Origins of the Allan Jefferies Trial

During the 1930s Allan Jefferies had become one of the country's most outstanding competitors in Open Trials. His successes prompted the Yorkshire Centre to honour him with a trophy. In August 1939, a fund was opened by the Yorkshire Centre for the purchase of a suitable cup, with Norman Dixon as secretary/treasurer. Donations were set at 5/- (25p) for Clubs and 1/- (5p) for individuals; the fund was to have closed on the 30th. September, but the outbreak of World War II caused postponement.

The subscription fund was reopened in 1946 and a handsome silver rose bowl (valued at £1500 in 1988) purchased. Capacity Class Cups were donated by Bradford and other prominent West Yorkshire Group Clubs; whilst Mr. Frank Ellis (Father of Tom and Jack) donated a trophy for the runner-up.



The Bradford Club undertook to organise an Open (National) Trial. At that time only one Open Trial took place in Yorkshire, the SCOTT. During the twenties Yorkshire's other Open Trial had been the Leeds Trial sponsored by the Yorkshire Evening News and in the thirties the Rotherham Club had promoted the Lister Trophy Trial. Both events had been unable to continue. Despite problems due to petrol rationing, the first event was held in 1947, starting from Ilkley and using sections around Haworth and Skipton. Clerk of the Course was Jack Cooper, who had the position for the next 5 years, and Secretary Jack Whitaker. It was won by Stanningley cycle dealer, Tommy Wortley on a factory AJS, with Allan riding a 350 Triumph twin the runner up.


It was not until 1949, that the organisers ambitions were fully realised and the event moved to Upper Wharfedale, the start being at Long Ashes near Thresfield. The event was to start from there for the next 11 years. In those early years the most difficult hill was considered to be Moorend at Kettlewell. This hazard first used in 1921, was still in use until 1995, when changes in the course made it impractical to be included.

1956 saw a complete change in the trials format, when the event was run on International Six Days Trial lines to provide practice for the country's riders and manufacturers at this style of event. Unfortunately interference with marking and a cloudburst which flooded a moorland river crossing gave rise to controversial results.

After a miss in 1957, due to a foot and mouth epidemic, the trial reverted to traditional lines, with the sidecar class which had been dropped, being reintroduced for 1961. The following year the Capacity Classes were abandoned and the Cups reallocated to the top five places.

The start moved to Yarnbury outside Grassington for several years, before moving to Skirfare Bridge and then in 1996 to its present location at Halton Gill. Since moving the start to Halton Gill, the local Women's Institute have provided catering in the form of hot and cold snacks, home made cakes and other refreshments for competitors, officials and spectators. In the early years of the trial the entry fee included a ham and egg tea at the finish.

In 2001 the trial was again cancelled due to another Foot and Mouth outbreak. Luckily no farmers on the course actually got the decease.  Due to severe weather the event was again cancelled in 2012.

The 2013 event a new Course plotter , Dave Wilson. Dave has assisted Barry Fairbrother over the last few years and has a great understanding of the requirements for this Trial.

The money raised from Halton Gill initiative goes towards the upkeep of their Reading Rooms at the head of Littondale.

The Club in recent years has also contribute to many local causes, including Arncliffe Primary School, Littondale and Buckden's Childrens Christmas Fund to name a few.

In 2017 due to lack of support from both competitors (Not enough) and Club Members the trial was cancelled 3 weeks before the actual date. Late 2017 it was agreed that the Club would NOT run the trial in 2018.

Awards

Allan Jefferies Rose Bowl 1st

The Briggs Trophy 2nd

The Huddersfield Trophy 3rd

The Ilkley Trophy 4th

The Vagabonds Trophy 5th

The Joan Ellum Cup For the best performance by a rider who has never previously won a First Class Award or better in a National Trial.

The Eddie Flintoff Trophy For the best performance by a Yorkshire born rider

The W Walker Trophy For the best performance by a Bradford Club Member

The May & Wells Cup for the best performance on the 50/50 course who is a novice within their own centre

 Tale