally of the Vales    John Bloxham/Richard Harper               Ford Escort TC

1970 Rally of the Vales    Will Sparrow/Nigel Raeburn

1971 Not run

1972 Not run

1973 Rally of the Vales    K Videan/Peter Valentine                                      Datsun 240Z

Back to History Index        Next to The Classic Rally of the Vales 1990 to 1999

N.B all these details are correct as far as is known. If anybody has any additional information and can supply official documentation or eye witness accounts/ reports then please contact the webmaster

http://www.donbarrow.co.uk/autobiography_intro.html

http://www.rallycodriver.co.uk/topcodrivers/donbarrow.htm

http://www.btrdarally.com/champions.asp

http://www.fordrsstuff.fsnet.co.uk/frst/Badges/CastrolBadges.htm

Martin Whittakers memorabilia website