V-C miscellany, February 1994



In 1976 Tate & Lyle, the well-known sugar refiners, loaned their 1914 brass-radiator Model-T Ford tourer, an early example of those produced at Manchester’s Trafford Park factory in Britain, to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The Ford belonged to Sir Ian Lyle, later Lord Lyle. The car has now been given to the Museum and was handed over recently to Lord Montagu, as Chairman of the Museum Trustees, by David Dale of Tate & Lyle.


Having queried what kind of cars H Mortimer Batten, the zoologist who wrote for the motoring press in the 1920s and 1930s, owned, apart from his 1908 TT Metallurgique and 1914 TT Straker Squire, friends of the family have done some research and have come up with some interesting information. Batten was of Northampton stock; his father had built and run a ‘bus works in Singapore and his mother was a Barker, of Barker’s shoes. Riding many motorcycles, including P&Ms, Scotts, Douglas, AJS and ABC, and having it is thought competed in the Scottish Six-Days Trials, Mortimer Batten graduated via a Scott Sociable three-wheeler to cars which included, not only the forenamed, but a Bugatti circa 1924, a Darracq, a Bean and a Crouch, all open tourers, after which a two-seater Riley, a Hillman and a Morris two-seater are remembered. Then came a Clyno tourer around 1929, followed by an Alvis two-door fabric saloon with the vee-windscreen and the hare mascot, which his son recalls as “a lovely car”. Finally, he used an old flat-twin Jowett for many years. He then had a Hillman saloon in Canada.

Incidentally, the person who provided us with this information says her grandfather had a garage in Whitby in 1901, that her great-grandfather is thought to have had the first car there, and that her grandmother was driving a Darracq very early this century.


The accompanying photograph was sent to us by Andrew Kingerlee, who became aware of a family link with Léon-Bollée after Motor Sport’s article on the make. His grandfather, Charles (Carl) Kingerlee, worked for William Morris and in 1926 was sent to the Léon-Bollée factory at Le Mans as a representative for the British Morris Company. One day he was travelling as passenger in a test car on the Le Mans-Paris road when a cyclist crossing it caused the driver to lose control. The Léon-Bollée ran into a fence adjacent to a railway and the driver fell between two railway trucks after flying over the fence, while Kingerlee fell between the trucks and the fence, which the car had hit head-on, and left the ground, landing as shown. Our reader would like to know the type of Léon-Bollée involved.


Le Mans has been kind to Great Britain in remembering the racing successes of the W O Bentley cars there. Not only was a street named after Sammy Davis, one of the “Bentley Boys” who survived the 1926 White House corner crash and was third in the 24-hour race with “Old No 7” 3-litre in 1927, but in 1993 the square at Mulsanne, at the end of the long straight on the circuit, was named the “W Bentley Square”. The ceremony was attended by 82 cars driven there by members of the Bentley DC.

The Automobile Palace building in Llandrindod Wells, put up in 1916 as a car showroom and depot by Tom Norton, has been sold to the Development Board For Rural Wales. It is good news that the facade of this historic building, with its lions motif and the “Aircraft” sign as a reminder that in 1910 aeroplanes were to have figured in the business, will be retained in structure and facade, as being of interest architecturally and from the viewpoint of Welsh motoring history.

A cutting shows that the motoring correspondent of Kenya’s Sunday Nation has been investigating motoring history in that province. He tells us that the first car owner in Kenya was a George Wilson, who had an 8 hp De Dion Bouton shipped out there in 1903. Other cars followed, railed to Nairobi, but it wasn’t until about 1927, says Gavin Bennett’s article, that they were able to use the full length of the Nairobi-Mombasa road. Almost inevitably, the newspaper’s article is illustrated by a picture of a chauffeur-driven brass-radiator Model-T Ford with lady passenger — but one notes that it has electric headlamps to augment its oil sidelamps, and is right-hand drive.

VSCC 1994 Fixtures

The Vintage SCC has published a list of 33 fixtures for the coming season, as well as the six special events which are to form part of the Club’s Jubilee Week at Malvern from July 4/8 and innumerable social meets all over the country.

Race Meetings will be at Silverstone (April 9, June 11), Mallory Park (July 17), Pembrey (June 26), and Donington Park (August 29). The Speed Trials and Speed Hill-Climbs will be contested at Colerne (April 23), Curborough (May 1), Wiscombe Park (May 8), Loton Park (May 28/29), Shelsley Walsh (July 2/3), Prescott (August 6/7) and one other, venue to be declared. These are the events at which non-members are welcome, at varying admission fees. In addition the members enjoy a number of trials, driving-tests, a night rally, bicycle rally and races (for vintage machines of course), and other events. There is a move to increase the membership which stands at around 6,000. It ranges in cost from £5 (Juniors) to £34 per year (Full membership) and includes an excellent quarterly journal. The Secretary, from whom information about the above events can be obtained, is David Franklin, 121 Russell Road, Newbury, Berks RG14 5JX.

The Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s 1994 fixture list runs to 287 happenings (not counting the AGM) which defeats us. But the JoG-LE will take place on May 21/27 and the TT Rally on June 5/9. Membership runs at over 12,000. The Secretary is Mrs Ann Davy, Allen House, Wetmore Road, Burton-on-Trent, Staffs DE14 1SN.

The Bugatti OC announces that its Spring Rally will be held on May 13/15, the Summer Rally on July 23/24 and the Garden Party on July 24. There are 12 main events. Details from Mrs Sue Ward, Prescott Hill, Gotherington, Cheltenham, Glos GL52 4RD. The single UK subscription is £27.

We offer our warmest congratulations to Eric Barrass on his election as President of the Rolls-Royce EC, which he has served as secretary for over 30 years, when the Club’s membership has risen from 340 to 7,800. The new Secretary of this prestigious club is Peter Baines. Lt Col Barrass, OBE, will continue for a time as editor of the R-R EC Bulletin, which some years ago was awarded the accolade of best motor club journal, which is good news indeed. The membership increase never fails to amaze me — 275 new members enrolled in the past two months or so. . . Sixty-five fixtures for 1994 in this country have been announced, of which the most important is the Round Britain Rally to celebrate 90 years of R-R from June 13/July 2. Details of that and the other events, which include the Welsh, South and East England rallies, and the Harewood and Stowe School events from The Hunt House, High Street, Paulerspury, Northants NN12 7NA.

To continue on the club front, the Daimler & Lanchester OC has already listed 60 1994 events, including regional club meets, etc. Details from: Barry Pladdys on 0795 864500. The Club magazine for December included articles ranging from Daimler ‘buses, the Dart or SP250 sportscar, a straight-eight Daimler and restoring a 23-year-old Daimler V8.

The article on a 2LS Ballot has reminded a French reader who raced Bugatti and other cars that his father owned a veteran Peugeot small car before WWI and drove his wife several times from Cannes to Berlin, Vienna, etc. Later he had a Bébé Peugeot, an 18/24 hp La Buire and in 1923 decided on a 2-litre Georges-lrat instead of a Ballot.

Morris history

Owners of the older Morris cars are well provided for in respect of the history of their vehicles. The magazine of the Morris Register is edited by Harry Edwards, who is an able historian, and the current issue of the Morris Bullnose Club magazine contains a comprehensive 12-page illustrated piece on the different rear-view mirrors fitted to these bullnose and flatnose Morrises, by Robin Barraclough, and this is followed by a discourse on the correct carpets to fit to restored Morris cars. The secretary of the Bullnose Morris Club is Richard Harris, PO Box 383, Hove, Sussex BN3 4FX. W B