Brooklands Society News

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A meeting was held in London on August 15th at which the Brooklands Society was formed, on the lines and with the aims and objects outlined on page 796 of the September issue of Motor Sport. By mid-November 55 Members and 124 Associates had joined, subscription-revenue totalling £72. This is a most encouraging start especially as an intense membership drive has not been instituted, the present membership being recruited from initial Press announcements. It is centred largely in Surrey, London and Sussex, but ranges as far afield as Denbighshire, Scotland, Jersey and Germany.

Well-known pre-war Brooklands personalities who have already joined include Tommy Wisdom, A. C. Westwood., R. O. Wilson-Kitchen, Sqd. Ldr. Jackson, R. King-Farlow, F. W. Hutton-Stott, Miss Betty Haig, M. P. Tenbosch, G. P. Harvey-Noble, G. Roberts, N. Mavrogordato, F. P. Huxham, G. H. Symonds and M. Gorringe. Quite a number of Brooklands motorcycle exponents have joined, including R. Chapman who, after being Raymond Mays’ mechanic in 1923 became Fernihough’s assistant, working on the record-breaking 250 c.c. Cotton and lap-record Brough-Superior, and later on the Gleggs’ Dorcas Special; T. Lunn, who helped in the pits in 1924, rode in the “chair” of Taylor’s 998 c.c. Zenith when it took short-lived World’s records in 1926, and assisted his brother with the Hutchinson Hundred-winning 350 c.c. Velocette; R. N. May who passengered sidecar riders like Horsman, Pellatt, Freddie Dixon, etc.; N. W. Lewis who was closely associated with the Track from the beginning in connection with a local motorcycle business; E. J. Tubb who began racing in 1933 and still owns the Grindley-Peerless on which he lapped at 105.76 m.p.h., and D. P. Wilson who rode in Allday’s Zenith sidecar, worked on Joyce’s A.G. when he was an apprentice at A.C. Cars Ltd., and rode a New Imperial in the 1927 M.C.C. High Speed Trial.

Then there are enthusiasts such as Peter Hull of the V.S.C,C., Jack Reiss, D. Gahagan, Vaughan Davis. Dr. H. C. Wright, OBE, K. H. Mummery who as a boy worked on Parry Thomas’ “Babs” and later raced Bugatti and Lea-Francis cars at the smaller meetings.; R. G. C. Williams who went as passenger in Flowey’s Ballot and drove an E.W. Wolseley Hornet Daytona at a 1935 M.C.C. Meeting; C. E. Mills who was closely associated with Parry Thomas; F. R. Wells who helped C. J. Turner with his Bentleys and rode in them as passenger: J. W. Dickens who joined the B.A.R.C. in 1925 and used the Track as tester of Windsor, Isotta-Fraschini, Delage and Alvis cars, and S. H. Handasyde, son of the aeroplane pioneer, who knew Brooklands from 1924-30. And there are already three lady members, including Mrs. Barr who was keen’ on flying as well as motor racing in the ‘twenties, stilt has her grandstand ticket for the 1928 200-Mile Race, and whose husband lapped at over 100 m.p.h. in a G.P. Special Salmson in 1929. So, if funds permit publication of a revived Brooklands Gazette, there will be ample material. . .

Receipts have been sent to these Members and Associates and membership cards are under consideration. There is some feeling that it would he improper to issue replicas of the original B.A.R.C. car and lapel badges but Society badges and other insignia are on the agenda for future discussion. For the remainder of this year the Society will be concerned with consolidating its position by recruitment of more members and listing the ex-Brooklands cars owned by those who join.* Next year it is hoped that film-shows, meetings and perhaps lectures may commence. The annual visit to the ‘Track has not been overlooked but at present the prospects are bleak, because the tiling Round Table’s gigantic rally there last summer has had repercussions: the following is the reply to a letter, written before this rally took place, asking B.A.C. tor support fur the Brooklands Society.:—

From : Sir Geoffrey Tuttle :—

Sir,

I am sorry I have not replied earlier to your letter of 8th June, but I have been away.

An effort such as we laid on this year for the Godalming Round Table creates considerable administrative problems for the Corporation, quite apart from the dislocation of traffic in the vicinity. Therefore, it is something is we cannot contemplate other than in the most exceptional circumstances.

In addition, it is purely fortuitous that the Corporation use the site of the old Brooklands Track for the manufacture of aircraft. The Corporation is not really connected with motor racing in any shape or form, and it does not see any point in being involved in the type of Society which you envisage.

Geoffrey Tuttle, Vice-Chairman

British Aircraft Corporation (Weybridge) Limited,

Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey.

However, we are working on this and think something may be resolved, even if access has, for the time being, to be confined to Members. Incidentally, we were not responsible for this big public meeting, but it did yield much money for charity; the balance-sheet shows that there was an excess of income over expenditure of £2,633 11s., the turnover being a remarkable £3,794 3s. 1d. The charities which have so far benefited, to the extent of £2,152 10s., are named as : Star and Garter Homes, Richmond (£500), Sail Training Association (£500.), Godalming Ladies Circle Kidney Isotope Appeal Fund (£462), International Help for Children (£400)., Godalming Round Table Charity Funds (£200), Surrey Police Benevolent Fund (£50), British Red Cross (£20) and Brooklands Scouts (£20).

Until such time as it is possible to send out news-letters, Motor Sport will contain announcements about the Brooklands Society, support for which has already reached very encouraging proportions. Members may like to know that at the recently-opened new Weybridge Museum there is a Brooklands Corner, to which I have been able to lend a couple of exhibits. The Museum, adjacent to the library, is open on week-day afternoons and all day Saturdays; there is a free car-park behind the building.—W. B.

*Member: £2; Associate: 10s; Applications to the Brooklands Society: Standard House, Bonhill Street, London E.C.2.

*     *     *     *     *

Miniatures for Christmas

In time for Christmas, Lesney have brought out another “Matchbox” Model-of-Yesteryear. It is 1909 Thomas Flyabout tourer to a scale of 48:1, only 4 in, in length but so detailed that each leaf spring and the number of teeth on the hand-brake ratchet can be counted and the “tyres” have valves moulded into them! With luggage rack, spare Stepney wheel, ”brass” lamps, plastic hood, etc., and a very impressive reproduction of the shapely Thomas radiator, this is a fine miniature, costing 5s. 11d. (Ref. No. Y-12). It is a pity that the pedals have been omitted, suggesting that the car was controlled with the teeth. Children can now form their own old-car museums, with these Lesney models. But we hope the makers will not overlook British Edwardians when next extending the series and that one day they may do a Brooklands’ outer-circuit car, for which their realistic hand-levers and the model designers’ trick of lengthening the wheelbase beyond scale dimensions should be adaptable.