The Scottish Six Days Trial used to start and finish in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.
The start, up until 1976, was organised at Edinburgh’s Gorgie Market in the Slateford area of the city and finish at Blackford Hill, near to the Royal Observatory.
It has recently been announced in the Scottish press that the iconic landmark of the old Gorgie Market would be demolished to make way for student accommodation to cater to satisfy the demands of housing for a vibrant university city.
Currently occupied by ‘World of Football’ and ‘World of Bowling’, the bulding dates back to when it was used as a Corn Exchange and livestock market when animals and grain was transported into the area for the various markets up until the mid 1970s. Currently it provides indoor soccer pitches on a Astroturf surface.
Latterly part of the original Corn Exchange, the buildings were converted to a night club and entertainments centre, suitably called ‘Edinburgh Corn Exchange’ at 11 New Market Road.
The London based property developers, Watkin Jones, have applied to Edinburgh City Council for permission to demolish the site directly behind the Corn Exchange to make way for student accommodation. The site housed the large covered sheds which held the animals for market and also the ‘Weigh-In’ for the annual Scottish Six Days Trial from around 1955 to 1976.
The following press release was received from the SSDT Committee this morning. Regardless of the ongoing Covid pandemic, the club and committee have forced on with their plans to restart the annual Highland sporting holiday.
Riders and enthusiasts alike will rejoyce in the news.
A lot has changed over the two years that missed out on an SSDT, which includes the Covid outbreak and ‘Brexit’ which has caused its own issues, such as increased travel costs and also accommodation prices. The SSDT Committee statement reads:
“Following the cancellation of the2020 and 2021 Scottish Six Days Trials, the Edinburgh & District Motor Club have confirmed that the 2022 event will be held from 2nd to 7th May 2022 centred around Fort William. The organising team have already started preparations and, although some work was completed for the 2020 event, there will be a lot of work required to make sure that the six daily routes over hundreds of miles are in a fit state to run the event. The Edinburgh club look forward to getting this historic event back on the calendar and cannot wait to meet all of the competitors and fans in May 2022.“
Make a note in your diary to tune into Nevis Radio on Monday 3rd May at 09:00 (GMT) when you will hear the 1961 SSDT winner Gordon Jackson discuss his Scottish Six Days victory, 60 years on!
Gordon has retired to near Bordeaux in France, but he will be linking up live with the Fort William based radio station to take us back over half a century to hear about his famous of all his four Scottish victories on 187BLF, the factory AJS that now resides in Sammy Miller’s Museum.
What a week we have lined up for listeners both local and worldwide from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th May when Scottish week should have been on!
We all know that the actual 2021 Scottish Six Days Trial has had to be cancelled due to the worldwide pandemic, BUT… just for SSDT fans –
Nevis Radio will be transmitting from Monday 3rd May to Friday 7th May a special two hour daily show about the SSDT. Live from the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William!
Supported by Trial Magazine and Michelin Competition Tyres, Simon Abberley and John Weller, in association with Trials Guru‘s John Moffat will jointly host a star-studdied line up of guests for the week.
Trial Magazine UK’s John Hulme will also be on hand to talk about the annual event.
You don’t need to live in Fort William to listen either, its available on your device: HERE
We kick off at 09:00 GMT on Monday 3rd May until 11:00 GMT daily until Friday 7th May.
Go on! Set your reminders now, so that you don’t miss the SSDT action and chat!
The news that every SSDT fan and rider was dreading has now been officially released. The 2021 SSDT has, like the 2020 edition, fallen foul of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The following press release was issued on Tuesday, 26th January 2021 and reads:
“The Scottish Six Days Trial, cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, has unfortunately been cancelled for the second successive year.
The event, founded in 1909, has only ever been cancelled for the two world wars and in 2001 for the foot and mouth outbreak. The organisers have considered the various options with regards the entries that were carried over from 2020.
It was thought only fair that entries will not be carried forward again for 2022. Therefore, in October 2021 the entries for SSDT 2022 event will open online and if applications surpass the number of places available then the usual ballot process will take place.
The organising committee felt this was the fairest way to move forward. The organising Edinburgh & District Club are very aware that the loss of such a major event in the calendar is not only a massive blow to the sport and all those involved, but also to the Lochaber area particularly Fort William.
The Club would like to reassure everyone that they will be working closely with all of the stakeholders, landowners and managers, organisations and agencies that are involved to ensure that we come back in 2022 with a fantastic event. The Club would like to thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to SSDT 2022.”
A statement was issued on Monday 28th December by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club Chairman, Peter Bremner that the 2021 Scottish Six Days Trial, one of the oldest motorcycle competition events in the world has been cancelled.
This will be the second year in succession that the event has been forced to cancel due to the Covid-19 pandemic and excluding the two world conflicts 1914-18 and 1939-45, the third time that a disease has disrupted the event. The previous disruption was twenty years ago in 2001 caused by the UK ‘Foot & Mouth’ animal contageon.
The statement reads:
“It is with a heavy heart that the Edinburgh and District Motor Club has taken the decision, as a result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, to cancel the 2021 SSDT and the Pre’65 Scottish trials.
We realise that this will be a massive disappointment to many people. However, we are making an early, logical decision to provide fans and everyone else involved in the event as much notice as possible.
Competitors who have entered the events will be contacted shortly after the two organising committees have met to decide on the way forward.”
Trials Guru’s founder, John Moffat commented:
“It is really sad news for all trials enthusiasts that the Edinburgh club have had to take this very difficult decision to cancel the SSDT for the second year in succession. The event brings in around two million pounds to the local community each year and that cannot be replaced.
Being a large event with close to three hundred competitors, I am sure this news will send a massive ripple outwards across the trials world and has dashed the hopes of many riders, young and old who aspire to ride this iconic event. It is a trial that has no parallel in modern times, be that in distance covered and in stature throughout the world.
The cancellation of the SSDT comes just one month after the announcement by the Isle of Man government that the famous TT Races on the Island suffered a similar fate.
This early cancellation policy is taken to ensure a logical decision is achieved given the circumstances and to provide certainty and clarity to riders, spectators, the factories, officials and everyone else involved in the event, which includes local people who run accommodation establishments.
I truly hope that the townspeople of Fort William and those in Lochaber, will welcome the Scottish Six Days back in 2022.”
The Scottish Six Days Trial, organised since 1911 by the Edinburgh & District MC Ltd, faces yet more land challenges thanks to illegal use of private roads and moorland in the Scottish Highlands.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, 15th July on social media, the committee issued a warning that land in the Rannoch area could be lost to the event if illegal use continues.
It is an offence to use Forest and Land Scotland property for off-road vehicle activity without written permission and indeed vehicles have been seized by Police Scotland in the past and riders/drivers charged accordingly. Forest & Land Scotland rarely allows permission without payment of an agreed fee.
The land in the Scottish Highlands can be very sensitive and therefore off road motorcycle and other activity is not welcome at certain times of the year and indeed at any time if permission is not sought and obtained.
The statement on social media ‘facebook’ read:
“SSDT risks losing access to a major estate due to illegal riding.
Despite the current lockdown, some people are choosing to flout the rules and risk the future of our sport by illegally riding on private land and forestry.
Illegal activity on forestry land and unauthorised uses of Private Venues is a criminal offence and puts all legitimate events at risk.
TheEdinburgh & District MC have been approached by a major estate concerned about unauthorised riding around the Rannoch area. If this continues, the SSDT could lose the entire Thursday route, a route that has been part of the event for decades.
One of the major concerns is the environmental impact of using motorised vehicles off road in areas with fragile ecosystems. Particularly at this time of year, the remote parts of Scotland are the habitat of endangered ground nesting birds and other wildlife extremely vulnerable to disturbance. The SSDT and other off-road motorcycle events are carefully organised taking these factors into consideration and working with bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage ensure that events cause minimum impact. Unauthorised indiscriminate riding over these estates can undo years of good work and cause irreparable damage to wildlife and the environment.
Some individuals seem to think that old drove roads and tracksare vehicular rights of way – in fact there are very few rights of way for motorised vehicles in Scotland. Most have an average length of less than 1 mile and are short stretches of roads that have not been adopted by the local authority. None of the off-road routes that the SSDT use are vehicular rights of way, they are all privately owned and using motorised vehicles on them is not permitted without specific consent from the landowner.
The club has, for over a century, had a fantastic relationship with the estates that the event passes through – I am sure that nobody would like to jeopardise this historic event through thoughtless unauthorised riding.”
You will all remember the superb 2020 ‘Virtual Scottish Six Days Trial’ run in association with Trial Magazine and Michelin along with the superb guys from Nevis Radio a few weeks ago. It was a huge hit with the many listeners around the globe.
Nevis Radio have their crowd funding effort on the go and have found a funder who has made a committment to match fund their total amount. They have a month left to try and up the total and then to double it.
Yes we all know it’s challenging times at the moment, but if anyone can help could you please click on the link below and donate an amount of your choice and support such a worthy cause.