The Limerick Motor club Winter Trial was usually the club's first event of the year. The event was a regular event until the mid 1970s at that stage trials were evolving into test trials or as they are known now autotests.
The first scheduled Winter Trial was for early 1949.
22 January 1950 The trial started at Limerick and wound its way by devious routes and a series of tests to Nenagh where an enjoyable lunch was had by the competitors. The afternoon part of the trial continued through the Killaloe Slate Quarries, Ballina, Ardnacrusha and Limerick. Result 1. J Cotter, cork , BSA 2, H Newenham, Limerick, Austin 3 J Garry Limerick MG. The sucess of event was due to the untiring efforts of Mr F Cullen
1951 This event was won by Kevin Murray by 1 1/2 marks from D O'Clery with V F Ross third. This win gave Murray a significant lead in the Hewison Championship
1952 Premier Award Kevin Murray (V8 engined Mercury Special)
1st Class Awards RJ Nash (MG TD), JA Bell (Ford Special), Maurice Cavey, Bill Young (MG TC), Dermot O'Clery (J type MG)
Tied for Saloon Class Award MC Hogan (Hillman Minx) and F Aldritt (Ford Zephyr)
1952 Event Report
11 January 1953 Nineteen competitors took park in an event started by the Mayor of Limerick Mr. Kevin Bradshaw. The route, a distance of 60 miles, was via Birdhill, Nenagh, Killaloe and O'Briensbridge, and covered some very hilly country. The drivers had to undergo severe tests on the journey.
Sports Car Class 1. K Murray, Sligo (Mercury Special) 2. H Newenham, Limerick (MG TD) 3. A L Young, dublin (MG TC) 4. W JFitzgerald, Waterford (Ford 10) 5. R J Nash, Newcastle West (MG TD)
Saloon Car Class 1. H Murrogh, Clonakilty (Ford 10) 2. M O'Flaherty, Dublin (VW) 3= A Canty, Cork and P Dempsey, Tullamore
1954 Winner Kevin Murray
16 January 1955 The prncipal award went to P Le Fanu from Dublin. the competition included driving tests and road manoeuveres during the four hours on the road there were 5 observation points.
First class awards went to C Ruttledge, Dublin (Ford Special) and O. Kennedy, Limerick (MG). The Best Saloon award went to Mr V Baker, Cloughjordan (Ford Anglia)
15 January 1956 Irwin Catherwood win the Committee Cup at the clubs 40 mile Hewison Trial in the Newport area
9 February 1958 This event was round 12 of 16 in the Hewison Championship. It started at Ardnacrusha Bridge and covered a route of about 45 miles. The club's annual dinner dance (dress) was held the previous night with a ticket price of one guinea.
Paul Flynn was then only non finisher of the 16 starters due to losing some teeth from his crownwheel
Premier Award SV Baker, Cloughjordan, (The Thing)
1 SV Baker (The Thing)
2 A Malcolm (Buckler)
3 R Nash (Dellow)
1 C Vard (VW)
2 SM Logan (VW)
3 K Sherry (VW)
8 February 1959 This event consisted of 12 tests in two 20 loops nort east of Limerick. A Malcolm in a Buckler took the Premier Award. Val Baker of Cloughjordan in the Thing finished third in general classification
7 February 1960
Premier Award J Griffin Griffin 547.9
Saloons under 1000cc
1. P Cramme NSU 552.8
2. D Cullen NSU 560.2
3. T Burke NSU 564.5
Saloons over 1000cc
1. K Sherry VW 565.6
2. TV Connolly VW 571.0
3. J O'Mahoney VW 585.2
1. J Griffin
2. AD Malcolm Buckler 555.7
3. R Redmond MM3 565.7
39 Starters 3 Non Finishers
The route was two laps of 25miles near Nenagh with 15 tests
1. Leslie Vard
2. Shea Griffin
3. Charlie Gunn
4. Conor Lenihan (Galway)
The event started at Nenagh and had 16 tests.
1. Shea Griffin
2. Conor Linihan
3. Dermot Carnegie
4. Cecil Vard
Each of the top four received penalties for pylon bashing!
6 February 1966 A 25mile route starting at the Dunraven Arms, Adare was used for this years event which was not a counting round of the Hewison Championship. The Winner was Dermot Carnegie in an Austin Cooper S, local driver Brian Moore was second in a standard Mini and another local Connie Bourke was third in his Morris Cooper S. John Gale from Dunboyne in a Morris Cooper S won the novice award. Other award winners were P O'Callaghan (VW), T Burke (VW), E Hughes (Austin), S O'Sullivan (Austin Healy). Keith Griffin, Adare, was entries secretary.
26 January 1969 The Hurler's Castletroy was the start for this non championship event.
28 February 1971 Limerick Motor Club organised the rally of the season - The Winter Stage 71 Rally. About 30 cars started from the Coach Inn Kilcornan and headed to a 2.5 mile stage Curraghchase forest.
23 January 1972 Denis Hogan, Adare was entries secretary. The event started at the Two Mile Motor Inn, Meelick and was the second round of that year's Hewison championship. This event was run on roads rather than in quarries. Connie Burke designed theten test route with Denis Hogan.
ulster Harold Hagan in his MG Midget took the premier award.
Class results Front wheel drive saloons over 900cc. 1. Alan Murray BMC Cooper S 2. Dermot Carnegie Homelite Mini GT 3. Clive Peterson BMC Cooper S next in class were Doug Richardson, Frank Lenehan and Frank Fennell
Front Wheel drive saloons up to 900cc 1. Mrs Olive Hayes Mini 2. B Grogan Mini
Rear Wheel Drive Saloons 1. Larry Mooney VW 2. G Bourke hillman Imp 3. Sam Meyer VW
Open Cars 1. W Cavanagh Ford Special 2. G Percy Ford Special 3. D Lambe MG Midget
18 February 1973 Cancelled
19 January 1975 Shaun Wall was entries secretary for this event held at Croagh and the second round of that years Hewison championship. Despite wind and rain Alan Murray of Sligo driving a Mini Cooper S won the event by 2.3 seconds. Ken Irwin of Castleberg Co Tyrone was second in his Clubman GT and Dermot Carnegie also in a Clubman GT was third.
21 March 1976 Limerick Civic Week Test Trial held at Limerick City Ronald Glynn (Mini Clubman) from Naas took overall victory 33 seconds ahead of local club member Ivor Doherty Adare (Mini). Waterford Driver Pat Power was third also in a Mini. There were 10 tests and prizes were presented by the Mayor of Limerick, Councillor Thady Coughlan
9 January 1977 This year was the last year the Hewison ran as a calendar year championship the next Hewison championship had a winter season from September 1977 to May 1978. The Limerick winter Trial was the second round of a season that ran until May.
19 March 1978 at Limerick in conjunction with Civic Week
1 Alan Murray (Mini) 416.3s
2 Dermot Carnegie (Mini) 446.6s
3 P Power (Mini 998) 446.7s
4 D Richardson (MG) 448.3s
5 P Lynch (Midget) 454.2s
6 F Lenihan (Datsun) 465.2s
7 N Ferguson (Mini) 465.2s
8 P Phelan (Halda Mini) 479.1
9 S Flangan (Mini 998) 516.7s
10 R Doyle (Mini 998) 575.0
The author believes that there were no Test Trials from this time until Autotests were started by the club in 1996