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brooklands bulletin

Concorde: 50 years on from going supersonic The Journal for Brooklands Members

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It’s a real privilege and honour to introduce myself as Editor of the Brooklands Bulletin. Taking over the hot seat of the magazine is very exciting and a chance to learn so much more about the work of Members and the Museum. I’ve been a regular visitor to Brooklands for many years and also remember passing it during my time studying in nearby Farnham, so it’s a place that has been a big influence on me. However, that’s enough about me, so let’s talk about this latest issue. We’ve been busy finessing the redesign of the Bulletin and, hopefully, you appreciate the changes to better mirror the wide interests of Members and the vast number of activities around the Museum. This is your magazine, so please tell us what you think and keep sending in features and photographs: we need your support and contributions to make the Bulletin a true reflection of the Members’ vast knowledge. You’ll see from the front cover that Concorde has played a major part in recent events at Brooklands. This sensational aircraft deserves all the attention it receives as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first supersonic flight. At a slightly slower pace, we have news on the successful Aviation Day. As winter approaches, we also have the Brooklands Torchlight Tours every month between now and February. They give a very different perspective on the Museum, so if you haven’t been on one before, now’s the time to book. I’m looking forward to going on one soon, so hopefully I’ll see you there. Alisdair Suttie Editor Brooklands Bulletin

16 28 24 REGULARS


News................................... 4 Letters............................... 13

Project 240, The Vickers Story.................................. 16

Forthcoming Events........... 14

Torchlight Tours.................. 24

Members’ Matters............. 40

Gwenda the Racing Queen part 2................................ 28

Reviews............................. 45 Updates............................. 46 Around the Collection........ 50

Record-breaking Rudge returns............................... 34

Front cover photo by Mike Venables

Become a Member Brooklands Trust Members is the official support organisation for Brooklands Museum and is dedicated to raising funds for the preservation of the historic Brooklands site. Members receive the Bulletin six times per year and enjoy free admission to the Museum, except when major events are taking place, in which case additional charges may apply. Club Level Members have access to the Clubhouse Bar on Thursday, Friday and Sunday lunchtimes. For full details of membership benefits, contact the BT Administrator, Tim Morris: 01932 857381 ext 226; or www.brooklandsmembers. co.uk where you can find the latest news on Brooklands.





Concorde at 50 Throughout 2019 a number of events have been held at Brooklands to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s maiden flights. On 1 October, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Concorde’s first supersonic flight we held an event to say thank you to the Concorde team of volunteers for helping to deliver an amazing Jubilee year. Without knowledge, passion and experience of the Concorde volunteers, we could not deliver one of the most popular visitor attractions, not only in this anniversary year but on a daily basis. Our engineers, pilots and stewards are vital to keeping the Concorde dream alive. Jenny Pettit Sir Gerald Acher, Chairman of Brooklands Museum, pictured with volunteers Mike Warren, Carol Cornwell and John Carter.

Chief Concorde Pilot and Deputy Chairman Brooklands Trust, Captain Mike Bannister reflects on being part of the Concorde Volunteer team.



news Members reunite badge with Napier-Railton

The Napier-Railton has been reunited with its famous bonnet badge after much detective work by Members. It has now been reattached to the car after a donation of £1500 from Members towards the cost of purchasing the badge.

Paul Barton, one of the volunteers at Brooklands, put in a great deal of work to track down the original Napier-Railton badge. There were some delicate negotiations to conclude the deal, but they managed to strike a deal that the seller, the Museum and the Members are all satisfied with. With the badge safely acquired, it was entrusted to P&A Wood to re-affix it in the correct position on the Napier-Railton. The Napier-Railton’s badge was a prominent feature on the car throughout its racing career, even if it doesn’t appear on early photographs of the car during initial testing. It is believed to have been removed around the time the car was being used to test GQ Parachutes after the Second World War. It has been a busy summer for the Napier-Railton and it was in action at the Shere Hill Climb on 1 September. It proved a huge attraction both in the main display area and the Brooklands Members’ stand where it helped generate a great deal of interest in potential membership. Alisdair Suttie

Capri Day The Ford Capri marked its 50th anniversary at Brooklands on 8 September as many of ‘The car you always promised yourself’ arrived. There were several of the Brooklands special edition models present that marked the end of Capri production in 1986. Among the rarer models on display were early Mk1 RS versions that had been restored to better than new condition. Models spanning the entire history of the Ford Capri made the most of the sunshine and parking around the Clubhouse to make the day a huge success.

Message from Members’ Chairman In the last edition, I invited your feedback on the changes to the Bulletin. I must confess to a sense of relief that it was overwhelmingly positive. We know from the Membership Survey that you value the Bulletin as a key benefit of your membership. Your responses indicate we have got the basics right. I have replied to many of you, but if you haven’t received a personal reply, rest assured that all feedback is being considered by the team. The Members’ Committee has come a long way in our first decade. Few could have anticipated the success we have had in recruiting and retaining such a committed membership, but success brings challenges. We need to be careful that as we move forward we continue to provide the benefits and services you really appreciate. We need to plan the future carefully, as over the coming years we need to consolidate, probably growing modestly rather than exponentially, and therefore need to assess carefully what changes we may need to make. This assessment must be made jointly with the Museum to ensure our future development is closely aligned with their strategy. We have agreed a meeting with the Museum in the next couple of months to discuss this and



Harrier talk Owner and restorer of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier Paul Griffiths gave a fascinating talk at Brooklands on 19 September. He gave insights into the Harrier’s restoration and when it competed in the 1969 Transatlantic Air Race, which it won in 6hrs 11mins. XV741 is now on display at Brooklands as part of the Museum’s First to Fastest exhibition. You can see the whole of Paul Griffith’s superb talk on BM.tv at: https://vimeo.com/brooklandsmembers Steve Clarke

draw up a realistic plan that builds on the success of our first decade. I will ensure that you are kept fully updated in plain English. I have said repeatedly that I would like our members to feel they belong rather than just contribute, so it is important you are informed and able to influence our future development. In the story above, you can read about the acquisition of the original Napier-Railton badge, which now sits majestically in its original position on the car. It was the unanimous decision of your committee to fund this purchase, a decision which I hope you agree with. On 8 November, we will be holding our annual dinner in the Napier Room and I look forward to seeing many of you there. Our President, Damon Hill OBE, will be present and I know that members and guests attending look forward to meeting him. On this occasion, could I ask Members not to ask Damon to sign items. There are other opportunities coming up to meet Damon and for autographs and signings. Neil Bailey






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news Winter Draw launched

Jaguar visit The Surrey and Hampshire Border region of The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club visited Brooklands on one of the hottest days of the year. Arriving on 25 August in brilliant sunshine, 30 cars made up the Jaguar display after a scenic 60-mile run through the roads of Surrey to reach Brooklands. Several members of the club took the opportunity to have their cars photographed under the wings of Concorde, which also provided some much needed shade from the hot weather. Everyone from The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club had a great day and all of the members who attended wish to pass on their thanks to the Brooklands team. Andrew Honour

Alvis Day It’s that time of year again when the Brooklands Members offer you the chance to win £1000, £500 or £250 with our Winter Raffle. In the past you have been most generous and helped with various projects, including the refurbishment of the test hills rails, the magnificent scoreboard and of course the Commer fire engine, plus many other projects. This year we are asking for your help to refurbish the Clubhouse Foyer. The plans are now complete and I can assure you that the finished work will be most impressive, including a lift to the first floor. I have volunteered to promote the raffle this year and a very ambitious target has been set, so Brooklands needs all of your help. Members should receive raffle tickets costing £1 each in books of 10 through the post. If you need more, please contact the administration office at the Museum on: 01932 857381 ext 226; or David Norfolk direct on: 01372 373929. David Norfolk

A Distinguished day

Rain failed to dampen the spirits of the dapper ladies and gentlemen who gathered at Brooklands to take part in the 2019 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. This is a worldwide initiative with more than 680 ride-outs and 115,000 entrants. Brooklands was the location for the West London ride organised by Jack Lilley Motorcycles of Ashford. There were 281 riders registered, each raising their own sponsorship and several of those taking part were Brooklands Members too. Most managed to keep their vintage clothing relatively dry despite the showers and 8

The Alvis Owners Club celebrated the company’s centenary at Brooklands with a large gathering of models covering the firm’s history. Pre-war Alvis cars were well represented including 12/50 ‘Beatleback’, Silver Crest and front-wheel drive models. The post-war models turned out in large numbers, with everything from TA to TF versions and some race coachbuilt examples. Alvis cars regularly competed at Brooklands and a notable success was winning the 1923 200 Miles race. The cars attending the centenary event drove at a more sedate pace but everyone attending had a very enjoyable day. Gareth Tarr

Barnes Wallis Remembered

the men and ladies paraded around the Paddock admiring the large number of classic motorcycles. It was quite a sight as the time to leave came and the riders streamed past Concorde and out into the wilds of North Surrey. They kept together on a circular route via Hampton Court, arriving back at Brooklands a short while later having raised more than £30,000 for men’s charities, including Prostate Cancer and Movember. A superb result for the splendidly well-dressed and distinguished gentlemen and ladies. Tim Morris


An exhibition was held at the Manor House Tithe Barn in Little Bookham in September to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Sir Barnes Wallis. The exhibition, organised by Vivien White and Effingham Residents Association, was held on the Heritage open day and was a fitting tribute to Sir Barnes with displays detailing his working life, airships, aircraft, bouncing bomb and more alongside his family life in Effingham, where he is buried in St Lawrence’s Church yard. Brooklands Museum helped by loaning exhibits to the exhibition and volunteer Derek Hattersley was kept busy all day talking about Sir Barnes to the many visitors. Other events marking the anniversary included a talk at Surrey History Centre by Peter Rix and a talk in St Lawrence Church, Effingham by Robert Owen, the 617 Squadron historian. Tim Morris

news Soaring Aviation Day

This year’s Aviation Day on 22 September featured a rotary wing fly-in on the airstrip plus other special attractions and activities on the Museum site. Although Gary Savage had pre-booked 17 helicopters to fly in, sadly most of these reluctantly cancelled during the day due to unusually bad weather. However, our airfield team was ready for visitors as planned at 10am and Gary arrived five minutes later with the familiar Fairoaks-based Bell Jetranger G-TEGS. An hour later, Bill Pitcher arrived with three passengers in his ex-Army

Gazelle (G-EZZL) from Great Bookham via Dunsfold. After a heavy storm had passed, our third and final airborne visitors were the intrepid Steve Atherton and a friend arriving from Yorkshire, arriving just before 1.30pm in his very colourful ex-RAF Gazelle (G-CDNO) which was beautifully painted in tribute to Jonathon Whaley’s well-known Hawker Hunter called Miss Demeanour. With no further aircraft expected, the airfield was then temporarily closed to flying to allow interested members of the public to view and photograph the helicopters at

American Day has film star appeal

It is said that England and the USA are two nations divided by a common language. The same sentiment could also be applied to transport and the fascination of seeing how things are done on the other side of the pond drew many to Brooklands for September’s American Day. The 1950s Baby Boom era cars were most popular, and many vehicles at Brooklands represented that period with their chrome, tail fins and outlandish styling. 1959 was the peak and a wonderful blue and white Dodge Consort from that year was a crowd favourite. Among the others cars that proved hugely popular were ones similar to those from famous films. A Ford Mustang GT350 like Steve McQueen’s from Bullitt was a star, alongside a sinister black Dodge Charger like the one driven by the villains in that film. 10

A Mustang Mach 1 like the Bond car in Diamonds are Forever was joined by a 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville similar to the one from The Deer Hunter and a Lincoln Continental Mark IV from 1970s detective series Canon. Prince’s Little Red Corvette could be spotted, while a pink Ford Thunderbird earned lot of admiring looks. If these cars weren’t distinctive enough, others showed off the custom car genre. A glitter pink Mercury Comet was impossible to miss, but star turn was the distressed hotrod called Judge Mental with fluorescent green Lalique-style mascot and no end of detail features. American motorbikes were also present with Harley-Davidsons being dominant, although a decorative Indian also caught the eye. Gareth Tarr


close quarters before all three departed in succession just before 4.45pm. Meanwhile, across the river, there was the popular pedal planes and a temporary exhibition staged by Mike Jones in the Press Hut about the history of Fairoaks Airport. Impressive aero engine ground runs were performed mid-afternoon by the Museum’s Vickers Vimy and Sopwith Camel that were both running very well after recent servicing. Julian Aubert’s three Edwardian monoplanes also demonstrated their all-weather capability by running mid-morning too. As usual, our very sincere thanks go to everyone who enabled us to entertain and inspire nearly 1000 visitors on the day despite the adverse weather. Julian Temple




1949 HEALEY SILVERSTONE One of 150 fine classic motor cars consigned to this significant sale. Chassis No. D21. Verified by the Association of Healey Owners. Rich and fascinating competition pedigree. Estimate: £135,000-£170,000.


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Saturday 23rd November Motorcars: 9.30am Entry by catalogue


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d:class can offer for all makes of car a full upgrade from cloth to leather. This will be done to OEM spec ensuring that it is finished using original patterns, perforations styles and colours. We use only high graded leather with exact grains to match factory finishes and all work is carried out in house. We do not use off the shelf kits and all our work carries a 3-year guarantee. Alternatively, if you prefer you can overhaul your interior with a completely new and unique finish. Using the brightest leathers on the market or designing your own custom bespoke design on our state-ofthe-art CNC stitch, embroidery and perforation machine. If you can think it, we can create it. Many unique and award-winning interiors have been produced and restored by d:class and once they have rolled out of our workshops they can be seen nationally and internationally across, not only our own social media but many social media influencers and renown publications.  

Hood fitting and rear screen repairs

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Please send letters to the Bulletin on any topic connected with Brooklands to the Alisdair Suttie on: brooklandsbulletineditor@gmail.com

Bugatti’s arduous journey home

Charles Martin’s Bugatti Type 59 that raced at Brooklands on display at this year’s Monterey Week. The car was originally collected and driven home by Martin.

Dear Sir, Bugatti Trust Chairman Hugh Conway gave a fascinating talk in September on the history of the marque. At the end of the talk

letters under ‘Any questions’, I reported the story of a Type 59 Grand Prix car driven back to England on the public highway for racing at Brooklands, a story even Hugh did not know. I have now had a chance to do research in the David Venables book Bugatti, a Racing History published by Haynes and thought members might be interested in the full story. The Type 59 was the last serious Bugatti Grand Prix car and appeared for the 1934 season but was uncompetitive against the French and German opposition. In December of that year, four of the cars were sold to British drivers Lord Howe, Lindsay Eccles, Charles Martin and Noel Rees for racing at Brooklands and elsewhere. Martin was so keen to get his car home that he arranged for a friend to fly him to the Bugatti factory in Molsheim then promptly drove the car back to England on the roads of Northern France. As Venables describes, this was an arduous journey in heavy rain with little weather protection and the spark plugs constantly fouling. Ironically after WWII, a subsequent owner of the Noel Rees car had it converted to road spec. Regards, Gareth Tarr

Gwenda thanks

Where’s the zoo?

Dear Sir, Firstly, can I congratulate you on the new presentation of the Brooklands Bulletin. I personally find it fantastic. Having read the article about Mrs Gwenda Stewart, I thought you might like to see a copy of a letter she wrote to my late father Pat Driscoll in September, 1935 which shows what a great lady she was. I can certainly remember my Father talking about her at home with praise. A copy of the letter was also sent to Sir Herbert Austin who, at that time, was my father’s employer.

Dear sir, Many years ago, during one of Dudley Gahagan’s highly entertaining Brooklands Society film evenings, I seem to recall footage of a house on Brooklands Road which Dudley and other member’s present commented on as being “the old zoo”. If memory serves, it was a tall-roofed building with ornate chimneys and brickwork. Obviously being monochrome footage, I cannot be sure of the colour of the brick work or woodwork. My thoughts have always been that it is either number 110 Brooklands Road just to the north of Locke King Drive or 288 Brooklands Road to the north of Caenshill Road. However, having recently driven alone Redhill Road, there are other possible candidates along there. All locations make sense to me given their proximity to track access gates or Brooklands associated locations, such as Foxwarren Park. I wonder if any members are able to shed any light on this for me.

The letter sent by Gwend a Stewart thanking Pat Driscoll for his superb driving skil l and offering a further drive.

Yours sincerely, Chris Driscoll

With best regards, Paul Harris

Editor’s note: You can read the second installmant of Gwenda Stewart’s record-breaking life story on pages 28-33. NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019 | BROOKLANDS BULLETIN


forthcoming events 14 NOV

16 DEC

15 DEC





2019 Events The Events List is subject to change, so please check the website: www.brooklandsmuseum.com. Email events@brooklandsmuseum.com October 27 Autumn Motoring Breakfast: Displays and Test Hill in action. Gates open at 07.45. 28 Oct-1 Nov Supersonic Stories Half Term. Celebrating daring pioneers of aviation. Also running are car rides, pedal planes, Kids Tour on Concorde, London Bus Museum rides. Contact: info@ brooklandsmuseum.com 31 Halloween Torchlight Tour with twocourse meal. Pre-booking essential. Prices apply. Please note: these Tours are not suitable for people with mobility difficulties. November 14 Mini Aces Under 5s Club: Two 45-minute sessions run from 10.3011.15 and 11.30-12.15 in the Art gallery. Suitable for under-5s and sessions limited to 10 children maximum. Please book in advance

Unique benefits for Brooklands Members Being a Brooklands Member not only supports the work of the Museum and preservation of the site and collections, it provides many unique benefits. Here is a reminder to help ensure you get the most from your Membership: • FREE entry into the Museum all year* • Discount on the Concorde Experience • Regular Bulletin Magazine and e-newsletter • Special talks programme, rallies, dinners and social events • 10% Discount on ALL purchases in the Museum Shop in December Don’t forget to visit the Members section of the website at www. brooklandsmuseum.com for all up to date Members’ information. *During normal opening hours. May be subject to an extra premium for specific events.


or telephone the Museum on: 01932 857381 for information. Test Hill, car rides and engine runs are subject to operational conditions.

on 01932 857381 or bookings@ brooklandsmuseum.com. 17 Military Vehicles Day: Parking in The Heights for all non-military vehicles. 18 Torchlight Tour with soup and rustic bread. Pre-booking essential. Prices apply. Please note: these Tours are not suitable for people with mobility difficulties. December 12 Mini Aces Under 5s Club: Two 45-minute sessions run from 10.30-11.15 and 11.30-12.15 in the Art gallery. Suitable for under-5s and sessions limited to 10 children maximum. Please book in advance on 01932 857381 or bookings@ brooklandsmuseum.com. 16 Christmas Torchlight Tour with two-course meal. Pre booking essential. Prices apply. Please note: these Tours are not suitable for people with mobility difficulties.

Writing and Photo Courses For each Writing Workshop, refreshments will be provided, but please bring your own lunch. £35 for Members, £45 for non-Members. Contact Virginia Smith on: 01932 857381; or email: virginiasmith@ brooklandsmuseum.com October 22 Writing Workshop: Playing with words. 10.30am – 3.30pm. Suitable for adults. Techniques to improve your writing from Adrienne Dines. 29 Sharp Shots Photography Club. 10.30am – 1.00pm sessions for 7-11yrs, 1.30pm – 4.00pm for 12-15yrs. How a camera works, settings and composing pictures. Snacks and drinks provided. Contact: sharpshotsphotoclub. co.uk; Lillian on 07969 466 572; or info@sharpshotsphotoclub.co.uk


24-26 Museum closed for Christmas January 1 New Year’s Day Classic Gathering. Don’t miss Brooklands’ biggest event of the year. Check website for details. 18 Motoring Film Night 19 VSCC New Year Driving Tests. Don’t miss Brooklands’ biggest event of the year. Check website for details.20 Torchlight Tour with soup and rustic bread. Prebooking essential. Prices apply. Please note: these Tours are not suitable for people with mobility difficulties. February 16 Winter Classic Breakfast – Gates open 0745. Test Hill in action 24 Torchlight Tour with Soup and Rustic Bread. Pre-booking essential. Prices apply. Please note: these Tours are not suitable for people with mobility difficulties.

November 19 Writing Workshop: Plotting and Structure. 10.30am – 3.30pm. Suitable for adults. Exploring narrative viewpoint and story arc from Adrienne Dines. 2020 January 21 Whose Story is it Anyway. 10.30am – 3.30pm. Suitable for adults. Techniques to improve your writing from Adrienne Dines. February 18 Heroes and Villains. 10.30am – 3.30pm. Suitable for adults. Looking at the roles characters play from Adrienne Dines. March 24 Emotional Conflict. 10.30am – 3.30pm. Suitable for adults. Looking at issues readers care about from Adrienne Dines.

forthcoming events Members offer – half price entry for guests

Talks Update

Until 23 December Members can bring their friends and family to visit Brooklands Museum for half price entry! The offer is valid for visitor entry equivalent to your membership. If you have an Individual Membership, one guest can take up the offer, or if you have Family Membership, another family can benefit from this 50% discount! Only Individual, Double, Youth and Family Memberships qualify for the offer. Members need to attend with their guests and present their membership card to receive the discount. See brooklandsmuseum.com/ brooklands-members for terms and conditions.

Members Events

November 8 Annual Dinner. Speaker – Amanda McLaren, Brand Ambassador for McLaren and daughter of Bruce McLaren. Our President, Damon Hill will be attending.. Ticket: £75pp 13 Coach visit to RAF Museum London and Dambusters Virtual Reality Experience. Ticket: £55pp or nonmembers £65pp. December 15 Christmas Lunch. Sunday Speaker Mel Rees ‘My family and other setbacks’. Ticket: £40pp for Members and Guests. 2020 Spring or Autumn: Possible Hill Climb. A number of Members have asked for a

non-competitive, fun hillclimb. We are now talking to Shelsley Walsh to see if this is feasible May 8 Outreach at RHS Wisley. We have been invited to put on a display of Pre-war cars at RHS Wisley for their VE Day commemoration. Please contact David Norfolk (BM Outreach) on: david.norfolk@outlook.com. Tombola donations can be left at Brooklands Museum Reception marked for Kelly Webb’s attention or handed to the Outreach Team at any event. June 4-8 Weekend away to Jersey International Motoring Festival.

Mike Dawes is taking over the Talks Programme in 2020. Congratulations to Mike and we look forward to working with him during the handover in the first half of next year. We’d also like to thank David Norfolk for all he has done with raffles on our Talks Evenings and Mel Goodworth is now taking on the raffle challenge. On 14 November, Harry Sherrard hosts 40 Years of Formula 1 with Maurice Hamilton. Then, on 12 December, motorsport journalist David Tremayne is in conversation with Steve Cropley. During 2020, we will continue the successful format of ‘Classic Talks and MotorSport Legends’ but with a twist. We will be looking at teams, team mangers and engineers with a fantastic story to tell. These dates will be confirmed. We also believe that our ‘Project 240, The Vickers Story’ will foster more Talks. For Classic Talks contact: talks@ brooklandsmembers.co.uk; or by telephone 07880 670359. For the MotorSport Legends Series, go to brooklandsmuseum.com/members and follow links for online sales or call Tim or Sarah in the BTM Office: 01932 857381 ext 226. To check the food menu at each Talk please call: 07857 874456 (recorded announcement) available four days before the event. Steve Clarke

Learning and Participation November 9 and 16 Saturday Science Club. Inviting all teens to joins us for two weekends of investigating robots and coding. Booking essential. For further information, please contact us on: bookings@ brooklandsmuseum.com December 6 Twilight Opening: The Factory at Night. Late opening from 5-8pm for Guides, Scouts and Cadets of the Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed with hands-on demonstrations and build a plane challenge. Sunbeam Café will serve hot food. Pre-booking required. Contact us on: 01932 857381; or: lward@brooklandsmuseum.com NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019 | BROOKLANDS BULLETIN


TELLING THE FULL VICKERS STORY Photos: Brooklands Museum Collection



Project 240, The Vickers Story is a new initiative to chart the history and wider impact of the aircraft company based at Brooklands, as Robin Cordery explains.


hat do the Wellington, Viscount, Valiant, VC10 and Vimy all have in common? Other than being household names, they are all Vickers designed and built aeroplanes, and just five notable examples from the diverse range of aircraft and airships built by the original Vickers company, which later became Vickers-Armstrong and, from 1960, part of BAC. The former race track at Brooklands in Surrey was the birthplace for many pioneering Vickers aircraft. Examples of the company’s post-war products from the early jet age stand proudly on display and serve as permanent reminders of what was designed and produced at the Brooklands site. Project 240, The Vickers Story is an exciting new research project that takes its name from the unlikely inspiration of the original telephone extension of the Vickers company: Byfleet 240. The team behind this

Barnes Wallis was a key figure in Vickers and is seen here with a model of the tail-less Swallow. NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019 | BROOKLANDS BULLETIN


JAN 1st 2020


Everyone is welcome – either driving your own Classic or coming along to see the amazing array of vehicles at the UK’s biggest New Year’s Day Classic Gathering.

For parking directions, admission charges and advance tickets, visit

BROOKLANDSMUSEUM.COM Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0SL 18


The runway at Byfleet is clearly shows visible through the centre of Brooklands. It also shows how close the site is to the surrounding town.

venture will be looking not only to celebrate the story of Vickers aircraft at Brooklands, but also to examine the broader impact the associated aircraft works had on the local area and its population. While the Brooklands Museum, based on the same original site and in many of the original factory buildings showcases a wide range of Vickers aircraft and other products, Project 240 is also interested in

Reginald ‘Rex’ Pierson was Chief Designer at Vickers and responsible for the WW1 Vimy bomber.

how the company shaped the surrounding communities. Many families in the local area had at least one member either directly or indirectly involved with the aircraft factories through many of the local suppliers. Prestige projects such as the Vickers Wellington and Viscount, together with associated aviation luminaries including Barnes Wallis, Rex Pierson and George Edwards, helped to promote Brooklands globally and consequently appear in many newspapers, television programmes, documentaries and history books. By incorporating rare archive material and using interviews with former Vickers and BAC employees, Project 240, The Vickers Story aims to enhance what we already know about the company by including the unique anecdotes and recollections of those not so quite well known men and women who also worked at Brooklands and who, like their more famous colleagues, played such an integral part in the story of the company and its products. In the coming weeks, a small group will be put together from the Brooklands Members Talks Team to begin the hard work of actually delivering this project. As part of their in-depth research and analysis, this team will be working closely with Museum staff and volunteers, the archivist team and outside industry experts.

They will be conducting interviews and examining personal diaries, photographs and former employees’ recollections. This will enable them to put together a broad social history of the site and its thousands of workers. The team would love to hear from anyone who has first-, second- or possibly even third-hand testimonies of the human side of what happened at the Brooklands aircraft factories or at any of the local engineering firms that supplied material such as aircraft components. Any information, no matter how small or seemingly trivial is welcome and could prove vital to the research. Commencing in 1911 at the very start of the Vickers aviation story and finishing with the cessation of Vickers and the creation of British Aerospace in 1977, a Time Line of special events is currently being planned by the project team. Their goal is to cover four successive periods of Vickers’, Vickers-Armstrongs’ and subsequently BAC Weybridge’s fascinating histories. A series of talks and events in 2020 will document the dramatic rise and fall of this pioneering company. The Project 240 Team will also be carefully examining the impact that UK Governmental policy had on the company’s development. It will ask questions such as how well did Vickers



The Vimy under construction at Brooklands. Project 240 aims to uncover more stories of Vickers.

products fare against the competition and, in particular, powerful US companies such as Boeing, Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas? How come a vast engineering complex producing large numbers of aircraft in the 1950s and ’60s isn’t still producing them at Brooklands? Who killed Cock Robin? Or, more importantly, who killed TSR2 and why? These are just a few examples of the types of question the team will be

Sir George Edwards behind a model of Concorde. He guided Vickers and then BAC as Managing Director.


looking into. By speaking to people who were actually there, the team aims to add something additional and a little bit special to their planned talks and events. Thankfully for Brooklands Members, the site wasn’t completely bulldozed back in the late 1980s at the end of British Aerospace’s tenure. Following BAe’s departure, significant parts of it were saved and have been carefully preserved for posterity as a permanent reminder and part of the Brooklands Museum. Visitors can see all around them preserved examples of Vickers engineering excellence and chat to volunteers. Often the volunteers will themselves be former Vickers or BAC employees so they can give a personal and

unrivalled insight into the history of the company and its aircraft. But what about the impact Brooklands and Vickers had then and continues now to have on this area of Surrey in the 21st century? Evidence of the ongoing legacy of what was once a vast sprawling industrial site can be traced to the development of surrounding towns such as Weybridge, Byfleet, and Walton-on-Thames. Suppliers of aircraft parts and equipment would locate their premises to be close to this major manufacturing

A Vickers VC10 in East African livery. The VC10 long-range airliner was first flown at Brooklands in 1962.




Workers from the fuselage door assembly shop in 1961 may have stories to add to Project 240.

hub and several relied on Vickers for their very existence. Neighbouring Brooklands College also owes much of its own development during the same period to the urgent need for more technical training facilities in the area. The specialised engineering techniques and knowledge developed by Vickers and later BAC helped spawn several nearby motorsport teams, amongst them AC, Brabham, Cooper and McLaren. Aviation and automotive development have always had a close relationship, the latter normally benefitting from the former’s pioneering work. These automotive firms utilised this engineering excellence to make huge strides themselves, while cheekily benefitting from the same specialist local suppliers and subcontractors. To celebrate the enormous contribution made by Vickers to Brooklands, the local communities and the UK’s aviation manufacturing excellence in general, the team will be looking to showcase the company’s ongoing legacy, in particular its impact on the surrounding population. An application for grant funding is to be made to ensure the work can 22

be completed with all the respect and professionalism worthy of such a fine British company and as a tribute to the hard working men and women who made it such a great success. The team welcomes contributions from all those with a story to tell and looks


forward to welcoming members to its forthcoming talks and events in 2020. For more information, contact: project240@brooklandsmembers.com Dates for the Project 240, The Vickers Story talks are still be confirmed.

Five Wellingtons under construction at Brooklands.



A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM Photos: Douglas Kurn

Torchlight Tours offer the chance to explore the Museum at night and learn about the darker side of Brooklands.




rooklands can be a very different place at night and there’s no better way to explore it at Hallowe’en than one of the Museum’s Torchlight Tours. As most people head home after enjoying the sights and exhibits, others are just getting ready to find out more about the history of the place and venture into parts not usually open to the public. This year’s Hallowe’en Special on 31 October includes a pre-tour meal at 5.30pm to warm up guests before heading into the chilly night. With darkness descending, the tours are only available to those aged 12-years old and above, and they are not for the faint of heart.

Donna Marshall is Brooklands’ Event Manager and organises the Torchlight Tours. The tours have been running for more than 25 years and are one of the Museum’s most popular attractions, running once a month from October to February. It’s best to book early to make sure you get a place as Donna points out the spaces fill up quickly, especially for the Hallowe’en Special. Each tour can take up to 20 people depending on how many guides are available and can only be booked in advance. Each tour costs £28.50 for adults and £20 for children aged 12-16-years old. After enjoying something to eat, the tour gets under way and you can expect to

see parts of Brooklands not normally open to the public. The Torchlight Tours are the only chance for visitors to see many of these parts and the experienced guides are brilliant at imparting their knowledge both of the history of Brooklands and many of the stories that surround the venue. Donna says: ‘The tours cover many of the stories behind key exhibits at Brooklands, as well as the sad fatalities through the early years when racing was a big feature. Of course, we also talk about some of our residents at Brooklands who are not from the living world.’ If you want to know the full details of the ghosts, imagined or real, that many say they have seen or felt at Brooklands,



Visitors on a Torchlight Tour see parts of Brooklands that are not usually open to the public and they might see more than they bargained for as they explore at nightime

you’ll need to book on to a Torchlight Tour. Among those you will learn about is Percy Lambert, who was the first man ever to cover more than 100 miles in one hour and died after trying to regain his Land Speed Record at Brooklands in 1913. Donna adds: ‘Many of our visitors leave with a greater knowledge of what Brooklands is and its history. Many also make a return visit during the Museum’s normal daytime opening hours to revisit

some of the things they’ve experienced and spend more time with the exhibits. We’ve also had guests at the end of the evening tours reporting they’ve sensed or seen something they can’t explain. I can’t guarantee everyone will have that feeling, but there is a very special atmosphere on all of the Torchlight Tours.’ Understandably, the Hallowe’en Special is a favourite with Donna and many of the Brooklands guides. However, Donna says:

‘Every evening offers something different as it’s a lot to do with the people who are there, so all of the evenings throughout the winter are really enjoyable. Mind you, the Hallowe’en night does stick in my memory and resulted in a very interesting photograph that I show to visitors at the end of the evening.’ If you want to find out what that photograph is, you’ll have to contact Donna Marshall to book a Torchlight Tour for yourself, family and friends. Contact Donna on: 01932 857381 ext 253; or: events@brooklandsmuseum.com

Torchlight Tours diary 2019 31 October – Hallowe’en Special 18 November 16 December – Christmas Special 2020 20 January 24 February Tickets cost £28.50 for adults and seniors, £20 for children 12-16-years. Numbers are limited and tickets must be pre-booked. Price includes hot food. The atmosphere on the Torchlight Tours is as unique as the stories and history told by the Tour guides




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t is odd realise that in this age of gender equality there are few top women racing drivers. In the ‘Golden Days’ of Brooklands this was certainly not the case. There were many. One such was Gwenda Stewart, who was born Gwenda Mary Glubb in Preston, Lancashire on 1 June, 1894. She was born into a military family and her father was Captain Frederic Manley Glubb of the Royal Engineers, later to become Major General Sir Frederic Manley Glubb and her brother John became famous as Glubb Pasha while serving as the commander of the Arab Legion. In January 1913, aged 19, Gwenda started as a student at St Hilda’s Hall, Cheltenham, which was a residential college attached to Cheltenham Ladies’ College. While there, she taught herself to drive in a car belonging to the family of a school friend. Her education was ‘finished off’ in Paris and as a result she became a fluent French speaker.


Wartime The Design Office, with Spud Boorer in the left foreground


Relived comes to life

What was it like to work and train on the Brooklands site at a time of extraordinary activity? Malcolm Reid remembers the profound effect of being an apprentice at Vickers-Armstrong in the 1950s had on his career, life and friendships.



Brooklands Sept19.indd 34-35


s you make model aeroplanes, you should enter the aircraft industry’. Following this guidance from a careers advisor, I applied to Avro, De Havilland and VickersArmstrong (Aircraft). The first two required my father to pay them for the privilege of being an indentured apprentice, whereas the last one offered £3 per week, so it was no contest. Starting in the autumn of 1955, my apprenticeship commenced in the newlybuilt apprentice training school situated near the Campbell gate. The first task was to make my tool box in aluminium, which I still have. After a few months, I was introduced to the fitting shop making and riveting together small airframe sub-assemblies. Then it was into the ‘tin bashers’ assisting the very skilled men

shaping Viscount stainless steel exhaust pipes where the noise of the hammering was horrendous. Enrolling for the engineering course at the Brooklands Technical College, I noticed the queue divided into two and asked why. The answer was: ‘Mechanicals to the left and Electricals and Electronics to the right’. I had no idea of this distinction and as those who I was chatting to turned left, I went with them and became a mechanical engineer. A mistake as electronics were to be the big future. At this time, my friend and fellow apprentice Mike Walker and I had digs in a small hotel that was a watering hole for pre-war Brooklands drivers. It was where the Multi-Union and a Bugatti Type 23 were stored. Particularly memorable was meeting Charles Brackenbury and have a ride in his Jaguar XK140. I also met Dudley Gahagan, owner of a Bugatti Type 37 and ERA R7B. After a year at college, I went on a three year ‘sandwich’ mechanical and aerodynamics-aerostructures course at Kingston Technical College. During this time, I attended a Weybridge branch meeting of the Royal Aeronautical Society. This was a Question and Answer forum, chaired by Vickers-Armstrong’s Managing Director, George Edwards, later Sir George. When asked if the company was going to produce helicopters, his characteristic wry answer was: ‘We have enough trouble keeping wings on, let alone them going round!’

This was in the aftermath of the Valiant wing-spar fatigue issue created by the late requirement to include low level operations. Working on Valiant bombers, my job was to assist a ‘mate’ with wing assembly. This was labour intensive work by teams of two men inserting thousands of rivets. With this aircraft, the rivet material was unusual because they were ‘age-hardened’. The process involved storing them in a fridge to maintain their softness to avoid cracking during the actual riveting and they were issued at the beginning of every morning and afternoon. The rivet cans were colour coded to prevent the use of old rivets and it was one of the apprentices’ jobs to collect these coloured cans. The end results were completed airworthy aircraft. Every week, a Valiant with minimal fuel load took off over the gap in the Byfleet banking and landed almost immediately at Wisley airfield for flight testing. Then there was the Viscount. Initially, it was wing assembly again, but across the airfield near the New Haw gate were the twin assembly lines for BEA, KLM and another for Howard Hughes, which he never collected. As with the Valiants, the wings were assembled in a jig at 90-degrees to the normal flight position to give the riveting teams good working access. Later, I was transferred to airframe assembly for two jobs in parallel. The first was installing the special clips that held the cabin window glass panels in place



15/08/2019 13:58


WOMAN DRIVER Gwenda Stewart was arguably the best woman racing driver of her time. Roger Radnedge looks at her life and career in the first of two instalments.



Brooklands Sept19.indd 26-27

When the First World War broke out in 1914, Gwenda joined the SCottish Women’s Hospitals organisation as a volunteer driver and was sent to the Crimea. The train journey there took several weeks as the passengers had to disembark and chop up wood for the engine every 20 miles or so. Once there she drove ambulances under difficult and dangerous conditions. She was involved in what became known as the Dobruja retreat. This happened in the autumn of 1916 when the hitherto successful Romanian army got pushed back. The ladies of the Scottish hospital contingent were awarded the Crosses of St George and St Stanislav by the Romanian Government. Gwenda was also mentioned in dispatches probably because she was seen carrying out repairs to her ambulance while under fire. By 1918, she must have been attached to a flying unit because on 1 April when the RAF was formed, she became an Assistant Administrator in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). Fifteen months later on 1 July, 1919 she became its Deputy Administrator. Unfortunately, while she was at the Air Ministry (AM) the WRAF’s administration was in turmoil and she got involved in this in a very personal way. The WRAF’s original Commandant was intended to be Lady Gertrude Crawford, but on the 4 April Sir Geoffrey Paine, the AM’s Master General of Personnel, informed the Air Council that the lady ‘lacked the qualities necessary for organising a large body of women’. The lady seems to have accepted this and

stood down. The second choice was the Honourable Violet Blanche DouglasPennant. However, there were two views in the AM as to what the Commandant’s function was. One view was that it was just a figurehead and the second saw it as a normal command function. Sir Geoffrey assured Violet that it was the latter. Yet she soon faced a series of increasing difficulties both within the AM and outside it. Sir Geoffrey was replaced with Sir Sefton Branker who found the whole business unacceptable and he sacked Violet. That might have been the end of the matter except that Violet had a strong feeling she had been wronged and she had many influential supporters. They managed to raise a House of Lords enquiry into the matter. By now the affair had become a national scandal and was making headlines. During the enquiry, the excommandant had been asked to give examples of the problems she had faced. One such example she claimed was the immoral behaviour of some of her officers and the case she cited involved Gwenda. It was said that she and Colonel Janson had conducted an affair in a London lodging house. What follows is almost hilarious. The landlady said she had found Miss Glubb’s hot-water bottle in Colonel Janson’s bed and saw Miss Glubb emerge from his room one morning. Gwenda explained that she had given Janson the hot-water bottle because he was ill with a recurrence of trench fever and had gone into his room in the morning to take his temperature. To remove any suggestion of impropriety, a doctor was called in to settle the matter. He stated: ‘There is no definite physical sign of virginity, but I am of opinion that there has never been penetration of this girl.’ The popular press accepted this explanation and the Evening Standard ran a headline that complained about ‘Cruel and wicked charges’ that put a ‘Girl’s honour at stake.’

Racing and adventure

After the war, Gwenda married Colonel Janson on 17 February, 1920. He was then the London Manager of the London Spyker motor company. Perhaps missing the excitement of war, Gwenda decided to take up motorcycle racing and started competing in events at Brooklands. She also offered to undertake longdistance promotional rides for motorcycle manufacturers. In November 1921, SF Edge took up her offer and entered her in ACU (Auto Cycle Union) monitored trials using a Ner-a-Car. The machine she was riding was best described as motorized scooter. It had



15/08/2019 13:59

BENTLEY MYSTERY UNRAVELLED Anthony Saunders unravels the mystery surrounding the creation the first Bentley cars and it appears they owed a lot to Humber’s TT model.



ritain was still recovering from the devastation of war in the autumn of 1919. Yet in a small garage off Baker Street, London, a group of men were creating what was to become a legend in the annals of motoring. One of the finest and best known of sporting and racing cars was being developed. The men were WO Bentley, Frank Burgess, who had been chief designer and racing driver at Humber, draughtsman Harry Varley and Clive Gallop, a racing driver and engine designer. A massive number of articles and theories have been published about the experimental Bentley cars made by WO Bentley and how he managed to design and produce a whole new car from scratch in less than a year. Research over the years has been done, not least by Bill Boddy, Tim Houlding, archivist of the Bentley Drivers Club, Kenneth Neve, as well as Brian Demaus and John Tarring both of the Humber Register and many others.


In 1914, Humber had many successes in trials and competition and decided to enter a team of three cars into the Isle of Man TT race. These TT cars were purpose built by the factory. As well as being Chief Designer, FT Burgess was also a driver and competed in the TT in Car number 2, the other cars being driven by WG Tuck and S Wright. Humber are known to have also built a number of spares for the TT cars. Although no documentary evidence has been found, Humber also probably built a spare TT chassis as this was a very different design to standard chassis. Another competitor in this TT was WO in a DFP. None of the Humber cars finished the race, all retiring with mechanical problems. However, Tuck’s TT car was supposedly the most powerful of the three and he successfully raced this car later that year, proving the potential of the design.

Aero development

Prior to World War 1 and before deciding to go it alone, WO was working and racing with the French car company, DFP, whose engines would overheat dramatically in competition. WO realised this was mainly due to the cast iron pistons used which were heavy and had poor heat dissipation properties, so he started to work on the problem. Experiments with lighter magnesium pistons had ended up with the pistons ‘disappearing down the exhaust pipe’. Ordinary aluminium would not stand the temperatures and stresses involved but WO thought that if he could develop a strong, heat resistant alloy of aluminium then that might work. He did and it did. An alloy of 88% aluminium and 12% copper provided the necessary qualities and WO

went on to achieve many racing successes with his new idea incorporated in DFP cars, which he tried to keep secret for as long as possible. Then came WW1 and the need for fighter planes. Over in France, British planes were fitted with French Clerget engines which had a very limited life of 15 hours or less due to overheating. This caused the British Government to get somewhat worried, so they called for help. WO stepped in as he knew exactly what the problem was and how to cure it. He fitted the Clerget engines with aluminium pistons and redesigned the cooling system to solve the problem. The next step was for him to develop the Bentley Rotary engines (BR 1&2) using, of course, aluminium pistons and in 1916 the Humber factory in Coventry was chosen as one of the manufacturing sites. The Humber workers were delighted as, up until then, their war efforts had been confined to making mobile kitchens and military bicycles. Making proper engines was a much better use of their skills. It was here that WO and Burgess started working together and became firm friends, although they had already met on the racing circuits.

A new car

After the war ended, WO asked Burgess to join him in the development of a new type of high performance car and the rest is history, but not quite! WO developed his engine, with aluminium pistons and many other novel features, in a mews workshop off Baker Street along with Harry Varley and Clive Gallop as well as Burgess. When it was first fired up in October 1919,


Brooklands Sept19.indd 22-23


15/08/2019 14:00

CONTACT NICK ON 01452 730770 OR EMAIL nick@hinemarketing.co.uk BROOKLANDS MUSEUM 187,000 VISITORS PA • A4 • FULL COLOUR • 10,000 COPIES • 6 ISSUES PER YEAR • 52 PAGES

aled Bentley mystery reve ile Gwenda Stewart prof memoir Vickers-Armstrong ands Members The Journal for Brookl


20/08/2019 16:42 dd 1

Brooklands Sept19_Final.in





In the second and final instalment on Gwenda Stewart, Roger Radnedge assesses her later career




Gwenda at the wheel of the Derby-Miller in July 1936 that she later entered for the BRDC 500 but didn’t race.

ollowing Gwenda Stewart’s record-breaking run in an 1100cc Morgan at Montlhéry in 1930, Derby car and engine company owner Douglas Hawkes had imported a Miller Special from the United States. He had this adapted for Gwenda and she used it to break the 1½ litre 100-mile, one-hour, and 200km records. At the Arpajon speed trials in France, she reached 140mph then the engine blew up. In all, she ended up holding close to 50 records in class J for three-wheel cyclecars with passenger not exceeding 750cc and K class for threewheel cyclecars not exceeding 1100cc.  In October, the Miller’s engine was enlarged to 2.0-litres and renamed the

Derby-Miller. Using this, Gwenda set a class record at 129.01mph and the five-mile record at 128.14mph. She then set a new standing start 10-mile record in December at 137mph. Not satisfied, she tried for the world hour record, but she was fighting against a 40mph gale. After a hairy drive of 50 miles, Hawkes called Gwenda in as she was now swerving badly. This was just as well as both front tyres were through to the canvas, but she had beaten the world 100km record at 128.06mph.

Records and recognition

Then, in early 1931, she established a world 10-mile record of 137.20mph. Amazingly, this was only 0.38mph slower

than Kaye Don’s record which he had established driving the much larger 4.0-litre V12 Sunbeam ‘Tiger’. Her efforts were now recognised by the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) when they elected her an honorary member. At the Paris Motor Show, she was awarded the Montlhéry Challenge Trophy for her record attempts at the autodrome. Soon after, sharing with Dudley Froy and using a 4½-litre Bentley, they established the Class B record (5000cc to 8000cc) to raise the 12-hour record to 97.80mph and breaking five other records at the same time. Gwenda made an attempt for the world hour record, but she only managed to better her own 100km speed at 128.09mph when the magneto gave up. On another attempt at the hour record, she took the 100km up to 128.16mph plus two other records. Following this, the Derby-Miller’s engine was rebuilt and she took the 200km at 121.75mph plus other records. In September, with a ‘Dutch Clog’ Austin Seven, she broke the Class H record for up to 750cc and 50km at 98.09mph as well as the 50-mile at 98.43mph, but then the crankshaft gave out. She returned to Arpajon, where she clocked 118mph in a narrow single-seat Morgan. This became the all-time record for the three-wheeler. In 1932, while Gwenda was recovering from an operation, a fire broke out in their sheds under the banking at Montlhéry. Luckily, the Hawkes-Stewart’s mechanic Jean arrived, broke open the shed door with a crowbar and, with the fire was burning around him, he fitted tyres on the wheels of the Derby-Miller and pushed it out of the shed. He then dashed back into the burning garage and saved the singleseat Morgan before the ceiling caved in. The team’s entire equipment, all the Miller spares, tools and personal items were lost along with the Jappic HS cyclecar. After the Derby-Miller had been repaired for 1933 and fitted with a new engine, Gwenda had two humorous accidents. Either could have had ended badly, but on the first occasion as she bent forward whilst travelling at about 135mph the force of the wind flattened her crash-helmet tight down over her eyes completely blinding her. Thankfully, she was not on or approaching a curve, so Gwenda succeeded in pulling up safely. On the other occasion, the nut on the top of the carburettor’s float chamber worked loose to allow the cover to come off. This happened just as she started to accelerate was travelling at well over 140mph. Unfortunately, she opened her mouth at the wrong time and swallowed a mouthful



of alcohol mixed with oil. Undisturbed by these incidents, on the last Sunday of May 1933 she proceeded to break all records for the track. She took the 2.0-litre flying mile record at 140mph and one-mile record at 145.94mph. Gwenda also increased her own class 10-mile record to 138.34mph and a month later she raised that further to 147.67mph.

Bad luck

The year of 1934 was the start of a period of bad luck. On the 17 June, Gwenda was partnered with Louis Bonne at Le Mans but 30

had to retire early. Towards the end of the year, she entered the Monte Carlo Rally in a Derby roadster, but she doesn’t seem to have enjoyed the experience as she didn’t take part in any other major rallies. Bad luck continued into 1935 and recovery from a skiing accident. On the 16 June, she was back at Le Mans, this time with Charles Worth driving a Derby L8 1100, but again she had to retire early. Douglas had built Gwenda a DerbyMaserati for road racing, but it was not a success. At the Grand Prix de Dieppe in July, she retired on the first lap with clutch


failure and in the Prix de Berne (Voiturette Swiss Grand prix) in August, she finished last having been lapped five times in the 20-lap race. Later that month, she was due to have a match race against Kay Petre at Brooklands during the August Bank holiday. In preparation, Gwenda returned to Brooklands for a preliminary warm-up run. As she was approaching the notorious Brooklands bump, the car shot through the air for 30 feet before landing, the engine note rose to a scream and the front axle collapsed. Afterwards she said: ‘My car was built for the Monthlhery track, which is very

SF Edge supplied Gwenda with a Trump-JAP motorcycle for a special Double 12 race in 1922.

Kay Petre and Gwenda Stewart raced each other at Brooklands on the August Bank Holiday, 1934. Petre won with a speed of 134.24mph, but Gwenda set a new record the following day of 135.95mph

smooth, and I am uncertain as to whether it will stand this pounding for very long.’ Even so, on the Saturday before the race, Gwenda had lapped at 130.17mph and became the first woman to lap the track at over 130mph, though that evening Kay achieved 134.24mph. The officials seemed to have been frightened by these two ladies achieving such high speeds and decided on the Monday they would not race against each other but make individual runs with the fastest taking the prize of £30 (£2,000 in today’s money). Kay managed 134.75mph, but Gwenda only managed 133.67mph

before the Derby’s silencer exploded. She brought it to a halt and staggered out gasping for breath, telling a nearby reporter: ‘I had to stop. Had I attempted to go on, I should have gone completely out. The fumes from the high-powered dope we use are worse than war gas.’ So, Kay took the prize, but the next day Gwenda ran again and re-took the ladies lap record with a speed of 135.95mph. This then became the all-time Class E (500cc to 2000cc) record. Since 1921, the BARC had given out badges to those who drove the Outer Circuit with an average speed of greater than 120mph. By 1936, there were more than 80 of them so they decided to increase the speed to 130mph. Both of these ladies qualified for the new badge and up till then only eight others had. This established them as being amongst the fastest drivers of their time

and undermined the idea that ladies should only take part in special races.

Racing equality

In February of 1936, the restriction was removed ladies raced under the same conditions as their male competitors in all BARC events. On 21 September, Gwenda entered two cars in the BRDC 500 race. One would be driven by George Duller and Elsie Wisdom in her Derby Maserati. In the Derby-Miller would be herself and Pat Driscoll. The Derby Maserati did not attend for some reason and Gwenda had to retire due to a broken piston. In October, she drove the Derby-Maserati in the Ladies Handicap at Brooklands but was not placed as she suffered with gear linkage problems. Douglas Hawkes was using the Hawkes Miller car as a test bed for his Derby frontwheel drive system and Gwenda was his



test driver. At the end of one timed lap, Gwenda deliberately cut the engine at full throttle using a button switch on the steering wheel. This was done so Hawkes could ‘read’ the plugs after the car had stopped, but it resulted in a crash but little damage was done to the car or herself. In 1936, at the age of 42, Gwenda was still driving the Derby Special at speeds of up to 150mph on record-breaking and test runs. Her relationship with Douglas Hawkes had now become a full-blown affair, so

Elsie Wisdom raced the Derby-Maserati for Gwenda in the 1936 Brooklands Racing Drivers Club 500

The Derby-Maserati built by Douglas Hawkes for road racing was not successful.



Neil Stewart divorced her and she married Hawkes in 1937. On the 18 September, she and George Duller drove a 1933 Duesenberg in the BRDC 500 Mile race at Brooklands and came seventh. Just before the Second World War, they returned to England and worked in Hawkes’ business The Brooklands Engineering Company, which was housed in the LBB shed at Brooklands, making armaments. Her husband’s foreman taught

her to become a skilled lathe operator and she also returned as a volunteer ambulance driver. Once the hostilities ended, Gwenda and Hawkes sailed to the Mediterranean and the Aegean in their yawl yacht Elpis.

Gwenda remained an enthusiastic traveller, driving back to Britain in her Dormobile or Citroen 2CV in the 1960s. She died on 27 May, 1990 only a few days short of her 96th birthday. A fitting description of her

life came from SCH (Sammy) Davis, Sports Editor of The Autocar, who had described Gwenda as ‘the greatest woman driver of her time.’





ast year, we reported the sad passing of Rudge expert Bryan Reynolds. Besides being a founder member of the Rudge Enthusiasts Club and author of books about the marque, he was also passionate about the Brooklands racing circuit. He was a long-time member of the Brooklands Society whose volunteers cleared the track and with stubborn enthusiasm rescued the site for future generations to enjoy. More recently Bryan joined and served on the Committee of the Brooklands Trust Members, now Brooklands Members. His widow Rose has gifted his record-breaking 998cc Rudge to the Museum in Bryan’s memory and it now takes pride of place in the new Brooklands Story area. The bike has previously been a regular visitor to Brooklands for Rudge and Brooklands Society Reunions. On 29 June, 1975, Society Member and one of the bike’s original riders Bob Dicker was pictured on the Rudge. For the significance of this picture, we have to travel back in time to sunrise on the morning of Saturday 25 November, 1922 when JH (Tony) Mathers, RE (Bob) Dicker and a group of helpers gathered at the track fork to prepare the Rudge for what was to be an epic record-breaking run lasting for more than six hours. This was the last session of record attempts for 1922 and first day of the Olympia Motorcycle Show. Riders including Longman, LeVack, Judd and Pullin had been in action eager to aid sales of the motorcycles being displayed by their respective paymasters. The V Twin Rudge



Martin Gegg pays tribute to Bryan Reynolds and looks at the history of the recordbreaking 1922 Rudge recently gifted to Brooklands by Bryan’s family. Photos: Martin Gegg

The Rudge back on the banking where it set several records in 1922.



Bob Dicker back on the Rudge at the Brooklands Reunion on 29 June, 1975

The Rudge wheels are checked whils t the unidentified rider takes a drink with the improvised lap counter readi ng 90.



had already been in action at Brooklands. Between 25 and 28 October, the Rudge ran for three eight-hour sessions over with the aim of setting a new Double Twelve Record. The certificate confirms the total distance was 1481 miles and 459 yards at an average speed of 61.72mph. An improvised pit area was prepared with new tyres, spares and fuel. A lap counter was erected, then Mathers and Dicker tossed a coin to decide who would take the first spell on what was to be another heroic long-distance run. We don’t know who won the toss as the reports do not name the rider of the first or second stints, but we know that Mathers dressed in Rudge green leathers and fur gloves climbed aboard the bike to pose for photographs before it was push-started and rolled slowly to the line on this bitterly cold morning. As the engine roared, the focus for the rider and his team was the ACU’s Timekeeper, AV Ebblewhite in the starting box. He dropped his hand, the clutch bit and the roar turned to a crackle as the bike disappeared up the track. As it came round to complete the first lap, the timekeeper reported an average speed from the standing start at well over 70mph. The bike lapped at or above the target speed of 7880mph for an hour before the signal was given for the first swap. The first rider came to rather an ungainly stop needing his foot to steady him as the crude rim brakes struggled to grip. He reported the engine was running well and the second rider jumped on a newly fuelled and oiled machine, quickly reaching the target speed while the other rider ran on the spot the get the circulation going before going into the timekeeper’s hut for relative warmth and refreshment. This was the routine for the rest of the

The Rudge is refuelled and a large pump is used

to replenish the oil tank.

The 50-degree V-twin 998cc Rudge was almost certainly built by the factory specifically for the 1922 record attempts.

day. Herbert LeVack arrived to set 50- and 100-mile records, while WD Hawkes was denied a flying kilometre record in his Morgan Anzani due to engine problems and FA Longman set a new 350cc record riding an AJS. Meanwhile, the Rudge crew celebrated as their team broke first the 500-mile record at an average of 74.96mph and later the 600-mile record at an average of 71.27mph. After a total of more than

six hours running, the team of Dicker and Mather had achieved an average speed exceeding 75mph. In June 1923, the riding duo of Mathers and Dicker were back at the track with a sidecar attached to the Rudge and set 10 new class records ranging from 200 miles at an average of 66.39mph to 500 miles at an average of 58.88mph. The 1922 records were likely to be

a factor in the success of a road going version of the 998cc V Twin Rudge motorcycles during 1923. Little is known of what became of the record-setting Rudge after 1923, but in 1956 Bryan Reynolds discovered the bike in an orchard and a year later it was one of the exhibits at the Brooklands Golden Jubilee celebrations held on 6 July, 1957 when the 1907-1939 Memorial was unveiled.

Research continues into Tony Mather, but Bob Dicker’s association with Brooklands started when as a boy he watched the track being built. Later, when an apprentice at Shank’s and Sons, he worked on Brooklands racing machines and was soon on the track himself racing Chater Lee Motorcycles in 1910. After a spell at Zenith with George Barnes, he worked at Brooklands with ABC until the outbreak of WW1 when he and ABC moved to Hersham. Bob was soon back at Brooklands to help out Vickers with a problem on the SE5 Tail raising gear. His experience working with the Zenith Gradua gearing was invaluable to Vickers. He moved on to Vimys and was clearly recognised as a talent as he was asked to stay on after the Vimy contract came to an end. In 1919, while standing at his bench he heard the words ‘Bob, I have got a job for you.’ It was John Alcock who recruited him to work on the 1919 Trans-Atlantic Vimy flight. He sailed to Newfoundland as one of a team of 13 who were to build the record breaking Vimy and Bob himself was also responsible for dressing Alcock and Brown in their heated flying suits. Leaving Vickers in 1920, Bob started his own motorcycle business in Addlestone and became one of many freelance trade riders, hired by Rudge who paid £100 for each record broken. In 1928, he gave up racing but in the 1970s the local press reported that he was back at Brooklands on a modern motorcycle doing 80 mph on the runway. Bob was made an honorary life Member of the Brooklands Society and he died on 16 March, 1979 aged 86.



members’ matters by Tim Morris

Brooklands Members Photo Competition

Alcock and Brown Centenary A significant anniversary in 2019 is the centenary of the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean by John Alcock and Arthur Brown. It’s pertinent to Brooklands because the Vickers Vimy in which they undertook their historic flight was built in the factory adjacent to the race track. On holiday in September, my father and I visited the site where the pair crash-landed their Vimy, just south of the town of Clifden on the west coast of Ireland. They had flown 1,890 miles in 15 hours and 57 minutes. Gareth Tarr

The winning photo from 2018 by Phil Johnson.

We are running the photo competition again this year and are looking for your photos of Brooklands taken over the past 12 months to feature in the 2020 calendar. The winner will receive a place on one of Jason Dodd’s excellent Photography courses held at Brooklands. Jason will, be our head judge and is looking at the artistic merit of your photo as well as the technical aspects of it. However, a quick snap could easily make the cut if it’s of a great subject, so don’t be afraid to enter. Bear in mind, if your main subject is a person you need their permission, particularly the parents of a child, to submit an entry as the winning image will be published online, in the calendar and in the Brooklands Bulletin. Otherwise the shot can be of anything with a Brooklands theme. Let us know your age if you are under 16-years as we might have a special prize for the junior Members. There will be an album on the Members’ Flickr page where all the entries will be displayed: https://www.flickr.com/people/brooklandsmembers/ The closing date for entries is 30 November and, this year, you can submit up to three photos. Remember to include your name and Membership number, and send them by email to: photos@brooklandsmembers.co.uk

Membership update We are pleased that in these turbulent times our membership has been a steady ship. Membership remains around 6300 memberships, with 148 joining in August alone to add to well over 1000 new Members since the beginning of 2019. That increase may be due to families enjoying the Summer Fete which was a different way to use The Paddock during the Summer school holidays. The renewal rate for Members in 2019 is 73% which is very similar to 2018 and there are various methods by which members can pay their subscriptions. Returning your form with a cheque or card details is the most popular followed by online payments using a credit or debit card via our website and payments to the BM office over the phone. You can also call in to the office personally or pay over the counter in the museum shop or on the Outreach stand at shows. To add to all of these methods, we can now accept bank transfers but only if you do not wish to change any details of your membership. To do so make the transfer using your membership number and the first four letters of your surname. Our bank details are sort code: 60-23-34; account number: 96689358.



August saw 148 new Members join, helped by the Summer Fete.





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member’s matters Bring a guest for half price

Happy Birthday Sir Stirling

Brooklands Members can bring a guest to the Museum for half price until 23 December! This great value offer means Members can bring the equivalent number of guests as their membership. Individual Members get halfprice entry for one guest, while Double, Youth and Family Members enjoy the 50% discount entry for an equivalent number of friends, family or guests. This fantastic offer runs all the way up to when the Museum closes for Christmas 2019. It’s a superb way to introduce new visitors to the Museum and the many benefits of Brooklands Membership. All you need to qualify for this wonderful offer is to attend with your guests and present your membership card to receive the 50% discount. See brooklandsmuseum.com/ brooklands-members for terms and conditions.

Sir Stirling being presented with his 80th Birthday cake by Vivienne Tumber in 2009.

We sent warmest wishes to our former President Sir Stirling Moss who celebrated his 90th birthday on 17th September. I remember when we marked his 80th at Brooklands with a special annual dinner in 2009. This year his health prevented him from attending any celebration however, the occasion was marked at Goodwood Revival with Duke of Richmond saying that Sir Stirling ‘was the standard by which all other drivers were judged and by which they judged themselves’. The Duke accompanied Lady Susie Moss for a parade lap in an Aston Martin DBR1 leading several other of Stirling’s race cars. We are proud to have had Sir Stirling as our founder President and also that a spiritual successor in the form of Damon Hill is now our current President.

BM.tv Filming of Museum events continues alongside the talks recording. Recent videos include the Transatlantic Harrier, Bugatti Trust, Electric Cars, American Day, Quicksilver Water Speed Record, Hurricane Topping Out ceremony and Brooklands Relived. It is clear from our YouTube views you like the Steve Parrish interviews with famous motorcyclists, with several thousand views each. However, head and shoulders above all of them is the film we made about Malcolm Longstaff’s Morris Minor V8, even with the heavy rock soundtrack. At the time of writing, there were nearly 180,000 views, which means Brooklands is reaching a much wider and varied audience thanks to Members.tv. We always need more participants for our ongoing series, Spinning Wheels. If you have a classic car or bike and are happy to talk about it on camera for a short 10 minute film, then we would love to hear from you. It is open to any

member with an interesting classic, so if you would like to be featured, please get in touch with Tim Morris. We tend to film at Brooklands on Wednesday mornings so you would need to be available with your vehicle for a couple of hours and be able to talk about the history of the model. Contact Tim in the BM office: timmorris@ brooklandsmuseum.com or 01932 857381 ext 226. To find all the BM.tv programmes and links to the channels, visit: https://www. brooklandsmuseum.com/brooklandsmembers/archive/btmtv

In Memory of.... Sadly, each issue we do lose some of our Members and we’d like to send the condolences of the Brooklands Members, Chairman and Committee to the families of the following who we have been notified have recently passed away. Eric Matthews, who was a Club Level member for just over one year. Anthony Mori, who was a Club Level member for more than six years. Brian Aitcheson, a member for just a year.

Ten years after This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Brooklands Members, which officially began on 1 January, 2009 although some memberships were already being taken to the new group in late 2008. The Members amalgamated the Friends of Brooklands and the Brooklands Society and began with around 2500 Members. Ten years later, membership has grown to around 6300 with the number of Club Level members growing by four times the amount expected. We think you’ll agree that Tim Morris hasn’t aged a bit in that time. The Committee will be looking forward to the next 10 years using the recent Members’ survey as a base and they are keen to hear your ideas. Please contact Chairman Neil Bailey at: chair@ brooklandsmembers.co.uk. 42


Town crier and Tim Morris ring in the changes for Brooklands Members 10 years ago when we started with 2500 Members.


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reviews Formula 1 All the Races: The First 1000 Race 100, Nürburgring German GP, 6, August 1961. The winner was former BTM president Stirling Moss in a Lotus-Climax in a time of 2h 18m 12.4s, winning by 20 seconds over Von Trips in a Ferrari. Moss’s win was characteristic as he elected to keep on wets despite the changeable conditions while the Ferraris went the other way and lost out. Moss won 16 of the first 100 Grands Prix, only beaten by Fangio at 24. If you love facts about Formula One such as these, then Member Roger Smith’s latest edition of his meticulously researched book Formula 1 All the Races now features the first 1000, a feat achieved at the Chinese GP on 14 April 2019, which was won by Lewis Hamilton. Incidentally, Hamilton is the driver with the greatest number of wins in the last 100 races – 51 to be precise with Nico Rosberg following on 19. Those facts keep on coming. Each of those 1000 races has a ‘pod’ with all the stats and a summary of the race included. There are also pages dedicated to facts and folklore for each season, as well as dozens of full colour photographs, knowledge pods and trivia. Each race pod is colour coded gold, silver, bronze, black or white according to the thrill level of each race. The two races we

looked at in 1961 and 2019 were graded gold and silver. We’ll leave you to work out which is which. This special edition is limited to 1000 numbered copies, as is appropriate, and contains 720 fact-filled pages which means that your bookshelf will need to be reinforced as it is a hefty tome. Christmas is coming and this could be the ideal special gift for any F1 fan. Tim Morris Formula 1 All the Races: The First 1000 by Roger Smith is available from Veloce Publishing and is priced £65. ISBN 978-1-787115-66-8

The Ghost at Brooklands Museum There are plenty of ghost stories told about Brooklands, but Mark Richardson’s novel is the first fictional novel to be set in and around the Museum. It mixes fact and fiction cleverly to create a world that many readers will recognise from visits to Brooklands and the surrounding area, yet it also makes for a fascinating read even if you have not visited. After finishing the book, you’ll certainly want to come along to Brooklands to explore. Richardson’s book may be aimed primarily at younger readers, but it holds a wider appeal, so it’s an ideal novel that can be passed around the family. Its central character is Jake Elmbridge, who has just moved to the area and lives in a house overlooking Brooklands. The story examines how hard it can be for children to move locations and establish new friendships while trying to fit in. Jake makes an unexpected acquaintance with the ghost of Sir William Hugh-Laurel, a racing driver from the heyday of Brooklands. However, all is not straightforward and Sir William needs Jakes help to foil the plans of his arch-rival from motor racing, Count Unterheim, who is plotting to change the course of history. Mixing goof storytelling pace, humour and fully formed characters, Richardson keeps the narrative flowing in way that will have younger readers turning the pages. It’s never scary in the way some ghost stories can be, but there’s also enough paranormal hijinks to capture the attention of the reader. Another key character in the book is Brooklands’ very own Napier Railton, which the fictional Sir William drives with gusto. It’s evident Richardson has a deep love of the Museum and its history in the way he details the car and its racing past. Again, this gives the book a wider appeal for adults looking for an entertain read, especially as Count

Unterheim makes a splendidly and dastardly villain. Richardson has been visiting Brooklands since he was 10-years old and his fondness for the racing and spirit of the track is expressed in the easy manner of someone who wants others to share his passion. This is also why Richardson donates any profit from the book to the Brooklands Museum so others can enjoy it as much as he does. With Christmas approaching, The Ghost of Brooklands is a perfect stocking-filler for confident young readers and any adult with an interest in Brooklands. Even if you don’t believe in spirits and phantoms, it will have you rooting for its heroes. The Ghost at Brooklands Museum by Mark Richardson is available in the Museum Shop and from Troubador Publishing (troubadour.co.uk/ matador) priced at £9.99. NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019 | BROOKLANDS BULLETIN


updates Director’s message One of the real pleasures of my job is marking Brooklands’ many anniversaries and milestones and celebrating the work of our volunteer teams. At the beginning of September, the Mayor visited the Museum to present thank you gifts to the Hurricane volunteer team. The event was held on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War and it was an emotional occasion as we celebrated more than 60,000 hours spent by the team creating the aircraft you can see in the Flight Shed from the crates of bits, which were rescued from its 1942 crash site in Siberia. A month later, on 1 October, the volunteer teams celebrated the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s first supersonic flight with French pastries and British scones. These lovely occasions help keep the Brooklands spirit alive. We are always looking for more people to help at the Museum. There are a whole range of different types of volunteer roles and everyone is very welcome. If you enjoy coming to Brooklands and have some spare time, especially at the weekends when we always need more stewards, please get in touch. We would love to have you join the team. Benefits include a discount in the café and shop, check out: www.brooklandsmuseum.com/ about/support-us/volunteer We’d like to give you the chance to share what you love about Brooklands Museum with your friends, so for a limited time Members can bring guests in for half price. We hope you’ll take the chance to introduce some new people to Brooklands and look forward to seeing you here over the next couple of months. Tamalie Newbery

Motoring Volunteers The Motoring Volunteers maintain and restore the Museum’s vehicle collection. Recently, we’ve removed the MG PA’s dynamo and leaking camshaft drive seal that caused an oil explosion. A new one was sourced and fitted in early July. At the rear of the car, much of the detritus has been removed from the MG PA’s fuel tank using the ‘fill and shake’ method, we decided to introduce an agitator. So, 10 small ball bearings were dropped in. You would assume that metal balls inside a metal box would make a hell of a racket, but not a bit of it. Could it be the baffles or the muddy solution at the bottom of the tank? Persisting with filling and emptying the tank, the noise of the bearings grew louder after three or four attempts. Now it was time to remove them. First three, then four and eventually nine appeared, but where was that final one hiding? After numerous tries at locating it with a magnetic probe, the little devil appeared like a cherry on the end of stick. The tank was washed through with cold water, using a large funnel and soggy foot – you have to hold it off the ground to flush it. Once the water ran clear, the tank was allowed to dry. Meanwhile, the support frame the tank sits on was cleaned, treated for rust, primed and given a coat of matching green paint. The fuel tank was then reinstalled and connected up. Debbie Crawt The MG PA’s leaking camshaft drive seal has been replaced after an oil explosion.



updates Learning and Participation Learning in museums is often associated with formal learning. At Brooklands Museum, we believe that learning is for everyone and try to provide a programme of activities for different ages, abilities and interests. We are also deeply aware of our responsibility, as a charity, to ensure we provide ‘public benefit’ not only through preserving our collections and interpreting them for our visitors but also by ensuring our activities and initiatives have a wider social impact in our community. We achieve that through some of the activities highlighted here. All these initiatives were kindly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the aircraft hangar and racetrack restoration project. We hope to continue to deliver them even after the funding stream has ended. Your membership helps fund the delivery of our activities and is greatly appreciated.

supporting their initiative for local businesses to cater for visitors on the autistic spectrum by providing access during a quieter period while also considering some of the environmental barriers people with autism have to overcome. At Brooklands Museum, we ask families to book their visit in advance so we can restrict numbers, ensure lights are dimmed, loud noises are turned off and visitors are not asked to queue for longer periods. We provide a quiet area for respite and activities specially designed to engage children through sensorial opportunities. The learning team is supported in the delivery of this activity by a dedicated team of volunteers but we are always seeking further help and welcome anyone who would like to support us to improve on this offer.

Byfleet and Pyrford Children’s Centre Reminiscence Café On the second Thursday of each month in term time, we welcome families with members who have been diagnosed with dementia. The café aims to provide reminiscing opportunities for participants through music, drawing, object handling and other activities. It also provides family members of dementia sufferers some respite from looking after their loved ones and a chance to meet with other people in similar situation for support. This activity started in 2015 and we have seen an increase in numbers of attendees. We now welcome more than 50 people at this event and feedback from participants is excellent.

Flying Starters Autism Hour Once a term, we open the Museum out-of-hours to welcome families with children on the Autism spectrum. We work in partnership with the Surrey Branch of the National Autistic Society,

Brooklands Museum works in partnership with Surrey County Council children’s services to deliver activities for families from disadvantaged areas within the Museum’s local community. As well as delivering early years sessions that follow Ofsted EYFS guidelines at the local Children’s Centre, we have also been welcoming these families to the Museum during the summer holidays since 2015. During August 2019 we welcomed 80 local families to enjoy the Brooklands Fete. The children engaged in puppet making and storytelling, families played together on the grass or took a ride on the famous Brooklands track with one of our car rides. Through this initiative, we want to engage local communities with our Museum collections and inspire children and young people to become the engineers and innovators of tomorrow. Virginia Smith Director of Learning and Participation

Hurricane team are tops

Music from A Couple of Swells entertains visitors to the Reminiscence Café.

The Reminiscence Café provides music and storytelling to those with dementia.



Councillor Mary Sheldon, Mayor of Elmbridge, presented a framed picture to Hilary Lomax, one of the Hurricane Restoration Team of volunteers and whose husband Roy Lomax led the team until he passed away a few years ago. Several of the team received gifts on the 3 September at the Topping Out Ceremony, which marked more than 20 years of work and 60,000 hours of volunteer time to restore the Hurricane. The ceremony took place on the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. It was fitting as Hurricanes shot down more than half of the enemy aircraft destroyed during the Battle of Britain and served in every theatre of the war. The Hurricane was developed by Hawker and the first test flight took place at Brooklands on 6 November, 1935. From 1937 to 1942, Brooklands built around 3000 Hurricanes and it’s a huge part of the story the Museum tells. The Brooklands Hurricane served in the UK and Russia. In 1942, it crashed in Siberia, where it was rediscovered and returned to Brooklands in the 1990s to begin its restoration.


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COLLECTION Brooklands Members Members’ Administrator Tim Morris 01932 857381 ext 226 members@brooklandsmuseum.com Members’ Assistant Administrator Sarah Dover 01932 857381 ext 226 Mon-Fri Chairman Neil Bailey 07970 206778 chairman@brooklandsmembers.co.uk Secretary Kevin Lee 01932 562246 kevin@abbeywalls.com Tours and Trips Angela Hume 07884 184882 Angelahume@brooklandsmembers.co.uk Outreach David Norfolk 01372 373929 david@davidnorfolk.wanadoo.co.uk Talks Steve Clarke 07860 355525 steveclarke@brooklandsmembers.co.uk Bulletin Editor Alisdair Suttie 07768 372440 brooklandsbulletineditor@gmail.com Contributors Cliff Bolton, Steve Castle, Steve Clarke, Martin Gegg, Andrew Honour, Angela Hume, Georgina Lange, Stefan Lange,Andrew Lewis, Tim Morris, Julian Nowell, Alex Paterson, Roger Radnedge, Virginia Smith, Paul Stewart, Gareth Tarr, Julian Temple, Vivienne White, Mike Venables, Lucy Ward, Diana Willows, Allan Winn Advertising, Design and Production: Hine Marketing, Tel: 01452 730770 Hill Farm Studios, Wainlodes Lane, Bishops Norton Gloucestershire GL2 9LN E-mail: nick@hinemarketing.co.uk Address change and Bulletin distribution queries 01932 857381 ext 226 members@brooklandsmuseum.co.uk Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN 01932 857381 Fax: 01932 855465 www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Brooklands Museum Chairman Sir Gerald Acher CBE LVO gerryacher@brooklandsmuseum.com CEO Tamalie Newbery ext 243 Director of Collections, Interpretation and Heritage Alex Paterson ext 247 Volunteer Resources Manager Sue Lewin ext 242 Heritage Estate Projects Manager Julian Temple ext 240 Director of Learning and Participation Virginia Smith ext 248 Curatorial and Archive Enquiries Andrew Lewis ext 246 Chief Operating Officer Amanda Squires ext 255 Head of Track and Air Events Steve Castle ext 244 Events Manager Donna Marshall ext 253 events@brooklandsmuseum.com Concorde Bookings ext 266 flyconcorde@brooklandsmuseum.com Hospitality Sales Manager Joanna Rodgers ext 251 hospitality@brooklandsmuseum.com

In the archives lies a rather battered crash helmet waiting to be placed in the Museum catalogue. It is typical of those worn by racing motorcyclists during the 1920s. The helmet is quite unremarkable apart from the damage which looks as if it was caused by a significant accident. However, what makes this particular crash helmet special is that it belonged to Jack Emerson. Jack was part of the development team at ABC working on a Brooklands motorcycle racer. Among his notable achievements were breaking the International Class flying-start mile and kilometre records at 78.26mph and 80.47mph respectively, riding a 500cc horizontal twin ABC at Brooklands on the 13 January, 1914. Furthermore, on the 24 July, 1926, Emerson won the British Motorcycle Racing Club’s 200 Miles Race (Class C) recording an average speed of 84.21mph. While he will always be remembered for these and other heroic achievements on the track and trials around the country, Emerson holds a particular place in Brooklands history as the winner of the first race back

at the track after the end of World War One. Riding an ABC motorcycle, he beat 27 other starters of the Victory Handicap race held on 10 April, 1920. The crash helmet together with the cup awarded for that post-war race and albums from the Emerson collection have recently been acquired by the Museum. An article featuring Jack Emerson’s life and a full report of the race will appear in the Bulletin to commemorate the centenary of the race next year.

Jack Emerson wearing his distinctive racing helmet on a 994cc Zenith Brooklands motorcycle at the start of a race in April 1925.

Parking arrangements Please note that for all events marked ‘Parking in The Heights’, designated vehicles only can enter via the Campbell Gate, off Brookland’s Road. All other Members including Club level and visitors please park in The Heights or main public car park unless otherwise specified. Parking arrnagements for other weekend events are: Club level Members: entry via Campbell Gate and parking outside the Paddock. Period and classic vehicles only inside the Paddock by invitation. Please abide by staff directions. All other Members and visitors: entry via main public entrance off Brooklands Drive. This issue of the Brooklands Bulletin (incorporating The Spirit) is published on behalf of Brooklands Members, supporters of Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd, by Hine Marketing, Hill Farm Studios, Wainlodes Lane, Bishops Norton, Gloucestershire GL2 9LN. The statements and opinions expressed in the Bulletin are not necessarily those of the Brooklands Members’ Committee or Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd.

Marketing Director Sam Hart ext 225

While every effort has been made by the Publishers to include correct information, they are unable to accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The Publishers, Brooklands Members and Brooklands Museum Trust Limited cannot accept responsibility in the event of misinformation or lack of source relating to images supplied by a third party by electronic or other means.

Email addresses are available on the Museum website www.brooklandsmuseum.com/about/contact-us

Charity number 296661. Please quote this if making donations or requesting them via a funeral director.



1922 Bentley 3/5.3 Litre With Vanden Plas Style Coachwork £350,000.00

1924 Bentley 3/4½ Litre Vanden Plas Style Tourer £230,000.00

1926 Bentley 3 Litre Weymann Saloon by Gurney Nutting £320,000.00

1926 Bentley 3 Litre With Vanden Plas Style Body £300,000.00

1927 Bentley 4½ Litre Le Mans Style Tourer £450,000.00

1929 Bentley 4½ Litre H.J. Mulliner Saloon £1,100,000.00

1931 Bentley 8 Litre Vanden Plas Style Tourer £1,150,000.00

1931 Bentley 8 Litre Weyman Saloon By H.J. Mulliner £1,200,000.00

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Profile for Brooklands Trust Members

Brooklands Bulletin Issue 60 Nov/ Dec 2019  

The Brooklands Bulletin is the bi-monthly magazine of the Brooklands Members support group for Brooklands Museum in Surrey, UK. Issue 60 fea...

Brooklands Bulletin Issue 60 Nov/ Dec 2019  

The Brooklands Bulletin is the bi-monthly magazine of the Brooklands Members support group for Brooklands Museum in Surrey, UK. Issue 60 fea...


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