The Major's Memorial Trial is an ALRC interclub event for the very best of club drivers, and attracts more and more competitors every year. This was the 37th year of the competition, the 11th as the 'Major's Memorial Trial'. The trial that is now known as 'The Major's' started in 1969 as a result of comments overheard by Major Ben Hervey-Bathurst, the land owner and then Midland Rover Owners' Club President, while presenting the prizes at the National at Eastnor. He heard that the ground had been rather dry and that 'the trial was too easy and not challenging enough for the best drivers.' The Major continued with the prize giving and concluded by issuing a challenge to all clubs to bring their best drivers and return in October to see if the ground was still too easy. He laid the first trial out himself, setting a testing course across varying ground. He donated the much-coveted Rose Bowl and the Major's Trial was born. The Midland Rover Owners' Club have run it ever since, apart from 2001, when Foot and Mouth forced its cancellation. The Major died in 1997 and it was decided, after discussion with his family, to continue with the event and to change its name to 'The Major's Memorial Trophy'.
All profits from the event go to the late Major's favourite charity, the maintenance and restoration of Eastnor Parish Church, a cause very close to his heart, and to Eastnor Village School, the charity of Land Rover Driving Experience. The trial's format has changed over the years. It began as a one day trial only, with the later introduction of a competitive safari, which no longer takes place. The format was changed again to the present two-day event that we have now with drivers tackling ten sections on each day.
The trial is a team trial, where the total score of a team of three drivers is used to decide the winner. However, in order to encourage the dwindling numbers of unmodified vehicles a trophy for the best 'all standard' team was introduced. In 1998, a Ladies Trophy was also instituted.
This year saw a Peak & Dukeries LRC place 1st, a North Wales LRC team take 2nd and a 'home' Midland ROC team take 3rd. Full results are at www.mroc.co.uk/majors. click here for Major's Results
For more information about the Midland Rover Owners Club go to www.mroc.co.uk click here for MROC
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