The 2016 New Year Message

DA2-lrGurstonauts, you may be pleased to read that this is my final New Year update as 2015 was my last season at the helm of Gurston Down. It has of course been tinged with sadness, firstly with the loss of Stan Hunt and now Si Harratt who lost his battle against cancer last week. Both men were instrumental in the building of and subsequent improvements to the Hill. Si and Stan I hope taught me well and let me maybe leave my own mark.

Before I sign off, I know all the drivers are waiting to know about the test day. It is on Sunday 3rd April and the entry fee is £101 or £136 for a double drive. Entries are open NOW and close on February 15th, please email

The AGM will be on Monday 9th May (full details to follow).

2015 again turned into another fantastic season with near record entries and spectator numbers. All this can only happen with the hard work of all of the committee, volunteers and of course our orange Army of Marshals. The school had a record year, a testament to the hard work of Andy Hext and Dee Hardy, both of whom retired after many years of hard work. Thankfully the reins have been taken up by Tracey Inglis-McBeath whom I am sure will build on the platform that has been created. Thanks also to Duncan Barnes, Hannah Wiltshire and Bryan Chant who also retired this season and not forgetting Dee Stapley who has passed the treasurer role over to Linzi Alley. We also welcome two new members onto the committee, Sarah Howard and Becky Crocombe.

I will leave the news for 2016 to the new Chairman Ben Stapley, who many will know but if you don’t just look for the fellow in bizarre shorts and multi-coloured socks; Ben has a very individual sense of colour coordination, but at least he doesn’t dress as a Monk any more! Ben is a grafter and gets things done when it’s needed and I am sure the Hill is in good hands. He will be giving the setup date for the Hill soon.

So that’s it really, I have had a great six years in charge, highlights are hard to nail down but I guess winning the Best BHC round three years in a row isn’t a bad place to start and having very healthy entries throughout, but of course this is all down to everyone at Gurston, from the welcome from the Gate Keepers to Drivers, Volunteers, Marshals and of course the spectators. Although I will take the praise for “My bins”, please treat them with the respect they deserve, and I will miss the abuse-fuelled quiz we always held for the May National

As the sun sets in the west, my work here is done. Have a great 2016 season Gurston.
Doug Auld