History of Stroud & District Motor Club

Photo above: Jim Barrow in his Hillman Minx waiting for Peter Hewins to drop the flag.

Referenced from the SDMC’s 50th Anniversary book

Stroud & District Motor Club (SDMC) has been existence for over 60 years. The original idea for a motor club in the Stroud area came from three good freinds; Phillip Ford, Peter Hewins and Bob Parker. Bob put out an announcement in the local paper (The Stroud News and Journal) on the 14th April 1950 asking for anyone interested to get in touch with any of the aforementioned three gentlemen. On the 12th May 1950, twenty five people attended a meeting at the Swan Inn, Stroud, where it was decided to form a motor club. A meeting was arranged for the 5th June at the Bear Pools Café on Rodborough Common. It was at this meeting that Stroud and District Motor Club was formed.

It was due to Philip Ford that the club became trials orientated. He had competed in MCC long-distance trials in the 1930s on a 349cc Triumph motor cycle and again in the late 1940s, only this time in motor cars. He encouraged Stroud & District Motor Club members to participate along with him and members became hooked.

Philip was made chairman of the club & a committee was voted in. The club headquarters was the Green Dragon inn, Stroud. In 1959 when the Green Dragon closed down, the club HQ moved to the Railway Inn, Russell Street. Moreton C. Cullimore became the club’s first president and remained so until his death in 1972.

Other events such as Speed Judging, Special Stage Rallies and auto tests were also organised by the club.

The Clubs most prestigious event The Cotswold Clouds Trial first ran on 18th March 1962 with 55 entrants for the first event of which 45 started and 42 finished. The Event still runs in the present day and attracts many spectators at many of the sections. See Video Footage for some footage from the 1990’s

SDMC was the first club to use Ebworth Woods for Motorsport with the Ebworth Trial in 1964 which marked the beginning of a strong relationship with the owner John Workman. This connection continued through the transition into National Trust ownership through to 2016 when the Ebworth Trial ran for the last time. Ebworth was also the venue for the Ebworth Chase Special Stage Rally first run in 1967 through to 1992, with a special reunion event held in 2017 at Ebworth Woods to mark the 50th Anniversary of the first event.

The Mechanic’s Classic Trial was named after the Mechanic’s Arms (the club HQ at the time) as they donated the trophy to the winner.

Club Presidents:

  • 1950 – 1972 – Moreton C. Cullimore
  • 1973 – 1974 – Roy Wheeler
  • 1975 – Clifford Hooper
  • 1976 – 1982 – Darrell Smith
  • 1983 – 1988 – Ken Hobbs
  • 1989 – Present – Brian Moss

Club Headquarters

  • The Green Dragon – Stroud
  • The Railway Hotel – Stroud
  • The Crown & Anchor – Stonehouse
  • The Alpine Lodge – Stroud
  • The Mechanic’s Arms – Chalford
  • The Crown Inn – Minchinhampton
  • The Ragged Cot – Minchinhampton
  • The Cotswold Club – Minchinhampton
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