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Classical Gas is an independent web site and is not affiliated to any of the clubs or organisers of the events featured. Words and Pictures by Michael unless attributed otherwise. Michael is a proud member of the MCC, ACTC, Dellow Register and Falcon amongst others, but does not represent their views nor the views of any other organisers or clubs.

2003 Musings

Michael's (December 2003) Musings

Mike Hayward putting air in the Beetles tyres at the top of Wood Lane on The Mechanic's Trial

I enjoyed my Mechanicís Trial, the first time I had done a trial with all the sections completely new to me for a long time. The event had a different feel to Stroudís Cotswold Clouds which is a very ďcompetitiveĒ trial achieved with some one or two rather artificial sections.

None of this on the Mechanicís though. All the sections were very, long and all on real tracks. It was bit dry of course which meant quite few clean sheets but what a good day. OK, Noverton Lane was a bit on the rough side but a good day none the less. Definitely recommended for more Falconís next year.

Both our PCTís were well supported and we were lucky enough to be saved by the weather at Kensworth with a bit of rain to spice things up.

On the news front I hear that Arnold Lane has acquired a kit of bits that will soon become a Marlin and take to the Classic Hills. Yours truly was involved in this spotting that it was for sale on the Internet.

Michael's (November 2003) Musings

Michael on Great Hucklow during The Edinburgh.

The Trials season is well underway now. Itís very, very dry and in consequence The Edinburgh wasnít a competitive trial for the lower classes who missed out on Bamford and Corkscrew. I was delighted to win the Class 4 award but it was probably because Giles Greenslade was taking it easy to guarantee his triple!

It was shame about Bamford. I have always said I would do The Edinburgh just to have to do this one section so I hope the MCC can find a way to bring it back for us all. The Edinburgh results are a bit controversial with quite a few competitors, including Neil Bray and Brian Alexander, being given un-expected fails.

I enjoyed marshalling at the Gill Morrell Trial, which saw the competitive dťbut of Dave Nashís latest creation the ďMGeetleĒ. Itís a very neat amalgamation of a Beetle floor pan and MGB GT body. I think it's great but the MG purists will probably have a baby!

Michael's (October 2003) Musings

Well the Classic Trials season has started again and the first two ACTC events have been won by Front Wheel Drive Cars. What price on one winning the Wheelspin Trophy next year.

I understand the March Hare team is in place with Dave Nash taking over as Secretary of the Meeting. The Falcon trials season will be in full swing when you read this with Brickhill and Kensworth coming in quick succession.

It seems the world of Classic Trialling is going through a difficult period at the moment, divided between those who want the events to be ďcompetitiveĒ and those who want less extreme cars. Lets hope it is all sorted out soon as the sport needs a united front. Events are running under-subscribed and its no longer necessary to sprint to the nearest sorting office with your entry for an MCC trial.

Michael's (September 2003) Musings

It really has been a gorgeous summer but the evenings are drawing in and our thoughts move to the winters trialling. I certainly donít envy the organisers of the early season West Country trials though, with all the dry weather many of the sections are going to be as hard and dry as the M5.

Personally I have had a really tough summer in my business life. My Beetle has been sitting in the garage without seeing a spanner let alone getting a summer re-build! My first event will be The Edinburgh, always a favourite. Lets hope the MCC get enough marshals to run all the sections they have planned.

Although I havenít taken part in any of Falconís autotests this summer I have been along to spectate and it has been really good to see the young people taking part and doing well. It wonít be long before David Manning wins an event outright and Rachel Lane and Jackie Dudley could be joining the ranks of ladies in the next edition of Sue T-Pís book!

Michael's (August 2003) Musings

Classicís on the Common was a really nice event but may well suffer from itís own popularity as there were far too many vehicles to fit on the common itself and the roads were well and truly clogged up. The informality is one of the attractions of the event but some more formal organisation will surely be necessary if the event is to continue.

The July Joust Autotest was really interesting. Keith Pettit was a really deserving winner but like everyone else he will have to watch out for the younger ones. David Manning was really fast and it wonít be long before he wins an event outright.

Two Wheels and No Engine! - Now the summer has come I have ventured out on my Mountain Bike again to do a few events in the local Friday night championship. I canít say I have been successful but itís a challenge!

I am enjoying my Mountain Biking and it is interesting to compare the organisation. The two wheel brigade has a lot to learn from the motoring fraternity. Sometimes itís hard to find out where the events are and what time they start. You just turn up, pay a few ponds and race!

Michael's (July 2003) Musings

First to welcome David Alderson as Falconís new Magazine Editor. A clubs magazine is such an important part of a club. I know the Falcon committee were a bit worried when Andrea decided to step down but I know David will do a great job.

Itís a good job he was snapped up because I see that the MCC are looking for a new editor for ďTripleĒ. Thatís not the only vacancy as Mike Furse is stepping down from his positions as General secretary and Membership Secretary, both pretty demanding jobs.
 

Finally to say that ďClassics on the CommonĒ is on Harpenden Common on the evening of Wednesday 9th July. Itís a sort of informal get together of interesting cars. In order to arrive together and secure common parking the idea is that Falcon participants cruise in convoy from the Truckstop just off Junction 9 of the M1 departing at 6pm. See you there.

Michael's (June 2003) Musings

Once again its been a busy time for me. I was looking forward to the first Autotest of the season but decided to support Neil down at Brands instead. I had expected a handful of spectators at a club meeting but there were tens of thousands of people as it was the CSMA weekend!

Neil and Chris both did really well and are causing a bit of a stir with accusations of ďbent motorsĒ by the establishment. They had the poor little Escort up on the ramps, weighed it numerous times and couldnít believe it was legal. As the season goes on perhaps they might consider good driving and car preparation!

Lots of computer activity at home. We finally signed up for a broadband connection and its really good. At the same time I got a full 250Meg of Web Space on FreeóOnline so I have moved my web site there and splashed out on a domain name www.classictrials.co.uk

Michael's (May 2003) Musings

As you can see I have moved Classical Gas to a new home. Well, perhaps not moved as the old site is till in its original home at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/MLeete it's just it won't be updated any more. Things are a bit of a mess here as I haven't moved everything and I have to re-establish the links.

The reason is simple, broadband and web space. We have gone broadband here at home and 250 meg of Web Space goes with the account. I have been struggling with the size of the site over at Compuserve for a long time and had to split the site (hence the Archive Site). Now the two sites are combined in one place. At the same time I have registered two new domains www.classictrials.co.uk and www.leete.uk.com and either will find this site, as will www.leete.free-online.co.uk The host is Free On-Line who I have used for a long time on a dial-up account and been very happy so I went broadband with them. You can check them out at www.free-online.net

Now for some other stuff:-

Mike Hayward and I were very disappointed not to finish the Lands End as we were one of many Falconís on the retirement list. The dry, rough conditions certainly put a strain on the drive train and I suppose a lot of retirements were inevitable.

In a way we were lucky as Newquay isnít the nicest place to stay after a trial, at least if you are over nineteen! Personally I think itís a shame that the trial doesnít finish at Lands End. Yes I know itís a lot more road miles but to me thatís in the sprit of The Lands End.

Events change over the years and it seemed that the MCC were really pushing Class 0 this year. Could it be that we will see the trial going in that direction? If so why not call it the North Petherton to Newquay Trial which would leave space in the calendar for a Lands End for the rest of us!

Having made those sarcastic remarks I should say that the trial was very professionally organised this year. Congratulations to all concerned.

 

Michael's (April 2003) Musings

I absolutely loved the March Hare. What a super event. Itís very special to take part in a Classic Trial in your own back yard and I loved every minute of it from the breakfast at the start to some great sections.

There were a few delays, but thatís all apart of Classic Trialling and it gives the chance to chat to other competitors. Iíve met some really interesting people stuck in a queue on a muddy lane!

Iím sure it took a mammoth amount  of work to organise the event and I would like to thank everyone involved for a  wonderful day.

With Mike being part of the organising team Lesley was in the passengers seat and she isnít so hot with a foot pump. This was an incentive to get the long awaited built-in 12 volt compressor system working. More about this on another occasion.

Michael's (March 2003) Musings

MichaelNailsworth2003.jpg (6603 bytes)

Michael Leete and Mike Hayward cresting the bump on Nailsworth Ladder during the recent Cotswold Clouds

It’s been a pretty frantic start to the year. I competed on three Classic Trials and marshalled at the Edlesbrough event over a six week period. This was also a pretty busy time at the day job so my feet have hardly touched the ground!

I thought Falcon's Edlesbrough Test Day was a good idea and we were blessed with good weather which is very important at this venue. There were some interesting cars and Cliff Morrell even bought one especially for the day!

Falcon is certainly looking healthy. A full calendar of well supported events and a healthy financial position. We have an enthusiastic committee, lets give them out full support at the AGM where we have the chance to say what we want from the club.

On the computer front up-dates to the site here were a bit delayed earlier in the month. First the ISP's site went a bit cranky and it wasn't possible to upload any files, although it was still possible to access the site for viewing. Of course I thought it was me at first but then I looked on their forum and found it was a problem to everyone. Then when everything was working again the ISP decided to enforce their 5mB limit and I was way over, forcing me to move loads of stuff over to the archive site (although I have not up--loaded it!).

I am still using free sites on an ordinary modem so perhaps it's time to go broadband with fast up-loads and 250Mb of web space!

Michael - 29 March 2003

Michael's (February 2003) Musings

I thought the Exeter was a good trial, a bit rough but a nice event. It was controversial for those who take these things more seriously than I though, and there has been a lot of chat about two particular issues.

For some it showed the increasing gap between class eight and the lower classes and has re-started the debate on "what do we do with class eight?"

It was also the first MCC event with the "two up for the hill to count" rule. This has really upset some well-known MCC stalwarts whose opinion is that it devalues the Triple. The new rule certainly affected the results. For example Adrian Tucker-Peake was the only class one competitor to climb Tillerton and Dave Haizelden Simms. However, neither hill counted and Terry Coventry (who climbed neither) won the class on special test times.

There are other rumblings of un-happiness too, which are a little more personal. I hope these things can be bought to the surface and openly debated. Lets hope for a bumper attendance at the MCC AGM which provides the ideal forum for open debate, although you have to look the other fellow in the eye!

Michael's (January2003) Musings

I thought 2002 was another good year for Falcon with some excellent events, ranging from Two championship trials, clubmans trials and autotests and another successful March Hare Classic.

I competed or marshalled in all but one and enjoyed them all. On behalf of myself and all the other members a big thank you to all the organisers.Mike Pearson and John Parsons who were actively involved in all the five trials, finding the time despite running their own businesses. Cliff Morrell organised the autumn Brikhill Trial with the welcome help from his family.

We had a really nice Autotest season in the summer with Andrea Lane and Peter Manning sharing the Clerk of The Course job with Alan Davies. There were others of course, Mike Hayward, Arnold Lane, Verdun Webley to name a few. Thanks guys and girls for all the time and effort you put into running events.

Finally on a sad note I see that SOD’s aren’t listed in the 2003 Blue Book. As a member I haven’t heard anything for 18 months so I guess they have gone now which is a shame.

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