The Ards club which had all-rounders such as Artie Bell and Terry Hill as committee members back in the 1940s will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a special function on March 8.
It was in April 1937 that the club was founded at a meeting held in Moore’s Garage, Newtownards.
“The main reason for launching the club related to financial matters,” according to the current secretary Stanley Sanderson.
“The principal objective focused on reducing the cost of competing in trials by reducing entry fees and banning specialised competition tyres.”
Among the 17 present at that first meeting were two icons of the MCUI – F P Johnston and W B White who guided the enthusiasts in the right direction and so the club was formed.
Fuel restrictions due to World War Two put a bit of a damper on motorcycle events but several trials which attracted a number of Army competitors were promoted.
A look at Club officials in 1940s reveal some interesting names such as President: Viscount Castlereagh MP; Vice Presidents included Stanley Woods while on Committee appear the names of A J Bell (Artie) and R T Hill (Terry) whilst B McBride and E McBride also worked for the cause in those early days.
Woods, Bell and Hill were accomplished road racers as well as being off-road specialists.
With the return of peacetime the Club resumed the promotion of trials, grasstracks, scrambles now known as motocross and even a few short circuit races on tarmac circuits at Kirkistown and Bangor Castle Park.
Over the years activities became limited to trials with of course an annual social outing at a dinner dance and prize distribution.
A celebration of 75 years “in the saddle” will be held from 7.30pm on March 8 in the function suite of Molly Brown’s South Street Newtownards.