Birkin Memorial Rally. Duke Video. 35 min, £19.99.
If you missed last year’s Norfolk gathering to remember Sir Henry Birkin, you have a second chance in this 35 minute video. The rally itself takes a relatively small
part; instead, the producers tell the story of Birkin’s life by incorporating a good deal of period film of his achievements, including Le Mans, the memorable Pau GP race, the TTs, some impressive footage of the blown single-seater careering around the Brooklands bumps, and the final, fatal race at Tripoli.
In addition there are interviews with Wally Hassan (who speaks of the supercharged 40/2 as “a bloody awful car”), Lofty England (who worked for Birkin & Couper and relates some interesting tales about tractor and model car-racing proiects which were new to me), and with the current baronet Sir John Birkin. We are also shown some of the Birkin cars which are still around, including scenes of George Daniels throwing the singleseater around Manx roads. Worth viewing for the personal insights which even snippets of contemporary film give of the Bentley Boys: “Tim” and “Bei*” quiet and reserved, Barnato tough and confident, and Kensington Moir bubbling over with good humour. G C