A Brief History

Guildford Motor Club was founded in 1953 by a number of enthusiasts who then used to meet at the Wooden Bridge Public House on the old A3 just outside the town. These early founding members included such celebrities as Mike Hawthorn, Roy Salvadori and Alan Brown, one of the other slightly less famous original members was Mr David Roscoe who takes up the story of the very early days :

“The club roots actually began in the sales office of Bakers Garage in Upper High Street. Bakers were noted for two things, one they were the main Vauxhall dealers and, two, the sales staff were rally types. In fact, the Chief Salesman had only recently been disqualified from the Guildford Municipal Safe Driving Contest!

It was on these dealer premises that plans were laid for the formation of our club with a fine disregard for any democratic process. The lads in the sales office made out a list of the committee, comprising the original rally team and their mates and then drafted out a membership form – having unilaterally decided what the sub was to be! But then they struck a snag – they had to put the Hon. Secretary’s name and address on the form, but nobody was keen to take on this responsibility.

At that time I was working in London, commuting from London Road station each day and returning to Merrow each evening, thus I was not party to the actions of the ‘Junta’ in Bakers sales office. What better candidate could there be for Hon. Sec? Keen, had a car, an address in Guildford and use of a telephone. So they put my name on the form and printed off a hundred copies – I was hooked! A few days later when I attended the inaugural meeting at the Wooden Bridge Hotel I found that this great honour had been stuck on me and happily I continued as Hon. Sec. for many exciting and fun years.

From now on the pace quickened, we had fifty members by the end of the first month and R.A.C. recognition a month later. So by the end of 1953 we were on our way, over one hundred members, a famous racing driver as our President and growing fast. The future was to provide much excitement, from the first “Midnight Matinee” film show in the country to an annual dinner for four hundred on an island in the Thames.”

The Club is nowadays somewhat smaller but still retains some of the early connections to Rallying with some members actively involved in various disciplines of the sport, Stage, Road and Historic. We also have a good social calendar throughout the year with monthly Pubnight meetings in addition to organising marshal outings and club Gymkana’s, BBQ’s and the like.

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