Reading of Cecil Roberts’ autobiography in January’s Motor Sport, I was interested in the mention of Bunny Hill. The old hill road has been partially overlaid by the A60 Nottingham to Loughborough road, but the steeper (1 in 4), narrower old road is still extant as the run-up to a number of houses on the western side of the present road.
In the teens and twenties of this century the road still followed this steep road and at an exhibition of pictures of “Nottingham on Wheels” last year there were a few photographs of Allsert Campion, the motorcycle maker, testing his new combination up the hill. The photographs, taken I believe before the Great War, show Campion with a lady passenger ascending the lower slopes in fine style, while another shot, taken further up the hill, shows Campion pushing lustily to assist the motor, the lady remaining in the sidecar.
My mother’s neighbour, Mr. Bert Lambert of Keyworth (the next village to Bunny), had a 2.3/4 h.p. Raleigh motorcycle in the twenties. He and a friend tuned the machine and, along with a number of enthusiasts, they used the hill regularly to try out their machines.
One Sunday a number of them were up on the hill when Sir Henry Birkin arrived and stormed up the hill in his Salmson. At this moment the policeman from Costock hove into view on his bicycle, his idea evidently to put a stop to such illegal activities. As his Salmson leapt over the crest Sir Henry summed up the situation and with a leaping three-point turn was away down the hill while the constable was still puffing in the distance. Everyone else followed the fast retreating car on their motorcycles.
Mr. Lambert rode the Raleigh in reliability trials in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, part of them over the roads of Donington Park, before the circuit was built. One glorious day he did 40 miles on a Brough Superior, which a friend of his, the Brough tester, was trying on the road. He later built a shed to house his heart’s desire, a Morgan. The arrival of his daughter put an end to his plans and the shed is still his workshop.
Lingficld Dave Hunt