Your Good Sport item on the OUMDC (Trinity term 2015) led to two very Veteran Members looking back on ‘their days’. In the late 1950s-early 1960s the Motor Drivers’ Club flourished on rather different motor sport events.
There were two road rallies, an afternoon rally. The Cotswold Rally late in the Michaelmas term, a closed event with the Oxford Motor Club which ran in the Northern Cotswold between Banbury-Deddington and Burford-Northleach. The second was the Targa Rusticana – restricted night rally in the Cotswolds and the Welsh Border-Forest of Dean. This attracted entries from the Combined Universities Motor Club (CUMC), the Oxford Motor Club, Eight Clubs and the Hants & Berks MC. The Combine Universities brought entries from Cambridge University AC, the London University MC including the London Hospitals. The Targa took place at the end of Hilary term, when, hopefully a dusting of snow might make things ‘interesting’. Both rallies were reliability trials. The OUMDC held fortnightly meeting, from 1956 at the University Air Squadron. The President for that year, John Clay (Queen’s) who was an aircrew member, negotiated the venue.
At a time when the majority of University Clubs and Societies could not meet on licensed premises, except for the Oxford Union, this was not to the Proctor’s ‘liking’. These meeting were talks by personalities, Mike Hawthorn, Roy Salvadori, Duncan Hamilton, John Cooper – his Cooper 500 car were at the height of their form and the Cooper Climax was challenging the Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, Gordinis. Journalists – particularly Laurence Pomeroy (Motor) who gave an annual talk on ‘The Motor Car’, our John Thornley of MG Cars, Abingdon. Alternate weeks there were film shows and table top rallies.
The feature of the Summer term was Driving Tests at firstly the Air Squadron. Then when it became vacant the Merton Gun Park – east of the Otmoor village, again a restricted event OUMDC, OMC, CUAC. The last of these Driving Tests was at RMCS Shrivenham – now the Defence Academy of Cranfield University – on their parade ground, which was an Inter-University event co-organised with the RMCS motor club.
The question whch Christopher Baron and I would like to know is the whereabouts of the two trophies bought in the 1950s for the OUMDC events?
They are the Targa Plate which was an annual award with a replica trophy for the winner to keep, to the winner of The Targa Rusticana Rally. This may have been given into the care of an event winner in the 1950s.
The Goddard Cup. This was for the best overall performance in OUMDC events by a membr. It ws given, again an annual trophy with a small replica in memory of David Goddard (Univ) who was killed when his Syandard 10 overturned. That was in the dyas before seat belts were compulsory and he was travelling home from the school he was at teaching practice at. David, who lived at Chichester was, like one, a geographer.
The band on the cup reads:
Presented in the memory of David R Goddard 1935-1957, sometime Secretary and President
Both trophies were subscribed to by the membership and veteran membership of the time.
We would hope if we can ‘find them’ to link the holders with the present OUMDC and hopefully bring them ‘back into use’. Mr Baron lives at Thames Cottage, 11 Camden Place, Bourne End, Bucks, SL8 5RW.
(St Peter’s College, 1954)