The Soapbox Derby 2018

By Helen Harkness

A small band of Spadeadam MC members made their way to a hill in an undisclosed location (behind my house) to do battle in the 2018 Soap Box derby. We had 4 soapboxes and 6 competitors ready to face “The Hill”. Graham Petry and Lewis Hodgson as Juniors. Philip Hodgson, Barry Lindsay, Nigel Harkness and myself as seniors.

First run, Barry decided to set the standard at 59 seconds, next was Graham on 1.02. as he had no brothers to battle he’d decided that beating his Uncle Barry was the day’s goal! Nigel was next on 1.03 and as my goal was to beat Nigel, my run of 1.06 wasn’t looking good! Lewis and Phil brought a new soapbox with them, it looked a beast of a box, with far more weight than the rest of us. However, on Lewis’ first run that weight was a bit too much and the soapbox wasn’t particularly steerable. He took a spill and unfortunately had to cut his day short with a trip to A&E. His dad then decided to have a go and did make the first corner (just) and got a 1.06.

Next run, Barry was once again in the lead with 58 seconds, I was next with 1 minute flat, Graham just behind on 1.01. Nigel was behind him on 1.03 and then Phil on 1.06 again. That was to be the last run for the “Green Goddess” as on its next trip down the hill, the steering broke, luckily that time it was the only thing!


Third run, we’d all started to get into the swing of things, I was trying not to brake on the first 90 right, but could still only manage a 59 seconds, while Barry got 56 seconds, Phil was 3rd fastest on 58 seconds using a different soapbox, then Nigel on 1.02. Which was fine by me, as I was thinking about who was making supper!

Well, by the fourth run, we’d almost all made it in the below 60 seconds group. I had made the mistake of giving Graham a bit of tactical advice and got himself a 57seconds, which meant that he’d got the same time has his uncle Barry. I was trailing on 58 seconds, Nigel then behind me on 59 seconds and Phil on a different Soapbox again, on 1 minute flat.

Our fifth and final run saw all of us under 1minute. Graham had decided that this was his chance and he was going to “Go for it!!” and he did, he got the fastest time of the day with 55 seconds. However, Barry also got a good run of 55 seconds. Nigel was behind them on 56 seconds and then myself with 58 and then Phil on 59.


The results are worked out on the total time taken on the five runs.

So this year’s winner was Barry with a total time of 4minutes 45 seconds.

Thank you to Michael Lindsay for the exceptional soapbox transportation back up the hill after each run. Caroline Lodge for results and “first on scene” cover. Geoffrey Harkness for the starts and the landowner, Watson Graham for letting us use his yard.

Thank you also to those who came to compete and to watch. We’d like to see more members support events like this, as they’re something that the whole family can get involved in, it’s a fun, cheap afternoon’s entertainment

More Photos can be found HERE

Results from the Soapbox Derby

1st Barry Lindsay          4 minutes 45 seconds

2nd Graham Petry        4 minutes 55 seconds

3rd Helen Harkness      5 minutes 01 seconds

4th Nigel Harkness       5 minutes 03 seconds

5th Philip Hodgeson     5 minutes 09 seconds