Formation of the Club
The Club was formed in 1906 as the Bradford Motor Cycle Club, following an inaugural meeting on the 12th.February 1906 at the Royal Hotel in Darley Street, which forty people attended. The meeting, as reported in Motor Cycle of the 20th February, had been initiated by Mr Bernard Read, who had asked through the columns of Motor Cycle for those interested in motorcycling in the Bradford area, to correspond with him, with a view to forming a club. A Mr G.E.Vint of Idle who chaired this first meeting was elected President. Messrs JR Kelly and H.Wheater of the Leeds M.C.C. attended and provided advice on the formation of a club. Bernard Read was elected Secretary and Mr Bullus, Treasurer. The annual subscription was set at 7/6d (37 1/2p).
The provisional Committee included Messrs, A.Hodgson, W.Mitchell, Barraclough, Brook, Lamb, ES Myers and Fowler. The Club rented premises in New Inn block, (now Bradford Law Courts at the bottom Manchester Road, where they had a bar, snooker table and piano. With the outbreak of World War 1, the premises were closed down and the piano and snooker table stored at Mr.T.G.Bullus’s home.
Amongst others, prominent members are Alfred Scott, Percy Shaw (Works Manager P & M Motor Co) Clarrie and Tim Wood (TT winner) J Arnold Smith (Bradford garage proprietor), Charles Sydney (Then a manager for E.S.Myers, he later established his own business and was responsible for reconstitution of the Club as Bradford and District Motor Club in the 1920s. Felix Scriven (Secretary Scott Motor Cycle Co.) was involved in the administration of the Club and indeed many of the early members worked for the Scott Company including Alec Dovener.
The Club resumed its activities after the Armistice and from 1919 Alec Dovener undertook the secretarial duties. The Club was instrumental in the formation of the Yorkshire Centre, Alec being the Centre’s first-ever Secretary and W.Haggas of Keighley its first President.
In 1926 the Club HQ moved to the Belle Vue Hotel, Manningham Lane and meetings continued to be held at this venue until the late fifties. The Club also had a Country HQ at the Golden Lion in Settle.
Members competed with success in the TT securing Club Team Prizes in 1923 and 1924. By 1926 the Wood brothers A.W. and CH were enthusiastic members, T.G.Bullis was Captain and his son one of the sports rising stars.
Bradford Piston Ring Manufacturer’s Joe and Geoff Hepworth were Vice Presidents and it was Joe who discovered Hepolite Scar, the venue for Bradford’s hill climb after speed events on roads were banned.
Eddie and Stan Flintoff were making names for themselves on Sunbeams. Alec Jackson (Winner of the first Lancashire Grand National) was probably the Club’s best all-rounder, Harry Langman, Tim and Clarrie Wood the leading road racers. Charlie Helm and Allan Jefferies were junior members creating some furore by their riding ability and in Alan’s case a lack of consistency (but he did have fun)
In the 1950s the Clubs’ meetings were held at The Girlington Hotel. In the early ’60s, The Hare and Hounds Toller Lane, then the Kensington Club (once The Girlington Liberal Club) followed by The Victoria at Sandy Lane. Then from the late 70’s to the early ’90s, The Frizinghall Conservative Club. We then moved to The Bridge Inn Silsden and from 1999 moved to The Punch Bowl Silsden.
In 2015 the meetings transferred to the Kings Arms Silsden. In 2018 the meetings moved to The Narrowboats Inn at Skipton where they are still held.
The Club since 1970
Since the 1970’s the Club has mainly been running Motorcycle Trials. They have run rounds of the ACU British Championships in both adults and Youth. We also have run a very successful Closed to Club series that consisted of 8 to 10 round’s spread out over 12 months. In the 90’s we started to organise some Beginners & Clubman trials. These are marked out very simple so that newcomers can get used to competition. The series was sponsored by the late Stuart Cameron of Autowbars Ltd. The series was called The Autowbars Beginners and Novice Series. There were six rounds, spread over the 12 months. On many occasions, the entry was well over 70 competitors. One thing Stuart insisted is that they could only win the Autowbars Shield once.
In the 2000s the Autowbars series was replaced by two other Beginners trials. Nathan Wrigglewsworth introduced the Wrigglesworth Building Services (WBS) Summer Series of Beginners and Novice trials. The series was in a similar format as The Autowbars Series. There was a much more laid back approach. There was plenty of coaching for the younger end of the entry. The series does not carry any awards. The Winter series of Beginner trials is now called the Manywells Beginners & Clubman Trials. The sponsor of this series is Steve Wilde.
2015 – there was a major change in the running of the Club with some of the ‘old farts’ Standing down to follow other things. The new committee continued to run the trials but the main Nevisis was on Closed to Club and Beginners and Clubman type trials.
2019 – the Club was very close to folding. One reason was the lack of help on the admin side when running our trials. Thanks to Brian, Anthony, Carina, Fran, Nick to name a few got their heads together along with others they got the club back on its feet. Then Covid pandemic arrived and hit the sport hard. It was a very difficult 18 months for the committee. The club did run a couple of trials during this period, under very strict rules. These were a success and appreciated by those who entered.
2021 – As you may have seen, or even ridden, Trials came back on the calendar. This has added a bit of a workload for our faithful and hard-working committee members. So, for the club to continue in 2022 we need a little more help. We are currently short of Event Secretaries, Clerk of Course, and course plotters. All the jobs would suit somebody with a little free time. The event Secretary involves mostly form-filling and box-ticking so fair organisational skills are required. The Clerk, of Course, requires to be licensed by the ACU. The existing committee members won’t just say, ‘Get on with it!’ – they will give you any help and support you need. If you think that you can help the club, please come along to the next meeting or leave a message via our Facebook.
2022 – the club hopes to start the Closed to Club series and run a couple of the Major Club Centre Trials. This is dependent on more help from members coming forward to help out.
2023 – The Club will again run a series of Novice & Beginners trials on a Wednesday evening. Dates and venues will be posted on here and our social media pages. There will also be Closed to Club trials. Dates and venues will again be posted here and on our social media pages.
It was agreed that to keep costs down for 2023 Annual membership for all will be £1. Trial entry fees will be Centre and C/ship trials, Adult £20 and Youth £5. Closed to Club, Adult £20 and Youth £15. Wednesday night series, Adult £15 Touth £10.