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SCRAMBLE 100

Special Event:

Celebrating the Centenary of Motocross

March 24th 2024

Scramble 100 Entries are now live at http://enduroeventsentry.square.site
Make sure you enter the correct class according to your machine, otherwise your entry will be invalid and withdrawn.
Thank you for your understanding.

Did you know that in March 1924 the world’s very first ‘Scramble’ took place near Camberley?

This year, on the 24th March, Witley MCC are reforming the ‘Camberley Motor Club’ and hosting a centenary event in partnership with Surrey Museum, celebrating the birth of all offroad motorcycle racing.

Watch this page for updates about this special occasion!

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming 100th Anniversary Event of the first ever Motocross/Scramble, which took place on March 29th 1924 in the Camberley area.

Organised by the Camberley and District Motor Club, this event marked the beginning of an exhilarating sport that has captivated riders and spectators alike for a century.


To commemorate this momentous occasion, Witley & District MCC has revived Camberley and District Motor Club, together with the original format of the competition for a unique, one-off event.

Taking place on the 24th March and using part of the original course, this event promises to be a thrilling experience for competitors and spectators alike.

Entries will be open for any bike, just as it was in the original event. To ensure a fair competition, the participants will be split into two groups: Classic and Modern. The Classic group will consist of machines manufactured before 1965, while the Modern group will include bikes from any year thereafter.


In addition to the competition, we are delighted to announce that the Surrey Heath Museum will be on site, showcasing a historic display of the last 100 years of MX/Scrambling. This exhibition will provide a fascinating insight into the evolution of the sport and its impact on the wider community.

We invite all motocross enthusiasts, history buffs, and adrenaline junkies to join us on this momentous occasion. Whether you are a rider or a spectator, this event promises to be an unforgettable experience that celebrates the rich heritage of motocross.

For more information, make sure you like Scramble 100 on Facebook and Instagram,
and keep your eyes on this page. Entries will open in early February so keep your eyes peeled!


We look forward to welcoming you to this historic event!

The 'Motocross 100' exhibition may also be viewed at Surrey Heath Museum, 33 Obelisk Way, Camberley GU15 3SG from March 2nd to May 4th 2024. For details visit e-voice.org.uk/surreyheathmuseum


 

The whole story...

Our Camberley forebears invented an event that would become the genesis for a huge global sport.

In 1924 The Camberley Club planned an event that would be beyond challenging and decided to skip penalties for falling off and crashing as they assumed everyone would. It would be an out and out two lap race over the roughest of off-road terrain that the Army land around the north and east of Camberley could deliver. There would be no rules, just the fastest over the course would win.

 

After much debate as to what such an event could be called, they decided to invent a new name and called it a “Scramble”. It would be the world’s first ever Scramble. The organisers were gentlemen, so 2½ hours was naturally set aside in the middle of the two-lap race for lunch.

It would be called the “Southern Scott Scramble” as the North’s toughest event was the “The Scott Trial”.

And so, the world’s first Scramble was on. The world’s first Motocross. The world’s first Enduro.

Over 80 “Optimists” gathered for the start in March 1924 on a mix of road bikes, as dedicated off-road bikes had yet to be invented. Period accounts tells us that the terrain was spectacularly challenging, and half the bikes would disintegrate and not make the finish. Even many of the bikes that crossed the line were wrecked and had to be transported home by train. Some of the riders knew the challenge they were facing. Mr T.G. Waterhouse had the foresight to take a length of gas-piping with him so that he could straighten out his Velocette motorcycle “as the need arose”.

Period press accounts tell us that spectators could trace the course by following the trail of motorcycle debris. A few journalists took part and one who had survived the horrors of trenches summarised his thoughts on riding in the Scramble – “I was very frightened”.

Amazingly there were no serious injuries. Aided, no doubt, by the fact that they were a hardy bunch having all survived the War and the riding was slightly less perilous as nobody was shooting at them.

On site they had the local Bagshot’s St. John Ambulance and amusingly stated “They mean well and delight in practice.”

The winner completed both laps in just over 2 hours of riding. He was a local Camberley chap, Mr Arthur Blencowe Sparks. He was an ex-2nd Lt from the Royal Flying Corps. The steed he choose was a 486cc Scott Squirrel motorcycle. A 2-stroke twin cylinder machine. He averaged almost 25mph, an astonishing speed considering it was over ground so rough that most of the other competitors machines disintegrated under them.

For once the northerners had little to say, although one described it as the “worst freak course … and with the steepest hill he had ever seen”.

The event was a huge success, it was quickly copied, and similar events quickly sprang up all over the UK.

The motorcycle manufacturers realised that they had to up their game and produce motorcycles that could survive or even thrive off-road. The 1924 Camberley Scott Scramble became the genesis for all future off-road competition motorcycles and the many forms of motorcycle sport that it spawned.

Its success quickly took it global, and the French called it the “motorcycle cross-country” or in French abbreviated it to Motocross.

 

As the years progressed, organisers found it challenging to find courses where they could have laps of many miles long and in conjunction with making it more spectator-friendly, the laps shortened until we have a modern Motocross.

 

 

camberley&DMC.jpg
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Links

Camberley Motor Club (website under construction)...
https://camberleyanddistrictmotorclub.co.uk/

Surrey Heath Museum Special Exhibition...
e-voice.org.uk/surreyheathmuseum

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