The History of the Club

Founded in 1920, we are one of the earliest motor clubs to be formed in the South West and the first in Cornwall. Originally named “The Dunheved Motor Club” we owe our formation to an enthusiastic bunch of motor cyclists who lived in Launceston and the surrounding countryside. The first Secretary was Maurice P rout, the then Editor of the Cornish & Devon Post. Many social events were organised in the early days.Popular being Thursday afternoon runshistory to Crackington and back and for a real test of stamina the occasional run to Lands End and back. On the competitive side sprints and hill climbs were in vogue and usually involved timed runs over a half mile length on a public road.

Motor cars began to mix with motor cycles in the 1930s, by which tim e our Club had changed its name to “The North Cornwall Motor Club.

After the war there was a wave of enthusiasm and intere st and George Edwards and Bob and Nancy Parsons organised all types of events from trials to driving tests and rallies. Throughout this time there was always an active mix of motor cycles and cars, though interest from motor cyclists waned in the late 60s. However, motor cycle interest revived again in the 70s when we became one of the first clubs (apart from the M.C.C.) to include motor cycles with cars in our classic road trials.

In 1980 we changed to our present name, “The Launceston and North Cornwall Motor Club”, once more identifying with our origins.


Today after almost 90 years of activity we still continue as one of the premier West Country Clubs, known mainly for road and sporting trials. Our “Tamar Trial” in October, which is part of a National Classic Trial Championship, attracts motor cycle and car entries from all over the Country. The “David history1 Ayers” trial in September has a similar following for trials formula cars. The event is part of the M.S.A. an d B.T.R.D.A. National Championships. This year’s event attracted competitors from as far a field as Edinburgh and Cumbria.

You may well ask “That’s fine; but what do you do?” Basically motor cars and motor cycles attempt to climb seemingly impossibly steep muddy hills and tracks. Skill is the order of the day rather that outright speed.

In classic reliability trials road going vintage vehicles such as Austin 7s, pre-war MGs and Ariel motor cycles regularly compete alongside modern machinery. In the case of trials formula trials specialist off-road vehicles can be very sophisticated or simple home built specials.

We fully appreciate that the privilege of being able to undertake such activities does carry with it the need to put something back. Therefore, we pare out overgrown lanes and repair washed-out tracks for the benefit of other countryside users such as walkers and horse riders. Members also help to maintain access to the countryside by sitting on County Access Forums etc. Furthermore, we are upholding a tradition steeped in history.

We attempt to organise around eight competitive events each year, produce a periodic newsletter and hold various social events. The committee meets usually at least once every six weeks at The Winds of Change, South Petherwin. We would be interested to hear from any landowners who have land with steep inclines which would be suitable for our purposes.

Naturally, we always need new blood and ideas and would very much welcome anyone who may be interested in our activities even if only as a spectator.