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About Maiden City Motor Club

The Birth of the Maiden City Motor Club

Through the eyes of the late Eddie Campbell

I have lots of very fond memories of the M.C.M.C. from its birth to the present day. Many of them I would like to share with you. In Nov 73, Matt Doherty, Jimmy Stewart, Ian Templeton & Dr Kinsella met at Jimmy’s home to find a way of forming a car club. The North of Ireland Car Club was now defunk so they approached the R.A.C. in Pall Mall London(later became MSA then Motorpsort UK).  In 1974 a group of like minded enthusiasts meet in the Broomhill House Hotel, Limavady Road. We found that we had more than enough people in attendance to put their signatures forward for acceptance to the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs(ANICC). We needed 50 names, there were over 350 people at that first meeting.

Edmund Campbell standing with hand on helmet at Benbradagh Hillclimb















I stand to be corrected but I believe that

the first office bearers were as follows,

•    Matt Doherty Sec.,
•    John Wilson Treasurer,
•    Dr Jimmy Stewart Chair Person.
•    Dr Kinsella President.


In 1975 we held our first events.

These were closed events for club members only. The likes of which were fun Autotests, in places like the Guildhall Square and the old Eglinton Airfield. We then progressed to organising Rallies and Sprints with the help of Derek Smyth, Richard Charlesson, Elkin Robinson, Gerry O’Doherty and others. And lest not forget Matt Doherty, he was always there to keep the paper work in order.

The Club has gone from strength to strength ever since, much akin to “The Mighty Oak”.

As we started to run events, it became apparent that we needed sponsors. These came in the form of:-
•    Norris Bros Gorticaw,
•    Eakin Bros Maydown,
•    R V McFaul Ardmore,
•    The late Ronnie Ross Campsie,
•    Long’s Supermarkets Strand Road,
•    Patsy Ferguson Fuels Derry.
•    And others.

I had the great privilege of organising the Autotests when they were included into the N I championship.

At the club meeting on Jan 81 I put forward a proposal that we should run our first hillclimb, this was met with great enthusiasm from all in attendance. I was set the task of getting the ball rolling and report back at the Feb meeting.
Later that month Kieran Harrigan and I went to the A.N.I.C.C. who gave their consent providing we could get a speed event date. Mike Ford Hutchinson from the Larne Motor Club said they were not using their Aug date, he suggested I write to their secretary for approval. We got the full cooperation of all the bodies involved. That meant all systems go.

A committee was set up to get the hillclimb going. Michael Coyle lived beside Benbradagh in Dungiven, that’s why it was planned for there. Michael got the communication lines sorted for the time keepers, running a line of nearly 1 1/2 mile to the top of the hill. He also went with me to speak to the people who lived on the hill.
On Sat 22nd August 1981 Radio Foyle sent a reporter to the “Norris Bros Benbradagh Hillclimb” which was to become an annual event. From the 1st May 82 “Benbradagh Hillclimb” became an important round of the hillclimb championships. The rest as they say is history.
Of course times change as do the faces. I am happy to say that the Club is still in very capable hands today.

One of our competitors even became an International celebrity. He made an appearance as a navigator at one of our club rallies over 25 years ago, who else but Rory Kennedy from Letterkenny.

The Club has always enjoyed the great friendship and cooperation of the Donegal Motor Club. As a result I have made a lot of friends who to this day still support a great many of the clubs events. The likes of David Wasson, Jim Callaghan, the late Danny Caddy, Charlie Reid & the Ladies.

I decided to put up a trophy for the Clubman of the Year, which I later changed to a plaque so names could be engraved on it. The award was to be given to the member who proved outstanding for that year. The first recipient was Elkin Robinson of Donemana, later to be won by the likes of Matt Doherty, Willie Bredin and many others.
Almost everyone involved in the sport has heard of Matt Doherty.
At one time he lived and breathed this club. Over the years Matt has brought forward many great ideas for the benefit of the club. I can’t remember them all but the two that stick out most in my mind were the Rally Forum held in Eakin Bros garage Maydown. Jimmy McCrea, CB Curley, the late Bertie Fisher & Austin Frazer were a few of the people on the panel answering questions. Of course it was enjoyed by all.
Our entry of a float in the Mayor’s civic week parade was another. Matt called at my house one night and told me his idea for the float. He wanted to put a live band on Patsy Ferguson’s 40’ trailer. The main problem was electricity.
I said all I had was my big Lister diesel generator that I used at my garage.
Arrangements were made for members to meet the Monday night before the parade to start work on the float. Final decorations were put up on the Saturday morning. Of course it was a big success and we won top prize in our class & the overall prize for the day. Our float was held for over ½ an hour at the Guildhall Square so everyone could dance to the music of the live band, whose name escapes me. Of course several floats the following year copied Matt’s idea and had bands of their own.

The Club went on to supply 3 International Clerks of the Course for the Donegal Rally, Matt Doherty, Declan McCay and Danny Gormley, a WRC Chief Timekeeper & Communications, Robert McDaid, and many others who regularly fill the top rally positions for the Ulster Rally, Circuit of Ireland and many others on the island.
I’m afraid that’s all I have room for now. My apologies to anyone not mentioned I can’t remember it all. Some photographs attached may bring back a few memories & identify some of the people in them.

My best wishes to all involved in the club, past & present and hope it continues to grow from strength to strength in the years to come.

Eddie Campbell.



Rory Kennedy79.JPG

Our Club

Maiden City Motor Club is a seasoned ANICC member, having been in existence since 1974. We organize and run exciting motorsport events, affiliated with Motorsport UK. Our main competitions include Rally and Hillclimb events. We have strong support from Community Organizations who share our passion for motorsport.

This photograph shows some of our current Club Members as Prizewinners at the 2022 AGM for the Club.


Many of our members are qualified Marshals/Officials, with many years experience, starting off at Clubman events, up to International and World Rally Championship events. These Marshals work with both Motorsport UK and Motorsport Ireland events.

Many of our Officials work with the other Clubs and events, that take place on the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs (ANICC) annual calendar.

Our Senior Officials cover essential positions from Timekeepers, Stage Commanders, Safety Officers, up to Clerk of the Course, with all the Trainee and Deputy positions that are associated with the various jobs.


Meet The Chairman and Secretary

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