In the Paddock- Sporting Chat By "The Lounger"
The notable increase in the attendance of what may be termed the general public at recent Brooklands meetings is encouraging. There is no reason why the Track should not be made far more popular with the ordinary touring motorist than it is to-day. The keenness of the few is all very well ; but it would be to everyone’s good if the value and attractions of Brooklands were better recognised by the ordinary man at the wheel. I hope the powers that be will grasp any opportunities that may suggest themselves in the increased interest the public is showing at the moment.
The recent order to restrict the noisiness of those noisy motor cycles has had the effect of producing some weird and wonderful silencers. Some of the ” row Pots” seen at the last B.M.C.R.C. meeting are likely, I am afraid, to prove more effective in theory than in practice. It was obvious, however, that much ingenuity had been exercised to tone down the voices of certain too strident engines. The contours of some of the silencers were indeed extraordinary, but all those I inspected conformed faithfully to the new and not too easy rule.
Five shillings per head for lunch at a motor cycle meeting seems a ridiculously high charge. I hope that those responsible for the Brooklands catering arrangements do not think that all the reforms desired have yet been attained. There has certainly been a big improvement of late, but five shillings for lunch at an ordinary B.M.C.R.C. members’ meeting, well !
The driver of Mr. T. B. Andre’s ” Marlborough-Anzani ” is now almost visible to the spectators. I understand that the body-work has been considerably modified to enable him to get in and out without assistance from helpers armed with tyre levers. The new arrangement also enables the instruments to be read when under way—a decided advantage !
Although I should be the last to favour restrictions which emanate from mere officialdom, I am glad to observe that in these days fewer people are allowed on the track before the start of B.M.C.R.C. races. Beyond the riders and their legitimate helpers, the essential officials and accredited Press representatives are the only people who are really wanted. There is no need at all for esteemed representatives of certain motoring commodities to wander about in the vicinity of the starter, and that redoubtable marshal, Billy Cooper, summed up the situation very neatly one day last season when he politely requested : “Now then, all you mechanics, off the track ! ”
The well-known ” Softly-Catch-Monkey ” has been greatly lightened this season, and from her extreme steadiness of demeanour at speed has descended to quite a juvenile skittishness. In virtue of this she actually did a violent skid on the Byfleet banking in practice the other day.
I have often wondered why a well-known Brooklands habitue invariably leaves his car in a most obstructive spot adjacent to Richmond High Street, soon after each B.A.R.C. meeting. Can he tell me ?
Telephone accommodation at the Track is still very bad. There is no public telephone, and Pressmen with urgent ” stories ” to get off, do not always find the instrument on the wall of Mr. Rance’s office the most convenient of possible transmitters. And as for telephoning from the Fork, where many races start and finish, well, it simply isn’t done. When is that pukka Press box with real Fleet Street facilities coming along, Colonel Lloyd ? The importance of Brooklands warranted a more generous consideration of the Fourth Estate long ago.