THE EDINBURGH TRIAL
It's not in Edinburgh!
1 & 2 October 2021
Main / O / R
Cars / Motorcycles / Sidecars
Lichfield Rugby Club, Cooke Fields, Tamworth Road
The Duke of York, Pomeroy, Derbyshire
Open 4 July
It’s not in Edinburgh!
Experience sunrise as you navigate your way round picturesque Derbyshire villages and take on some of the counties famous scrambles.
This friendly roadbook event is often lined by locals, spectators and photographers. Bring your best smile if you want to end up in the local press!
The Edinburgh Trial was the first of the club’s big three trials.
Starting out from central London in 1904 motor cyclists had just 24 hours to reach Edinburgh city centre.
Whilst officials took the night train to keep ahead of the pioneers on their motor cycles, they faced a 400-mile challenge following the great North Road to Harrogate. They then criss crossed the dales and fells of Northern England, onwards through the Scottish Borders before racing into Edinburgh. This a decade before The Great War, when tarmac had only been patented in 1902, Orville Wright had not yet flown a powered aircraft and the Taj Mahal hadn’t even opened!
Despite these hardships the MCC only took a couple of years before claiming that London to Edinburgh was too easy, so doubled the length and made it London to Edinburgh and back to London, in 48 hours. After that cars were then allowed to enter, and the die was cast.
Many years later the Edinburgh trial is still a worthy sporting challenge to the hardy motorcyclist or car driver. In 1967 the MCC amalgamated the popular Derbyshire trials weekend and the MCC Sporting trial with the Edinburgh run.
Today the route takes in the glorious Peak District National Park, as well as parts of Staffordshire and Cheshire. The deserted minor roads and outstanding views across the White and Dark Peaks in the National Park set the trial apart from all others.
The modern day event has a unique place in motorsport history.
The 185-mile route that starts and finishes near historic Buxton sees competitors visit four hills used pre-war, including the evocative Litton Slack first used in 1924 and the challenging Corkscrew from the early 1930s. From 1933, Priestcliffe and Calton are included. If they are challenging enough today, what must have been like almost 100 years ago when brakes on all four wheels were rare?!
We are as ever indebted to the local community and authorities in and around the Peak District who welcome us so warmly each year, and to the legions of volunteers who turn out to support the event by marshalling.
This year’s trial incorporates all that we have worked toward over the last five years. Less A roads, more green lanes, more sections, more tests, new start venue.
There are several parts to the event:
● The main trial and Class O - these provide the challenge for which the Edinburgh is famous and to which we welcome competitors from the ACTC for the first time.
● The Classic Road Trial (Class R) - this uses a 175 mile, entirely tarmac, fantastic route through the Peak District going further North, East and West than the Edinburgh has been for over 50 years.
● The Derbyshire Class - runs entirely in daylight joining the main trial at the breakfast stop at The Duke of York at Pomeroy. Using not only the main trial sections but others purely for motorcycles. This class is aimed at clubmen on old British iron or modern trail bikes.
The new start venue at Lichfield rugby club is a modern spacious facility with a huge car park to act as a base, the run North to Ashbourne avoids all but three miles of A road. There are two additional sections in the dark and an extra special test before the traditional dawn ascent of Calton immediately before breakfast.
Breakfast sees the Derbyshire class join the trial for the first of their 18 sections, some marked by the traditional MCC clean or fail method and others 0-5, all without prior viewing.
With daylight comes the views. The route before and after Corkscrew is almost entirely new with expansive clear skies, as we pass through Macclesfield forest and the bleak moorland and its famous stony outcrops in the far West of the National Park. Heading via more sections to a warm welcome at Hollingsclough village hall and the tea and cakes of the local W.I.
Eat heartily for now the real challenge begins! The final seven sections are the toughest challenge on the trial. Our aim is always a Gold medal in every class, so each section is an appropriate challenge. For some classes, there are slightly eased sections and for others where Gold medals have been frequent the screw has been tightened a little. An Edinburgh Gold medal is hard earnt and well deserved, but always possible in any vehicle.
The best is then left to last. Used since The MCCs very first visit to Derbyshire on 25 October 1930, Litton Slack is no easier in 2021 than it was 91 years ago. We hope to have a special memento for those lucky enough to have a clean climb.
Numbers are strictly limited in The Classic road Trial and the Derbyshire class. Entries remain open until full and close two weeks before the start. For inclusion in the full colour souvenir programme entries must be made by September 1st.