Historical information

Rob Roy-EDHS visit 12 May 2016

On 12th May 2016 some members of the Eltham District Historical Society and others were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit and explore the Rob Roy Hillclimb in Clintons Road, Christmas Hills.

This followed an invitation from Don Kinsey and Wayne Ruston, members of the MG Car Club, which operates Rob Roy. At the time, both men were actively involved in the running of the meetings there, Don, an EDHS member, as a course commentator, with a wide range of motorsport experiences, and Wayne as the main organiser of the meetings.

Don Kinsey welcomed the group and spoke about the historical background of the property and the hillclimb, then led those interested around the site and up the hillclimb track, stopping at spots along the way to provide additional information. Everyone enjoyed their experiences, including inspecting Wayne Ruston’s MGBV8.

The Rob Roy Hill Climb originated in 1935 on the property of former Heidelberg Mayor, William Clinton, where he reared the Rob Roy breed of miniature ponies. He established Pleasure Grounds on part of the property attracting groups of Sunday visitors from Melbourne's inner suburbs. Visitors enjoyed a picnic area, pony rides, a dance hall and a tap room. Young men would ride their BSA or Harley Davidson motorcycles to the property which led to regular club-organised hillclimb meetings between 1930 and 1936.

In 1935 Clinton offered the use of his property to the Light Car Club of Australia for their hillclimbs. The track was sealed that same year and the hillclimb at Clintons Road was one of only three specially designed bitumen surface hillclimbs in the world, the others being Shelsey Walsh and Prescott Hillclimbs in the UK. The first Light Car Club of Australia hillclimb was held at Rob Roy in February 1937.

Physical description

10 images - born digital