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1923 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1923 24 Hours of Le Mans the 24 Hours Grand Prix of Endurance, was the inaugural Grand Prix of Endurance, took place on 26 and 27 May 1923. A strong field of twenty manufacturers entered, all from France aside from a single Bentley from Great Britain and a pair of Excelsiors from Belgium. In a rain-soaked race it was the Chenard-Walcker team and the Bentley that set the pace, chased by the smaller 2-litre Bignan; the Bentley was delayed by stones smashing a headlight and puncturing the fuel tank, in the end the Chenard-Walckers of René Léonard / André Lagache and Christian Dauvergne / Raoul Bachmann had a comfortable 1–2 victory. However, there was no official victory for them as this event was the first part of three consecutive annual races, for the Rudge-Whitworth Triennial Cup, where the ultimate winner would be the manufacturer whose best car exceeded their nominated target distance by the greatest margin. So it was the small 1.1-litre Salmson of Desvaux/Casse. It had completed 46 over its 52-lap target.

The race was an excellent exhibition of machine endurance and reliability. Thirty cars finished the event, a number not equalled at Le Mans again until 1993; the final regulations for the event were not completed by Charles Faroux and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest until February 1923. All cars had to be standard 4-seater production models, except those under 1100cc which could be 2-seaters where at least thirty cars had been built; the vehicle had to carry 60kg lead ballast for each passenger space aside from the driver. A maximum of two drivers were allowed, they alone could replenish the fluids, although there was no minimum distance between refills as in years; the fuel was to be supplied by the ACO. Engines had to turned off at pit-stops, only re-started with an onboard starter. All cars had to have standard touring equipment, such as wheel wings, running boards, headlights, a rear-view mirror and ‘warning devices’. None of the entered cars had window-wipers. There was an hors course rule such that every car had to meet a certain ratio of their minimum distance at the 6, 12, 18-hour marks or face disqualification.

The ratios were 85 % and 90 % respectively. The final minimum distances were on a sliding scale based on engine capacity that were kept deliberately lenient for the first race; the distances included the following: To encourage future entries and manufacturer commitment to the event, the sponsors, wheel supplier Rudge-Whitworth, put up a trophy for the manufacturer whose best-performed car had completed the furthest distance in 24 hours over three consecutive years. So, in effect, there was no prize for the individual race win. Curiously, the weekend chosen for the event was when the French moved to "summer time" so clocks were moved forward an hour at 11 pm, therefore the race started at 4 pm Saturday but finished at 5 pm on Sunday. Automobile racing was well established in the Sarthe region, with races since 1906 with the first French Grand Prix; the post-war circuit was 17.26 km in length. From the outskirts of Le Mans city, it ran on the main road southwards to the village of Mulsanne and back.

The start/finish line was two-thirds of the back on the return leg on land rented for the event. The depôts consisted of wooden counters with canvas-roofed areas behind for each car. A race-control tower and two 44m wooden grandstands were built opposite the pits. A footbridge sponsored by Meyrel was built just after the start-line; the track was narrow in places, including the country roads from Mulsanne to Arnage and from the start-line to Pontlieue hairpin For the spectators’ comfort and entertainment through the event, cafés and a dancefloor with jazz-band were set up behind the stands. There was an area for people to use radios to pick up classical music broadcast from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Generators provided power for the public address system and lighting around the spectator area, a long scoreboard was manually maintained giving the cars’ positions and laps completed and target distance. Although most of the track was fenced from the spectators, the roads were not tar-sealed. Roading engineers were employed before the race to apply a temporary mixture of gravel and tar to the road surface.

Acetylene floodlights from the army were set up at the tight corners of Pontlieue and Arnage. For this first endurance trial there were 37 entries, all submitted by the manufacturers rather than individual drivers. Only the 2-car Avions Voisin team were late scratchings. With the cars all painted in their national racing colours, there was a predominance of French blue cars except for a single green Bentley from Great Britain and two Belgian Excelsiors in yellow; the cars were assigned their numbers in the order of their engine size. Many of the car models were co-identified with the French CV-system of automotive horsepower tax; the biggest-engined cars in the field were the 5.3-litre Excelsiors, luxury car-makers from Belgium founded in 1903. Success in racing and sales to the Belgian royal family established the company; the 1922 Adex C had a straight-six engine putting out 130 bhp and could reach 145 kp/h, however its hefty weight impeded its acceleration rate. It had the first anti-roll bar suspension running on Belgian Englebert tyres.

Works drivers, Belgians Nicolas Caerels and André Dills, were pre-war veteran riding mechanics from Grand Prix and Indianapolis. La Lorraine-Dietrich had been founded as a locomotive manufacturer in 1884 in Alsace-Lorraine, moving to automobiles in 1896 entering the early inter-city road-races. At

One-armed versus one-legged cricket

One-armed versus one-legged is a form of cricket in which one team has cricketers with only one arm while the members of the other team only have one leg. There have been several matches of this sort, held for the annual benefit of the Greenwich pensioners – sailors pensioned off from the Royal Navy and resident at the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich; these sailors lost limbs during naval service in the 18th century and so the teams were drawn from the ranks of the pensioners. In 1861, Charles Dickens reported a civilian match at Peckham Rye in his magazine, All the Year Round. In 1766, two teams of Greenwich pensioners played a match at Blackheath; the one-armed team beat the one-legged team quite handily. Two teams of Greenwich pensioners played at Aram's New Ground in Walworth for a prize of a thousand guineas; the match was advertised and so there was a large crowd of spectators. The teams arrived in three stagecoaches at 9 in the morning and play started at 10; the one-legged team batted first.

The one-armed team scored 42 runs in their first innings but there had been a great commotion while they were batting as a press of would-be spectators broke down a gate and some fencing to get in. Some climbed on top of a stable; the one-legged team scored sixty more runs for the loss of six wickets. The game finished that evening with the one-legged team winning by 153 runs to 42. There was a rematch on the following Wednesday. A one-legged batter lost his wooden leg while making a run; the leg was thrown to stump him. This was a fine point of rules as the batter's equipment had not disturbed the wicket while making the stroke but he was still given out. Notwithstanding this loss, the one-legged team won again by 103 runs; the spectacle concluded with a 100-yard dash in which the one-legged team raced for a prize pool of 20 guineas. Two teams of Greenwich pensioners played at Hall's ground in Camberwell. Two teams of Greenwich pensioners played at a ground part of Lewisham Priory; the match was organised by Messrs Ingersoll and Stanton who managed to attract two thousand, four hundred spectators who were attracted by the novelty of the event.

The game was played over two days and the teams were well-provisioned throughout, being given a hearty lunch before play and dinners of roast beef and lamb with plenty of strong ale at the Bull Inn. A band provided music for the occasion and the cricket players were additionally rewarded with a glass of grog and a fee of ten shillings; the one-legged men had difficulty connecting with the wide bowling being got out as they span around like a top. The one-armed team was the betting favourite and won the match, scoring 50 runs in their first innings and 41 in the second; the score of the one-legged team was 32 and 44, making the result 91 to 76 in favour of the one-armed team. Charles Dickens reported a match in his magazine, All the Year Round, having seen an advertisement in the window of a tobacconist, it was held at Peckham Rye in the grounds of the Rosemary Branch tavern, which hosted many sporting events and pastimes. The match was for the benefit of one of the one-armed men and the players were locals but one was a well-known musical barber and dancer from Essex, who bowled for the one-legged team.

Some spectators sat on benches but Dickens sat on the roller, used to level the pitch. He described the spectacle as "painfully wonderful and ludicrously horrible":The one-legged men were pretty well with the bat, but they were rather beaten when it came to fielding. There was a horrible Holbeinish fun about the way they stumped and jolted after the ball. A converging rank of crutches and wooden legs tore down upon the ball from all sides; the one-armed men had a much less veteran air about them. There was a shapely lad in a pink Jersey, from having his hand off only at the wrist looked at a distance like a stripling with his hand hidden by a long coat-cuff, but again, there was a thickset, sturdy fellow, in a blue cap, of the "one-leg" party, though he had lost one foot, seemed to run and walk as well as ordinary people. Again, on the "one-leg" side, there was an ostentatious amount of infirmity in the shape of one or two pale men with crutches, yet everybody appeared merry and good natured, determined to enjoy the game to his heart's content.

And when the musical and Terpsichorean barber rattled the wickets or made the balls fly, did not the plates in the refreshment tent dance with pleasure!... Now, a lad who lost his leg when a baby, as a bystander told me, took up the bat and went in with calm self-reliance, the game went forward with the usual concomitants. Now come the tips, the misses, the by-balls, the leg hits, the swinging blows that intend so much and do nothing, the echoing swashing cuts, the lost balls, the stumpings-out, the blocks, the slow treacherous balls, the spinning, bruising roundhanders. What is a blow on the knuckles to a man who has lost a leg or an arm, who has felt the surgeon's saw and the keen double-edged knife? Yet all this time there was rather a ghastly reminder of suffering about the whole affair, to my mind. I could fancy the game

The Ben Miller Band

The Ben Miller Band is an American band, formed in 2005 in Joplin, Missouri. The band's lineup consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Ben Miller, bassist and back-up vocalist, Scott Leeper, lead/back-up vocalist, violinist/cellist and electric-cactus player, Rachel Ammons, guitarist/bassist/percussionist, Bob Lewis; the Ben Miller Band combines elements of folk, blues and country into their music. The Ben Miller Band's sound had been self-described by the band as "Ozark Stomp" but in reference to their label, is now referred to as "Mudstomp". In 2010 The Ben Miller Band released a pair of albums. 1 Ton was released on June 10, 2010, with 2 Ton released shortly after on August 5, 2010. The albums are each unique. On May 22, 2011 their hometown of Joplin, Missouri was destroyed by a tornado. In response to the tragedy, the band established a charity to help restore the community, they released a benefit album titled Record for Joplin. The release of this charity album was followed shortly after by another release titled Heavy Load in 2012.

The Ben Miller band won a slot as the opener for ZZ Top in 2013. Their performances with ZZ Top garnered attention from reviewers, they were signed to New West Records in that year. In 2014 the band found themselves in the studio recording with Vance Powell and subsequently released the album Any Way, Shape or Form. Original member Doug Dicharry left the band at the end of 2015. Soon after, Rachel Ammons and Bob Lewis were asked to join the band. Since the band has continued touring North America and Europe, their latest album, titled Choke Cherry Tree, was released on January 2018 on New West Records. 1 Ton 2 Ton Heavy Load Any Way, Shape or Form Choke Cherry Tree Record for Joplin Official website