Obituaries

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Kitty May Hutchison

I was indeed sorry to be informed that Kitty May Hutchison died recently in Montecatini Terme, Italy.

As the attractive daughter of photographer W J Brunell, Kitty modelled for her father in many of his 1920s motoring pictures and, as a youngster, she drove a Roesch Talbot for which she designed the bodywork) in the Monte Carlo Rally. She married wealthy Ken Hutchison and was a firm supporter of his racing and rallying, the latter notably with Allard cars.

Kitty was no mean driver herself. She had a fine sense of humour, on one occasion giving her views as the wife of a rally-driving husband in these pages.

In recent years she and Ken had lived abroad, touring from hotel to hotel. Hutch took great pride in the enormous mileages his aged Mercedes-Benz was surviving. Kitty told me after his death that she doubted she would ever return to England.

She passed away peacefully and is buried beside her beloved ‘Nonie’.

I feel very sad. W B

AH Chamberlain

Somewhat belatedly we mourn, and pay tribute to, Alan Hawker Chamberlain (‘Bob’ to his wide circle of friends), who has died in his native Australia at the age of 84. He will be remembered here for his meticulous rebuild of the 1903 L48 racing Napier ‘Samson’, which unsuccessfully contested the famous Match Race at Brooklands against Nazzaro’s Fiat in 1908. Having found one of its several engines, Bob set about this painstaking restoration, visiting the Science Museum for the original drawings. He brought the great car to a Brooklands Reunion and at one time thought of giving it to the museum there, though he eventually decided against it.

The son of the sister of Harry Hawker, the celebrated test-pilot, Bob spent some years in the Hawker household. He was part of the Chamberlain engineering business that supplied pistons, some three million per annum, to the motor industry. He built the two-stroke Chamberlain Specials and was restoring two Prince Henry Benzes at the time of his death; both these and the Napier were auctioned recently in Australia. The car work was done in a small factory at Port Melbourne, Bob having sold the one in which he made ball-and-roller bearings (he was the first to do so in Australia).

I shall miss the letters I received from Bob Chamberlain, recalling Hawker’s arrival ‘Down-Under’ with the Sopwith Tabloid, his ill-fated Atlantic flight, with much inside information about that and the big Napier. A skilled engineer and a gentleman, it is seldom that one meets anyone as enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his hobby. W B