Longton & District Motor Club Ltd. was formed in 1962 by a group of enthusiasts from the village of Longton, south of Preston, Lancashire. The first regular meetings were held at the Black Horse pub on Liverpool Road, and the pub sign of the ‘black horse’ was used as the Club’s badge.
In the early days the Club organised Autotests and Road Rallies, with ample support from marshals; the Club grew rapidly and was soon organising its own championships for Autotests, Production Car Trials and Rallies.
Longton has always been a forward thinking and enterprising Club with a hard working Committee. It was the founder member of the SD34 Group of Clubs, formed to avoid the clash of dates of events in the area.
Autocross then became a serious part of the Club’s activities and grew in popularity. Rallycross developed from this and Longton was the first to put on these events at Oulton Park, Aintree and Longridge. It also helped to organise the first event at Croft after being approached by the local club to help out.
On the Speed Events side, consisting of Sprints and Hillclimbs, Longton organised the Blackpool Sprint for many years, this event taking place along the lower promenade at North Shore, a venue occasionally revisited today for special occasions. Longton was the first Club to organise Sprint events at the Three Sisters Racing Circuit at Ashton-in-Makerfied, nr. Wigan and still organises three events each year at this venue.
In 1973 the Committee took on a huge project by deciding to organise a Hillclimb on part of the TT Course on the Isle of Man. This event ran from Hillberry to Kate’s Cottage, in the opposite direction to the motor cycles and became the fastest event in the United Kingdom with speeds recorded up to 195 mph. The Club chartered Isle of Man ferries each year to take competitors and supporters to the Island. In 1979, the Island’s Millenium Year, Longton & DMC chartered two Isle of Man ferries sailing from Liverpool to the Isle of Man and return and took over 60+ hotels to accommodate the 2,500 people who supported the event.
During this period Sprint and Hillclimb events grew, and the Club ‘s local Championship developed into a North of England series, with Championship events organised by other Clubs in the region included in the Championship Calendar. Venues included being as far away as Scarborough on the East Coast of Yorkshire, and Loton Park in Shropshire.
In 2008 the ever enterprising Club added North Wales to its geographic span, by organising two events in two days at the Anglesey Racing Circuit, which has now become an annual weekend fixture in the competition calendar.
So that competitors can select from a range of events to suit their budgets, the current Championship involves 21 events in its calendar, with best scores from just 10 events to count, which means that they can select events taking into account family holidays, and business commitments. Also within this Championship there is a smaller, more economic Sprint Series, which involves only the events organised by Longton & District Motor Club, these being 3 events at the Three Sisters Racing Circuit, and 2 events at the Anglesey Racing Circuit, with scores from 4 of the 5 events to count towards the annual awards. Competitors can enter only one or other of the series, not both.
The competition side of motorsport has changed over the years, along with the social side. In its early years the Club organised car shows, trips to events held at Olympia and Earls Court and it also took part in the Lancashire Evening Post’s open days, and Leyland Festival events.
Regular Monday evening meetings were well attended with 50-70 attendees each week with film shows, talks, and cabaret nights on the agenda. However, as times moved on the effect of higher fuel costs and stringent drink-driving laws, spare funds for social activities were being squeezed and the Club found members were putting their efforts more into the competition side. There are still a few stalwarts who still meet on Monday evenings, when everyone is welcome to come along. The Club’s Committee Meetings are held on the first Monday in each month (except on Bank Holidays, when the meeting is moved forward by one week) – these are ‘open’ meetings so members can attend and listen to what the Club’s Committee has to discuss.
During 2012 the Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary with the design of a special Club logo which was incorporated into all paperwork, and events, during the year.
The Club also enjoyed an increased membership and competitor entries to all its events.
2012 also saw the return of the British Sprint Championship contenders, with their two final rounds of the series held at the Anglesey Circuit in October.
The Club’s Bulletin has also altered over the years from Roneo typed stencils, printed, stapled, and posted, to a more expensive 24 page printed version. However, with the drastic rise in printing costs and postal costs, the Club’s now regular communication with its members is by regular e-bulletins.
Motorsport for the Competitor cannot take place without Organisers and Marshals, so if you do not have a suitable competition car, or even if you cannot drive, you are most welcome to come along and enjoy your sport by becoming involved in other capacities.
Longton & District Motor Club Ltd.