AN HISTORIC motorcycle event, Bringsty Grand Prix, which was run in the Herefordshire countryside after the Second World War will return next year after a 70-year absence.
In 1946-47 rural Herefordshire was trying to recover from a hard six years of war, rationing was even tougher than in war time but there was a new found optimism that life could get back to normal despite the shortages.
The county had a long tradition of hosting both car and motorcycle events with miles of unsurfaced roads and open countryside. The motorcycle clubs in the area, including several from the recently disbanded Home Guard, decided to run an off-road meeting which they called the Bringsty Grand Prix.
Supported by local landowners, whose families are still there, the clubs organised an event that would appeal to the new generation of military motorcyclists with experience of travelling cross country at speed.
The event with its steep up and downhill, ledges, bogs and water-splashes was intended to test rider and machine.
Petrol was rationed, new machines and tyres unobtainable so the event format was for two lap heats and a 15 lap final with prizes including one for “Best performance on road tyres”.
The event was a success but after two years the external pressure of war was growing, conflicts in Palestine, Greece and Korea meant that shortages became greater and the Bringsty GP was a casualty.
Now, 70 years later Bromyard Speed Festival are to run the Bringsty GP on April 7 as part of their programme of 2018 events.
The meeting will revive the original races run in 1946 and 47 reflecting the optimism felt after the privations of the Second World War, including petrol rationing.
A small pilot event was held earlier this year to test the format but next year (2018) sees a full scale motocross meeting for vintage and classic motorbikes recalling the motoring heritage of this area.
Julian Garness, landowner and clerk of the course said: “This year’s Bringsty Grand Prix will be run on practically the same course as the 1947 event.
“We are extremely lucky to have several local residents that attended the original meeting as children and can remember where it went. A full entry is expected of machines from the golden era of British motorcycling and, hopefully, some bikes as old as the original Bringsty Grand Prix.
“We are hoping for local riders to come along and ride in the special exhibition class to showcase their classic bikes without competing. Racing will be run by an established local motorcycling club guaranteeing a great day out for all the family.
“The sights, sounds and smells of the bikes will evoke happy memories of a bygone era.”
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