Muddy sport

An invitation by a work colleague to go to "watch some Land Rovers" one weekend in 1982 introduced me to off-road motorsport .... there are two main themes : 

"Trials" - driving between 10 gates (two bamboo canes) set in rough terrain with ditches, streams etc. - points being awarded for not touching the canes.

"Safaris" - driving at high-speed around a course of anything up to a couple of miles, against the clock.


My interest was in the former (that's me in the pictures) and after having a go in a friend's vehicle I acquired, for £200, a complete outfit comprising: old Land Rover with a 3litre engine and fitted with a roll-cage etc - plus a trailer to transport it to events (behind the "second car" yellow Land Rover)

Great fun - which was to get even better when we moved again and bought a farm-house with about 4 acres of ground, comprising a worked-out gravel pit that had grassed over and sprouted a small wood, or perhaps a copse together with some fenced paddocks for the horses - the pit was the playground for me!

I joined the Land Rover Club and the All Wheel Drive Club .. to compete in trials events, with modest success (a few cheapo trophies are around somewhere).  We were also able to host a couple of small events at our own farm in about 1983-4.

A job-move to Cheltenham and another farm-house with about 4 acres and a big barn gave me more scope for tinkering with Land Rovers (did I mention I acquired another 3 old ones - one of which I stripped and rebuilt, before selling it on)

A lack of events within a reasonable travelling distance and a change in circumstances meant that my Land Rover interests dwindled away ... selling most of the fleet, keeping just one fun vehicle . . . which I finally sold in about 1993.


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