SOUTHERN ALSATIAN TRAINING SOCIETY
TRACKLAYING TRAINING WEEKEND
Bluemans Farm, East Sussex.
28th & 29th July 2018
John West, well known Triallist and extraordinary Tracklayer, very kindly agreed to give up his time to coach a select number of us in the art of Tracklaying. Cathy and Tim Whimhurst allowed us to use their Barn as a classroom on Saturday and then their land on Sunday for the practical application of our tracklaying knowledge. Without such generous people, this event could not have taken place.
John produced an information pack for each of us. During the course of the day, he took us through what is a track, laying straight lines, the various angled corners and how to accurately produce them on every track. Article retrieval was also covered, not only by retracing our steps, but by reading the lay of the grass/terrain. A simple method of Tracklaying by compass was also covered, which was an area that really fascinated us. This enables the tracklayer to produce accurate tracks in any weather (fog!) and I know one person was using this method to tracklay in his caravan that evening (it doesn’t take much to amuse a dedicated Triallist!). We then had to plot a track on graph paper to lay the following day.
Saturday was a lovely sunny day when we were indoors, but in true Working Trial form, when we went outside for practical tracklaying it rained! Much needed and very refreshing after the extreme heat we had been experiencing. John was very patient with us all, giving those who required more tuition clear and concise instruction to enable them to lay initially a straight line, a 90 degree corner and 45 degree corner. We then laid the tracks we designed and retrieved the articles ourselves.
It was a very enjoyable weekend, with a great bunch of enthusiastic participants, who had travelled some distances to be with us. John from Devon, others from Gloucestershire, Suffolk, Kent, Northumberland, there was only one person from Sussex (apart from our Treasurer) who attended, as the organiser of this event, I did find disappointing. Those who could not join us missed an excellent opportunity to further their knowledge on the art of Tracklaying. Hopefully this course has sowed some seeds and Trials will see some new (much needed) Tracklayers in the future.