Salmson Asides


You mention in the Salmson Fragments article one of the Directors as Frank Huff: I think this should be Hough. You also mention the French typist Mdlle. Kirkhover, this should be Kirkhoven. Again, you refer to “Sir Thompson’s nephews, Captain Edmonds and his brother”; this should be Sir Percy Thompson and the nephew Captain Edwards. You also say that I recall driving a chassis which was owned by Jack Dunfee to a Hersham body builder. This was not a chassis but a fully-fledged Grand Prix model and which, if my memory is correct, had been delivered minus wings and windscreen or some such thing, as I remember getting absolutely soaked on the very wet journey down. Later you refer to me as gaining the Novice Award in a Victory Cup Trial driving C. W. Johnstone’s standard sports model. This is incorrect and the trial was the famous London-Gloucester-London, with the piece de resistance being our then local horror Gambles Lane, now a tarmac road! There is also the dreadful question of my age, which you have described as 77. This really is most unworthy of you: I may look 77 but I am actually 73 and do not feel a day older.

You also say that I competed in M.C.C. trials in the early ‘twenties, as well as riding passenger to Bob Spikins, but that owing to a series of grievous misfortunes it was 1966 before I got my first “Gold”. This is quite true but for one of them I must put part of the blame on that well-known sportsman H. J. Aldington. At that time he was really going to-town with his team of chain-gang Frazer Nashes and I became completely obsessed with the speed, power, and hill-climbing abilities of these wonderful cars and in the 1924 (I think) London-Exeter, this brought about my Waterloo. In those days the trial consisted of a return journey, as you know. I had had a marvellous run, absolutely non-stop, and being always rather a “presser-on”, I had got rather fed-up with the then somewhat-low average road speed and on the run home, between Blandford and Salisbury, I was enjoying a friendly dice with the ‘Nashes, which were actually some few numbers ahead of me. Alas, in spite of feeble protestations from my passenger, all caution temporarily deserted me and we roared blindly along. Oh horror! As we flashed through the village of Coomb Bissett (there is a flint building with two wings, it is still there today), in between those wings was Billy Wells and his Chandler Six, operating a Secret Check, and that was that, for me. I must have been some ten minutes early, and of course that meant no award; no one to blame but myself, I suppose!

Charlton Kings Harold K. G. Garland

[I must again thank Mr. Garland for his help; the errors arose because we had to go to press before corrections to the draft of the article were received.—ED.]