The outlook for 1999 was positive. There were more Caterham Graduates in action, and the Caterham Scholarship, a guaranteed 30 entries, had also been recruited. The result was an even more successful weekend than 1998, which boded well for the millennium meeting, which would also celebrate 25 years of 5-Clubs. The CCC Championship had proved disappointing though: entry numbers were a little below expectations in their first year, but in 1999 they fell off rather than going up, causing CCC to withdraw for 2000. This was a blow, made worse by the fact that the news didn’t come until after the de-brief meeting in October. However, the potential loss of not more than 25 entries didn’t seem the end of the world. No, that came in early December, when we were informed by both Caterham Scholarship and Graduates that their calendar for 2000 would not enable them to be at 5-Clubs Wiscombe.
So, what in November had looked like the surmountable loss of 20+ entries, suddenly became the potentially catastrophic loss of 70+ instead. In other words almost a complete meeting. By the time we could meet and discuss any form of strategy, it was January and by then all the worthwhile championships had finalised their calendars.
Some hard thinking was therefore required and all options examined, even the unthinkable one of reducing our presence to just one day, with the ASWMC championship only. The eventual decision was to move ASWMC to Sunday, thereby increasing their potential numbers, and recruiting one-make clubs, with or without their own championships, to make up Saturday. The impact of the loss of the massive Caterham Kit Car entry has also been offset by a substantial increase in the potential numbers from their rivals the Westfields. After much hard work we believe we have put together a full weekend of hillclimbing to celebrate our silver jubilee. We shall see.
So there you have it. 25 years of 5-Clubs at Wiscombe. In terms of publicity and profile for our club it has worked wonders. It has also served to help keep our financial coffers from running dry. Another thing – it has proved to the many doubting clubs outside the five involved that, given the will and the involvement of the right people, multi-club promotions can be successful and long lasting.
From my point of view, as long as the venue remains available there is no reason why “5-Clubs” should not celebrate its Golden Jubilee in 2025. I doubt I shall be there though, but I hope our club will be.
Dick Mayo (2001)
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