Polkinghorne’s seventh Goldfields Scramble at Cavalier Hill Kalgoorlie 1951

Polkinghorne’s seventh Goldfields Scramble at Cavalier Hill Kalgoorlie 1951

1951 Goldfields Scramble - Cavalier Hill, Kalgoorlie

8 MAY 1951, hosted by the GOLDFIELDS Motor cycle club
1951 Goldfields Scramble winners, Kalgoorlie - Jack Polkinghorne (1st) and Peter Nicol (2nd)
1951 Goldfields Scramble Winning Royal Enfield Team winners - Ron Gill, Rube Merrals and Peter Nicol

Photos: [Left] Veteran Kalgoorlie rider Jack Polkinhorne and young Peter Nicol 1-2 in the 1951 Goldfields Scramble at Cavalier Hill in Kalgoorlie ; and [Right] Winning Royal Enfield Team winners – Ron Gill (10), Nicol (8) and Rube Merrals (5) – Peter Nicol Collection.

Polkinghorne's Seventh win in Goldfields Scramble over young Perth rider Nicol

On Sunday, 6 May 1951, Kalgoorlie rider Jack Polkinghorne recorded his seventh win in Goldfields Scramble riding a 500cc Ariel.

But his win didn’t come easy with the veteran locked in a thrilling dual with young Perth rider Peter Nicol in the Goldfield’s Motor Cycle Club’s 34 mile (54 kms) scramble at the Cavalier Hill circuit.

Riding a 350cc Royal Enfield “bullet”, 20-year old Nicol took it right up to “Polky” as he is nicknamed, with the pair at times riding wheel-to-wheel with the hometown hero winning in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 15 seconds.

Nicol was just 32 seconds behind at the finish with Perth veteran Rube Merrals finishing in third, also on a Royal Enfield, ahead of another veteran Goldfields rider K. Marshall on a 500cc Triumph.

It was a big day for Peter Nicol, finishing second in the prestigious Goldfields Scramble, winning the trophy for the best winning visitor, and claiming the winning team prize as part of the Royal Enfield Group with Merrals and Ron Gill.

Established in 1914, 110 years ago, the Goldfields Motor Cycle is one of Australia’s oldest clubs – over the years as well as motocross, hosting around-the-town road racing events, pony express and 2-day enduros and even land speed events in its early days.

While not reaching the same crowds, the club’s annual Golden Wheel Classic in the 1980s rivalled the King of the Cross and Manjimup 15,000 for competitors and prize money.

The club has even hosted a round of the Australian Motocross Championships, with Glen Bell winning the 1991 Australian 500cc Championship at the Ted Percy Circuit. 

The GMCC’s motocross track is now located at the Ken Marshall complex – which is a 110 acre freehold site on Percy Road, Kalgoorlie – with the club hosting both junior and motocross events, including evening events under floodlights.

Motocross legends and champions Graeme Smythe, Paul Broomfield and Mick Hothersal hail from Kalgoorlie with Smythe inducted into the Goldfields Sporting Hall of Fame in 2021.

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1951 Goldfields Scramble Results

1951 - The Kalgoorlie Miner - 6 May - Goldfields Open - Royal Enfield Advertisement

Championship Results

1. Jack Polkinghorne (500cc Ariel)
2. Peter Nicol (350cc Royal Enfield)
3. Rube Merrals (350cc Royal Enfield)
4. K. Marshall (500cc Triumph)

Best Visiting Rider

Peter Nicol (350cc Royal Enfield)

Winning Team

Royal Enfield

Peter Nicol
Rube Merrals
Ron Gill

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