Brooklands Society News

The Brooklands Society held the first of its own re-unions at the old Track On July 7th, by grace of the British Aircraft Corporation. The Vickers’ police laid on the usual nostalgic tour of the grounds, the long procession of cars carrying those paying homage and re-living personal memories being led by Russ-Turner’s ex-Birkin lap-record blower-4½ Bentley, while behind it came other appropriate pre-war sports cars such as Edmondson’s 3-litre Lagonda, an open Talbot, an early 3-litre and a 4½-litre Bentley, John Goddard’s stark s/c 8-litre Bentley two-seater, Fraser Nashes, including Mrs. Geoghehan braving the subsequent wet weather in hers, a 328 B.M.W., a big Alvis tourer, Clive Windsor-Richards in Tony Jones’ 30/98 Vauxhall with Peter Hull in the stern, Gahagan’s Type 37 Bugatti, H.R.G.s, a 12/60 beetle-back Alvis, and many others, while Vic Derrington was giving his racing Salmson a further taste of the Weybridge air on its trailer.

The members present are too numerous to list individually, but Motor Sport‘s candid-camera captured some of them (below) and I saw Kenneth Evans in conversation with G. P. Harvey-Noble and Vice-President Alan Hess, Stanley Sedgwick who arrived in his Ferrari, T. A. S. O. Mathieson, the Hon. P. H. Annesley, Peter Cavanagh, R. J. P. Morley, F. Kirby who raced Sunbeam motorcycles up to 1929, Mrs. Lister, nee Wood, who was recalling the days when her head was stuck under the bonnets of the Team Bentleys and her first flight, from Brooklands, in a 1916 Avro, R. M. Turner, the Bentley driver, and E. P. Huxham of Morgan memory. Apart from motor-racing this was a great social occasion; Joyce MacPherson, nee Lambert, and her husband, for instance, met old friends with whom they shared a flat in Baghdad during the war and had not set eyes on since. Then there were all the “regulars” to Brooklands re-unions, walking on the old Members’ lawn, looking down the overgrown Test Hill, driving round the foot of the Members’ and Byfleet bankings (Russ-Turner’s Bentley climbed high up), and seeing again Parry Thomas’ bungalow and workshops, the 1910 flight ticket office, the lofty Byfleet bridge and other once-familiar sights. Heavy rain damped the occupants of the open cars but not their enthusiasm. And there was a respite from the elements when a brand-new VC10 was inspected in its vast hangar.

Tea was taken at the “Hand & Spear”, followed by a splendid unedited (and none the worse for that) film-show of Brooklands and other contemporary racing, laid on by Dudley Gahagan. The old days seemed closer as the evening proceeded, and the Society is full of plans for forging other links with the Brooklands days, in the not too distant future.—W. B.