BMCA "A Year for Al"...

 AKA "Hammertight"...



 A bit of a late start this year... due to an IT glitch that stopped me getting reports from Luke,  until I found them hidden away in a G-Mail file. 

 But Al was up there and got both Luke and I together on the same page so to speak...Page on "The Life of Al Ussher" later..

 This year we will try and incorporate more little Videos of the events if we can..

 Which to my mind portrays the events much better and with sound, puts you at the venue of the event...

 Thanks Luke AKA "Spanner" for your help...


BMCA Easthope 13.10.2019.

Longstanding BMCA venue, Easthope Wood played host to this week’s BMCA trial. For many years, the trial was diligently organised by our former correspondent Al Ussher. Following the sad loss of Al last year, it was unanimously decided upon that the trial should be renamed in his honour to the Al Ussher Air Ambulance trial. The trial has raised hundreds of pounds in donations to the Air Ambulance year on year – a cause that all bikers are particularly passionate about. Despite a modest turnout of twenty three riders, but a full group of observers, this year’s total raised was a pretty healthy £457, including a kind donation from the BMCA.

As the day approached, the outlook was grim, lots and lots of rain forecast and delivered. Ask any BMCA regular and they’ll tell you Easthope is usually a muddy affair; so, the prospect that lay ahead, following some pretty solid downpours, was daunting. However, the reality was much better than anticipated, the weather eased up just long enough for the trial and the ground held up remarkably well. Of course, there were a couple of sections that turned quickly into their usual muddy conditions – just the stuff to get the grey matter working and dust off the mud riding skills!

A great effort by Nigel Houlston, Andy Lane and John Davies, gave us ten well thought-out, quality sections. Taking the weather and ground into account, the sections were laid out just right. At first it looked as though the setting out was a little too accommodating, but the logic and experience behind it soon became apparent by lap two; when things got interesting.

As always, rigid bikes were present; Les Richardson and Dave Beddoes both competing on their lovely period correct machines. Richardson took the rigid class win by a good margin on seventeen points, he’s getting to grips with the Panther and learning where its strengths lay the long wheelbase makes it very stable and it “just flew up” section nine (the long slippery climb that was Al’s favourite section). Swapping from the Drayton Francis Barnett back to the OK supreme must have been a stark contrast, but Beddoes still put in a great performance to finish on thirty-three points lost.

Clubman class saw an entry of eight this week, Dave Pengilly, Steve Leyshon and Jerry Munslow making up the top three. Competing on an ex-Al Ussher DOT, Pengilly only dropped a couple of dabs here and there and took the class win on just five points lost. An extra two dabs cost Leyshon dearly, leaving him to settle for second place on seven points. Hot on his heels was Munslow on ten points. The top three were a way ahead of the rest of the group who scored twenty-four or higher.

The largest group of the trial was intermediates class, ten entrants in close competition. Top spots went to Joe Owen, Bob Greenhough and Mark Strong. Owens trials pedigree was evident in his score of seventeen – a good four points in the lead. Greenhough snatched second from Strong, twenty-one points to twenty-two; great riding from both distanced them from the rest of the pack with scores of twenty-eight plus.

Expert class, although a small entry this week, saw plenty of good riding; Steve Hay, Nathan Jones and Kev Taylor making up the top three. A stray two dabs on the incredibly slippery section one were the only that Hay picked up during an impressive display of riding. Jones made his 2019-2020 season debut in style, finishing on eleven points lost. Steady riding by Taylor brought him home on fifteen points.

Our observers came to the fore once again, venturing out on such a wet morning to allow the riders to lark about in the mud; thanks guys, you are invaluable! A particular thank you must go to Sandra and Lesley Ussher for laying on a post-trial treat – cakes! They certainly spoiled us with a multitude of delicious cakes that would put Paul and Mary to the test! The treats rounded off the trial nicely, lots of smiling faces as a result.

Abbreviated results:

Expert class; 1 STEVEN HAY (BAN) 2, 2 NATHAN JONES (BSA) 11,  3 KEV TAYLOR (C15)

Intermediate class; 1 JOE OWEN (BAN) 17, 2 BOB GREENHOUGH (BAN) 21, 3 MARK STRONG (BAN) 22.


Rigid class; 1 LES RICHARDSON (Panther) 17, 2 DAVID BEDDOES (OK Supreme) 33.

FULL Results here.

Report and (bad() photos by Spanner





BMCA trial at Bedlam 20.10.2019

Well nobody ever said life was easy, certainly nobody ever said a trial at Bedlam was either… Not that any of the riders, observers or spectators would have had it any other way! Laurence Alden, Nigel Randal Steve Leyshon and Jerry Munslow put on a right treat for all involved; superb use of the terrain gave us ten sections guaranteed to get the adrenaline (and arms) pumping.

The sections started with the familiar section in the lower end of the stream and headed up to the constant that is section ten at the top (‘Neil’s section). A total of seven sections in the water and three utilising the adjacent banks. Familiar sections were kept fresh by a few tweaks thrown into the mix – all worked brilliantly. The scores saw some clear winners in each class, with clusters of close scoring through the rest of the table. Also evident is the skill of the course plotters, nobody got an easy class win but also none of the sections were sheer punishment!



We don’t have many streams or rocky terrain on the BMCA calendar, so Bedlam always stands out from the rest of the season. The venue is a favourite of many riders for many reasons, for example the chance to play in the rocks, the beautiful surroundings, a field leveler – it’s all good. Even when people take an early bath mid-section or have to sit out for a minute trying to work-away arm-pump by lap three, chances are they’d be smiling, including one poor soul that took a tumble through a bush…..

Clubman class top marks went to Dave Harrison, Andy Hunt and Ernie Johnson. Harrison made a strong return to the field this week, fourteen points lost in total. Continued steady riding by Hunt this season, he just lost out by one extra point, taking second place. Johnson came in third on twenty-six, good scores on most sections blotted by a few pesky fives. In the rest of the class, there was a good deal of quality riding, including Barfield – his riding is coming on week on week.

The largest entry of the day was Intermediates, eleven in the class, with Dave Beddoes, Kevin Walker and Christopher Dean taking the medals. Beddoes surely showed the rest of us how it was done; a score of just ten points in total. A well-deserved second place went to Walker, keeping his cool and finishing on thirty-six points, despite his bike losing a chain at toward the start of the trial. Good riding by Dean, saw him take third on thirty-seven points.

A relatively low field of just five entrants in expert class, however this did not make for disappointing competition; It was hard to predict who may win the class this week. When the scores came in, Kevin Taylor, Paul Munslow and Laurence Alden made up the top three. Consistent skill and control netted Taylor the win on twenty-one points. Second place Munslow, twenty-five points, showed sparks of brilliance; the only man of the trial to clean section five all four laps. Equally, third place Alden, showed the men from the boys with his trial leading four cleans on section ten.


Abbreviated results:

Expert class; 1 KEV TAYLOR (C15) 21, 2 PAUL MUNSLOW (BSA) 25, 3 LAURENCE ALDEN (BSA)

Intermediate class; 1 DAVID BEDDOES (FB) 10, 2 KEVIN WALKER (TRI) 36, 3 CHRISTOPHER DEAN (BSA) 37.

Clubman class; 1 DAVE HARRISON (BSA) 14, 2 ANDY HUNT (VIL) 15, 3 ERNIE JOHNSON (CUB) 26.


BMCA trial at Wilderley 17.11.2019
After a lay off of three weeks, the competitors (and hopefully observers too) were chomping at the bit and eager to get back into action. Thankfully the deluge that the UK has endured in the preceding weeks didn’t spoil the chances of running this week’s trial. Expertly plotted out by Nigel Houlston with the aid of his trusty companion Skye the dog, we certainly enjoyed a cracking trial!




Tucked away along the tiny grassy Shropshire lanes, the little gem of a venue that is Coppice farm, welcomed the BMCA once again this week. Considering the floods and disruption that seemed t grasp a large part of the UK in the week, many were surprised that the trial was still on. Those who have visited the venue before may well recall it as fairly soft and wet ground –at any time. It was no surprise to find the ground much the same as remembered, but it was a huge surprise to find that there was grip to be found. I say found, as it wasn’t immediately accessible, but careful control in places and giving of beans in others as appropriate, could yield surprising degrees of grip!

Close competition in clubman class saw the top three finish on single figures; Steve Haines, Andy Hunt and Steve Leyshon. A tidy ride from Cub rider Haines resulted in just four points lost. Moseley & District club members Hunt and Leyshon too second and third place respectively, with Hunt edging it by one point to finish on six points lost. It was pretty tight across the rest of the class, scores only increasing by a few from one rider to the next. A particular mention must go to Harry Barfield, his riding is coming on leaps and bounds; “He’s coming on well!” could be heard on numerous occasions – keep it up!

Intermediate class leaders this week, again all on single figures, Bob Greenhough, Kevin Walker and Tony Hill. Greenhough took the class by storm with a superb ride, just one five spoiling his otherwise clean scoresheet! A close scrap for second between Walker and Hill saw both finish on nine points; Walker came out the better across the scoreboard.

Expert class certainly attracted higher scores than you may expect, but great performances all round considering the trickiness of some of the sections. Steve Hay, Paul Howells and Bill Woodcock made up the podium. Hay and Howells had their own mini competition, both piloting rigid Bantams this week. Hay found a few occasions to take an extra, valuable, clean; finishing on sixteen points lost. Once again, there was tight scoring between second and third, Howells just taking second one point ahead on twenty-one to Woodcock’s twenty-two – great riding from both.

Thanks again to all the guys and gals that chipped in to put the trial on and observe – your efforts are greatly valued!

Abbreviated results:
Expert class; 1 STEVEN HAY (BAN) 16, 2 PAUL HOWELLS (BAN) 21, 3 BILL WOODCOCK (BAN) 22
Intermediate class; 1 BOB GREENHOUGH (BAN) 5, 2 KEVIN WALKER (CUB) 9, 3 TONY HILL (BAN) 9



Shatterford Video Report, and Results...


Just pause Video at end, to read results....




Last week ends trial at Ombersley



Ombersley 08.12.2019

by Spanner | Dec 10, 2019

BMCA trial at Ombersley 08.12.2019


Report & media by Spanner.

We certainly saw some action at the latest trial in the BMCA calendar, Ombersley, organised and laid out by Joe Owen, Andy Hunt, Paul Howells and Luke Stratton. A cloud of uncertainty had hung over the fixture, heavy rainfall and the tall banks at Park Farm don’t mix too well. A window of dry weather in the week leading up to the trial allowed things to go ahead with a level of certainty that it should be ok. The sections were set out on the lenient side and often eased up after test riding, the easing off continued early on Sunday morning; Owen was up early and altering things due to rainfall during the night.

A modest entry of twenty-three braved the windy morning, but inevitably and understandably there were a few retirements, leaving eleven finishers in all. As the trial progressed either the ground improved of the riders found their mud legs; on-the-whole scores settled down after the challenging first lap, with just a couple of sections proving to be sticking points.

There was a variety of challenge, despite the scope being limited by there only being muddy banks to play with. The sections certainly tested rider’s traversing skills, confidence and a careful throttle were a definite requirement. Of course, the familiar favourite hill-climb and section at the end of the bank were as good as ever, seemingly unaffected by the rain.

Expert class this week was composed of just three riders; Nathan Jones, Bill Woodcock and Lawrence Alden. Jones and Woodcock fought it out for first place, each of them putting in class leading performances on several sections; it came down to a slim two-point lead for Jones – well done both! Alden couldn’t quite keep pace this week, but still put in a creditable performance.

Suffering the highest casualty rate, the twelve entrants in Intermediate class fell to five finishers. Hopefully the turn of phrase doesn’t turn out to be literal. Kev Walker suffered two bad falls on section eight, but thankfully seems un-phased, quoting Arnie and saying “I’ll be back”! The top three finishers were Alan Halford, Tony Hill and Mark Lucas. Halford continued his run of impressive performance, taking first place eleven points ahead of the competition. It was close competition between Hill and Lucas tied on seventy-four points, meaning most cleans came in to play, awarding Hill second place.

Thanks as always to the organisers, helper-outers, spectators and of course the observers; we owe you all a great deal, even Mick and Lui!


Abbreviated scores:


Intermediate class: 1 ALAN HALFORD (CUB) 63, 2 TONY HILL (BAN) 74, 3 MARK LUCAS (C15) 74.


The best laid plans of mice and men….  it definitely seems apt to paraphrase Burns this week! The overnight rainfall had more influence than was possible to contend for. That said, the setting out was as good as could be in the circumstances and despite an ever-present chance of a five on practically any section, the trial ran its course well.




Knighton Trial ..Video..

 Results on the BMCA web-site...




Updates on Results Later...


Although there were trials before the first "lockdown" and covered by Luke it seemed that his now Video report was better than me putting the small photos and report onto these pages as I had to copy them from the BMCA website..

I do keep a watch on, and place some of Lukes videos onto the News page where you will have a link from the YouTube videos to the rest on Luke's channel...

 The last trial this year has been run I feel, now we have been Locked-down again.

 But they could not have finished with a better trial than the old Al Ussher , Air Ambulance trial... He would have been pleased they got that done...




After going through the old e-Mails on this Imac, I came across the trials reports and photos from my very missed friend the late Al Ussher...

 Al had a very unique way of taking most of his photos and just looking at them you knew who was the photographer... 

After doing a video of some of the photos on my computer just as an exercise on a damp afternoon... I had a comment that the person liked that video, and for me  the first days numbers were good...So I thought I would take some of Al's... Hammertight's... photos that he had sent to me over the years in the BMCA reports and from the ones he did for his love of DOT trials bikes, and take time and edit them to get a better view of them on screen, and do a few more of these short videos to get his photograpic work shown more and not just left out of sight on a computer hard drive...

 So here is the first more and on this page later...