The way we were: December 1937

By Richard Rosenthal, 13 November 2012. Originally appeared in The Classic MotorCycle
BSA was on a sales roll before the war
BSA was on a sales roll before the war

Despite the build up of tension in Europe, motorcycle trade began to enjoy better times with a rise of almost 20% in sales in two years. Official figures confirmed the total sales of all makes and types of motorcycles for 1935 were 46,311 rising to 56,077 by close of play on December 31, 1937. Of the British makers BSA sold over 19,000 machines worldwide.

Why was the year’s Exeter Trial held in January of the following year? That was the question asked in the car and motorcycle Press. Publishers carried in their December issues details of the 1937 event, which would be held January 7-8, 1938…

Logic of sorts applied insomuch as traditionally the Exeter was held on the Friday and Saturday night following Christmas.

In 1936, Christmas Day fell on Friday, thus the first Friday and Saturday following Christmas Day were January 1-2, 1937.

All of which has some logic to it, but how the 1937 event became to be run on 7 and 8 January 1938 seems to defy the same logic as the first Friday and Saturday after Christmas would have been Friday December 31, 1937 and January 1, 1938. Puzzling, eh?