Maidstone & Mid Kent Motor Club


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From its formation until the outbreak of the second World War the Club organised monthly social evenings, social outings, visits to places of interest, and Continental Tours to Austria, Holland & Germany. The sporting events included The Bossom Trophy Trial, The Brian Lewis Trial, the February and October Trials, a Hill Climb, Team Rallies and "Bug Dicing". Invitations from other Clubs included events such as the Lands End Trial and Lewes Speed Trials. As can be seen the emphasis was on "off road" events and the Trials and Hill Climbs attracted well known competitors such as Sidney Allard, Ken Hutchinson and Goff Imhof, as well as local drivers. "Bug Dicing" was the forerunner of autocross and grass racing and to compete the cars had to comply with strict rules based on pre 1932 Austin 7 cars.

Many of the Clubs events are still to this day named after prominent members from the early years of the Club. Typical of these are the Bossom Trial, named after Mr A C Bossom, a local Member of Parliament, The Brian Lewis Trial, named after The Rt Hon. Brian Lewis, later Lord Essenden, and The Tyrwhitt Drake Trial, named after Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt Drake JP and former Mayor of Maidstone.

The Club continued throughout the war period and once hostilities had finished the Club Calendar was reinstated. In 1948 the first race meeting at Silverstone was organised by this club, and was to become a regular event, which in 1954 was joined by Sprint meetings at Brands Hatch. The mid 1950s saw, in addition to the speed events, an emphasis on road rallies with the Club organising no less than 6 major rallies a year, these included the Harold Sharp, and the Grasshopper. Monthly Natter & Noggin events took place during the autumn and winter months. Sporting and Production Car Trials, Autocross meetings, and of course social functions completed the Annual Calendar. Several of the events were of National permit status, which were the envy of many other Clubs. In 1953 the Club's own regular publication, the Kent Driver, was introduced. Membership continued to increase and by 1958 had exceeded 300.

The club calendar continued with these events during the 1960’s, but the ever-increasing opposition to road rallies in the South East of England took its toll on the number of this type of event organised by the Club. 1965 saw the last Silverstone race meeting organised by the Club, but the speed events continued with prominence, with two race meetings at Brands Hatch and one at the then new Lydden Circuit, near Dover. These were just three of the twenty three events on the calendar.

The events for the 1970’s moved back to "off road" with Autotesting, Autocross, Sporting and Production Car Trials, Special Stage Rallies and the Race meetings forming the backbone of the club calendar. Membership had now passed the 500 barrier but, in common with other motor clubs, this level was not to be maintained into the 1980’s. This was mainly due to the ever-increasing cost of motor sport to the amateur club competitor. 

Currently the Club still has a busy calendar, catering for the true amateur member as well as the semi-professional. Events include Car Trials, Tarmac and Grass Autotests, Navigational Scatter’s, factory visits, as well as social meetings. The Club is also part of the “Rally of Kent Limited” consortium, that organises the last remaining stage rally in the Kent area. Currently this is not being run due to constraints on the use of Forestry Commission land. The Club also assists with the organisation and running of other forest special stage rallies and historic rallies, and has an active spectator unit following its Club members on European events. 

The Club continues to have very experienced Executive Officers and organising teams and looks forward to continuing through the twenty first century, with the Members interest paramount, encompassing events and meetings for all levels and types of motorsport.