Club News, November 1946

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We Hear
Although prices generally remain at staggering levels, a few interesting cars came up recently at fairer figures. Notably a 1924 “Monza” Hispano-Suiza, less tyres, in Exeter; a 7th Series 2-seater Lancia “Lambda” with six good well-base tyres but wrecked 8th Series engine, for £60; and a 1922 Rolls-Royce “Silver Ghost” with Barker open touring body, stored since 1939, and with one owner since new, for £100. A nice car, this last-named, it would seem.

Congratulations to James Brymer, the motoring photographer, on his recent marriage.

J. A. Palmes, of Jarvis & Sons, Ltd., has a 9-ft. wheelbase 1926 “Red Label” 3-litre Bentley, newly-bodied by his firm. He bought it from Emons, and apparently Bowler did quite a lot of work on it, but its past or original form is a closed book to its present owner. Can anyone supply him with the car’s history, please? The Reg. No. is YK 1664. T. A. D. Crook severed his connection with Raymond Mays & Partners, Ltd., just before the last Prescott meeting, and his 328 B.M.W. was prepared privately, in Lincoln. It ascended the hill in practice in a little over 53 sec. Crook is disposing of his well-known “2.9” Alfa-Romeo ” to make way for something even faster next season,” but he intends to retain the B.M.W. Until further notice Vauxhall Motors, Ltd., are staging a Jubilee Exhibition at Luton, with such things as a tiller-steered veteran, a “Prince Henry,” a “30/98” and some excellent models, including one of the pre-1914 Brooklands racing Vauxhall, “KN,” on free display. The October issue of The Model Car News excelled itself with a very fine scale-plan of a “T.T. Replica” Frazer-Nash and a detailed account of the S.M.M.T. Exhibition models. Neville’s 1903 Gladiator, which he ran in the Coventry-Birmingham Cavalcade, occupied some six weeks, working 14 hours daily, to get it ready. The car now starts with a single swing and runs down to 10 m.p.h. in top gear. The drive is via a leather cone clutch from a very compact 2-cylinder engine, while the radiator has a false shell. Neville still carries the original sparking plugs about with him, which have a spark gap of 3/32 in.!

Ever original, the Trojan concern has introduced a supercharged 4-cylinder, 2-stroke engine of 1,186 c.c. for its new 15 cwt. van; 24 b.h.p. is developed at a mere 2,300 r.p.m. The Plug and Spanner Garage has recently completed an aerodynamic body of very fine construction on a 2 1/2-litre Jaguar chassis. Oscar Moore has purchased Leslie Johnson’s 328 B.M.W., and also runs his left-drive B.M.W. in sprint events. He would be interested to hear of anything similar for disposal, for his own use. At the International Prescott meeting, first “Bira,” then Mrs. Gerard, begged lifts up the hill during practice in his left-drive car. Mrs. Arklay is using a 1927 “14/40” Delage with very Continental, close-coupled closed body, which car is believed to be a DJ., with D.I.S.S. engine. Guy Griffiths has been using a Riley Nine saloon, but has a “1,100” Fiat saloon coming along, with 9-to-1 compression-ratio. Capt. Widdowson has bought an 8th Series Lancia “Lambda” saloon through a Motor Sport advertisement. Before the war he ran a Rover Twelve, and he once owned a straight-eight Bianchi, which had too great an appetite for its lower-gear teeth. Down at Brooklands, Scale Models, Ltd., are producing some 1,000 of their little model Maserati, E. R.A. and Alta racing cars a week, and still cannot keep pace with demand. Rolls House Publishing Co., Ltd., have issued a 1s. guide to 1947 cars, which includes photographs of most of the, new models and a survey of design, also a list of registration number references, road signs and radiator emblems.

Patrick Green has acquired a 1907 2-cylinder Swift and, for everyday transport, has his 1926 “Grand Sport” Amilcar. He hopes to run his G.N. “Grasshopper” in sprint events next year. He also has a “Surbaisse” Amilcar, and reports much interest in these cars and in Salmsons, for which he holds a stock of spares. Salmon’s Salmon-Special was on its second, outing when seen at West Court and has given surprisingly little teething trouble. The Chiltern Car Club held a “revival rally” on October 12th and hopes to hear from enthusiasts in its area. It is a well-conducted body, whose secretary is A. R. Woodley, King’s Arms Hotel, Amersham. The subscription is 10s. 6d. At the Brighton Speed Trials timing was actuated by the starting lamps, the spoons merely registering false starts.

Out in Tasmania, B. E. Sheldrick runs a fine 8th series Lancia, “Lambda” 2seater. Before this he had a 69 by 130 mm., 4-cylinder., s.v. Chenard-Walcker, circa 1925, with 2-bearing crankshaft and tubular con. rods. The engine was 3-point rubber-mounted (over 20 years ago!) and revelled in revs., while the unit gearbox gave four forward ratios. The typical f.w.b. only were used, in conjunction with a transmission retarder, all three brakes being operated by the pedal, while full depression of the clutch pedal also applied the transmission brake. Peter Clark took his new aerodynamic H.R.G. to the Paris Salon and afterwards got from the Arc de Triomphe to the quayside at Boulogne in under three hours, without ever exceeding 3,000 r.p.m. This despite diversions and atrocious pavé in much-bombed Beauvais and Abbeville, for the roadholding is even better than in the older cars. His Le Mans H.R.G. is now for sale, with much special equipment, so someone will get a very fine car. Peter tells us it now gives about 65. b.h.p., not 85 as we quoted, and remarks that, because he liked doing 70 in third when using the car daily, he had non-standard ratios in use, which made the car less sprightly than it need have been up Prescott.

K. Lee asks who now owns his Type 40, Bachelier-bodied Bugatti, Reg. No. RLP 6?

Yates has installed a Ford Ten engine (Ford Eight gearbox) in an Austin Seven chassis, using set-up springs, Girling front brokes, a “Chummy” body, 5.25-to-1 rear axle and a new header tank. A thermostat, oil gauge and water thermometer are neatly fitted and the little car not only goes remarkably well on the road but should make an excellent trials car.

Antorcha, the Spanish sports review, is beautifully produced and devotes very reasonable space to motor-racing, the March number containing a particularly fine photograph of nine G.P. Bugattis on the line at San Sebastian. W/C. Gyll Murray has recently acquired a “Red Label” Bentley, engine No. AH1500, chassis No. AH1493. Interesting cars encountered recently have included a well-preserved 10-h.p. open Bianchi, near the Motor Sport offices, and a Leon Bollee saloon, in Staines. We know that pukka motor-enthusiasts never think about railways except with distaste, but in case you carry youngsters in your car who are so misguided and badly brought up as to be engine-minded, you may be amused to know that Ian Allen, Ltd., of Staines, issue little books which give the numbers of all locomotives, and from which you can turn up the age and type of same (remindful of the Bentley Drivers’ Club’s statistics!). There is a book for each railway group, and they cost 2s. each. Kiddies will probably like to have them all, or at least their “local” one, in the car, for loco. spotting on long runs. That’s all; sorry, dyed-in-the-wool car folk! Apart from Scale Models, Ltd., C. S. Hughes and the Brooklands Engineering Co., Ltd., are still resident within Brooklands. Zeré, who rebuilt a racing Amilcar Six some years ago, is now concentrating on parts for petrol-engined model cars.

Fixtures for November
2nd. M.C.C. Buxton One-Day Sporting Trial, and Dinner Dance.

7th. B.R.D.C. Film Show, Wardour Street.

9th. S.U.N.B.A.C. Vesey Cup Trial, Birmingham Area

10th. V.S.C.C. Rally, Bisley Area.

16th. Bristol M.C.C. and L.C.C. – John Douglas Trophy Trial.

17th. Brighton and Hove M.C. Half-Day Trial.
Harrow Car Club Cottingham Memorial Trophy Trial, Bagshot Heath.
R.A.C. Veteran Car Run, London – Brighton.

22nd. J.C.C. Party, Grosvenor House.

24th. N. Midland M.C. Sporting Trial, Retford area.
Taunton M.C. Allen Trophy Trial.N.B. – The Hants and Berks M.C. Trial on November 3rd. is cancelled.

Recent editorials in the Gazette of the Civil Service Motoring Association have put in a strong plea for racing on the (closed) roads of this country, and reports of Prescott meetings, etc., appear in the Gazette. Whatever may be one’s opinion of the regular civil servant, there is no denying that this is extremely good propaganda for the Sport, the more so as we believe that membership of the C.S.M.A. runs into tens of thousands.

Ambitious J.C.C.
The Junior Car Club was founded in 1912, but it certainly hasn’t old-fashioned ideas. Its latest announcement is a duration contest, with a £1,000 prize, for cars propelled by a non-reciprocating power unit other than steam, electric or direct air reaction motors. Once again, the absence of Brooklands will prove a “bind.” While waiting for entries, Mr. Morgan, please put over a small event for those of your members who own those old-fashioned cars with reciprocating piston engines. And please try to publish some of the historic Brooklands data which the J.C.C. has inherited from the B.A.R.C.

A Class I Club
News is now to hand about the new club for builders of 500-c.c. cars. An administrative and technical committee will work in conjunction in an attempt to define the national 500-c.c. class. A magazine is contemplated, which should do much to assist those building these little cars, of which the Strang “500” and Cooper-Special are such effective yard-sticks. Sec., J. O. M. Siddall, Milford House, Lansdown, Bath.

Trials Season
By the time this issue of Motor Sport appears the trials season will be in full swing, and rather more ambitious routes will be possible than of late in view of the more generous ration of “basic” petrol. It is essential that the public be considered in running these events, and we hope that the R.A.C. will again keep a watchful eye on clashing fixtures and routes generally. And that organisers will be sensible and notify the police of the hills they propose to use. The finest way of enjoying trials is, obviously, to compete in them. But those of us who are unable to do this for one reason or another should remember that efficient and conscientious marshals will be needed in considerable numbers, and that helping thus can be very good fun. A good organiser will give each party of marshals only one job to do, but when that job is completed it is often possible, by skilful map-reading and cross-country navigation, to see something of the other hills or tests. This freedom of exploring the countryside in winter with a definite objective is part of the fascination of the trials season. The busy, cheery scenes at the start, the pilgrimage to a venue well off the beaten track to await the arrival of the first competitor at your particular hazard, clock and watches “zeroed” to “standard time” before you set out, dispatching competitors up a muddy hill or through a special test, recording their performances and, finally, pulling off your gum-boots and driving hurriedly across country to the unique amusement prevailing as competitors come in to tea in a warm, brightly-lit room after clocking-off, ready for food and warm drink, is part and parcel of the trials game as marshals and officials see it. Make the most of it!

Cover Picture
It is said that Austins will be resuming racing next year with the little o.h.c. “Sevens” and that is very good news indeed. So we make no excuse for going back into the past this month and depicting on the cover Bert Hadley about to start at a pre-war Craigantlet hill-climb with one of these cars. The photograph is the work of Dermot P. Johnson. The o.h.c. racing Austin Seven, after the E.R.A., is Britain’s foremost all-round racing car. Something like 116 b.h.p. was developed at 7,600 r.p.m., equal to 155 b.h.p. per litre, and from 1936 up to the outbreak of war these cars gained many notable successes. These included a Brooklands lap at 121.22 m.p.h., the class Mountain lap record at 77.02 m.p.h., the bill record and f.t.d. repeatedly at Craigantlet, class wins at Shelsley Walsh and Prescott, and many racing victories.

The September Review of the Bentley Drivers’ Club leaves one astounded at its excellence and usefulness. Apart from humour of the brand originated by the V.S.C.C., interesting Bentley-flavoured articles and photographs of historic Bentley competition exploits, there is a list of 85 new members elected since last June, with their cars and registration numbers detailed, and reports of recent events. The club now has 253 members and, by a coincidence, as many members own several cars while others are temporarily car-less, there are 253 Bentleys on the strength. These are made up of 116 3-litres. 75 4 1/2-litres, 11 “blower” 4 1/2s, 20 6 1/2-litres, 14 8-litres, 6 3 1/2-litres and 11 4 1/4-litre Derby-built cars. The most astounding feat of club journalism also features in the current Review — a list of all Bentley chassis numbers from 1922 to 1931, with clues so that the different types, in detail, can be identified there-from and, further, a list of famous racing Bentleys, giving the driver in a given event, fate of car in that race, type, racing number, registration number, engine and chassis numbers, and present fate, if known. No one contemplating Bentley ownership can afford to be without this list, and in sheer gratitude to the club they should join forthwith. We find that a total of 3,040 old-school cars was made, as follows: 1,624 3-1itres, 50 4-litres, 54 “blower” 4 1/2s, 668 4 1/2-litres. 373 Sixes, 171 Speed Sixes, and 100 8 litres. This compares, we believe, with 815 “30/98s” made from 1914-1927

On October 5th the dinnner-dance was held at The “Dorchester.” As the Editor of Motor Sport was at Shelsley Walsh. Mrs. Buddy deputised for him. Here is a report or this event, in her own words: —
The evening was an outstanding success – the food good and George Carter’s band excellent. The toasts were short and interesting, and as that to “The Marque” was being proposed by the club’s president, W/Cmdr. Woolf Barnato, even those who do not own a Bentley must have felt a glow of pleasure as, with a roar from its engine and lowering of the lights, the curtain was raised to reveal on the statge an impressively-lit Bentley – John Emon’s, 4 1/4-litre team car which, in 1929, won the 500 Miles Race, was 3rd in the Six-Hour Race, and 4th at Le Mans. Considering that most cars are completely worn out before 100,000 miles, it is interersting to note that Emons has covered 200,000 miles in 12 years in this Bentley, and can still get over 100 m.p.h. from her. S.C. H. Davis responded for the guests and spoke of the sportsmanship or the team drivers of his racing days, which was very well received and G. H. Alexander received from F. C. Clement the club’s award for the best performance by a member driving at Bentley at the Gransden Lodge meeting. The dancing was gay, and for my part the effect of six years of war slipped away very easily. Gifts were presented during the evening, the intention being, I gathered, that those ladies who had arrived in open Bentleys should be should be the lucky ones. But so many ladies stepped forward that the secretary had to discriminate, and one present was given to Mrs. Truelove because she had motored front Shelsley Walsh in an open Bentley, which no one would have guessed. (My husband asks me to emphasise that his non-appearance should not be associated with the fact that he went to Shelsley in a Bugatti!) A most enjoyable evening as befits a club as live and enthusiastic as the Bentley Drivers’.

Hon. secretary: S. Sedgwick, “The Cobb”,Stoke Close, Cobham, Surrey.

The North London Enthusiasts’ Car Club held an interesting Concours d’Elegance at Elstree last September, judged by Mrs. Petre, Gregor Grant and Phillip Turner. Amongst the entries were Humphries’ 1904 Humber tricar, Edgar’s 1913 Morris-Oxford, Green’s Amilcar, Sharpe’s 1938 Marshall-blown Morris Eight, the first production-model f.w.d. Citroen, the open 2-seater 1946 Allards of Appleton and Burgess, Peter Clark’s new aerodynamic H.R.G., Way’s open V8 Jensen, of film fame, and – very welcome — two Alvis “Speed Twenty-five” saloons of the Hendon Police School. Secretary : G. Bance, 7, Queen’s Avenue, Muswell Hill, N.10.

Prix D’Hhonneur:
Allard, 1946: J. H Appleton.

Best-Kept Car:

M-type M.G., 1930 S. J. Humphries.

Vintage Car Award:
Morris-Oxford, 1913, 2-seater: W. E. Edgar.

Post-1930 Open Cars:
1st. 1946 Allard: K. K. L. Burgess.
2nd. 1946 H.R..G.: Peter Clark.
3rd. V8 Jensen: Raymond Way.

Post-1930 Closed Cars:
1st. Armstrong-Siddeley Coupé: D Murkett.
2nd. “Speed 25” Alvis: Metropolitan Police.
3rd. I935 Morris Eight: Layman.

Show Number
This misguided isle exists in a Sprint Age. France, on the other hand, although over-run by the Germans, has her motor racing and her Motor Show. So we are not in the least surprised to find Le Monde Illustre or October 5th a special Show Number, running to 64 large pages, lavishly produced and illustrated. The frontispiece of this issue devoted to “L’ Industrie Automobile dans le Monde” shows the start of a French race, Riley, Simca and elderly Bugatti to the fore. There are excellent pictures of Wimille’s new enclosed sports car and of futuristic Delahaye and Delage. The centre-spread, “Les Belles Voitures,” features Rolls-Royce, Mk. VI Bentley, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, and Cadillac.

In its July-September Gazette the Junior Car Club explains the reasons for failing to run a race on September 28th in conjunction with the B.R.D.C. Support “on a scale never before made available to motor racing” was offered by the Daily Graphic. In July the hitherto unco-operative Air Ministry offered the use of an airfield, Little Horwood, near Bletchlev, was judged most suitable by the J.C.C., but the Ministry of Supply refused to clear derelict vehicles from the perimeter roads. The Air Ministry offered Harrington, Nuneaton and Castle Dottington. The first two had been ploughed up, but the last-named was excellent and Lord Howe, Major Dixon Spain and others went to inspect it. The Air Ministry then changed its mind again and finally, after a conference attended by Lord Howe and several Government departments, withdrew its offer “owing to legal difficulties”. However, it then offered Seighford airfield, and called a conference of 19 people. Other Government departments were affable and the Board of Trade enthusiastic. The circuit wasn’t ideal for a big race and the Air Ministry now called for its pound of flesh, bringing in its financial section. When terms were proposed it was too late to do anything this year. However, the Air Ministry now promises to do its best to make an airfield available and to allow the R.A.C. to allocate this to deserving clubs. Fees will be payable to the Ministry, we gather. If this comes about the J.C.C. and B.R.D.C. will organise an International race as early as possible in 1947. The Ministry refers to the two meetings at airfields this year as a “mistake”, but we congratulate the officers who gave sanction without consulting higher authority – and we challenge the Air Ministry to explain in what way Elstree and Gransden racing was bad for this country.

Even More Promising . . .
. . . Jersey hopes to hold its Motor Week next year and, all being well, the J.C.C. will put on a big race there on May 8th, 1947. Whitney Straight may race again, and also wishes to establish a race circuit in this country. Brands Hatch motorcycle grass-track is being turned into a mile road circuit for motor-cycle racing and may one day be extended further, for car racing. John Cobb hopes to attack his own land speed record next year and has his eye on 400 m.p.h., and Oliver Bertram plans to do likewise, with a jet-car.

The tea and film-show of the Bugatti Owners’. Club at Dorking on October 20th was very well attended, and the 1946 films were shown. The Bugattis present comprised five versions of 57, including those of Col. Giles, Bear, Hampton and Heath; Abecassis’ G.P.; Williams’ Type 43 with Type 49 gearbox; Birkett’s Type 44; and Farquharson’s Type 30.

General Notes
Life has been almost pre-war in its Motoring intensity of late — and very nice too! Hardly had the joy of taking “Alphonse,” the aged Hispano-Suiza, to Cardiff subsided, ere we were off in the stern-sheets of a Bugatti to the Brighton speed trials, the homeward journey enlivened because we had an E.R.A. hitched-on behind. Is it idle curiosity, or latent unban enthusiasm, that arrests almost every pavement-user; young and old alike, that they may watch the passage of a racing car along English roads? — in our case, obviously a real racing-car, for it was entirely innocent of mudguards and carried a racing number which we really should have erased.

Following on the luxury of a speed event near home — the sprint at West Court — we had a more hectic time covering the international Prescott meeting. Torrential rain and something of a gale having put paid to light in the “village,” we sat in the gloaming awaiting the arrival of our companions for the morrow. They came in a Ford Ten in deference to the elements, but, the womenfolk deposited, we set out at once for London to bring back a faster vehicle. Along the unintentionally “blacked-out” roads we motored towards the luckier areas where adequate lighting twinkled ahead. The car radio gave us dance music until we entered the outskirts of the Metropolis as midnight struck. In South London we exchanged the “Ten” saloon for an ugly but effective V8 Ford service-lorry and by 2 a.m. were home again. Next morning produced an uneventful run to Prescott, a fast-travelling Hotchkiss saloon being disposed of between Witney and Cheltenham. That night we stayed at the “Plough,” putting the service-lorry away just as Leslie Johnson arrived with Tommy Doman, their Darracq very busines-like in the half-light

The Sunday morning was occupied with odd jobs on the Allard we were accompanying, and in trying unsuccessfully to tow-start a racing Riley. Out at the hill, we got in some trials driving training in the Paddock with the Ford lorry before it was parked to everyone’s satisfaction. After the meeting the evening (and a part of the Monday morning!) was occupied in a dice behind the Allard over the hills in teeming rain, a prolonged meal in almost the pre-war tradition (but less the bacon and eggs) at Sturt Farm, the shepherding of countless red, white and blue Allards (very imposing in the lamplight) into some sort of order on the Oxford By-Pass for their run home, and a cross-country tour, four up in the lorry’s cab, via Reading and Farnham back to Fleet.

Shelsley Walsh was the excuse for yet another fast, soul-satisfying run in the Type 44 Bugatti and, the day’s sport over, we took our place in that fascinating procession of enthusiasts’ cars which wound its way home through Martley and Worcester, the cloud-shrouded hills now a sombre background in the fast-failing light, the locals taking a lively interest in this curious cavalcade as far afield as Pershore and even in Chipping Norton, where a small café opened its door to us and fed cold, hungry mortals very adequately.

That over, Cofton Hackett had to be visited, and so on a not-very-inviting Saturday morning we were in the Bugatti again, going North, quickly, so that, in spite of a brief call in old-world Abingdon, we were able to eat a surprisingly good “light luncheon at the “Moat Farm” café beyond Stratford and still arrive in time for the start of the meeting. That meal did much to offset the depressing effect of the bleak country hereabouts. Birmingham’s environs, too, were drab enough, seen beneath a pall of extra unpleasant “cold front,” as we believe the “met.” people term it. On the homeward dice in the dark we got temporarily mixed up with some form of carnival which had managed to get Stratford-on-Avon’s main street closed for its own especial functions. We only hope the passage of a Bugatti, using its lower ratios, did not unduly disturb the illusion, apparently possessed by almost every local girl, that she could appear as one of Shakespeare’s noted characters merely by wearing a large paper hat . . . To offset that enjoyable but chilly run, we took the long-suffering Austin Seven to Horndean and got there in snug, if fumey, security. This same Austin has made certain necessary journeys up to London and back, tedious in some ways, but with interesting contrasts between the City, West End, suburbia, and the open country beyond Staines, not to mention the gamble as to how many of the ten sets of traffic lights will “pip” you along the arterial road into, or out of, Chiswick.

Then there was yet another jaunt along the sleepy, somehow-back-o’-beyond Berkshire lanes in search (as ever!) of a veteran car, fruitless, as it proved, but notable for the many interesting cars encountered en route that morning — a fine “30/98 ” Vauxhall in Maidenhead, Lycett’s 8-litre Bentley in store at Bray, a sober Austin Twelve saloon with a B.R.D.C. badge, a special “Brooklands” Riley Nine, an astonishing red “10/23” Talbot, a Meadows-Frazer-Nash, and an open 8th Series Lands “Lambda,” all told.

The time spent in Yorkshire seems an age ago already, yet a run thereto would not, somehow, come amiss. We recall stealing from the office on a sunny winter’s day to start immediately after lunch for Yarm, a curious town possessed of a wide, cobbled main street and some imposing viaducts. It is closely associated both with an outsize in floods and the founding of the Stockton and Darlington railway, way back in the dim ages. Its age-old garages boasted some intriguing cars and, from Harrogate, you could get there in an Austin Seven if you didn’t mind returning through the evening, as like as not in mist and rain. How enjoyable it would be to decide suddenly to go up there again, and to take a good car, knowing that home now lay far south of Harrogate, and to pack it all into a day’s concentrated motoring, perhaps returning cross-country! Why distance lends enchantment is a mystery, but it certainly does. As we have said, re-reading old touring articles, none seems absolutely to capture the spirit of this. But in a back issue of The Autocar, Michael Brown concludes an account of a 170-mile run: “Patches of mist gleamed wraithlike as the wet roads began to give up their moisture, reminding us that the season of the fog lamp was not far ahead now. Soon we were taking the thousand and one roundabouts on the Ewell ByPass.”

Meanwhile, Hampshire seems a pleasant county in which to reside. Surrey is at hand for visits, likewise Berkshire and Buckinghamshire; and somehow we prefer to visit, returning to Hampshire to reside. The close proximity of Blackbushe airfield and the Royal Aircraft Establishment, with its quota of anything from helicopter to jet-aircraft, and the contribution of old-world Tiger Moths from Chobham, lend an atmosphere of mechanised activity to our “village,” and this is accentuated by the presence of tanks and military vehicles on test over the common, as one comes to expect, living within three miles of Aldershot. The one main road which links with the Hartfordbridge Flats — over which so many famous cars were tested before sunrise in years gone by, the V8 Darracq amongst them, they say — in one direction and dwindles to Crookham Village in the other, is the communal shopping centre on all but Sunday, and parking is happy-go-lucky and unpoliced, the medley of insignificant saloons serving to offset the occasional presence of immaculate vintage Humber, Ford V8 “Special” or 2-litre Lagonda. Not far away the main railway line strikes out straight as a die for the West, so that there is magic in the place-names displayed on most of the coaches. Much of the country round about is criss-crossed by curious minor railway lines, but the canal to Basingstoke has long since all but dried up. One night, in a special Austin Seven, we tried to see at how many bridges we could drive across it, which led to the discovery of a local ruin; King John’s Castle, in the middle of a field and apparently inaccessible by car. A30, main thoroughfare to the West, runs over the Flats, after rising from Blackwater, to fall again to the pleasant straggly town of Hartley Wintney, once the home of the V.S.C.C., and losing nothing by lacking a railway station, a distinction it shares with Odiham, most of whose houses are said to be at least a hundred years old. Nor are we far from little lanes which rise steeply to the Hog’s Back, that road which proved so trying to automobilists of other days.

All around the pine trees dominate the undulating sand-hills and Brooklands doesn’t seem far away. Indeed, one is reminded of a passage from that great flying book by Cecil Lewis, “Sagittarius Rising,” wherein the author recalls the occasion when he, aged 17, received a telegram telling him to report to the R.F.C. at Brooklands “The moon-faced boy disappeared on his red bicycle between the tall pines. Surrey autumn, westering sun, bronze-plated tree-trunks, the scent of resin, matted pine-needles, toadstools, and out and away along the flanks of the hills the blazon of gold bracken and the crumbling dustiness of dead heather. . . . ‘Report on the fifteenth’ . . . ! A faint hum drifted over from Farnborough! Somewhere aloft there in the distance was a machine, a pilot, a comrade, sworn to the same fellowship of daring and loneliness in the high cold airs of evening. Report on the fifteenth.'” That, for Cecil Lewis, was to lead to true adventure: “I pushed out over the water at about a hundred feet, on a compass course for Calais. Immediately England was lost. . . . The fifteen-minute crossing seemed interminable. . . . I swooped for the sands, sped up the coast to Calais, found the main road to St. Omer, followed it over the town, and slipped in over the water tower on to the aerodrome, drenched in rain. ‘Where in hell have you dropped in from?’ said the C.O. ‘Brooklands.’ ‘God Almighty! On a day like this! What did you bring over?’ ‘ An S.E.5a. Here are the log books.’ I got a tender to Calais, caught the leave boat, and was back for dinner that night.”

Will students of the Sport accept our apology for an error in the Brighton Speed Trial results? Whincop and Grey (2.3 Bugattis) clocked 29.0 sec. and tied for 11th place, whereas in our list of the dozen best times we awarded this place to Parnell, and 12th place jointly to Mrs. Monkhouse and Bolster; the three last-named move below Whincop and Grey.