The British motoring press of the thirties loved the M.G. Midget. They tested it extensively and revelled in its performance. Driver Kenneth Marsh and his passenger Autocar journalist H. S. Linfield took the testing of the 1930 8/33 Midget model (registered RX 6795) to the extreme by climbing the Beggar's Roost hill in North Devon one hundred times without a stop. (almost beggars belief!) Following this amazing feat for both car and crew, Linfield, just three days later, entered the car for the MCC London/Edinburgh Trial, successfully completing a round trip of over 800 miles. Finally after a short break the car was raced for an hour around Brooklands at the 1930 JCC High Speed Trial, completing a very notable and unlikely to be repeated quickfire trilogy of sporting events. In effect a latter day motoring triathlon!
To commemorate the first leg of this unique treble, the MGCC arranged a repeat of the Beggar's Roost climb and invited ten Midget owning members to take part, exactly 80 years after the original feat was achieved. The Midgets and their crews assembled in North Devon over the weekend of 28th and 29th May 2010 and amongst their number was the original successful exponent and M.G. factory entered Midget RX 6795, which has been in the custody of MGCC member Michael Boulton since 1960.
Saturday 28th got underway to leaden skys and a very damp 'hill' which didn't help grip on the unmetalled sections. Many successful climbs were achieved although sadly RX 6795 was not amongst this number suffering badly from a bout of 'clutch slip' which meant an abrupt halt on the first serious gradient. However on Sunday, RX 6795 did make two faultless ascents of the still formidable hill, therefore successfully following in the tyre tracks of Marsh exactly eighty years on.
That the event has been recorded for posterity on the PWMN website is thanks to member Ken Martin and the excellent lenses on his camera - all coloured images in the gallery below were taken by Ken, to whom grateful thanks. Rambler 2010
Read the original H.S. Linfield Autocar article here:
Kenneth Marsh at the wheel of RX 6795 during the course of the original attempt in the summer of 1930
(Seated alongside Marsh is the official R.A.C. observer)
The coloured gallery images above were taken on Saturday 30th May 2010 and depict the following cars and their owners negotiating a very damp Beggar's Roost Hill:
RX 6795 - Michael Boulton, OY1548 - John Haine, PO 1357 - Nigel Stroud, PJ 970 - David Rushton, SV 5438 - Alan Grassam (Organisor), RH 5831 - Philip & Wendy Coombs.
Ken Martin - All coloured Gallery images
Eighty years after establishing a record of 100 successful climbs of Beggar's Roost hill, RX 6795 now piloted by owner Michael Boulton takes to the hill once again - sadly a slipping clutch foiled this attempt. (Photo K. Martin)
Read Ken Martin's 2010 Morris Monthly article here:
Richard Morby's MGCC Safety Fast Article here:
Re-printed (with permission) from the official M.G.C.C. publication Safety Fast.
Michael P. Boulton's article 'Moments....'
R.A.C. Trial Report No.737