SVAC – A BRIEF HISTORY
Severn Valley formed in 1964, with committee meetings held at the Prince of Wales, Staunton in Gloucestershire. Mr Bernard Newman was the landlord at that time and he was very active with the club. Membership for the first year was 15 shillings, and in the early years Severn Valley Jalopy Club raced with the Welsh League. Our first Chairman was Mr Ted Blackmore, and we still present the Blackmore Trophy to the hardest working driving member, in his honour, annually.
Social events were mainly held at Corse Village Hall, and tracks were usually in the local vicinity, always with kind permission from the landowner.
Eventually SVJC decided to join with Radford and Hereford, which was the West Midland League, and many other local Jalopy clubs had been in existence for some time before the Western Grass Track Car Racing Association was founded in 1966. In the late 1960s, the West Midland League joined with the Welsh League and so the BJRA – British Jalopy Racing Association – was born. In 1969 the BJRA consisted of 4 leagues: West Midland; Welsh; West Wales and West of England.
The last National BJRA Championship was held at Hampton Bishop in 1973 (hosted by Cwmdu Jalopy Club). The British Jalopy League was formed in 1974, around the time when ‘Jalopy’ became ‘Autograss’ and soon after that was the birth of the National Autograss Sport Association (NASA).
Racing club colours have always been (and still are) blue and white, but in about 2000, members voted to allow “free” colours too. We still have members who prefer to race the blue and white colours, but most choose not too.
Our committee meetings have moved venues: the Full Pitcher, Ledbury was used for a short term before moving to The Hopton Arms at Ashperton. In the 90s we moved club house to The Glass Pig at Tarrington (later known as Tarrington Arms), and have had many more years back at the Full Pitcher. Now we meet once a month, with the exception of August, at the Royal Oak, Much Marcle.
Similarly, we’ve had many track locations, Longdon, Ledbury, Canon Frome, Staplow, Long Green, Much Cowarne, and there have been some years we have not able to secure farm land to enable us to race at all. We have been fortunate in recent years, and have found our way to hallowed turf…. That of Thingehill Court at Withington – the scene of one the most legendary National Championships ever.
We have a number of trophies, alongside “The Blackmore” we mentioned earlier, that are given every year to the deserving members. Some are original, some have had to be replaced over the years, and some are newer introductions. They are:
To the winner of the Annual Mens handicapped Club race;
To the winner of the Annual Ladies handicapped Club race;
For the hardest working non-driving member;
Carol Hayden Memorial Trophy:
For endeavour, given to the member who tries, who doesn’t always win, but always has a smile;
To the highest club points scorer;
Sportsperson of the Year:
For good, clean, honest & fair racing;
Ted & Steve Dovey Trophy:
For representing SV away from home, for behaving impeccably along with travelling the furthest;
Personality of the Year:
For the one who keeps us entertained;
Wally of the Year:
Speaks for itself really !