Harewood Hillclimb celebrates its golden jubilee

Magical moments in motor sport are remembered as Harewood Hillclimb celebrates its golden jubilee

Motor sport fans are in for a treat this month with special events to mark the golden jubilee of the Harewood Hillclimb.

The first speed hillclimb on the Stockton Farm course at Harewood, near Leeds, took place on September 16th 1962 and will be commemorated with a series of special events on the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd.

There will be demonstration runs by classic hillclimb cars from the 1960s, some of them driven by their original drivers. Three cars which won the British Hillclimb Championship during that decade will take part.

About 20 drivers who took part in the first meeting survive to this day and all are invited to attend what is expected to be a true celebration of speed hillclimbing in Yorkshire, said Jim Johnstone, of Harewood Hillclimb.‘For those who don’t remember that era, this provides a wonderful opportunity and for those who do, it will be a great nostalgia trip,’ he added.

The story of the hillclimb is one of gradual development from a farm access track to the purpose-built motor sport venue it is today. The farm was owned by motor sport fan Arnold Burton who gave the club the right to improve the farm road and use it for hillclimbs. Its survival came into question briefly when the farm was put up for sale.

Tony Hodgetts, who has written a short history of Harewood Hillclimb, said a group of Harewood hillclimb members, with the help of the British Automobile Racing Club, raised the money to buy it and preserve the hill.

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‘The late Michael Kempley was company secretary of Harewood Hill Ltd and supervisor of work at the hill until his death in the autumn of 2010.

‘In 2011 two of the founding committee, Arnold Burton and John Holroyd, were present at the opening of the new control building and the access road was named in Michael’s honour in recognition of his work.’

Hillclimb highlights

Scheduled competitive hillclimbs will follow the usual format on the anniversary weekend but there will be other events including:

A special class for historic Formula 2 and Formula 3 cars

A production car trial laid on by Ilkley & District Motor Club

Displays of classic MG, Triumph TR, Jaguar and Lotus cars

Activities especially for children

Licensed marquee catering

For more information go to harewoodhill.com

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