Memories of Murray Brush – Tony Rout

MEMORIES OF MURRAY BRUSH by Tony Rout, typed by Sandra Francis.

Attending the Murray Brush Memorial Trial recently reminded me of an article I wrote for the Owls Club magazine some years ago

I recall an epic journey Murray and I took in January 1963, the year of the big freeze.

It all started one evening in Brenchley Working Men’s Club, when Murray asked me if I would like to accompany him to the Allan Jefferies National trial in Worcestershire on January 10th. Of course I said yes, being young and up for anything.

Now, the snows started on Boxing Day 1962 and by New Year were four or five foot deep all over the country and still coming down. Having driven with Murray to a lot of local trials in the past, I had every faith in his driving ability to get there and didn’t give it a second thought.

7am on Saturday 9th January and we were off in his nearly new Morris Minor 1000 pickup, J.A.H. Triumph Cub in the back with about 20 gallons of petrol, riding gear, spades etc. I had an overnight bag, wellies and a thermos flask with coffee and brandy in it and £1 in my pocket.

We set off in a blizzard with about 200 miles to go, but you must remember there were no motorways, bypasses, mobile phones, or salt on the road back then. Many telephone lines were down, so you were pretty much on your own. We made good progress through Tonbridge and Sevenoaks to the A25, but remember we were heading to a little hamlet in the wilds of Worcester and the Duck Inn. I was on the map which was useless as most road signs were buried under the snow! By about 10am we had made it to a transport café somewhere near Newlands Corner for breakfast. Some lorry drivers advised us not to continue beyond Guildford as the roads were impassable. Not to Murray in his “ Morry Thou”. Pressing on to the A40 it became apparent how bad it was, on one stretch it resembled the whoops section of an area motocross, 8ft high snowdrifts, telephone poles and power lines down etc. The only good thing was that there was absolutely no other traffic on the roads to block our path, so “Mo” could “give her the get on” as he used to say.

Around 1.30pm we arrived in Swindon and stopped a pub for a pint or two and a bite to eat. The landlord was a keen motorcyclist and showed us his Manx Norton racer. He wished us well and we drove on to Cheltenham, it was almost dark by now and still snowing old boots! Two young hitch-hikers asked if we would give them a lift to Gloucester. Murray thought this a good idea as we moved the “Road Closed” signs out of the way! He told them to hop in the back of the pickup. They would be able to push if we got stuck! We made it ok, just, and they knocked on the back window and jumped out somewhere in the town.

Pushing on past Bewdley we were on a very minor road and came to steep hill after a tight right-hander over a bridge and this was the only time there or back that I had to get out and push. Soon after we arrived at our destination, The Duck Inn. It was 9pm, the bar was almost empty, and so we ordered a pint and said we had driven up from Kent for the Trial next day.

Sorry the landlord said it’s CANCELLED.

After nearly choking on our beer our next question was” can you put us up for the night?” NO! Try back in Bewdley. As it was well past 9pm and 10 degrees below zero we did not fancy sleeping in the motor, so back to Bewdley where we were lucky to find a good coaching inn. I think it was the Kings Head. The only room available had a double bed and as I had never slept away from home before it was a bit strange to me.

We woke the next morning, Sunday to find the sun shining and the snow clouds gone, though it was extremely cold. After a good full English breakfast we set off for home at about 10am. Trundling along we were still about the only vehicle on the road but conditions were much better. At about 12noon we arrived at the The Air Balloon, Birdlip in Gloucestershire, where there was a warm welcome from the Davies family. Bill Davies, the landlord had been a star sidecar trials rider and his 2 sons, Mike and Tony were National Works supported riders at the time and well known to Murray. So after a good ploughman’s, several pints and much merriment we set off for home again at kickout time, about 2.30pm on a Sunday those days.

So, on the way back we came, stopping only to fill up the Morris from Mo’s “supply” in the back. It was dark by 4pm, but luckily I spotted a fish and chip shop open in one of the towns, it helped to soak up the beer! We still had a long way to go, but the faithful pickup never missed a beat, and we arrived home in Brenchley around 10pm., just in time for a quick one in the Bull. All that way and I still had change from my pound.

Sadly Murray has gone now, but we never forgot that journey, also a big thank you to Mr Dunlop for his town and country tyres!

Tony Rout

Sittingbourne Charity Trial 26th October 2015 – Report and Results

Last Sunday Sittingbourne held their annual charity trial. 56 riders started and although no experts started they set a good test for the remaining routes.

We had 10 riders present including 2 debutants in Mark Smith and Wayne Baas. Mark, who has ridden in the past but not for some time decided to ride the Inter route and on a bike he has not ridden before he went round in a very credible score. Wayne who has recently taken up the sport rode the easy route. From looking at the scores in this class this route wasnt that easy and he finished very well.  The rumble in the jungle between messrs Haynes vs Inskip seem to go down to the last section and Craig took a narrow victory but it appears that Glyn may have had some engine gremlins so watch our back next time Craig.

Pete Southcott continues to improve weekly and is showing that he will be a good prospect for the future, it helps having a low centre of gravity so this must help but sometimes this can be a disadvantage. Section 10 was a tricky section with a ditch jump follwed by a steep bank. It was a tricky section especially on the first couple of rounds with lots of riders failng to make it up the bank. A few weeks ago Pete would not have attempted this kind of section but as his confidence grows he took it on. Having failed on the first lap he then went on to master it on laps 2&3. The low centre of gravity was his downfall on the last lap when he got stuck on the top of the bank, one can only liken this to an upside down tortoise watching him trying to escape. However, its really great to see so much improvement and someone so keen.

Huge thanks to the Sittingbourne Team for a great trial and to all the observers.

Results attached

Sittingbourne Charity Trial 004

2013 / 14 Club Championship final scores

The final scores have been calculated for the 2013/14 club championships, please see the aggregates page on this website.

Well done to all the class winners, the prizes will be handed out at the annual presentation night early next year.

The observers trophy scores are shown below.

Observer – Maureen Buttle 6, Roy Francis 6, Stan Luck 3, Tony Piles 3, Phil Turner 2, Robbie Whorlow 2, Sandra Francis 1, Michael Nutbrown 1, Dave Luck 1, Keith Francis 1, Henry Dowling 1

Weald of Kent “Murray Brush Trophy” Trial – report by Tony Turner

Report Tony Turner

Glorious sunshine greeted the 42 riders competing in the Murray Brush trial in the beautiful East Kent surroundings of St Micheals near Tenterden.

Murray’s three sons Dave, Andy and Richard set out ten sections perfectly taking into account Saturdays heavy rain and with four routes there was something for everyone in a true tribute to the former late club stalwart and fabulous rider.

Straight away the expert class became a battle between Sittingbourne’s Thomas Sawyer, who was on a busmans holiday enjoying a day playing on bikes rather than working on bikes as he does all week working in the Inta Trials shop and Tenterden’s Keith Francis who was making a welcome return to the sport after a break (and a host of excuses) of almost a year.

Sawyer dropped 2 marks on Dee Southern’s opening cross stream section to hand an early advantage, but a stall and subsequent restart whilst balancing  on the cambers of section 2 under the watchful eye of Maureen put Francis off as he exited with the loss of three scrappy dabs as Sawyer exited with a fine cross camber dab.

After lap 1 Francis led by 1 mark having exited the gulleys of the final 3 sections safely, but an excellent second lap of just 3 gave Sawyer a lead of 2 at the halfway stage. Francis responded with the best lap of the trial losing just 2 single dabs as Sawyer collected 2 maximums over the final 2 laps to give Francis a much deserved lowest score of the day in the expert class. However, Sawyer collects the Murray Brush trophy at the end of season awards by virtue of the fact Francis couldn’t be bothered to send his entry off!! Donut…..

In the intermediate class the Tenterden’s club secretary Dave ’How’s your’ Luck made it a home club double with an excellent ride unusually without any maximums across the 4 laps to take the class win ahead of Ashford’s Mark Baldock and Pete Southcott with Pete Willoughby in 4th. For once, Luck clearly took full advantage of the fact he had walked the sections numerous times Saturday and Sunday whilst helping lay out the event – given the amount of effort he has put into the club over the last few years – I guess it is the least of a return…..and may there be many more pots on the way..

It was similar home club story in the over 40 class with Michael Nutbrown proving that age is no barrier by riding his TY250 to an excellent victory ahead of Gravesends Steve Mannerings. That shows the beauty of our sport that you do not need to spend 1000’s of pounds to enjoy and even win in our fabulous sport.

In the Novice class Double 5’s Adrian Gilbey and Bexleyheaths Doug Norris only dropped a single mark with Adrian maintaining cleans longer than Doug to take the lowest score of the day. Ollie Whorlow showed just how much he is improving by collecting the Youth Novice win on the same route losing just 6 marks as he continues to get taller and stronger and for sure it will not be long before he is beating the old man.. Terry Lloyd had the lowest score of the day on the Novice Over 40 route. The yellow beginner route had a pleasing 8 entries with Josh Smith and Tenterden’s Tori Moore (giving dad the run around) by taking the adult and youth wins respectively.

An absolutely fabulous family effort by the Brush Team and so great to see riders in their 70’s competing alongside our 2 newest and youngest riders Jasmine and Curtis Mealham on their Oset’s!!

Jo Curd kindly supplied an arrange of cakes and drinks to greet all the finishers in a very well run, organised and supported event by all – we can’t wait to see the video!



Keith Francis 18ml, Tom Sawyer 23ml (Murray Brush Trophy Winner), Dave Heather 61ml, Chris Anderson 76ml, Rob Whorlow 76ml, Connor Dowling 98ml


Dave Luck 14ml, mark Baldock 32ml, Pete Southcott 37ml, Joe Millen 41ml

Inter Over 40

Micheal Nutbrown 6ml, Steve Mannerings 7ml


Adrian Gilbey 1ml, Doug Norris 1ml, Gareth Clare 7ml

Youth Nov

Ollie Whorlow 6ml


Josh Smith 21ml, Mel newing 23ml

Youth beginner

Tori Moore 54ml

EKTC Trial – Sunday 14th September

EKTC Combine Trial – Sunday 14th September

A lovely sunny day for trialling at the Wormshill venue. Good turnout of 37 riders, the lads at Sittingbourne did a good job cutting out various new areas of the wood. The trial was set quite tight due to the conditions and overall the scoring appeared to be quite low.

It was good to see Connor tackling the white route, its the right time for him to push on, especially as he is too much competition for some in the inter class. We were all hoping that the start of the 2014/15 club championship would see Pot Hunter Pete move up but he says he not quite ready for those heady heights and needs a growth spurt first.

The ground here is very similar to Stowting last week, after a few dry weeks the ground was very lose and became easier as the day went on but with a few sections on the flinty hills there were many chances to lose a few marks.

Overall it seemed everyone had a good day apart from Steve Haselden who decided to use his right foot to stop the back wheel instead of the kill switch. The accident could have been much worse but thankfully he was ok, just a damaged boot and new brake hose needed and he will be back to his best next time.

Results to be posted here soon

Big thanks to our friends at Sittingbourne for an excellent days trialling.

Sittingbourne EKTC results Sept 14