Speed Trials

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Where: Unknown

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When: 04 July 1903

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We believe these are two Wolseley touring cars racing along Chesterfield Avenue in the Speed Trials that were held at Dublin's Phoenix Park on Saturday, 4 July 1903 (110 years ago today). Unless, of course, you know different...

Not fantastic quality, but given speed and presumably excitement, the photographer J.J. Clarke can be forgiven?

Date: Saturday, 4 July 1903

NLI Ref.: CLAR130

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 34099
wolseley touringcars speedtrials chesterfieldavenue phoenixpark dublin ireland leinster racing saturday 4th july 1903 20thcentury crowds spectators motorracing johnjosephclarke jjclarke drjjclarke clarkecollection cars motorcars automobiles nationallibraryofireland

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    ccferrie

    • 04/Jul/2013 07:52:40

    Impressive piece of machinery!

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 04/Jul/2013 07:56:39

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Excellent! So it looks as if these were Wolseleys, whether or not "touring cars".

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    ccferrie

    • 04/Jul/2013 07:59:35

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] The nearer one certainly is - I'm not sure about the far one. The rear mudguard profile is more like some of the Benz cars I was looking at yesterday, although the body looks the same as the Wolseley.

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    ccferrie

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:03:09

    BTW I thought the fencing might help identify the precise location on Chesterfield Avenue but it looks like it might be temporary fencing put in pace for the race. It looks like they are travelling down hill and into the sun so most probably in the direction of the city.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:04:43

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] If you care to hazard a streetview, I'll speedily add it to our Flickr map?

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:08:33

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Its the main road in the Park maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,710499,736365,6,10 I bet Bob M will have everything about this..

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    derangedlemur

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:11:04

    "Motor car speed trials in 1903 saw the world land speed record being broken in Phoenix Park at speeds in excess of 84 mph at a time when a general speed limit of 20 mph was in operation on public roads" www.phoenixparkbook.com/history.htm

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    derangedlemur

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:12:55

    These were the trials for the Gordon Bennet race later in the year... From Wikipedia: 1903 Gordon Bennett Trophy in Ireland Main article: 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup Circuit map for the 1903 Gordon Bennett Trophy On Thursday, 2 July 1903 the Gordon Bennett Cup was the first international motor race to be held in Ireland, an honorific to Selwyn Edge who had won the 1902 event in the Paris-Vienna race driving a Napier. The Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland wanted the race to be hosted in the British Isles, and their secretary, Claude Johnson, suggested Ireland as the venue because racing was illegal on British public roads. The editor of the Dublin Motor News, Richard Mecredy, suggested an area in County Kildare, and letters were sent to 102 Irish MPs, 90 Irish peers, 300 newspapers, 34 chairmen of county and local councils, 34 County secretaries, 26 mayors, 41 railway companies, 460 hoteliers, 13 PPs, plus the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Patrick Foley, who pronounced himself in favour. Local laws had to be adjusted, ergo the 'Light Locomotives (Ireland) Bill' was passed on 27 March 1903. Kildare and other local councils drew attention to their areas, whilst Queen’s County declared That every facility will be given and the roads placed at the disposal of motorists during the proposed race. Eventually Kildare was chosen, partly on the grounds that the straightness of the roads would be a safety benefit. As a compliment to Ireland the British team chose to race in Shamrock green[a] which thus became known as British racing green, although the winning Napier of 1902 had been painted Olive green.[7][8][9] There was considerable public concern about safety after the 1901 Paris-Bordeaux Rally, in which at least eight people had been killed, and severe accidents during the May 24th 1903 Paris-Madrid race where more than 200 cars competed over a distance of 800 miles (1,287 km) but which had to be halted at Bordeaux because there had been so many accidents. To allay these fears, the 1903 race was held over a closed course which had been carefully prepared for the event, and was marshalled by 7,000 police officers assisted by troops and club stewards, with strict instructions to keep spectators off the roads and away from corners.[10][11] The route consisted of two loops that comprised a figure of eight, the first was a 52-mile loop that included Kilcullen, The Curragh, Kildare, Monasterevin, Stradbally, Athy, followed by a 40-mile loop through Castledermot, Carlow, and Athy again. The race started at the Ballyshannon cross-roads (53.0853°N 6.82°W) near Calverstown on the contemporary N78 heading north, then followed the N9 north; the N7 west; the N80 south; the N78 north again; the N9 south; the N80 north; the N78 north again. The official timekeeper of the race was Mr. T. H. Woolen of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland. Ninety one Chronographs for timing the race were supplied by the Anglo-Swiss firm Stauffer Son & Co. of La Chaux-de-Fonds and London. Competitors were started at seven minute intervals and had to follow bicycles through the 'control zones' in each town. The 328 miles (528 km) race was won by the famous Belgian Camille Jenatzy, driving a Mercedes in German colours.[7][12]

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:15:38

    www.motorsportireland.com/Libraries/Freestyle_News_Docs/P... As part of an event organised in 1903, the Phoenix Park hosted the Motor Speed Trials on 4th. July, with 300 vehicles competing, the majority of which were actually motorcycles! This was part of a very ambitious event which started on 2nd. July in Athy with the Gordon Bennett Race, moved to races at Ashtown Racecourse on 3rd. July, into the Park on 4th. July (with a Garden Party in the Vice-Regal Lodge afterwards), next came a tour from Dublin to Newcastle on 5th. & 6th. July, and then onto a Hillclimb in Castlewellan, Co. Down on 7th. July, a tour from Dublin to Cork on 8th. & 9th. July, more Speed Trials in Cork on 10th. July, an International Motor Boat Race in Cobh, Co. Cork on 11th. July, tour from Cork to Killarney on 13th. July and ending with a Hillclim

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:35:11

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Brilliant, so if the Motor Speed Trials were on 4th July, what we had in our catalogue was accurate (phew!), and now we've tons more info on the Gordon Bennett Race, etc.

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:42:34

    Maurice Arnold de Forest De Forest was an enthusiast for the emerging technologies of motor cars and aeroplanes. An accomplished motor racing driver, he competed in a number of major races including the Gordon Bennett Cup in auto racing.[18] From 1903–1905 he held the Daily Mail Challenge Cup, having attained a record speed over the flying kilometre at Phoenix Park, Dublin, breaking the world land speed record en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Arnold_de_Forest

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:47:57

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_speed_record - But no M A de F in the list? EDIT - 84.09 MPH in July 1903 would fit nicely in the list - See Note below - There is no mention of Rolls in the list?

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 08:56:50

    Fantastic story from EUROVISION 2013 Emmelie claims her grandfather, Count Maurice Arnold de Forest, was the the illegitimate son of King Edward VII (as Prince of Wales) and an Austrian princess, who was a member of the Habsburg family royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.ie/2013/02/emmelie-de-fo...

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:01:39

    It is not so well known that when Rolls achieved the world land speed record in 1903, he had taken it from Baron de Forest (1879-1968), who had, in that year, in Dublin, at 84.09mph, briefly attained the world land speed record himself, - a feat not mentioned in his Times obituary. Although later well known as an adherent to the Catholic faith, de Forest was the adopted son of (the late) Baron Maurice de Hirsch, once, one of the most famous Jews in Europe. www.jtrails.org.uk/trails/Miscellaneous/articles/c-245/je...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:02:03

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Now if only the musings had included the racing number for de Forest!! :D I'm seeing 16 or 18 on the left hand car, and 15 on the car in the lead?

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:06:49

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I am not sure they are moving - look at the driver positions surely they would be sitting upright at any speed?

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:13:08

    Baron De Forest broke the world speed record at Phoenix Park, Dublin in 1903 with an average speed of 84.09mph. The trophy he won is on display at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey www.nmni.com/Documents/UFTM/Cultra_Hillclimb_Programme_2013

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:22:35

    Results of the day are Here www.teamdan.com/archive/gen/upto1903/1903.html#pho Class K 1 Baron de ForestMors 70 hp27.15s, 83 mph 2 Hon C.S.RollsMors 80 hp28.00s, 80.25 mph 3 Louis RigollyGobron-Brillié 100 hp28.25s, 79.25 mph Class L 1 Baron de ForestMors 70 hp26.35s, 85.9 mph 2 6 Fernand GabrielMors ‘Dauphine’70 hp26.45s, 85.5 mph 3 Louis RigollyGobron-Brillié83.3 mph ? 155 Baron TurkheimDe Dietrich 45 hp Other Class results at the link.

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:23:57

    If the Cars are Both Mors 70 HP or Mors 80 HP - we could be in either class

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:24:57

    Split into Classes: Class A1 – Motorcycles up to 70 lb, for a Gold Medal. Class A – Motorcycles up to 114 lb for the Motor Cycle Cup. Class B - Motorcycles up to 170 lb for the Motor Cycle Cup. Class C – Touring car (up to £300 and carrying no more than two people) for the Madame Cup. Class D – Touring car (up to £650 and carrying four people) for the Glidden Cup Class E – Touring car (up to £1000 carrying four people) for the Johnson Cup. Class F – Touring car (over £1000) for the Ochs Cup. Class G – Steam cars of not more than £800 carrying a full compliment of passengers of Ten Guinea Cup. Class H – Racing cars < 650 kg for the IAC 100 Guinea Dunlop Cup and Purse. Class J – Racing cars up to 1000 kg for the IAC 200 Guinea Dunlop Cup and Purse. Class K – For cars of any type under 1000 kg for the Daily Mail Cup over a flying 1 km. Class L – For cars of any type, power or weight for The Autocar Cup over a flying 1 km.

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:27:15

    So Mr Rolls of Rolls Royce fame was there!

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:33:19

    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/4984707 Report on events of the day. The Course was from Castleknock gate to the Gough Statue - I wonder how they got by the Phoenix statue?

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:35:11

    All the above said the cars in the photo look more Touring than racers breaking the land speed record - the back seats are a real giveaway..

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:46:06

    From comeheretome.com/2012/01/24/now-he-sits-in-chillingham-ca... Title - “Neath the horse’s prick, a dynamite stick” Winston Churchill recalled in his autobiographical work My Early Life 1874-1904, that his earliest memories from childhood were set here in Dublin. Asking “when does one first begin to remember?” he went on the write about the unveiling of John Henry Foley’s equestrian statue to imperial war hero Lord Gough at the Phoenix Park in Dublin in 1878. Churchill spent some of his earliest years in Dublin where his Grandfather had been appointed Viceroy and employed Churchill’s father as his private secretary. Churchill’s earliest memory was of his grandfather unveiling the doomed statue. catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000040835 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000170365

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:49:09

    Also from the Fantastic Comeheretome article The beheading of the Gough statue on Christmas Eve 1944 led to a very funny Cruiskeen Lawn column by the unrivaled Myles na gCopaleen in early January 1945. In it, Myles wrote that: Few people will sympathise with this activity; some think it is simply wrong, others do not understand how anybody could think of getting up in the middle of a frosty night in order to saw the head of a metal statue. Myles went on to write that: The Gough statue in question was a monstrosity, famous only for the disproportion of the horse’s legs, its present headlessness gives it a grim humour and even if the head is recovered, I urge strongly that no attempt should be made to solder it on.

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:50:40

    The poem was frankly hilarious, becoming popular among Dubs. My own favourite lines from it are the below: There are strange things done from twelve to one In the hollow at Phaynix Park, There’s maidens mobbed and gentlemen robbed In the bushes after dark; But the strangest of all within human recall Concerns the statue of Gough, ’Twas a terrible fact, and a most wicked act, For his bollix they tried to blow off! comeheretome.com/2012/01/24/now-he-sits-in-chillingham-ca...

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 09:54:10

    Here is the full poem - brilliant Gough’s Statue By Vinnie Caprani There are strange things done from twelve to one In the Hollow in Phaynix Park, There’s maidens mobbed and gentlemen robbed In the bushes after dark; But the strangest of all within human recall Concerns the statue of Gough, ’Twas a terrible fact, and a most wicked act, for his bollix they tried to blow off! ’Neath the horse’s big prick a dynamite stick some gallant ‘hayro’ did place, For the cause of our land, with a match in his hand Bravely the foe he did face; Then without showing fear – and standing well clear- He expected to blow up the pair But he nearly went crackers, all he got was the knackers And he made the poor stallion a mare! For his tactics were wrong, and the prick was too long (the horse being more than a foal) It would answer him better, this dynamite setter, The stick to shove up his own hole! For this is the way our ‘hayroes’ today Are challenging England’s might, With a stab in the back and a midnight attack On a statue that can’t even shite!

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 10:03:59

    The only Wolseley in the result section is as follows Class F 1 Douglas B. Hall Wolseley 30 hp 2m13.35 2 C.W.Hacking Panhard 20 hp Our photo could be class F as there are no passengers?

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    DannyM8

    • 04/Jul/2013 11:08:33

    Ballymun Equestrian Project - www.john-byrne.ie/project.php In September 2010 he unveiled 'Misneach', a larger than life equestrian monument commissioned through Breaking Ground as part of the Ballymun regeneration. . This is a one and a half life size bronze horse and rider monument mounted on a plinth. The horse is a copy of the 'Gough Memorial' originally sited in the Phoenix Park which was blown up in 1957. The rider is modelled on a local teenage girl. [http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordmayor/5001212572/in/photostream/] From the Lord Mayor of Dublin's photostream no less!!!

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 05/Jul/2013 02:44:50

    80 miles an hour in 1903? Very impressive.

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 09/Aug/2013 09:25:29

    Don't think they're actually moving yet in this one, early drivers practically stood when driving. Also the fellow on the right seems to be only just starting his car! More J.J. Clarke photos please! He had a knack for interesting photo subjects.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Aug/2013 09:41:01

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] As you wish! :)

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    J_Mazer

    • 13/Dec/2014 07:00:22

    Love the old cars!