I really did rate your article on Alastair Miller (Motor Sport, January 1989) as great, because he was my first Brooklands contact, and was extremely kind and friendly. I’m sure no one can name a more worthy contender for the title “Mr Brooklands”, in view of the period he spanned and the variety of machines he owned and drove. My very first lap of the Outer Circuit was in the big Benz, and the memory still remains. Despite the bad, and sometimes justified, press begot in some of the “dailies”, he was a kind and nice man.
I think he was married to Eva, not Winifred, Shotter. Winifred was the well-established light comedy actress who used to appear in the Tom Walls/Ralph Lyn musical comedies, nearly always cast as the half-dressed girl hiding in the husband’s wardrobe, discovered by his wife, and it was Winifred who got Eva her first stage job, in the chorus-line at the “Crazy Gang” Palladium show, when the final Miller bust-up came.
I think you, and I, must have been peeping into Alastair’s shed at around the Buick, Moth and Delage II period. The Black Lombard was there, and a dark blue blown Lombard which didn’t appear in public until some time later.
There was also a Mercedes, not a 36/220 but a black, rather low 2-litre— very racy with a radiator only slightly pointed, and almost flat. I never recall seeing that car raced, but saw it some time later in T&Ts. When l asked Ken Taylor about it he said it was a bastard which he wasn’t going to sell too a nice man — he had several others on the books and was keeping it for one of them! I think he meant bad payers.
The very last time I saw Ken was when he was negotiating the sale of John Cobb’s Napier-Railton to Patrick Lindsay. Neither felt they knew what the price should be, and asked my view. It must have been years ago because I recall saying “£250” but not waiting to see the outcome. I think that might have been the figure because, soon afterwards, Patrick bought me a very large drink when we new met at Silverstone!
Charles Mortimer, Daventry, Northamptonshire