BROOKLANDS TRUST MEMBERS
CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT GREAT AIR RACE REUNION CLASSIC CAR/BIKE SHOW AND JUMBLE BENTLEY AT BROOKLANDS
J U LY – A U G U S T 2 019
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his may be the last Bulletin before the magazine moves to a new, larger format (see page 15), but as usual it’s packed with news and reports about BTM activities, and what’s been happening at the Museum, along with previews of events taking place this summer. Of course, 2019 marks the centenary of the founding of Bentley Motors, so don’t miss the articles on Bentley’s associations with Brooklands (see page 46) and W O Bentley’s adventures in the aircraft industry during World War One (see page 51). The Bulletin welcomes – indeed it depends on – contributions from Members, so please send them by email to brooklandsbulletineditor@ gmail.com (or by post to the Museum, marked for the attention of the BTM Administrator, Tim Morris). As well as your name, please include your contact details, your role if relevant, and any high-resolution photographs (ideally with information about what they show). Contents The copy deadline for news and reports for the Forthcoming events ................................................4 September-October issue is Monday 8th July. Contacts ..................................................................5 Chairman’s Report 2019 ............................................6 If you haven’t written for the Bulletin before and Director’s Message ......................................................7 would like to, do please feel free to contact the Bulletin team with a note on what you’d like to News write about or suggestions for future articles. 1969 Daily Mail Great Air Race reunion ..................11 Motorcycle Show ......................................................12 Classic Car/Bike Show and Jumble ..........................13 Brooklands Relived ..................................................14 New look for the Bulletin..........................................15 University honours Brooklands motorcycle race ......15 Brooklands in summer..............................................17 Formal handover of G-HAWK..................................17 BTM Talks Programme ............................................17 British Marques Day ................................................18 Merryweather Fire Engine returns ............................19 Mini Day ..................................................................19 Brooklands Society Gazette offer ..............................19 Bentley Centenary Drive ..........................................21
Changes of address and Bulletin distribution queries If you have moved or have another enquiry about Bulletin distribution please contact the BTM Office on 01932 857381 extension 226 or email members@ brooklandsmuseum.co.uk
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 a year and enjoy free admission to the Museum, except when major events are taking place, in which case additional charges might apply. Club Level Members have access to the Clubhouse bar on Thursday, Friday and Sunday lunchtimes. For full details of membership benefits contact the BTM Administrator, Tim Morris, on 01932 857381 extension 226 or visit www.brooklandsmembers. co.uk, where you can also find the latest news on Brooklands.
Reports Vintage Festival ........................................................22 Auto Italia ................................................................24 MG Day ..................................................................27 Brooklands cars at Goodwood..................................30 BTM Talk – The Rob Walker Story ..........................31 BTM Talk – Betty Haig ............................................35 BTM Motorcycle Track Day – Castle Combe ............37 BTM Trip – Heart of England Tour ..........................38 Members’ Matters ....................................................41 View from the Clubhouse ........................................42 Letters ......................................................................45
This issue of the Brooklands Bulletin (incorporating The Spirit) is published on behalf of Brooklands Trust Members, supporters of the Brooklands Museum Trust, by Whestons Publishing, Heathfield, Maddox Lane, Little Bookham, Surrey KT23 3BT, printed by Andover Printing Company, Andover, Hants SP10 5NY (01264 334220) and designed by The Graphic Agenda, Crediton, Devon EX17 1HW (01363 772695). The statements and opinions expressed in the Bulletin are not necessarily those of the Brooklands Trust Members’ Committee or the Brooklands Trust or Brooklands Museum.
Features Bentley at Brooklands ..............................................46 W O in World War One ..........................................51
Whilst every effort has been made by the Publishers to include correct information, they are unable to accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The Publishers and Brooklands Trust Members 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.
Updates Estates and Heritage ................................................52 Learning ..................................................................53 Car Rides..................................................................53
Front cover photo: 200HP Benz with the engine from the Blitzen Benz in which Lydston Hornsted took the land speed record at Brooklands in June 1914 at a speed of 124mph. Driven at Goodwood by Ben Collings (Gareth Tarr).
FORTHCOMING EVENTS Dates and details are subject to change, so please check the Museum website at www.brooklandsmuseum.com, email email@example.com or call 01932 857381 (or other contact details given) for up-to-date information. BTM events appear in bold. Tim Morris (BTM office), Angela Hume (tours and trips) and Steve Clarke (talks) will be very happy to give you further information on these (see below right for contact details), but are unable to help with the other entries in the list.
Regular social events held at the Museum The Members’ Bar is normally open to Club level members every Thursday, Friday and Sunday lunchtimes from 12 noon to 3.00pm (last food order 2.00pm), and when the Museum is running major events on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays. Check availability for these by calling the catering sales team on 01932 858005. All Brooklands Trust Members are welcome at the Motoring Natter Evening on each second Tuesday of the month in the Bar at 7.00pm (further details from Danny Byrne on 01932 829814). The Museum is open every day from 10.00am to 4.00pm from November to February and 10.00am to 5.00pm March to October.
How to book BTM Classic Talks: Reserve your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07880 670359. Please leave your name, membership number, event and the number of tickets required. Payment on the day. BTM Motoring Legends Talks/BTM Special Events: Advance payment only via the online shop or the BTM ofﬁce. Tours/Holidays/Dinners: Check the individual event for booking details, usually via a downloadable form. Enquiries: Call the BTM ofﬁce, Monday to Friday, on 01932 857381 ext 226.
11th Brooklands Motorcycle Show: Classic and modern motorcycle displays with demos on the Finishing Straight, Test Hill ascents and engine runs. Parking in The Heights unless on a motorcycle*.
13th 13th 14th
BTM Special Event: Steve Parrish and Charlie Cox discuss their experiences following the MotoGP circus around the world in what promises to be a fun evening. Book via the online shop or the BTM office. BTM Trip: Steam, Museums and Morgans – Kent & East Sussex Steam Railway with museum visit (coach trip). Application form on website. Organiser Angela Hume: email@example.com BTM Driving Group: Hawthorn Run – now fully booked. Historics Auction: www.historics.co.uk Supercar Sunday: Action on Mercedes-Benz World circuit, Test Hill ascents, trade stalls, club displays. Premium Event – details on the website. Parking in The Heights*. BTM AGM. BTM Classic Talk: 1969 – Man on the Moon and More – look back 50 years to Apollo 11 landing the first man on the moon, plus 1960s music, fashion and life. Reserve your place (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07880 670359) and pay on the night. Porsche Club GB: A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 914. Paddock displays. Classic Car/Bike Show and Jumble: BTM’s own classic car show and the premier event in the BTM calendar. Static display, with
trade stands and entertainment. Organiser Tim Morris: email@example.com Piano music in the Members’ Bar at lunchtime.
17th 25th 30th
BTM Motoring Legends Talk: Senna: 25 Years On – a special commemorative event looking at the incredible career of Ayrton Senna and just what made him so great. Book via the online shop or the BTM office. BTM Driving Group: Chiltern Capers – now fully booked. BTM Trip: Solent Spitfires & Steamships – now fully booked. Brooklands Relived: A step back in time to the heyday of the Track – Mercedes-Benz World cavalcade, Finishing Straight race starts, Test Hill ascents, trade stands, re-enactment groups and aircraft ﬂy-in (subject to operational conditions). Parking in The Heights unless in a pre-1940 vehicle*. BTM Classic Talk: Quicksilver WSR – Quicksilver project leader Nigel Macknight will talk about how the team pursuing the WSR is progressing. Reserve your place (talks@ brooklandsmembers.co.uk or 07880 670359) and pay on the night. Alvis Owners’ Club visit: Static display. Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Surrey and Hants region: Static display. Piano music in the Members’ Bar at lunchtime.
SEPTEMBER 1st 1st
American Day: Classic and modern American vehicles on site. Parking in The Heights unless in an American vehicle*. Shere Hill Climb: The BTM Outreach Team will be supporting the event once again and displaying a selection of members’ cars that are taking part in the hill climb. Members who have an entry and would like to be in the Brooklands Paddock, please contact Angela Hume: angelahume@brooklands members.co.uk 50th anniversary of the Ford Capri: Test Hill in action. Parking in the Heights unless in a Capri*. BTM Classic Talk: Bugatti – a representative of the Bugatti Trust will talk about the trust’s work, its collection and Bugatti in general. Reserve your place (talks@brooklandsmembers. co.uk or 07880 670359) and pay on the night.
FORTHCOMING EVENTS 12th-17th BTM Driving Group: Circuit des Remparts – Angoulême – now fully booked. 21st Historics Auction: www.historics.co.uk 22nd Aviation Day: Displays of aircraft from the Museum’s collection, engine runs, pedal planes and fly-ins onto the airstrip at Mercedes-Benz World (subject to operational conditions). Parking in The Heights.* 29th Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride: Motorcycle event with ride-out during the day. Parking in The Heights, unless on a motorcycle*.
BTM Motorcycle Legends Talk: With Steve Parrish and Mick Grant, seven times Isle of Man TT champion. Book via the online shop or the BTM office.
Autumn Motorsport Day: Demonstration laps on the Mercedes-Benz World Circuit, Test Hill ascents, car and motor club displays. Auto-Testing display with passenger rides available. Premium Event. Details on the website. Parking in The Heights*. 17th BTM Classic Talk: Electric Vehicles One Year On with Steve Cropley, Richard Williams and guests. Reserve your place (talks@brooklandsmembers .co.uk or 07880 670359) and pay on the night. 18th-21st BTM Driving Group: Cotswold Weekend – now fully booked. 19th Concorde Champagne Day: The next best thing to flying – an exclusive day hosted by Chief Concorde Pilot, Captain Mike Bannister. Booking essential. Enquiries via the website. 20th London Bus Museum Transportfest: Displays of buses, coaches, commercial and other vehicles. Bus rides available. Parking in The Heights*. 27th Autumn Classic Breakfast: Displays and Test Hill ascents. Gates open at 7.45am.
BTM Annual Dinner: The BTM’s annual blacktie dinner will take place in the Napier Room in the Clubhouse with president Damon Hill OBE. Ticket information to be confirmed. BTM Classic Talk: 40 years of Formula One with Harry Sherrard in conversation with Maurice Hamilton. Reserve your place (talks@ brooklandsmembers.co.uk or 07880 670359) and pay on the night. Military Vehicles Day: Displays of military vehicles and living history re-enactors. Action on the Mercedes-Benz World 4X4 course and Test Hill ascents. Parking in The Heights for all non-military vehicles*.
Light-hearted festive frolics in the Napier Room – turkey, tinsel and annoying rasping balloons! Ticket information to be confirmed. 24th-26th Museum closed for Christmas.
*Parking arrangements Please note that for all events marked ‘Parking in The Heights*’ designated vehicles only can enter via the Campbell Gate. All other Members, including Club Level, and visitors please park in The Heights or main public car park unless otherwise specified. For other weekend events, Club Level Members please enter via the Campbell Gate and park outside the Paddock. Period/classic vehicles only inside the Paddock by invitation. Please abide by staff directions. All other Members and visitors, please enter via the main public entrance off Brooklands Drive.
CONTACTS Brooklands Trust Members
Members’ Administrator (all membership levels) Tim Morris Postal address as for the Museum 01932 857381 ext 226 Monday to Friday firstname.lastname@example.org Chairman Neil Bailey 07970 206778 email@example.com Secretary Kevin Lee 01932 562246 firstname.lastname@example.org Tours and Trips Angela Hume 07884 184882 email@example.com Outreach David Norfolk 01372 373929 firstname.lastname@example.org Talks Steve Clarke 07860 355525 email@example.com www.brooklandsmembers.co.uk
Brooklands Road Weybridge Surrey KT13 0QN 01932 857381 Fax 01932 855465 www.brooklandsmuseum.com CEO Tamalie Newbery ext 243 Director of Collections, Interpretation & Heritage Alex Patterson 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
Charity number 296661. Please quote this if making donations or requesting them via a funeral director.
Curatorial and Archive Enquiries Andrew Lewis ext 246 Chief Operating Officer Amanda Squires ext 255 Head of Track & Air Events Steve Castle ext 244 Events Manager Donna Marshall ext 253 firstname.lastname@example.org Concorde Operations Manager Michelina Caliendo-Sear ext 237 email@example.com Hospitality Sales Manager Joanna Rodgers ext 251 firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing and PR Manager Paul Stewart ext 249 Unless otherwise noted, Museum email addresses are email@example.com
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CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2019 last year, and it was reassuring that we had such an enthusiastic response, the numbers participating exceeding all our predictions. The predominantly favourable response showed that the membership does feel a sense of belonging to an organisation, rather than just supporting a worthy cause; that Members enjoy their membership; and believe that it is good value for money. However, there was one area where we (both the BTM and the Museum) were clearly falling short – communication – and as I said in a recent edition of the Bulletin, George Bernard Shaw summed it up neatly when he said that, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” We fully accept all the ﬁndings of the survey, including those that are critical, and are actively addressing them. In respect of communication, the fact that we have many more channels available to us than ten years ago should have resulted in wider dissemination of information to Members, but clearly there has been a lack of clarity, which we must put right. We are seeking to improve the overall design, presentation and content in all our publications, both hard copy and digital, and continue to encourage Members to sign up to our social media channels, especially Facebook, to ensure that communication is timely and relevant.
opefully, this edition of the Bulletin should reach you before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 17th July. This year, I have decided to prepare my report in advance of the AGM and publish it here, so that those of you unable to attend do not have to wait until the September edition to read it – and as those attending will have seen this in advance, we can save paper by not printing copies on the night. This year has been one of signiﬁcant change for the Museum, with a new Director and Management Team in place, tasked by the Trustees with developing an ambitious vision for the future. That requires the creation of a strategic plan and a tactical pathway to implement it. Clearly the BTM, as the vital support organisation for the Museum, has to be part of that process and we have collaborated closely with the new Director and her team at every stage. We reached our landmark tenth anniversary this year and that has provided an opportunity for us to take a long, hard look at everything we do and how we do it, to determine whether we are meeting the expectations of our membership and whether, moving forward, we are aligned with the overall objectives of the Museum.
Committee elections Your committee is unfortunately not really representative of this new diverse membership and, if you contrast the demographics of the membership as a whole with those of the committee, the problem is immediately apparent. The majority of the committee are white, male and qualify for free bus passes. In fact, only two are in full-time employment. I know this is a problem shared with many volunteer or charitable organisations, as often it is only the retired who are able to devote the time required, but as a committee we only meet six times a year, so I urge all Members who are committed to Brooklands to consider standing for election. As an example, the membership survey showed that we must do more to encourage family Members and this would be far easier to achieve if they had a representative on the committee. This is not a case of political correctness; it is just an acknowledgement that the committee is not representative of the membership as a whole and an acceptance that we must embrace the change needed to make it so.
BTM Member survey We have grown the BTM membership steadily over the last ten years, but inevitably, as it has grown, it has become a challenge to understand what that increasingly diverse membership expects and whether we are meeting those expectations. That is why, in partnership with the Museum, we commissioned a membership survey
You will be aware that last year at the AGM a new constitution came into effect, which introduced a nine-year limit for committee Members. The elections at this AGM are the ﬁrst under the new rule. Several committee Members are, in fact, founder Members and, although we recognise the intention behind the change to the rules, as an unfortunate consequence we risked losing too many valuable committee Members at the same time, so with the approval of the Trustees, a transitional agreement was approved. This allows those affected to stand for one ﬁnal term of up to three years, if they wish to do so. Those founder Members affected this year are Chris Bass, Angela Hume, David Norfolk and Robert Hall. Our Vice-chairman, Julian Grimwade, is also a founder Member and has served on the committee for nine years, but is not affected, since the rule only applies to Members of the committee, not elected ofﬁcers. During the year, two stalwarts of the committee who had retired last year, Len Battyl and Bryan Reynolds, unfortunately passed away, together with Alastair Pugh, the Trustee Member on the committee until 2016. They all contributed signiﬁcantly to the creation and development of the BTM, and their loss will be keenly felt.
will still be dropping through your letterbox every two months and, in response to feedback from the Members’ survey, the packaging will now be recyclable and plastic-free.
Membership and finance Membership numbers are stable and the expected dip, following the signiﬁcant increase in subscriptions last year, especially at Club Level, was not as drastic as we had feared. It was gratifying to hear, again through the Members’ survey, that the membership subscription represents good value for money. This year the increase applied was modest, linked to the increase in admission prices to the Museum for the general public, and we hope to follow this example moving forward, avoiding further steep increases. Finances are also sound and, following completion of the Scoreboard project, this year we were able to provide signiﬁcant funds to support the First to the Fastest exhibition, which is proving to be extremely popular. Our Treasurer, Gareth Tarr, is one of that elite group of committee Members still in full-time employment and we are especially grateful to him for devoting so much of his scarce spare time to managing the BTM ﬁnances on our behalf.
Activity and administration
Bulletin improvements coming
Our programmes of events and talks, managed by Angela Hume and Steve Clarke respectively, continue to be popular with Members and their guests, and are frequently over-subscribed. Although it is always disappointing that we have to limit numbers for the most popular events and talks, I hope that the constraints that apply are understood and accepted by those affected. The Outreach Team continues to attend events in all weathers and is responsible for recruiting a steady stream of new Members, which is vital to the future success of the BTM. I always try to spend time with the Outreach Team and never fail to be impressed by their resourcefulness, enthusiasm and camaraderie, which shines through in the heaviest of rain, sleet and wind – sometimes all three at once! They particularly appreciated the visit to their gazebo last year by our new President, Damon Hill, and he is now considered an honorary member of the Outreach Team. There have been changes within our Membership Administration Ofﬁce this year as Jeni Larwood left for another post within the Museum this spring and, unfortunately, this led to delays in processing new memberships and renewals. We have now recruited a new Assistant Administrator,
One very positive message that shone through in the survey was the value placed on the Bulletin by the membership and that has encouraged us to move ahead with the switch to A4 size. This will be a signiﬁcant improvement, especially for photographs and graphics, and I hope you will enjoy the relaunched edition, which we hope to produce later this year. We have appointed a publisher, specialising in the motoring magazine sector, and an independent editor, and I am hopeful that we are on track to launch with the September – October edition. Martin Gegg, elected to the committee last year, has taken on responsibility for the Bulletin and will chair a small sub-committee, which will manage the complex relationship between all the parties involved. Our founder publisher and editors (Robert Hall, Chris Bass and Diana Willows) have nurtured the Bulletin for ten years, and are now able to take a well-earned retirement. I take this opportunity to offer them our thanks again for all that they have done – without them there simply would not have been a Bulletin. In due course we will introduce a digital edition, which will appeal to many, but I can reassure you that the hard copy
Sarah Dover, and the revised internal structure will enable us to staff the ofﬁce every weekday morning, which should improve the service to Members signiﬁcantly. Jeni has been an extremely popular and hardworking member of the team and, although sorry to see her go, we send her our very best wishes for the future.
membership might reach 500 after two years, but it now hovers around the 2,500 mark. The BTM was established as part of a tortuous and ultimately unsuccessful merger process, and the title ‘Brooklands Trust Members’ was a necessary but grammatically challenging compromise among the various options proposed for an organisational name. Now, ten years on, there is no reason to continue to defy grammar and syntax any longer, and over the coming months we will gradually change our title to simply ‘Brooklands Members’. Just to reassure you, though, this will not be a costly rebranding exercise, but a gradual evolution. The biggest vote of thanks should, however, go to you all, who, as Members, support the Museum so enthusiastically and contribute over half a million pounds annually – a vital revenue stream in these challenging times. Your efforts help ensure that this wonderful Museum will be enjoyed not just by this generation, but those that follow. Neil Bailey, Chairman, BTM
Vote of thanks In closing, I again give thanks and pay tribute to your hardworking committee, who are all volunteers and give their time freely, because of their passion for Brooklands, and have steered the BTM so well in the decade since we were established. It is not just the committee that should be thanked, though, as in virtually every area of activity they are supported by teams behind the scenes and these team members also give freely of their time. Few, if any, could have anticipated the growth in membership throughout that period. Indeed, it is perhaps worth reﬂecting that, at inception, it was hoped that the new category of ‘Club Level’
DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE we raised £20,000 through a charity auction and rafﬂe as well. We’ve also opened the First to the Fastest exhibition, which Members funded through the Christmas raffle and other fundraising activities. Your support has made a huge difference and we are really excited that we are now telling such a significant Brooklands story so effectively. This shows our new approach of bringing out the people involved in Brooklands’ stories as well as the things they built, flew, rode and drove, and it has gone down extremely well with our visitors. June was the 100th anniversary of the ﬁrst ever non-stop crossing of the Atlantic – achieved in a Brooklands-built plane – and if you haven’t seen the exhibition yet, do come and take a look this summer. As well as our replica Vimy, you’ll also be able to see our newest loan, the Harrier XV741, which features in the First to the Fastest exhibition, too, and our newest acquisition, G-HAWK, now installed in the Flight Shed. We have great plans in hand for new summer holiday activities this year (see page 17) and lots of fantastic weekend events coming up as well, so we look forward to seeing you at Brooklands Museum soon. Tamalie Newbery
hat a fantastic year so far! So much has happened in the past two months. We held a fantastic Gala Dinner to celebrate Concorde’s golden jubilee with guest of honour, Prince Michael of Kent. We were delighted that Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways, also attended and was able to see our Concorde for himself, and
www.brooklandsjumble.com 01932 857381 ext 226
1969 DAILY MAIL GREAT AIR RACE REUNION
Group shot of the 1969 Air Race participants – Robin Paul and Heather Robinson proudly wear their original competitor bib (Geoffrey Lee).
n 8th May, some of the competitors, navigators, pilots and support crews who took part in the 1969 Daily Mail Great Air Race gathered in the Vickers Suite to commemorate its 50th anniversary. This spirited air race invited anyone to dash across the Atlantic in either direction between two world famous towers – the top of the Post Ofﬁce Tower in London and New York’s Empire State Building. At the time, it was televised, made tabloid headlines and attracted entries from several celebrities of the day, including Stirling Moss, Billy Butlin, Clement Freud and HRH Prince Michael of Kent. Among the throng of guests was pilot Lieutenant Commander Peter Goddard, who achieved the quickest eastbound ﬂight, while simultaneously setting a new world record for the fastest transatlantic crossing in his Phantom at 5 hours 11 minutes. Some months later, in 1970, he was presented with a certiﬁcate for this second feat by Simon Ames, in his then capacity as Secretary-General of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, the representative body of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) in the UK. The pair were reunited at the gathering and were able to re-enact the photo that was taken at the time. Fastest across the sea westbound was Tom Lecky-Thompson, who attended with his family. He ﬁnished by clocking out at the top of the Empire State Building after a dash of just 6 hours 11 minutes in his Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 XV741. This aircraft now stands majestically inside the Vimy Pavilion as part of the First to the Fastest exhibition and Tom was more than happy to sit in the cockpit and re-acquaint himself with the controls. He also brought with him the
Pilot Tom Lecky-Thompson sits in the cockpit of the Harrier he flew in the 1969 race (Geoffrey Lee).
Lieutenant Commander Peter Goddard (left) with Simon Ames as they reprise the photo of the 1970 presentation for the world record (Geoffrey Lee).
original maps from the journey showing the eight refuelling points. Another guest linked to Brooklands was Anne Alcock, niece of Captain Sir John Alcock, who, together with Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, made the ﬁrst non-stop transatlantic ﬂight in 1919. Anne was another competitor in the 1969 dash. At the time, she was an 18-year-old art student and the GPO appointed her as a licensed mail carrier and tasked her with delivering a letter and a set of commemoration stamps to the US Postmaster-General. Set out on two tables were scores of photographs, clippings and trophies, which the entrants had kept for all these years, and they made a ﬁne display. One entrant, Heather Robinson, who ﬂew to New York on a VC10 with the RAF, even brought her competitor bib, as did Museum volunteer Robin Paul who ﬂew in the race with a team from BP. After a breakfast and some presentations from Alex Patterson and the owner of the Harrier, guests passed the microphone from table to table, re-telling how they came to be involved in the race and sharing anecdotes. Among them was Phil Ward, who will be well known to many for
Anne Alcock, niece of John Alcock, and Tom Lecky-Thompson holding the cup he won (Geoffrey Lee). Auto Italia and other events staged at the Museum, who revealed that he was stopped at an RAF base on his motorcycle and asked to take a pilot on the back for a ride to simulate the dash prior to the race. It was then time for the group photograph and the First to the Fastest exhibition made the perfect backdrop, with the real stories and memories of the people attending this reunion adding a very important layer to this chapter in aviation history. Paul Stewart
RACERS AND ROCKERS AT THE MOTORCYCLE SHOW
he 2019 Brooklands Motorcycle Show takes place on Sunday 30th June and will follow the format of the past two years – a mixture of heritage race bikes and the latest model road bikes from main dealers, as well as hundreds of bikes ridden in. This year is the 110th anniversary of the founding, at Brooklands, of the British Motorcycle Racing Club (BMCRC), the premier road racing club in the country, and to mark the anniversary BMCRC is bringing a special display featuring examples of machines from each of its current championship classes. Hopefully, the enormous original Mellano Trophy, which was awarded for the Hutchinson 100 race, ﬁrst contested at Brooklands, will also be on show. Nowadays, a trophy bearing that name is presented each season to the BMCRC’s Champion of Champions. The main Paddock will be given over to the 59 Club, founded originally by the Reverend Bill Shergold in 1962 as the motorcycle branch of a Hackney church youth club and based at the Ace Café. The 59 Club has promised a hundred bikes
Machines from the Museum’s collection, like this 500cc Cotton-JAP, will be among those electrifying the crowds on Test Hill at the Brooklands Motorcycle Show (Brooklands Museum).
and with their tradition of rock’n’roll, there will certainly be some café racers among them. Among the out-and-out race bikes that will be tackling Test Hill will be the ever-young Sheelagh Neal’s spectacular Triumph sidecar outﬁt. Sheelagh always gives a spirited display, as does John Young on his very fast Tri-JAP. Several of the historic race bikes from the Museum will also be in action, including the lovely little Rex Acme, to be ridden by its owner, Steve Allen, son of one of
the founders of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club, Titch Allen. The Rex has a 100% Brooklands racing history, having been dubbed ‘The Giant Killer’ in recognition of the number of times it beat bigger machines. Add in a number of club displays, and the atmosphere created by a lot of enthusiasts milling around, and you have the exciting prospect of the motorcycling spirit of Brooklands returning again. Michael Sands
CARS, MOTORBIKES, MUSIC, FUN AND...SHOPPING News
hese are the essential ingredients of the Brooklands Classic Car/Bike Show and Jumble. This year’s premier BTM event takes place on Sunday 21st July and the entertainment will be centred on The Paddock, with live music, a barbecue and chats with owners of featured vehicles during the day. Hundreds of classics are expected to turn up and all will be judged in various categories in our BTM Pride of Ownership competition. There will, of course, be an overall car of the show and the winner’s name will adorn the trophy that resides in the Members’ Bar, alongside other Brooklands great names. The show is open to all classics, from veteran to modern, and selected vehicles will be directed to the Paddock for our Showcase. If you have an interesting vehicle and would like to enter the Showcase ahead of the show, then please get in touch with Tim Morris (details below). That’s one side of the day. The other is the Jumble. The big question is whether the helicopter engine will return for a third year running – or maybe it’s been sold! We expect around a hundred traders, who will surround the motoring village with all manner of goods, from fossils to fuel
additives via parts, pictures, badges, models, toys, books, records, vintage items and clothing. An even more eclectic bunch of items will be found in the car boot section – who knows what will turn up! This is the Members’ own show, so please come along and support the event and the traders who raise funds for the Museum by booking in. We do need marshals to help on the day, so if you’re able to spare a couple of hours to assist the BTM with car parking or judging, or if you wish to book a selling space or car boot pitch, then please get in touch with Tim on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01932 857381 ext 226. You can also check out the show website at www.brooklandsjumble.com for all the latest Brooklands Classic Car/Bike Show and Jumble news and a look back at previous events. Tim Morris
BROOKLANDS RELIVED – SAVE THE DATE
reviously known as the Brooklands Reunion, from the time when it was run by the Brooklands Society in the 1970s and 80s, and then subsequently by the Museum, we felt the time had come to change the name of this event to Brooklands Relived. Sadly, it is now unlikely that there are any people still with us who raced at the circuit or were involved in aircraft manufacture or development before the outbreak of World War Two to reunite, so the name change takes away any confusion that the old name may have caused. As well as the opportunity to display your car or motorcycle for visitors to admire during the day, we will be including three different opportunities here on the site to put your vehicle through its paces. First up will be the Cavalcade, which for the ﬁrst time this year will actually be on the Finishing Straight and where you will be able to show off your car to the crowds. Test Hill Ascents will feature during the afternoon for those who want a bit more speed, and then later in the afternoon we will run our Race Starts back on the Finishing Straight and a section of the Members’ Banking. This will give those of you who have a car or motorcycle that did compete here in period, or is of the same type that would have done so, to put on a great display, with up to ﬁve cars or motorcycles setting off up the course at any one time. While all this is happening, we will have other things going on around the site to illustrate the history of those special 32 years during which Brooklands operated as a centre for speed, endurance and endeavour. With the help of vehicle owners, living history groups and items from the Museum’s collection, we will divide the site up into areas portraying some of the history from the 1900s, 1910s, including the Great War, the 1920s and the 1930s, including the build-up to the outbreak of World War Two. Expect to see a number of aircraft on display outside and around the site. Another added attraction and new for this year’s event will be the use of the airstrip opposite the Museum entrance for ﬂy-ins by visiting aircraft of the types that would have been part of the Brooklands Flying School between the wars. If you have any family history and accompanying artefacts that would help tell any of these stories, then please get in touch, so we can add these into our plans. If you have a car or motorcycle that you would like to bring along on the day, then please speak to the Events Department for an
Brooklands Relived not only gives you the chance to display your car or motorcycle to visitors, it also offers three different opportunities to put your vehicle through its paces (Brooklands Museum). entry form. This will enable you to tell us about your vehicle, so we can add it to the programme and ﬁnd the best place to display it. This, like all our events, are run for the beneﬁt of the Museum, to increase visitor numbers, and improve awareness of the Museum, the BTM and what it does, so if any Members have a vehicle you would like to bring along and display, or have something else of interest, we would particularly like to hear from you – please email email@example.com or call 01932 857381 ext 244. Steve Castle, Head of Track and Air Events
NEW LOOK FOR THE BULLETIN
he membership survey we conducted a few months ago showed how much Members enjoy the Bulletin, so you’ll be pleased to hear that in the next issue it’s going to get a fantastic new look. It will be a larger size, to make it easier to read, and we will be able to make more of the fantastic photographs. All the regular articles and items that Members enjoy will still be there, along
UNIVERSITY HONOURS MOTORCYCLE RACER
with a new layout for the Forthcoming Events section, which will help you identify the events you want to come to more easily. We’re sure you’ll really enjoy the new-look Bulletin – which coincides with a brighter, fresher look for everything at Brooklands Museum, from marketing materials to signage around the site – so look out for your next issue! Tamalie Newbery, Director
Academy of Engineering, and the Museum was asked to provide memorabilia related to Beatrice Shilling, in particular a 1934 500cc Norton Model 30. Ian Loram, the well-known Norton collector, exhibited his immaculate 1933 Model 30 and the bike was much admired, especially by 90-year-old Dennis Lock, who was Beatrice’s brother-in-law. Brooklands Curator Andrew Lewis produced a race programme that showed pencilled results of the actual race with the speed clearly visible. There was also a Goodwood Trophy Beatrice won when she moved into car racing after the war, and her BMCRC Gold Star and yearly membership bars. The opening address by Professor Paul Lyell included a biography of Miss Shilling with generous references to Brooklands and Norton. The only regret was that Ian was not allowed to ﬁre up the bike as part of the proceedings, although later, when most people had drifted away, one of the students who was admiring the Norton said, “But I suppose it doesn’t work, does it?” Ian rose to the challenge, took the bike outside and proved the student wrong! Michael Sands
eatrice Shilling was a famous Brooklands motorcycle racer and pioneering female engineer, and in recognition of this, Royal Holloway, University of London’s Egham campus, has named its new Department of Electronic Engineering premises, the Beatrice Shilling Building. On 25th August 1934 she won a Brooklands Gold Star for a race average of 101.02 mph, with a best lap at over 106 mph, on her 500cc Norton. As well as tuning and racing her Norton, she also experimented with her own design for a supercharging system. During World War Two, she worked at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, and was responsible for designing a ‘restrictor’ for SU carburettors that enabled ﬁghter aircraft ﬁtted with Rolls Royce Merlin engines to ﬂy upside down without loss of power. The device made Spitﬁres and Hurricanes fully aerobatic for dogﬁghting in the Battle of Britain. The restrictor became known, somewhat irreverently, as ‘Miss Shilling’s oriﬁce’. On 27th March this year, the building was opened ofﬁcially by Professor Dame Anne Dowling OM DBE FRS FREng, President of the Royal
Dennis Lock, brother-in-law of Beatrice Shilling, poses with Ian Loram’s immaculate 500cc 1934 Norton, very similar to the one ridden by Beatrice Shilling (Royal Holloway, University of London).
14 JULY .10am - 5pm th
SUPERCAR SUNDAY In Association with Ginger Beer Promotions
Adults £17, Seniors/Students £16, Children (5-16 inc) £9, Family £44 BTM £2.50 Information and discounted advance tickets from www.BrooklandsMuseum.com Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0SL
BROOKLANDS IN SUMMER – A VERY BRITISH DAY OUT!
tep back in time on the Campbell Lawn this summer and re-live the traditional village fête – with a Brooklands twist! On weekdays throughout August (except Bank Holiday Monday), enjoy games from your childhood, such as Swingball, hopscotch and quoits, and compete for a place on the winner’s podium in our familyfriendly races. Laze in the sun on a deckchair while eating ice-cream or sip a cool drink and watch the world go by. We’ll also be running our famous car rides, pedal planes and tours. Full information and details will be available on the Museum’s website and in the Members’ newsletter. Samantha Hart, Marketing Director
For a relaxing traditional day out this summer, head to Brooklands (Katharine Allen).
FORMAL HANDOVER OF G-HAWK
Volunteers, staff and guests surround G-HAWK for the official handover from BAE Systems in the Flight Shed (Geoffrey Lee).
n 25th April the Museum formally received our newest addition to the collection – GHAWK – which has been gifted by BAE Systems. It is now proudly on display in the Flight Shed, alongside our other signiﬁcant Hawker aircraft – the Hunter and the Harrier. We were joined by Howard
Mason, Heritage Manger at BAE Systems, Chris Roberts, Chairman of the Hawker Association, and many of the volunteers who have helped reassemble G-HAWK and prepare her for display. Alex Patterson, Director of Collections, Interpretation and Heritage
BTM TALKS PROGRAMME
special thanks go to Tim Morris and David Norfolk, who have been with me since that very fragile start on 3rd December 2013. On Thursday 27th June we have a book launch with our regular MotorSport contributors, Simon Taylor and Steve Cropley. Simon’s new book on the history of Hersham and Walton Motors (HWM) has been ten years in the making, and we are delighted to host the public launch of the publication. We also hope to welcome a number of HWM vehicles in The Paddock on the evening.
significant milestone was reached on Thursday 9th May. The occasion was Betty Haig: A Life Behind the Wheel with Roger Farmer. The milestone was our hundredth talk since starting this series, featuring our old friend Steve Parrish. Since then we have entertained over 12,500 Members and guests, while establishing one of the best talks programmes in the UK. My thanks go to the team – Yvette and Cliff Bolton, Mark Jarman, John O’Dell, Peter Maskell, Robin Cordery, Mel Goodworth and Rob Rennie. My
Many of you will by now have made a point of visiting the wonderful new First to the Fastest exhibition in the Vimy Pavilion. I am working with Alex Patterson, Director of Collections, Interpretation and Heritage, to invite the owner of the 1969 Daily Mail Air Race Harrier GR1 XV741, Paul Grifﬁth, to be our guest at a special evening looking at this remarkable restoration project. Paul is CEO of Dubai Airport in the UAE, but makes regular trips back to the UK. While we are lucky to have the iconic Napier Room as our regular venue, there can be problems with visibility at popular events. To help overcome this, we have invested in two 60” Panasonic plasma monitors. These will allow us to show high-deﬁnition images and, eventually, live camera feeds, and will improve the overall quality of the evenings. Finally, just to remind you how easy it is to book tickets for all these forthcoming events, for Classic Talks email talks@brooklandsmembers. co.uk or call 0707880 670359, and for the MotorSport Legends Series go to brooklands museum.com/members and follow the links for online sales or call Tim in the BTM Ofﬁce on 01932 857381 ext 226 (Monday-Friday). The menu for each event can be obtained four days beforehand by calling 07857 874456 (recorded announcement). Steve Clarke and the Talks Team
If, like me, you feel MotoGP hasn’t been the same since the golden era of the BBC’s coverage, then you’re in for a treat. For one night only, on Monday 8th July, I have persuaded Steve Parrish and Charlie Cox to get back together and be our guests for what can only be described as a fun evening, as they recall their adventures following the MotoGP circus around the world. It is not, I would suggest, for the faint-hearted! Tickets for this event are on sale via the website shop and BTM ofﬁce. On Thursday 18th July we will be marking 50 years since man landed on the moon, on 20th July 1969. Space centres across the world will be staging lunar-themed exhibitions and activities, and we are holding our own special event to mark this remarkable achievement, including the buildup to the ﬂight and the actual landing. We will also be looking at the world in 1969 in the form of music and fashion. We will be joined by Harry Sherrard and our performing friends Jenny Lockyer and Vern Grifﬁth. On 1st May 2019 it was 25 years since the tragic death of Ayrton Senna, possibly the greatest F1 driver the world has ever known. To remember his achievements and his untimely death, we are putting together an event called Senna: 25 Years On. We plan to hold this on Thursday 1st August, so check the website and the newsletter for further details of the evening and its contributors.
BRITISH MARQUES DAY
British marques more or less as far as the eye can see… (Michael Stokes).
aving battled with the aftermath of some late snow at last year’s event, which was held in March, this year’s British Marques Day was ‘securely’ moved to 28th April, when at least there was some largely dry weather to attract vehicle owners and visitors. Falling on the annual Drive-it Day, which encourages owners of classic or vintage vehicles to take to the roads, this was an extra reason to come out and see just how many classics are still cherished and used in the UK. Stretching the full length of the Finishing Straight in rows was a dazzling mix of makes, with a large proportion from the great British Leyland era, including Morris, MG, Ford, Vauxhall and Mini. Gracing the Campbell parking zone was the Triumph Roadster register, as well as nice early examples of Austin and Alvis. Cars made their way over to the Mercedes-Benz World circuit for the cavalcade after lunch and in the afternoon those brave enough tackled Test Hill. Paul Stewart
MERRYWEATHER FIRE ENGINE RETURNS
ur GKR 549 is one of Britain’s oldest surviving aerodrome ﬁre/crash tenders. Based on a Commer Q3 chassis with Merryweather Ltd bodywork and ﬁre-ﬁghting equipment, it is one of only four such vehicles known to have been produced in Greenwich around 1939-1940. It was ﬁrst registered to Short Brothers Ltd at Rochester in 1941, but transferred to Vickers-Armstrongs Supermarine Ltd’s Experimental Department at Hursley Park, Winchester, in 1942. It moved to South Marston Aerodrome near Swindon in 1943 to support Supermarine Spitﬁre, Attacker, Swift and Scimitar aircraft production there until it was retired in 1963. After a decade in store, it was donated to Portsmouth City Museums who took it to local events, but then stored it from the early 1980s. GKR 549 was donated to Brooklands Museum in 1992 and returned to roadworthy condition by Geoff Dovey’s volunteer team from 1993 to 1996. GKR participated in many Brooklands events and also Heathrow Airport’s 50th anniversary in 1996, as well as the HCVS London-Brighton Run in 1997 and 2008. After major engine repairs
Merryweather fire engine on the Factory Hangar apron (Julian Temple). generously funded by a BTM appeal it was stored until recently at Bicester, but it has now returned to the Museum. Julian Temple
OUTREACH TEAM AT MINI DAY
ome rain or shine, home or away, the Outreach Team is always ready to pitch the Outreach gazebo, set up its displays and start spreading the word about Brooklands, encouraging people to visit the Museum and/or become Members. Happily the sun came out for Mini Day in March, when the team were joined by the owners of hundreds of Minis, from early examples to modern BMW versions, and vans and pickups. Picture: Roddy Garnett.
BROOKLANDS SOCIETY GAZETTE OFFER
he BTM has been given a set of the Brooklands Society Gazette and, as the Museum already has a complete run of the publication, we are offering the collection in return for a donation to the BTM. There are 11 binders in total, containing volume 1 (1976) through to volume 33 (2008), plus 16 loose copies of the Bulletin of the Brooklands Society
from 1970 onwards. Please note that, although we believe the collection is complete, we are unable to guarantee there are no missing issues and the binders will need to be picked up from the Museum. If you’re interested, please send details of the donation you’re willing to make to BrooklandsBulletinEditor@gmail.com
SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER ENTRIES OPEN 1ST MARCH – 30TH APRIL It doesn’t need to be fast or expensive, if you have an interesting vehicle that you would like to run up the hill, we would like to hear from you. Entries via the website. General admission tickets on sale early summer, sign-up for our newsletter via the website for noti cations.
BENTLEY CENTENARY DRIVE FINISHES AT BROOKLANDS
‘Straight-through’ S Continental (Gareth Tarr).
Quintessential vintage Bentley… (Gareth Tarr).
weather, it was perhaps no surprise that the majority of those Bentleys were from the last quarter century of the marque’s history. These included a couple of the latest Continental GTs and a Bentayga SUV. Four cars represented the ﬁrst 20 years of Bentley history, one sporting the lovely winged B mascot, while the middle era of Bentley was represented by a pair of early 60s S-Type Continentals, which were some of the last coach-built cars. Identiﬁable as Series III versions of the S-Type by the twin headlamps, one was a Belgian-registered four-door drophead, the other a ‘Straight-through’ two-door drophead by Park Ward. Gareth Tarr
entley forged its reputation on the track with the ﬁrst win coming at Brooklands in May 1921, so where better to end the company’s Centenary Extraordinary Drive than at the site of that ﬁrst victory? Organised by the factory and the Bentley Drivers Club, the Extraordinary Drive was a two-week grand tour to celebrate the 100 years since the company was formed. It started at the Queen Mother’s Castle of Mey in north Scotland and featured a dinner on the Royal Yacht Britannia, a visit to the factory and dinner on the ﬁnal night at the Tower of London. Around 20 cars made it to Brooklands on 31st March for the ﬁnal event of the tour, a periodcostume lunch in the Clubhouse. Bearing in mind the time of year and the potential for inclement
Period attire for the final lunch of the tour (Gareth Tarr).
A TRULY VINTAGE DAY
Beautifully cared for vintage vehicles from various decades arrived on site for the Vintage Festival in May (David Mark).
he nostalgic Vintage Festival event attracted more visitors and vehicles this year than in any of its previous years (when it was titled 1940s Relived), and the choice to broaden the era to the 1950s and 60s certainly paid off as American and British classics ﬁlled the usual areas, as well as the Outer Paddock. Live music and free dance classes ran all day and evening in the Dance Marquee, and those looking for original and repro clothing and homewares were not disappointed by the shopping village under the Race Bays. The Learning Team offered vintage games on the lawn by the Jackson Shed, including skittles, tiddlywinks and ‘giant bubbles’, which were very popular, and the dry weather allowed the visiting aircraft to ﬂy in as scheduled in the morning. These included a 1930 de Havilland Puss Moth, a World War Two-era Boeing Stearman and a 1953 DHC Beaver, amongst others – a big thank you must go to the pilots, marshals and ground support who made it all possible on the day.
Another new attraction for this event which proved extremely popular was the Air Raid Shelter tours. Volunteers Alan Morris and Peter Stammers did an excellent job as guides, dressed as wardens and starting the siren before each tour. At one point, 82 visitors were lined up on the Finishing Straight eager to go inside and learn more about the site’s connections with World War Two and the raid on 4th September 1940. At 2.30pm the Dance Marquee was full as the
Airborne – 1937 Boeing Stearman (Stefan Lange). The 1930 de Havilland Puss Moth about to take off (Stefan Lange).
For those wanting to ‘get the look’, there were plenty of accessories available (David Mark).
Shopping for curiosities (David Mark)
The Vintage Tourists, Emma (left) and Lara (Adrian Berg). Kelly Webb of the Outreach Team (Neil Bailey).
crowds watched the ﬁnals of the Best-Dressed Competition. This year, Instagram stars and inﬂuencers, two gals known as the Vintage Tourists, had scouted the site for the most stylish visitors and, after much cheering and judging, a winning chap and lady were picked. To capture a memento of the day, a special vintage portrait studio was set up in the Barbara Cartland Room, courtesy of Studio Harlow, and portraits from the day can be seen on their website (www.studioharlow.com/brooklands). Paul Stewart
AUTO ITALIA 2019 – WHAT’S IN A NAME?
An array of Italian cars at this year’s Auto Italia (David Mark).
1930s saw Lancia switch to naming models after ancient Roman roads. The Aurelia B20 Coupe is one of those Italian cars that just looks right and there were a couple at Auto Italia, as well as two different versions of its Flaminia Coupe successor by Pininfarina and Touring. Similarly, there were contrasting factory and Zagato interpretations of the Fulvia Coupe. Mention must also go to the little Ardea saloon on the BTM Outreach stand, which is owned by the wife of the Chairman of Brooklands Trustees, Sir Gerald Acher. The Ardea was a very advanced car in its day, with monocoque body, independent front suspension, V4 engine and ﬁve-speed gearbox on later versions. Over 20,000 were built either side of the Second World War. Bulls might seem an odd choice of naming convention, but it works for Lamborghini who have named several models after famous Spanish ﬁghting bulls and use an image of the animal on their badge. The Lambos were parked on the Finishing Straight and several Aventadors, Murciélagos, Gallardos, Hurácans and a Jalpa honoured the naming tradition, whilst the fabulous 1960s Espada, of which there were two, is named after the sword used to kill the bull. Not all Lambos have bovine associations though. The 70s/80s Countach is named after a Piedmontese expression of astonishment. Despite their age, the red and white examples seen at Brooklands still have that ‘wow’ factor. Ahh, Ferrari. Not all marques go for model names and many of the most famous ‘Prancing Horses’ are identiﬁed by numbers. Initially the number denoted the cubic capacity of one cylinder and they all had 12 cylinders. Hence a 125 had a 1.5 litre engine, 250, 3 litre etc. Later, the number was a combination of engine capacity
lot of car companies are named after their founder, the Italians as much as anybody. Many of the near 6,000 visitors to Auto Italia would be familiar with characters such as Enzo Ferrari, Vincenzo Lancia, Ferruccio Lamborghini and I Fratelli (brothers) Maserati, but not everything is so simple. In 1915 Nicola Romeo bought a ﬁve-year-old car company called A.L.F.A. and nobody has ever driven an Agnelli, because Giovanni Agnelli was one of several initial investors in a new car company called Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino. So that’s the makes sorted, but what about the individual model names? Well, Italian is such a lyrical language you could get away using almost any name. ‘Four-door’? That’ll be the Maserati Quattroporte then, of which there have been six distinct styles, some seen at Auto Italia. Rare was the shooting break version of the Mark V Quattroporte in the Paddock. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera built only a handful (less than ten) of these ‘Cinqueporte’ about ten years ago, which they called Bellagio after the resort on Lake Como. During the 60s and 70s Maserati went through a phase of naming their cars after winds and at Brooklands you could be caught in a Shamal, Mistral or Ghibli, but not a Merak which is a star in Ursa Major. Lancia used letters of the Greek alphabet for model names, starting with Alfa! Auto Italia witnessed several of these letters, including a Lambda (the ﬁrst car with a monocoque chassis), a 1970s Gamma Coupe and many Deltas. The marque has been absent from the UK market for a quarter of a century, so the 1999 Kappa Coupe parked in front of the Clubhouse was a rare sight on these shores and indeed only 3,200 units were produced in total. A wave of nationalism in the
Ferraris and Concorde – two different forms of excellence in transportation (David Mark). and number of cylinders, so a 308 is a 3 litre, 8cylinder, and more recently these were combined with a place name linked to the company’s location: Maranello, Fiorano and Italia. The ever-popular Ferraris are always plentiful at Auto Italia and this year they seemed to be everywhere. A large contingent was located in the Motoring Village, while the line-up alongside Concorde afforded a great photo opportunity. Amongst the prettiest of Ferraris is the Dino, named after Enzo’s son, who died in 1956 aged 24. There was a giallo (yellow) example in the Paddock, as well as a lovely blue Fiat Dino Spyder. The Dino name really relates to the V6 engine and the Fiat versions (there was also a coupe) came about in order to meet F2 homologation requirements. The story goes that at the press launch of the Alfa Romeo 1900 in the early 1950s, a lady remarked, “What a shame, all these Romeos and no Giuliettas.” It’s almost certainly untrue, but nevertheless the Juliet is such a wonderful car. Three blue-coloured examples parked together – a Sprint, Spyder and Sprint Speciale – illustrated some of the variants. Star Alfa, indeed possible star car of the day, must go to the glorious 1930s 8C (otto cilindri) model with typical bodywork
Lamborghinis in zesty citrus colours (David Mark). by Touring – a very exotic car in its day. Why was it parked round the back, opposite the aircraft factory? Many visitors probably missed it. Amongst all these beautiful and exciting cars were many interesting curios. Abarths are never boring and the 1957 Vignale-built 750 Goccia (drop) was difﬁcult to miss, despite its diminutive size. Believe it or not, one of these ‘which is the front end?’ bubbles ﬁnished 94th overall and fourth in the 750 class in that year’s Mille Miglia. Three were built. The utility Ferves Ranger showed that it wasn’t all supercars, but some may have wondered what the Belfast-built De Lorean was doing at Auto Italia. Well, it was styled by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro. Similarly, the Monteverdi parked outside the cafeteria entrance was styled by Pietro Frua, with body manufactured by Fissore, but ﬁnal assembly was in Switzerland. There were demonstrations on the MercedesBenz World track at lunchtime and runs up Test Hill in the afternoon, the latter curtailed by a sharp shower. Meanwhile, BBC Surrey had live coverage from the event as part of the ﬁrst ever Surrey Day. What’s in a name? Well we know Auto Italia means a great day out at Brooklands in the company of some of the most wonderful cars ever made. Gareth Tarr A utility Ferves Ranger – not your typical Italian supercar (Gareth Tarr).
An extremely rare Maserati Bellagio shooting break by Touring (Gareth Tarr).
Sunday 1st September 2019 10am - 5pm
ALL AMERICAN CARS AND MOTORBIKES WELCOME
EATURING: BUICK CADILLAC FORD HOT RODS
. CHEVROLET . CHRYSLER . DODGE . CUSTOMS AND MORE
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OLD NUMBER ONE AT MG DAY
Old Number One outside the Clubhouse (Gareth Tarr).
Day at Brooklands in April included a very special visitor. Old Number One is not actually the ﬁrst MG made, but it was the ﬁrst built for competition. Cecil Kimber, the general manager of Morris Garages in Oxford, started selling more sporting versions of the sturdy Morrises in 1922. William Morris’ company was very acquisitive and had swallowed engine-maker Hotchkiss, whose powerful overhead valve engine attracted the attention of Kimber, who then had one ﬁtted to a modiﬁed Cowley chassis in 1924. Early the following year a skimpy two-seater body was ﬁtted and the result was a pure competition special, winning a gold medal at the Land’s End Trial that year. Old Number One sports the famous ‘Bull-Nose’ radiator cowling of contemporary Morrises and the badge states ‘The Morris Garages – Oxford’, not ‘MG’, as the abbreviated name wasn’t ofﬁcially adopted until 1927. Old Number One is usually on permanent display at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon. The MGs gathered at Brooklands covered examples from every decade of the company’s A pair of elegant Brooklands fan-tails (Gareth Tarr).
Please advise – what is this mystery MGA? (Gareth Tarr). history, from an early ﬂat-nose to a pair of modern MG3s. Many people, of course, associate the marque with sports cars and there was no shortage of ‘T’ series, MGAs, MGBs and recent MGFs, one of the latter painted British racing green with a Union Jack front bumper. Pre-World War Two sports cars were also numerous, a pair of which carried Brooklands ‘fan-tail’ exhausts. It’s not all sports cars, though, and more prosaic MGs have their devotees, too. Some go for the handsome SA/VA/WA saloons of the late 30s with their long bonnets, while others appreciate the Italianate styling of the 1960s Pininfarinadesigned Magnettes and 1100/1300s, badgeengineered versions of the equivalent Morrises and Austins. There were also plenty of the Roverderived models of the early 2000s in attendance and a 1980s MG Metro in the Paddock.
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1921 Rolls-Royce Twenty Goshawk II Sedanca Cabriolet by T.H. Gill & Company
BROOKLANDS MUSEUM SATURDAY 13TH JULY
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A grouping of the ever popular MGB (Gareth Tarr).
The iconic T series Midget (Gareth Tarr).
A very British MGF (Gareth Tarr).
Beefy MGB not owned by HMRC (left) and 1960s 1100/1300 designed by Pininfarina (Gareth Tarr). MGB GT, whose roof was designed by Pininfarina. Finally, what was that coupe parked just outside the Paddock gates? (See page 27.) The vents on the top of the front wings were from an MGA and its front-end styling looked typically Italian, but can any readers put your correspondent out of his misery and identify this special MG? Gareth Tarr
MG is a special name to car enthusiasts and the marque has produced many individual models that have a special place in people’s hearts. But some MGs are more ‘special’ than others. Mention must be made of a couple of special models of the marque at the meeting. Belgian carrosserie Jacques Coune produced over 50 examples of his MGB coupe before the factory introduced the
BROOKLANDS CARS AT GOODWOOD
Mathias Sielecki in the Bentley 3-litre which ran at Le Mans in 1926 (Gareth Tarr).
he 77th Goodwood Members Meeting was held on the ﬁrst weekend in April, slightly later than recent events, and spectators and competitors welcomed the improved weather as last year it snowed! Fans of Brooklands period cars were rewarded with two races for cars from the period when the Surrey track was active and, indeed, several entrants had a Brooklands history. John Duff was the London Bentley agent who entered a car in the ﬁrst Le Mans 24 hours (1923), sharing with factory driver Frank Clement. They ﬁnished fourth in that inaugural race and won it a year later, thus the race named after Duff was for vintage sports racing cars to 1930 and featured no fewer than nine Bentleys in honour of the marque’s centenary. Two of these Bentleys, both 3 litres, raced at Le Mans: the car driven by William Medcalf and owned by Jonathan Turner ran at La Sarthe in 1925; and Mathias Sielecki’s model ran ‘le vingt-quatre heures’ a year later. Gregor Fiskin won the John Duff Trophy in the 1925 Vauxhall 30-98 special which was raced by Hughes at Brooklands. Two other Brooklands cars in the Duff Trophy race were the ex-Raymond Mays white Invicta Low Chassis, in which Rory Brown ﬁnished seventh, but unfortunately Lucas Slijpen in the Brooklands/Le Mans Talbot 90 famously registered as PL2 was a DNF. A diverse selection of vehicles appeared in the SF Edge Trophy, a race for Edwardian Specials of a type
that raced up until 1923. Edge was involved in both Napier and AC cars, and was a frequent racer at Brooklands. The race was won by Julian Majzub in the 1916 Indianapolis Sunbeam that later competed at Brooklands after World War One. A 1914 TT Sunbeam (tested at Brooklands before the TT race) was driven by Nick Pellett, while Jon Poulson’s Talbot 25/50 was mechanically the same as Percy Lambert’s 100miles-in-the-hour car of 1913. Three of the cars competing in the SF Edge Trophy had links to land speed record (LSR) attempts at Brooklands. In 1914 LG ‘Cupid’ Hornsted broke the LSR in a Blitzen Benz and the 200HP Benz driven by Ben Collings, and owned by Hermann Layher of the Sinsheim Museum in Germany, has the engine and other parts from Hornsted’s car. The 200HP Benz of Philip Dressel, William Medcalf in Jonathan Turner’s Bentley 3litre, a runner at Le Mans in 1925 (Gareth Tarr).
Nick Pellett at the wheel of a 1914 TT Sunbeam (Gareth Tarr).
an evocation of Hornsted’s record-breaker, carries the body style used in 1914, but is powered by a six-cylinder Benz aero engine in place of the 21.5litre four-cylinder engine of the true 200HP cars. Finally, the wonderous 28-litre Fiat S76 coughed and spluttered its way around Goodwood with owner Duncan Pittaway at the helm. Known as the ‘Beast of Turin’, the Fiat was tested and demonstrated at Brooklands after the Whit Monday meeting in 1911. The aim had been to break the LSR, but driver Pietro Bordino refused to lap faster than 90mph. Gareth Tarr
Lucas Slijpen in the Brooklands/Le Mans Talbot 90 PL2 (Gareth Tarr).
Beast of Turin – Duncan Pittaway’s 28-litre Fiat S76, as tested at Brooklands after the 1911 Whit Monday meeting (Gareth Tarr).
BTM TALK – THE ROB WALKER STORY
August 1917 into a privileged life as part of the Walker whisky dynasty and was raised at Sutton Veny House near Warminster, Somerset. His ﬁrst car was a 1924 bull-nosed Morris coupe and by the age of 21 he had owned 21 cars. The Delahaye 135S was raced at Brooklands on numerous occasions. Its most famous appearance was at the 1939 Le Mans 24 hours, when Walker initially drove in a blue pinstriped suit, later changing to an informal Prince of Wales check suit. He ﬁnished eighth overall and third in class. Rob’s racing career wouldn’t last much longer, however. In May 1940 he married Betty and
n 21st October last year Dorking closed its streets for a tribute event to gentleman racer Rob Walker. It was therefore no surprise that the follow-up BTM talk was a sell-out with event organiser Rob Rennie telling us the Walker story. Later Simon Taylor hosted a Q & A session with Rob Rennie, Robbie Walker (Rob’s son) and Tony Cleverley, a member of the Walker team. Prior to the evening there was a photo call on the Brooklands Banking of three Walker cars – Delahaye 135S, the unique Walker Climax and Ferrari 250SWB. Rob Ramsey Campbell Walker was born on 14th
Sadly it didn’t run on the day, but the wonderful blue of the Delahaye 135S did match the blue of the sky (Julian Nowell). agreed to end competing from behind the wheel. He spent World War Two as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm and then in 1947 bought Pippbrook Garage in Dorking (now an Esso ﬁlling station), establishing the Rob Walker Racing Team 500 yards further up London Road. After repairs at the garage, sports cars would be road-tested on the A24 between Dorking and Leatherhead, with part of the test being to take the two bends at Mickleham at over 100mph. This often resulted in further repairs being required. (In 1977 the group 10cc recorded an album in Dorking called Deceptive Bends, after the warning on a road sign at the Mickleham bends). The ﬁrst international success for the Rob Walker Racing team came in 1953 when Tony Rolt won the Coronation Trophy at Crystal Palace in a Connaught A-type. This car was very successful for the team, winning 16 out of 24 races entered, with only one non-ﬁnish. The subsequent B-type Connaught run in 1956-7 was much less successful, winning only once. The decade 1958 to 1968 was to be the Rob Walker Team’s golden period. The 1958 Argentine Grand Prix was pivotal to the team’s story, with Stirling Moss driving a 1.9-litre Cooper evolved from an F2 car well outclassed by the other teams, which were running 2.5 litres. However, unlike the rest of the ﬁeld Moss managed to complete the race without changing tyres, resulting in a ﬁrst Grand Prix victory. Remarkably, the team also won the next Grand Prix, at Monaco, with Maurice Trintignant at the wheel. The 1961 Monaco Grand Prix was to be the team’s ﬁnest hour, described by Moss as his greatest Grand Prix victory. Despite his Lotus 18 being a year old and 40bhp down on the Ferraris, he qualiﬁed on pole. On the grid prior to the GP it was noticed that the Lotus had a broken chassis member. Alf
The after-talk Q&A session with (left to right) Simon Taylor, Robbie Walker, Tom Cleverley and Rob Rennie (Gareth Tarr). Francis welded the crack back together on the grid with the cars full of fuel. Damp cloths were put over the tanks to protect them – health and safety 1961 style! At the start Stirling was able to grab the lead and held off the Ferraris over the 100 laps to take a remarkable win. The Rob Walker team won Monaco three times, despite its tiny resources of six mechanics plus Alf Francis, a secretary and Mr Walker. Enna Pergusa is a circuit in Sicily that runs around a lake and in 1965, at an average speed of 139.239mph, Jo Siffert won what was then the fastest ever F1 race in a Rob Walker BRM. Disaster struck the team in 1968, though, with a serious ﬁre at the workshop, but somehow Rob Walker managed to get the money together to carry on with a Lotus 49 and reward came at Brands Hatch, where Jo Siffert won the 1968 British Grand Prix. Rob Walker described it as his most fulﬁlling victory. By this time commercial sponsorship was coming in, which made it more difﬁcult for the privateer teams, but Walker managed to get backing from Brooke Bond Oxo. The sponsor used chimpanzees to advertise PG Tips and some were brought down to the workshops for a photo shoot, resulting in much disruption after the mechanics showed the chimps how to let the air out of tyres. In total, the Rob Walker Team won nine grand prix, giving both Cooper and Lotus their ﬁrst victories. In the Q&A session that followed Robbie Walker revealed that his father got out of running a team at the right time as the costs became onerous. He went into journalism, which he loved. The cars were painted dark blue for Scotland with a white strip for identiﬁcation (also the colour of the saltire on the Scottish ﬂag). In Rob Walker’s passport his profession was described as ‘Gentleman’. It was a different era and he suited it admirably. Gareth Tarr
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BTM TALK – THE BETTY HAIG STORY
ar and whisky” – this was how Roger Farmer described the Haig family business. Roger came to Brooklands on 19th May to discuss the life of Betty Haig, whose biography he has written and who made her name in a third business, motor sport. Born in 1905 in Marylebone, London, Betty Haig was raised in the family home at Ramornie in Fife, Scotland. Her father was Colonel Oliver Haig and her great uncle Field Marshall Douglas Haig, the World War One military leader. Her parents divorced in the early 1920s and Betty and her brother relocated to Sussex with their mother. Betty’s ﬁrst love was horses, but then she decided to buy a car. She purchased an ABC Sports car, which she collected from Twickenham on Christmas Eve and drove home, despite never having been behind the wheel before. Unfortunately, the car self-combusted the following month, but on the back of her family connections the resourceful Betty sold her story to the press at £10 a time, which funded her next car, an Austin 7 Sports. That same year her boyfriend, Denis Spragg, took her to Brooklands for the ﬁrst time, driving a lap in his Talbot 8. Betty then began to attend race meetings at the Track and watched the ﬁrst British Grand Prix in 1926, but it wasn’t until October 1934 that she entered her ﬁrst competitive event – a Junior Racing Drivers’ Club hill climb at Chalfont St Peter. By the end of February the following year she had entered her ﬁrst rally, the Paris – Saint-Raphaël, where she won an award in the Concours d’Elegance. She liked foreign rallies as the money and hospitality were good, and the scenery was great. In all, Betty’s rallying career included eight Paris
Four of Betty Haig’s cars were on view at Brooklands before the talk – from left to right, an MG, two Singers and an AC (Gareth Tarr). 35
– Saint-Raphaëls, three Alpines, four Monte Carlos, an RAC and a San Remo. There were four of Betty’s cars at Brooklands on the evening of the talk, including a couple of her Singers. She bought a Singer 9 Le Mans, registration AKV 795, in November 1935 and used it in the following year’s Paris – Saint-Raphaël. Her ﬁnal Singer was a 1935 Le Mans with rare 1 ½litre 6-cylinder engine, registration BLN 291. In this car she took part in the 1936 Olympic Rally to Berlin, winning a gold medal. The car still carries the badge from that rally. Having been introduced to motor racing at Brooklands, Betty was also to compete at the track. Her ﬁrst event was the 1935 JCC High Speed Trials in her Aston Martin, but the car was unsuccessful in the heat of mid-summer. She raced her Singer BLN 291 at Brooklands in the 1936 JCC High Speed Trials, where she was beaten by Malcolm Campbell in an Aston Martin. However, Betty was to return to Brooklands on 26th June 1977 for the track’s 70th anniversary. After retiring from competition Betty founded the Historic Sports Car Club with Guy Grifﬁths, the duo also forming the Grifﬁth Formula, to prevent British classics going abroad. In addition she was involved in the start of the Porsche Club GB and the Frazer Nash Car Club. She died in 1987. This was the 100th talk since Steve Clarke began running these events in 2013. It has been a fascinating and diverse century of talks and we look forward to the next 100 from Steve and his team. After Rob Walker and Betty Haig, both members of whisky dynasties, Mr Clarke would not comment on whether a future speaker will come from the VAT 69 family! Gareth Tarr
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BTM MOTORCYCLE TRACK DAY – CASTLE COMBE
n 24th April there was an exclusive Brooklands Motorcycle Track Day at Castle Combe. This was the third edition, put together by Committee Member, Malcolm Grub, and, as Martin Gegg said, “It was a perfect chance to test our bikes on a track without the worry of modern bikes ﬂying past on all sides.” The bikes present ranged from a 1937 250cc AJS to a 1930s TriJAP sprint special, still raced by its owner, and also appearing as guests were members of the Museum’s Motorcycle Team and the Brooklands Section of the Vintage Motorcycle Club. It has been said that a bike will speak for itself on the track, so here are a few words from one of the participants… First of all I need to introduce myself. I’m a 1972 350cc TR3 Yamaha and I was at the above event with my geriatric rider. If you haven’t met me, I have been known to frequent Brooklands when there are motorcycle events, but you can find out all about me in BTM.tv’s Spinning Wheels (vimeopro.com/ brooklands trustmembers/btmtv/ video/298328799). By now you may be wondering why I’m writing this piece. Well, Malcolm Grubb, who organised this and the previous event, asked if anyone could jot down a few words to let Members know what they’d missed by not being there. My rider has produced a piece about the previous track days, so to save you having to read the same utterings I volunteered. I do have more time than my aging rider as he is 107% geriatric and, being retired, is very pressed! This was my first outing on the track this year, so as you’ll understand I was keen to breathe some clean, Wiltshire air and stretch my legs in the manner that I was designed for, and I have to say it was a great start to the 2019 season. The track day is a great chance for me to meet new friends on what is a very open, long track. It’s good for all levels of riders and machines, so I felt quite safe, in spite of my ‘pilot’ braking too late into Bobbies, causing my front brake to get very hot. I reminded him at
Michael Digby leads the group on lap one (Martin Gegg).
Report TR3 Yamaha enjoying a welcome day out (Malcolm Grubb).
the next corner by not giving him the usual quick retardation service that he has come to expect and I could tell he’d got the message as he then rode with what’s left of his brain engaged. The day went well, except the weather let itself down with a heavy rain shower in the middle of the day, although we had just finished a session, so I was spared a soaking. What was even better was that I was put away out of the rain and my Italian stablemate was used to finish off the remaining track sessions, although the downside was I had to suffer his endless moaning when we got back – these Italians do have style, but hate getting wet and dirty. I guess my message to those of you who spend too much time in the garage (it happens to all of us, I’m afraid) and also those of you who have to suffer the pot holes of our current road system, is that a day at a race track is a revelation and you should be putting pressure on your riders to think about taking you to a track session soon. The next BTM Motorcycle Track Day will be happening either later in the year or early next year, and I’d love to meet up to enjoy clean air and an open, smooth and safe track.
37 John Gentleman
rides (Martin Gegg).
BTM DRIVING GROUP – HEART OF ENGLAND TOUR
The extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide at the Aston Martin factory talking the group through the company’s history (Bruce Glover).
he Driving Group’s spring event took place at the end of March/early April and involved a fascinating tour through the very Heart of England, an area rich in motoring heritage.
difﬁcult enough before then having to decide on car colour, V8, V12, wheels and other extras. The factory has a good collection of older models, as well as some futuristic ideas on show in the foyer, and then it was up the road for a spot of lunch and the British Motor Museum. Peter Reeves
The Aston Martin Factory “The name’s Bond. James Bond”. Probably one of the best-known phrases in cinema history. Love him or loathe him, whether you’re a stickler for a good vodka Martini, shaken and not stirred, or a teetotaller, we all love his cars, especially the Aston Martins, from DB5 up to the DB10. We stayed at Wroxall Abbey Hotel, owned at one time by Sir Christopher Wren. In the abbey ruins there was a very interesting garden wall, apparently designed by the great man himself with plenty of curves and not a straight line in sight, which made us wonder whether someone had stolen his ruler or sat on his set-square...? Anyway, under the guidance of Miss Moneypenny (Angela Hume), 27 of us had the opportunity to make an excellent visit to the Aston Martin factory at Gaydon, although Angela’s borrowed DB5 decided that it only wanted to visit its own birthplace at Newport Pagnell and therefore refused to start (see below!). It was a case of Vantages to the left of us, DB11s to the right of us outside the entrance, giving a foretaste of the delights in store on the ‘factory ﬂoor’. To make the most of the ﬂawless hides from Scotland, lots of the interior and seats are still handmade, although with the help of some very modern cutting machinery. The enormous choice of stitching, embossing, colours and ﬁnal trim is surely
The British Motor Museum So, we all set off for the British Motor Museum and Jaguar Heritage Trust Collection at Gaydon. Well, almost all of us. As a result of several unsuccessful attempts to start the Aston Martin DB5, I had the pleasure of Angela Hume’s company for the rest of the day as co-driver in my MercedesBenz 190SL. We never made a wrong turn!
Vehicles being serviced or having restoration work done in the British Motor Museum’s workshop (Bruce Glover).
The museum houses the world’s largest collection of British cars, with over 300 Classics on display. These include a small sample of Jaguars, notably a 1950 XK 120, 1953 C Type, 1988 Le Mans-winning XJR-9 and the quintessential EType, a beautiful early ﬁxed-head coupe. The ﬁrst production Land Rover is there, along with the ﬁrst and last Freelander to be built. They even have the James Bond Skyfall Discovery – what a great way to get through the trafﬁc jams (if only!). For lovers of the fantastic, what better than the extraordinary Ford Thunderbird, FAB 1. It actually works and was driven by James May on Top Gear. The ultimate chauffeured way to travel… MG, Mini and so much more – in fact, too many to mention here and apologies for those that don’t deserve to be omitted. It was particularly interesting to visit the museum’s in-house restoration facility and see yet another example of British craftsmanship at its best. It was altogether a very enjoyable experience, so many thanks to all who organised the event and a special mention to the unﬂappable Angela who eventually, courtesy of the AA, found her and the Aston’s way home! Richard Poulter
Morgan bonnets being formed on benches – no presses, no guides, no formers, just years of practice (Allan Fuller).
The Morgan Factory A visit to the Morgan Factory is a must for any Morgan owner, as well as anyone with an interest in these wonderful cars. The uninitiated might think that they are an anachronism, but our visit proved that this is a completely wrong assumption. In fact, they are a wonderful blend of real craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology. Our tour began with a short ﬁlm and our excellent tour guides gave an update on the company and the recent change of ownership. We then split into two groups to be taken around the factory. At the top of the factory is the historic collection and you then go down through the workshops, with each one dedicated to a different stage of production. The factory is on a hill, so as construction progresses each car is rolled internally down a passage between one unit and the next. This is the Morgan production line! While we were there the all-new Morgan Plus 6 was getting into full production. There is much excitement about this model, 99% of which is completely new. The chassis and parts of the substructure are state-of-the-art bonded aluminium. Rivets hold the sheets while the bonding process is setting and once set it is so strong the bolts could in fact be removed.
A production Morgan in the final inspection area before being despatched to the customer (Bruce Glover). The forming of the aluminium body still relies on artisan craftsmanship and we saw bonnets being expertly shaped. There is still plenty of ash wood used for the frame of the car, though, all formed and honed to perfection. As visitors we were invited to select offcuts of the ash – perfect for displaying your Morgan model on! For the new owner of a Morgan it must be a joy to visit the factory and choose the colour, ﬁnish and interior of your individual car. Morgan laid on a superb buffet in their cafeteria as we chatted about all the various sights we had seen, including the historic collection of cars, three-wheelers and memorabilia, and indeed the excellent gift shop. Allan Fuller
WE WERE THERE THEN. WEâ€™RE STILL HERE NOW. PROUD SUPPORTERS OF THE BROOKLANDS MUSEUM.
e said goodbye to Jeni at the end of March and would like to thank her for her work with the BTM over the last couple of years. She hasn’t gone too far, though, as she is still helping out in the ﬁnance ofﬁce next door! However, that did leave us with a gap in the BTM ofﬁce and, combined with our busiest month of the year and a signiﬁcant birthday celebration, this meant we had some difﬁculty in processing new memberships and renewals. We have been working hard to clear the backlog and by now we should be back up to date, but we apologise for any delays you may have experienced. This applied to phone messages and emails as well, so if we didn’t manage to get back to you then, again, apologies are due. We also missed sending out the May email newsletter, so don’t worry if you didn’t receive that, but the aim was to resume in June.
www.brooklandsmuseum.com/btm, which you may ﬁnd easier to use. However, we can assure you that the site itself is safe!
BTM.tv Filming of talks and Museum activities continues, with events such as Auto Italia, Mini Day and MG Day recently added. As well as the essence of any event we ﬁlm, we aim to capture short ‘vox pops’ with owners and, if they happen to be Members, then all the better. We’ve also added the Rob Walker evening complete with the cars running, the Phil Read motorcycle event, a short ﬁlm about MG Old Number One, which was visiting from Gaydon for MG Day, and a short ﬁlm about the arrival of the Transatlantic Race Harrier that is now in the First to the Fastest Exhibition.
Talks milestone Steve mentions elsewhere (see page 17) that we marked the hundredth talk he has organised with an excellent evening looking at Betty Haig. She is a lesser known motoring ﬁgure, but her story was fascinating (see page 35) and, despite the rain, it was great to have four of her cars in the Paddock during the evening. This was the second time we have featured cars, following on from the Rob Walker event when we had three of his cars with us, including the fantastic Delahaye, which is now on display in the Museum. Of course, a debt of gratitude must also go to Penny McKechnie, who organised talks for the preceding Friends of Brooklands group, and to Angela Hume, who took over organising them from Penny. I’m trying to get a record of all the past talks together and am working through old Bulletins to gather the details. You can ﬁnd the growing list on the BTM website under the Archive tab – and there are some remarkable names amongst them.
The long and short of it – Tim Morris interviewing a rather tall gentleman on Mini Day for BTM.tv. We’ve not been running the YouTube channel for long, but there is one clear outstanding winner in the viewing tables and, like our recent viral spread on Facebook with the Rover SD1, it is a much-modiﬁed car – this time the V8 Morris Minor of Malcolm Longstaff, which has nearly 170,000 views. However, some people didn’t like the ‘heavy metal’ soundtrack from rock band Halestorm, which Malcolm chose, so there is now a ‘clean’ version where you can just hear the ‘heavy metal’ sound of the V8! Another victim of the backlog has been Spinning Wheels, which has taken a back seat, but our intention was to resume ﬁlming for the
BTM online To ﬁnd the latest BTM information please keep an eye on our website (part of the Museum’s website – just click the yellow tab), ‘like’ our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Some members have been ﬁnding that the www.brooklandsmembers. co.uk URL comes up with an ‘unsafe’ message in certain browsers or anti-virus software conﬁgurations. This may happen as the URL is a ‘redirect’, not an actual website itself, and it redirects to
Ken Senior was a long-time member and supporter of Brooklands, holding membership number 82. He was a regular at the BTM Jumbles and an avid collector of all things, including ﬁre engines! We always looked forward to whatever strange items he would bring with him to the Jumble! A celebration of Ken’s life was held at Brooklands on 17th May. Mike Barney was well-known in the world of motor racing, ﬁrstly from 1959 as mechanic for Bruce McLaren, with whom he won third place at that year’s British Grand Prix at Aintree. Following this he became Chief Mechanic for Cooper, where the drivers included McLaren, Phil Hill and Jochen Rindt. When McLaren left Cooper in 1968 to set up his own team, Mike joined him as race mechanic. In 1969 he also worked in F5000 with Peter Gethin and won the championship that year. ‘Big Mike’, so called because of his 6’4” stature, also worked with Ron Tauranac at Brabham, where Graham Hill won the 1971 BRDC International Trophy, and for Frank Williams on the March 711 and Williams FX3. In the early 70s he produced a series of cars for Formula Ford, most of which were sold to New Zealand. In 1977 he returned to Brabham, building the BT46 Alfas through to the 1991 Judd BT60. Latterly he campaigned a Cooper with Terry Kitson in historic racing and was elected a member of the BRDC in 1998. In 2016 he also became a member of Brooklands. Tim Morris
series in June. We tend to ﬁlm at Brooklands on Wednesday mornings, so you need to be available with your vehicle for a couple of hours then, and be able to talk about your car and the history of the model. If you would like to feature then please get in touch with Tim in the BTM ofﬁce via timmorris@brooklandsmuseum .com or 01932 857381 ext 226. To ﬁnd all the BTM.tv programmes and links to the channels, please go to our website at www.brooklandsmuseum.com/ btm/archive/btmtv
In memory of.... Sadly, each issue we do lose some of our Members and we’d like to pass on the condolences of the Brooklands Trust Members, Chairman and Committee to the families of Ken Senior and Mike Barney, whom we have been notiﬁed have recently passed away.
Ken Senior at the 2014 BTM Jumble selling one of his treasured motorcycles.
A VIEW FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
uring my business life, and now my life at Brooklands, I have been privileged to meet a number of remarkable women and men from around the world, but I want to take a moment to tell you about one remarkable Member. His name is John O’Dell or, to me, just John O’, and many of you will know him from Fast Track or selling regalia at our evening talks. John relies on his wheel chair for total mobility. Until recently he was able to drive from his home in Basingstoke using his modiﬁed vehicle, but his ability to use his car has been limited as his mobility has taken a turn for the worst. John now only has a four-wheel electric buggy to get around, which will not ﬁt in his car, but John never complains, he just gets on with life.
To my surprise he turned up on Mini Day in his buggy, having driven down the Brooklands Road from Weybridge station to the Campbell Gate. It transpired that he had traveled by South Western Railway from Basingstoke to Weybridge, having also changed platforms at Woking! Over lunch I enquired how he made the journey from his home to Basingstoke station. “I Just caught a bus,” John said with a wry smile. It just goes to prove you don’t have to change the world to be remarkable, just be yourself. John is currently recovering from a hip replacement and we hope to see him back at Brooklands very soon.
Sunday Carvery and Members’ Bar The Sunday Carvery has been operating for about four months now and has proved very popular
with Club Members. On event days the Club can be very busy and the Carvery was partly introduced to enable us to offer a better service on those days. We do recommend booking in advance, but some tables are always held for Members who arrive without a booking. If all those tables have been allocated, then you should be informed of when we expect a table to be available and invited to come back or enjoy a drink in the bar while you wait. To reserve a table, please call 01932 858005 or email hospitality @brooklandsmuseum.com, but please don’t leave a message with the BTM ofﬁce or at visitor reception. The Members’ Bar is open to Club Members and their guests on Thursday, Friday and Sunday lunchtimes. It is also open on event days and for evening talks. Please make sure you have your membership card with you on arrival. Table
Over 200 people attended the Rob Walker evening on 11th April (see page 31) and beforehand some were lucky enough to witness three Rob Walker cars on the Track – from left to right, the Ferrari 250 SWB, the Delahaye and the Walker Climax. Unfortunately, the Delahaye was unable to run due to a defect with its magneto, but it’s now a fixture in the Campbell Shed and there are plans in place to run it once again. reservations can be made on 01932 858005, firstname.lastname@example.org or with the duty bar manager. The bar is not available to Members during private functions or events. Finally, can I remind all Club Members that you may bring a maximum of two additional guests and up to three children into the Members’ Bar. Steve Clarke
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LETTERS Letters to the Bulletin on any topic connected with Brooklands – past, present or future – or about the BTM are most welcome. Please send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to the Museum, marked for the attention of the BTM Administrator, Tim Morris. As well as you name, please include your contact details and your role, if relevant, and please note that letters may be edited for space. mission was to preserve as much as possible of the purpose-built Brooklands Race track. The Society also provided a focal point for the small band of surviving Brooklands drivers, owners of vehicles that had raced at Brooklands, and mechanics and workers from several local tuning workshops, which made and supported the cars, aeroplanes, bicycles and motor bikes. Len’s encyclopaedic knowledge of Brooklands cars and personalities enabled him to provide speakers for meetings at Brooklands and later to help smooth the merger of several Brooklands support organisations into today’s Brooklands Trust. The November – December 2015 edition of the Brooklands Bulletin carried a full history of Len’s Brooklands activities. Len’s secretarial experience was also used by the Amilcar Enthusiasts and later the EDI Association. Len enjoyed his share of home cooking, but opportunities for eating out were never missed. After retirement, he was always ready for travel and enjoyed many cruises, including to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Spain and Australia. Len had an open-minded view of the world and was known for the support he gave his staff and all he worked with in business, his motoring colleagues and his family.
Staniland stories I’ve just read the article about Brooklandsrelated street names in the latest Bulletin (May – June), which mentions Staniland Drive, and I was reminded of stories my dad told me about when he was an apprentice at Fairey’s before World War Two. Fairey’s owned what was then the Great West Aerodrome, now Heathrow, and he worked in the hangers. As a result, he knew Chris Staniland well and he would often go up as ballast when he was testing aircraft, Swordﬁsh mainly, and latterly Fireﬂys from White Waltham. Chris had a penchant for ﬂying to Brooklands and doing a few laps in the plane with my dad in the back. My dad also said Chris and Richard Fairey would race their cars round the perimeter track at the Great West aerodrome – I think they both had Sunbeams. Hope that is of interest. Barry Lloyd
Remembering Len Battyll Len started work in the acoustic labs at GEC Hirst Research in 1948. After about 18 months he moved to GEC head ofﬁce in Kingsway, London, into valve sales, and later, in about 1959, transferred to semiconductors with Bernard Bettridge. The Commercial Team transferred to GEC Semiconductor Hazel Gove and, like many of his colleagues, Len moved to Hazel Grove. In 1963 GEC Semiconductors merged with Mullard Ltd to form Associated Semiconductor Manufacturers. The marketing was transferred to Mullard House Industrial Division, so Bernard and his team relocated, meaning another home move for Len, this time to East Horsley. During this time Len developed his enthusiasm for cars and he was a key founder member and secretary to the Brooklands Society, whose
Alastair Pugh’s memorial service Members, especially those who missed the event, may be interested in the video of Alastair Pugh’s memorial service, which was held at Brooklands. It is long, but captures not only the speeches, but also the fascinating ﬁlm clips shown during the event. It can be seen here: https://youtu.be/PgyEmYﬂq_A Andy Lambert
Bentley at Brooklands by Allan Winn W O Bentley on a 638cc OHV Indian, the motorcycle he rode in 1910 at Brooklands and in the Isle of Man TT (Brooklands Museum).
he Centenary of Bentley Motors – founded on 10th July 1919 – will be marked throughout the world, but there can be few places so important to that 100 years of history as Brooklands. Indeed, only Le Mans – where Bentley triumphed five times in the iconic 24hour race – can seriously rival Brooklands as the place where the Bentley legend was forged. But the story of Bentley and Brooklands started ten years before the company was formed, on 10th April 1909, when a young railway engineer, Walter Owen (‘W O’) Bentley, entered his first races, on a 3 ½hp Rex motorcycle. Even though he wasn’t initially successful (in 1912 he would gain two second places on a 693cc Indian), for the next 30 years the Bentley name would be inextricably linked with that of Brooklands, whether on two wheels or four, or in the air. Hardly had W O started to make his mark on motorcycles, however, than he moved on to four wheels. He and his brother, ‘H M’, had taken on the agency for a French light car, the DFP (for
Doriot, Flandrin et Parant), and began using them in competition (as recounted by Martin Chandler in the May – June 2019 Bulletin). By November 1912, W O had made his first four-wheeled competition appearance at Brooklands, in a 2-litre 12/40 DFP fitted with a single-seat body built by JH Easter, attacking the ten-lap record for Class B cars (1,639 cc to 2,048cc, car and driver weighing less than 1,500lb). The result was a raising of that record from 60.0 to 66.78mph, and over the next couple of years W O would use this car to tackle more Class B records. With the outbreak of World War One racing ceased (with the exception of the two forces motorcycle race meetings of 1915), but W O’s influence at Brooklands continued. As recounted in Martin Chandler’s article in this issue (see page 51), he had substantially re-engineered the troublesome Clerget 130hp rotary engine and then, using the lessons from that exercise, proceeded to develop his own, superior 150hp AR1/BR1 and 200-250hp BR2 nine-cylinder rotaries. While with the dispersed licence production of, especially, the Sopwith aircraft of this period it is difficult to be sure exactly which individual airframe had which engine fitted, it is certain that the Brooklands site would have echoed to the sound of Bentley (and Bentley-developed) engines as they powered newly built Sopwith aircraft on their first flights into the 1920s.
On the Banking… (Brooklands Museum).
Mercedes and Austro-Daimler designs, and even that of the Mercedes-inspired Rolls-Royce Eagle. (W O had been involved with the transfer to Rolls-Royce of one of the 1914 Grand Prix Mercedes cars early in the war.) The rest of the first car, EXP1, drew heavily on Burgess’ background with Humber: the first Bentley chassis was, in effect, that of the 1914 Tourist Trophy Humber, itself a close relative of the 1913 Grand Prix Peugeot (so close, indeed that EXP1’s chassis was later built back into the GP Peugeot in which Captain JH Toop was killed at the 1924 Whit Monday meeting at Brooklands). Although the fledgling company’s first priority was to get the new 3-litre into production, by February 1921 W O was talking about the possibility of racing it at Brooklands – but the first definitely recorded presence of a Bentley at the Track came in January 1921, when Sammy Davis (later to achieve fame as a Bentley Works driver) accompanied W O on a road test for The Autocar. There are photographs of them descending Test Hill in Chassis EXP5. Around the same time, Frank Clement was testing Chassis EXP2, fitted with a pointed-tail body, at the Track, and it was Clement who became the first driver to race a Bentley. That first race – the Essex Short Handicap for cars over 1,700cc at the Essex Motor Club’s 7th May meeting – was not a success: the car oiled a spark plug while waiting to be flagged off and ran on three cylinders throughout the race. Things went better at the BARC’s Whitsun Meeting on 16th May, when the same car/driver combination ran without placing in the 100mph Short Handicap, but won the last race of the day, the Whitsun Junior Sprint Handicap over just one lap of the Outer Circuit at an average speed of 72.5mph. Clement raced EXP2 again at the Bank Holiday Meeting on 29th August and won the 90mph Short Handicap at an average of 80.44mph. The next significant achievement for Bentley at Brooklands came the following year, when John Duff set about breaking the Double Twelve record for a 24-hour run (vocal opposition from local residents having ensured that there could be no repetition of SF Edge’s 24-hour continuous run of June 1907). This uniquely Brooklands Double Twelve record had most recently been set by Captain Alistair Miller in a 2.8-litre Wolseley at 80.10mph, but after a couple of unsuccessful attempts Duff set a new record of 86.79mph – a
Margaret Allan, 120mph badge recipient, in her Marker Bentley at the 1936 opening meeting at Brooklands (Brooklands Museum). The AR1/BR1 were fitted to some 950 Camel F.1s and Camel 2F.1s (the shipboard variant) out of a total of 5,490 Camels of all types built by at least ten different manufacturers, from May 1917 onwards, and the prototype of the Camel’s successor, the Snipe, was also initially fitted with a BR1 until the BR2 was available. Many of the non-Bentley-engined Camels were, of course, fitted with Clerget engines incorporating W O’s modifications. The BR2 became the standard engine for the Snipe, which continued in production after the end of World War One and of which some 2,100 were eventually built, 530 of them by Sopwith, with final assembly at Brooklands. While the Camel disappeared quite early from RAF service after 1918, Snipes stayed in service until 1928. Other Sopwith aircraft to be powered by the BR2 included the Buffalo, Salamander T.F.1, Gnu and Bulldog. By 1919, however, the now-demobbed W O, brother H M and brother-in-law Archibald Ward had formed Bentley Motors, based in the New Street Mews and Hanover Square premises in which Bentley & Bentley’s DFP operations had operated from until 1914. W O had brought with him Fred Burgess, the ex-Humber Chef Engineer with whom he had worked on the aero engines, and Harry Varley, ex-Vauxhall. Within months their first 3-litre engine had been fired up at New Street Mews, famously bringing down on them the wrath of the matron of a nursing home next door, whose residents had been woken by the un-silenced roar of the new machine. The Bentley engine drew heavily from World War One aero-engine practice, although, ironically, not much of it (other than the by-nowmandatory aluminium pistons) from W O’s own rotary engines. Instead, the long-stroke (80mm bore x 149mm stroke giving 2,996cc) Bentley engine, with a shaft-driven single overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder and twin ignition, showed much more influence from
total of 2,082.96 miles – over 27th and 28th September, using the engine out of EXP2 in a new production Chassis 141. Like Edge, Duff drove this attempt solo – on a bare aluminium seat which rubbed his back raw by the end of the first day. (Two years later, Duff and Wolf Barnato took a true 24-hour record at Montlhéry, covering 2,280.9 miles at an average speed of 95.02mph in a streamlined 3-litre.) Chassis 141 would achieve even greater fame in 1923 when, again with Duff at the wheel, accompanied by Clement, it became the first Bentley to compete at Le Mans. Despite losing a lot of time after a stone holed the fuel tank, Duff and Clement finished fourth. Bentley, of course, went on to win Le Mans in 1924 and then in a straight run of four wins from 1927 to 1930. These early successes paved the way for Bentley to become the most successful marque to race at Brooklands, with Bentleys and Bentley-engined cars taking 73 Firsts, 44 Seconds and 52 Thirds between 1921 and 1939. Although it was the 3litre which started this success, it was quickly eclipsed by the bigger four-cylinder 4½-litre and then the Speed Six version of the six-cylinder 6½litre, with a few cars using the enlarged 8-litre ‘six’ in the 1930s. In those 18 years there were 672 Bentleys entered in races by 135 different drivers: 11% of those entries ended in a win and 25% in a place. (Although the most successful marque, Bentley was not the most prolific to race at Brooklands – that honour going to MG, no fewer than 2,348 of the latter having been entered.) Between the re-opening of the Track in 1920 and the close in 1939, some 1,152 car races took place at Brooklands, and Bentleys won 6.3% of them. The greatest of these success at Brooklands were undoubtedly wins in the 1929 BARC Six Hours, the 1929 BRDC 500-Miles, the 1930 Double Twelve and the 1931 BRDC 500-Miles (see Table 1). It was not just at racing that Bentleys made their mark at Brooklands: they also featured strongly in the history of the Outer Circuit lap record, with Bentley or Bentley-powered cars being the second and fifth-fastest of all time – and, of course, the fastest of them all, the NapierRailton, has a Bentley Speed Six steering box (see Table 2). Other Bentleys which particularly distinguished themselves at Brooklands included the ‘Old No 1’ Speed Six which, having won the 1929 Le Mans went on to win the BARC Six Hours in 1929 (and in which Clive Dunfee was killed in the infamous crash during the 1931 500-
Miles race); ‘Old Mother Gun’, the Le Mans 4½litre which went on to be the six-cylinder Marker/Jackson Special; the Pacey-Hassan singleseater; the beautifully streamlined ‘Embiricos’ 4¼-litre saloon which George Eyston lapped at 115.55mph in 1939; and the old 3-litre which served as the Track fire tender for many years. Table 1: Major Bentley successes at Brooklands 1927 Essex Six Hours H Birkin/C Birkin/F Clement 3-litre 3rd 1928 Essex Six Hours H Birkin 4½-litre 3rd 1929 Double Twelve S Davis/R Gunter 4½-litre 2nd BARC Six Hours W Barnato/J Dunfee Speed Six 1st H Cook/L Callingham 4½-litre 3rd BRDC 500 Miles F Clement/J Barclay 4½-litre 1st S Davis/C Dunfee Speed Six 2nd 1930 Double Twelve F Clement/W Barnato Speed Six 1st S Davis/C Dunfee Speed Six 2nd BRDC 500-Miles J Benjafield/E Hall 4½-Litre (S)2nd 1931 BRDC 500-Miles J Dunfee/C Paul Speed Six 1st Table 2: Fastest five cars (average lap speed), Outer Circuit 1 Napier-Railton Special 2 Barnato-Hassan Special 3 Multi-Union Special 4 Duesenberg Single-Seater 5 Birkin Bentley Single-Seater
143.44mph 142.6mph 141.45mph 138.15mph 137.96mph
All of this Bentley-powered success was reflected in the numbers of BARC 120mph and 130mph badges earned by Bentley drivers: 15 out of the
Tim Birkin at the wheel of his single-seater Bentley on the Brooklands Banking (Brooklands Museum). 84 120mph badges awarded went to those at the wheel of a Bentley, as did three of the 16 130mph badges (see Table 3). In addition, of the 14 Gold Stars awarded by the BRDC, six were to regular Bentley drivers – Tim Birkin, Sammy Davis, ER Hall, Ted Pacey and Oliver Bertram (twice).
Bentley Brooklands of 1992-98: the four-door Brooklands saloon was initially a non-turbocharged version of the famous Turbo R, but from 1996 it was fitted with a light-pressure turbocharger as Brooklands R. A total of 1,690 Brooklands was built (190 of them being the long-wheelbase version), along with 100 of the Brooklands R. Then in 2008 another Brooklands was launched, this time a hardtop version of the Azure convertible, both of them effectively being two-door versions of the Arnage saloon. Over four years, 550 of this turbocharged coupé were built. And Bentleys are still a feature of Brooklands today: usually on display in the ERA Shed are the 1929 4½-litre UL 4771 owned by John Lander, which was raced by owner Nigel Holder with
Table 3: Badges awarded to Bentley drivers 120mph badges Margaret Allan Kit Baker-Carr Dudley Benjafield Sir Henry (‘Tim’) Birkin Cyril Dodson George Duller Clive Dunfee Dudley Froy Beris Harcourt Wood Richard Marker RC Merton-Neale EWW Pacey Cyril Paul HW Purdy CJ Turner
130mph badges Kit Baker-Carr George Harvey-Noble Richard Marker
Although it is now 80 years since a Bentley last raced at Brooklands, the company has not forgotten its links to the Track, and twice in the intervening years has used the Brooklands nameplate on a production road car. The first was the
The Barnato-Hassan Special at Silverstone on 13th April 2019 – the first time this car had been seen after a ten-year restoration (Allan Winn).
Woolf Barnato’s Bentley refuelling in Pits at Brooklands (Brooklands Museum). Bernard Rubin (1929 Six Hours race) and Tim Birkin (1929 Double Twelve), and has been in the Lander family since the 1930s; and either of the two cars owned by Michael Ritchie – the 1931 4litre saloon GW 7429 or the 1928 Speed Six UU 6930 which wears a body once on the famous Forrest Lycett 8-Litre. Amongst the Bentleys seen regularly in the Paddock are the 4½-litre and Brooklands saloon owned by Julian Grimwade, the 3-litres owned by myself, Keith Barton and Philip Strickland, and the Mk VI owned by Rick Nightingale of our landscape gardeners and trackclearers, ProMow.
Further reading Bentley: A Racing History by David Venables (Haynes Publishing, 2011) Bentley – The Vintage Years (third edition) by Clare Hay (Number One Press, 2015) W O Bentley Rotary Aero Engines by Dr Tom Dine (W O Bentley Memorial Foundation, 2014) The History of Brooklands Motor Course by William Boddy (Grenville Publishing Co, 1957) Sopwith: The Man and His Aircraft by Bruce Robertson (Air Review Ltd, 1970)
The 1930 ‘team’ cars back on the Track (Allan Winn).
W O in World War One by Martin Chandler experimental seven-cylinder Clerget with steel-lined aluminium cylinders and steel cylinder heads, based on the Clerget 7Z, and shortly after that Gwynnes built a small experimental batch of Clerget 9J nine-cylinder engines from general drawings prepared by W O. In the spring of that year W O moved to Humber to concentrate on development work. In July, the prototype of the Admiralty Rotary Mk 1 (AR1) was undergoing tests. After inspection by the Admiralty, manufacture of the AR1 began at Humber in the autumn of 1916, although by November the engine name had been changed to BR1 – an official decision by the Admiralty. With the better heat dispersal from aluminium pistons and cylinder barrels, there was no need for either of these engines to have obdurator rings. While all this was happening, Harry Hawker made the first Sopwith Camel flight, from Brooklands, initially with a Clerget engine. The BR1 was also later manufactured by Brotherhood and Vickers. In April of 1917 the Air Board ordered three experimental BR2 engines (designed to deliver 200hp) and during August test flights of the Sopwith Camel, fitted with the new BR1 engine, started. During a visit to France W O found there were problems caused by broken oil pump springs due to poor tempering. He immediately left for England promising to return soon. Forty-eight hours later he was back with a new batch of springs, which cured the problem. Though praised for solving the problem so quickly, he was reprimanded for commandeering naval destroyers so that he could hop to and fro across the Channel. Later that year the new Sopwith Snipe, fitted with the BR1 engine, made its first flight and in November Humber started production of the BR2 engine. Other companies to build the BR2 were Crossley, Daimler, Gwynnes and Ruston, Procter & Co, with nearly 5,000 engines eventually being built. On the 1st April 1918 the RAF was formed and W O was promoted to captain. Politics intervened and Commander Briggs was replaced in ‘procurements’ by Lord Weir. His blue-eyed boy was another engine designer, Granville Bradshaw, even though some of his designs were not particularly successful, and W O was, in effect, side-lined. But what had W O achieved? Today all internal combustion engines use aluminium in their construction and this is his lasting legacy, reflected in the fact that on 9th January 1920 W O was awarded the MBE for his wartime work on aero engines.
t the outbreak of World War One, W O felt that the best way he could serve his country was by using his knowledge of aluminium pistons and engineering. Having discussed this with Commander Wilfred Briggs, who was responsible for acquiring engines for the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), in 1915 W O was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves (RNVR). One of his first tasks was to visit RollsRoyce and the Sunbeam car companies to acquaint them with his knowledge on the use of aluminium in the internal combustion engine. He was also instructed to recover a 1914 Mercedes Grand Prix car, which was languishing in the south of England, and take it to Rolls-Royce in Derby. With knowledge gained from the engine of that car, Rolls-Royce built a whole family of successful aero engines. W O’s next task was to go to Gwynnes and sort out problems they were having with production of the Clerget nine-cylinder rotary aero engine. Gwynnes had bought a licence from Clerget before the outbreak of war, but their production quality was not up to Clerget’s. W O was instructed to rectify the problems and introduce the use of aluminium pistons. Gwynnes were none too happy about this, but had to comply anyway. The problems were solved, and the new pistons and other modifications increased the power output of the Clerget 9B from 110 to 130hp. Later, a longstroke version of this engine, Clerget 9BF, pushed the power up to 140hp. A serious problem with this engine was that the cylinders were machined from steel alloy and the pistons were made from cast iron. These were not good conductors of heat and the heat of combustion rapidly distorted the cylinders, causing the engine to fail. To counter this, the pistons were fitted with something called an obturator ring, which compensated for the distortion and prevented hot gasses from reaching the lower parts of the cylinder. Unfortunately, these rings only had a life of about 15 hours before the engine had to be stripped and the rings replaced – a serious issue! W O was made uncomfortably aware of this problem when visiting a front line RNAS unit in France. He had rebuilt an engine and been taken out on patrol in a plane using it. On return, he stripped the engine and found that it was only minutes away from complete failure. This convinced W O that quality was of utmost importance, as was trying to do away with the need for the obturator ring. In early 1916 W O supervised the building of an
ESTATES AND HERITAGE
Update Repairs being made to the long-serving prefab known as the Admin Block (Julian Temple).
original Race Track to be returned to Museum use. As usual, Estate volunteers are also doing their best to ensure that all main entrances, pedestrian routes and roadways are kept as free as possible from assorted tree debris, litter and other unwanted material. One team, led by John Headden, recently constructed a chestnut paling fence adjacent to the Members’ Bridge to ensure that visitors stay away from the steep slope above the southern edge of the Members’ Banking. Apart from recently welcoming Claire Woodcock and Chris Huckin as enthusiastic new members of the Wednesday team, assisted by gardening volunteer Helen Heron, Lee Harvey and Julian Temple took part in another successful volunteer recruitment morning organised by Sue Lewin on 2nd April. Hopefully this will lead to further offers of voluntary help to our department. Elsewhere, visible progress continues to be made with other regular volunteer teams supporting our curators and events staff, and looking after our colourful Memorial Garden and other planted areas. Monthly visits to Bicester Heritage continue with reorganising and consolidating our off-site stores there. A new project to install a vehicle lift in the Fire Test Chamber Workshop is now underway, with a small team of volunteers planning the details and assessing the building and its future layout. Once the type of lift has been decided, the building’s existing contents will be sorted and reorganised, before electrical contractors re-wire the workshop and the new lift is installed. Meanwhile, we would be very interested in hearing from anyone who knows more about the history of this intriguing former BAC test laboratory, from its late 1960s origins up until its closure in the early 1980s. Lastly, on 26th April, we hosted a visit from Mark Newman and three colleagues who manage
ith the official arrival of spring, contractors have resumed mowing lawns and other grass areas, as well as dealing with the weeds that are now re-appearing around buildings and outdoor exhibits. Specialist contractor Gavin Jones Ltd recently surveyed the condition and safety of our many trees, along and behind the top of the Members’ Banking, and its report identified any that are dead and/or dangerous, and prioritised those that require felling or pollarding. Following recent staff office moves in our Admin Block (acquired second-hand from British Aerospace in the late 1980s), investigation of various subsiding floor sections revealed that many of the timber sleepers supporting the south side of the building were in extremely poor condition and required urgent attention. Using jacks to support, then level, the affected areas, all rotten timbers have now been carefully replaced by Lee Harvey and other Estates staff and volunteers. The future of this long-serving, prefabricated office building now needs further review. The latest site improvements include provision of two new picnic tables near the Jackson Shed, and the dismantling and disposal of the contents of the recently closed Discovery Centre, before the interior is prepared for its new role as an indoor picnic area. Various broken slabs on the adjacent Memorial Garden pavement have also been replaced by Graham Kempton. Site maintenance continues with work parties on most Wednesday afternoons, primarily ensuring that the Museum grounds remain as tidy and presentable as possible. Time and weather permitting, we are also continuing to make good progress with several ongoing major projects, especially at the West end of the Members’ Banking where a long-neglected storage area is being gradually sorted, reorganised and cleared of undergrowth to enable more ‘lost’ sections of
estate, facilities and property matters at the National Archives. With the offer of a reciprocal visit to their site in Kew, where they currently have a popular temporary exhibition about the Cold War, this meeting proved beneficial and very interesting to both parties, and we will all keep in touch through a recently formed Cultural Sector FM Hub initiative, which we joined last autumn. Julian Temple, Heritage Estate Projects Manager
The former Discovery Centre, now to be a new indoor picnic room (Julian Temple).
n Saturday 27th April the Brooklands Museum Learning Team hosted a brand-new workshop for our popular Saturday Science Club. Led by David Kempton, expert computer programmer and STEM Ambassador with Reading University, girls from 8 to 14 made their own ‘Drawdio’ – a pencil that lets you draw with music. The girls made their own musical synthesizer and learnt soldering skills, created electric circuit boards and went home with a unique addition to their pencil case. Much to our delight, there were many ‘this is so cool’ moments and the dads who came along seemed to enjoy the workshop just as much as the girls (if not more…!). Our next Saturday Science Club sessions, on the Science Behind the Camera, will be held over two consecutive Saturdays on 29th June and 6th July, and will be taught by Orande from Sharp
Shots Photo Club. Please contact the Learning Team on email@example.com for more information and details of how to book. Lucy Ward
ell, wow, what an Easter fortnight! For starters, our founder, Graham Appleyard, was both on trend and thankfully recuperating nicely after having had the same heart valve replacement operation as Mick Jagger. It was good news weather-wise, too, as we lost only the first Tuesday to the rain. The last Friday was a bank holiday, but considering we ran just two days over Easter 2018 it was a complete turnaround and meant we easily exceeded last year’s total, amassing £3,454 in donations for the Museum, along with a lot of goodwill and many comments in our book, such as, “I apsolootly loved it” (sic) and “Best pound I ever spent!” We had a noticeably international ‘clientele’ this Easter and it demonstrated the affection with which Brooklands is held around the world. Over cake-filled, end-of-day cups of tea we started to sound like cab drivers with our ‘Guess who I had in the back of the car today’-style remarks.
Peter driving the Talbot (MGB underpinnings with a host of genuine 1930s Talbot parts) (Keith Barry).
Our cars lined up in the Racing Bays after being unwrapped from their covers (Keith Barry). Noteworthy was not only the number of ‘regulars’ we now attract, but also the ‘repeat offenders’, which is what we call the completists who try to ensure that they ride in every car we have in play each day. It’s great for us to have such an enthusiastic response to what we do and as we now have a PDQ machine we can even take wireless card payments. On one of the weeks we had two birthday boys in the team, Rallsy who escaped for a long weekend, and Roger, who we embarrassed in the Paddock as a combined team-and-visitor (and somewhat discordant) choir sung him ‘Happy
Some of the team having tea and cake with the Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Squires (Keith Barry). Birthday’ before the start of one afternoon sessions. All in all, a fabulous fortnight! Keith Barry
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