Blackpool South Shore Motor Club (BSSMC) was officially founded on 1 st September 1950 by a breakaway group of Blackpool & Fylde Motor Club members. The new club found a home above the premises of the local BMC dealers in Station Road, close to South Pier, staying there long after the garage became an amusement arcade.

Indeed, the club was based there for over fifty years, only moving a couple of miles across town to the Clarence (PH) on Preston New Road in 2003 where the Thursday night meetings are still held each week.

The club's rally links stretch back almost back to its origins with a number of members recording both class and outright wins during the 1950s and 60s. When Blackpool was used as a night halt on the 1968 RAC Rally the club were tasked with running the Main Time Controls and Parc Ferme on the Promenade's Middle Walk. Their members local knowledge came in handy in providing protection to the cars engine compartments from the incoming high tide as they parked them under cover of the Middle Walk with the non-engine part facing the sea.

Another link with Britain's premier rally came some six years later when BSSMC member of the day Mick Lonergan was tasked with the building of the Ford Escort Mk1 to be driven by Billy Coleman on the event. Lonergan worked for the town's main Ford dealers, Thomas Motors, who were one of Blue Oval's favoured satellite rally preparation teams of the day and to whom Coleman, as a Ford of Britain Competition Department contracted driver, was assigned.

Although rallying has always been the club's principal discipline, for a period during the 1970s and early 80s it was also a major player on the Autotest scene. A large car park adjacent to South Pier was used for this purpose but when the venue was lost with the building of the Sandcastle Waterpark, a local supermarket car park was then brought into use. Unfortunately the owners weren't best pleased with the tyre marks resulting from multiple hand-brake turns and the loss of another venue finally put an end to the tests.

The club ran regular road rallies during the 1970s but surprisingly it wasn't until 1987 that they switched their organisational skills to stage rallying. They received so many applications for entries on their first stage rally that they had to seek special permission to split it into two events that then ran over consecutive weekends. Squires Gate (Blackpool) Airport was the venue then and whilst the Roskirk Stages still survives, nowadays it is held at the Three Sisters Race Circuit near Wigan.

The Roskirk was named after two club stalwarts, Geoff Rostron and Roy Kirkham, who were drowned in a speed boating accident whilst returning to Barrow-in-Furness from Piel Island. Kirkham had been one of three ‘joint winners' in the 1961 Yorkshire Rally, the inaugural round of the Motoring News Rally series. He was ultimately placed second as his ‘Frogeye' Sprite's engine was of a larger capacity than Mike Sutcliffe's Mini that was awarded the win.

The club's other annual rally is the Keith Frecker Memorial Stages, which is held at the Weeton Army Camp just outside the town, and is also named in memory of a former member.

The Club are members of the Association of North Western Car Clubs (ANWCC) and Motorsport (North West) Ltd, organisers of the North West Stages, the regions biggest multi-venue stage rally. With Blackpool having played host to that event since 2005 it's hardly surprising to find that many South Shore members are heavily involved in it's running.

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Contact information

BSSMC Ltd

c/o 6 Blackthorn Close, Thornton, FY5 2ZA

E-mail: info@bssmc.com