THE 1907 TRIALS.
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N0 DOUBT full reports of the happenings at the
• 21st dinner party of those who were associated with the famous 1,000 miles' motor ear Trial have appeared somewhere in the Press, although the writer personally does not recall having seen any very detailed record of what must have been some highly interesting reminiscences that were exchanged in the after-dinner speeches on that .oceasion.
We, in this branch of the industry, the [branch that is going to be by far the more important as years go by, have very pleasing recollections of what, to us, was a far more important trial, although, perhaps, not quite Such a drastic one from a mechanical point of view. I refer, of course, to the famous commercial vehicle Trials in the year 1907.
The heavy-vehicle industry has outgrown its very moderate pretensions of those days. None of us who took part. irt.that long, and, by no means, unpleasant tour of the provinces could have dreamt of the enormous future that was shortly to .corne to the commercial-motor vehicle. Whether we were judges or organizers, observers or drivers, all felt that we were taking part in something that was a great deal ahead of the requirements of the 'conntry at the moment. We, however, then thought, optimistically enough, that, in the dim and distant future, the spectacle of a few dozen industrial vehicles travelling the country would not be so remarkable as it was on that memorable occasion.
Of course, that was only 14 years ago, but the progress made by the utility side of the industry in those 14 years has, certainly, -been at least as remarkable and, without doubt, far more diversified than the development that followed the 1,000-miles Trial and the subsequent reliability Trials of the touring ear. Surely, therefore, although we ourselves cannot look back so far as those who were responsible for the launching of the touring car, we have behind us a slightly shorter period -Which has, nevertheless, been even more remarkable in respect of its very wide. development and its numberless applications.
-Should we not, sooner or later, therefore, do well to celebrate by some central gathering those famous 1907 trials and, at the same time, arrange for future periodical gatherings of the very large number of people who were concerned in one way or another with the first industrial vehicle Trials in this country
The. commercial vehicle industry has not suffered to quite the same extent by the incursion into the ranks of those whose profession or trade it is of many who, with no claim to particular skill, or knowledge, in connection "with some branch of the industry or other, have thought of it as a pleasing and easy means of earning a living 'without putting too much strain on the individual's capacity. We have ha], our amateur hauliers ; we have had our amateur freight-exchange organizers ; lots of people have tried to runbuses; some of wham have been stockbrokers, or lawyers only ; but, generally speaking, recruits for the ranks of our own industry have been men with a pretty solid appreciation of the difficulties and prospects ahead, at one and the same time.
It should not be a very difficult thing to get into touch with the majority of those who were associated with the 1907 trials, and I feel sure there must be a number of those who were concerned with the organization of that great demonstration run who could, 'should they wish, initiate the organization of a commemors-tion similar to that which recently was held to perpetuate the memory of *the 1,000 miles trial. Let. us have a dinner and a gathering of all those who travelled round the country in 1967, with a view to familiarizing the provinces of the great industrial centres of the Midlands and the north with the fact that practical lorries and buses and vans were actually on the road and -were capable of longdistance trials. We could certainly point to achievement now, no less than that of the touring-cat pioneers.