JACK HUDSON OUT
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THE England soccer team has qualified for the World Cup tournament without having had to play in any eliminating matches. The seeded players at Wimbledon, by reason of the system, have a more than even chance of reaching the last eight in the tournament. One cannot help thinking the British Lorry Driver of the Year Champion 1965, Jack Hudson, is feeling that some similar system should apply to the LDOY competition. At Leeds on Sunday Jack was toppled from his throne and will not be at Bramcote this year.
To lose one title is surely bad enough, but Jack, who drives for Express Dairies Ltd., lost no fewer than three. In Class G he fell to G. Bishop (Petrofina Ltd.), his Leeds centre championship went to Class A winner W. Hartley, of Yorkshire Electricity Board, and we now await his successor as British champion in September's final.
Sunday was a day of defeats for champions and of the nine previous class winners competing only A. Townend (Hennebique Concrete) won through to the final. The standard of driving was high and it may well be that Leeds will produce another British champion. Indeed the standard was so high that one trophy had to be withheld. This is the Frank Cousins Trophy, awarded to any competitor who does not incur a penalty point in either the Highway Code or road route tests. There were so many that the committee had no alternative but to take the action they did.
Yorkshire Electricity Board and The Ministry of Public Building and Works were well represented, as was Montague Burton Ltd., on whose premises the competition was held. There were 158 competitors and it is to the credit of the committee that a competition which began at 9.30 a.m. was completed with prizes presented by 4.30 p.m.
This year Leeds had for the first time a lady competitor, Mrs. Heather Nevin, of the WVS Food Flying Squad. While she did not rank among the prize winners, Mrs. Nevin did indicate that she had enjoyed competing and it was hoped that she would lead a team in next year's event.
The prize for the most consistent performer over the past three years who has not won a prize went to J. Hart (Express Dairies, Sheffield). Mr. Hart has been second, third and fourth and on each occasion he was competing in Class C against 36 others. The team prize went to SPD Ltd., York, who were represented by P. E. Steele, (Class B) and G. F. Corn i and N. J. Jenkins (Class D). Cpl Nicholson (520 Sqdn. RCT, Yorkshire Regiment) won the prize for the best services driver.
As at other centres the entry was dominated by C-licensees and only BRS appeared in any real strength from the professional hauliers. It does appear, however, that the competition is taking on a bite now, with drivers bringing along teams of supporters. In Leeds particularly this event is becoming an item on the social calendar.
ACHAT with several drivers, stewards and officials during the Leicester round on Sunday tended to confirm my own opinion that the conditions for the three manoeuvring tests were somewhat cramped-although I will admit that not everyone shared that view. A narrow strip some 30 ft. wide by 150 yd. was allotted for the tests, and with the spectators very close and at times overspilling on to the area the stewards had to be constantly alert. Several times I noticed them warning off some of the over-zealous people who encroached too far.
The entry of the vehicles into this area directly from a main road meant, too, that there was often a delay before a competitor could get his vehicle into the starting point for the first test. So all in all it was not surprising that the proceedings were held up a little at times and the tests finished at 6.30 p.m. Apart from that the meeting went well. I was impressed with the speed of the posting of the results and I had good co-operation from the various officials when any information was sought.
Looking through the penalty points incurred I noticed particularly some very high scores-the highest I have ever seen in these competitions. One driver in Class A lost 600 in Test 1 and had a total of 786. In Class C one driver had a total of 956 and in Class D one had 987. But Class F(2) crowned the lot, when one driver lost 900 in Test 1 and totalled 1,265!
Yet despite these examples it was considered by some of the organizing committee, including one police official, that the general standard of driving was not below average.
I had that impression, too.
One point made by some of the drivers concerned the method of deciding the overall winner. Although at Leicester the drivers were not affected, as in some rounds, by all the class winners running off in a similar vehicle, several expressed the view that they did not agree with using a small vehicle"the artic driver does not stand a chance" was a typical opinion. Many of them preferred this method of running-off provided that a larger vehicle was used. At Leicester the winner was decided by the national formula method.
Overall winner was W. T. Griffin (W. Griffin and Sons Ltd.) driving a Morris and winner of Class C, who put in some skilful manoeuvring and came through the road test and Highway Code well to drop only 135 points. A runner-up to the overall winner
was declared by the organizers-A. Bratt (Squires and Kintons Ltd.), also from Class C.
The team award went to the number one Wolsey Ltd. team of A. Dixon, W. Jackson and L. Payne, all driving Fords. Vic Hallam Ltd. figured prominently in this event and must have pushed Wolsey hard for the honours. G.K.