Brooklands Society comes of age

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The Brooklands Society’s 21st birthday party on September 11 was a pleasantly informal occasion. Dudley Gahagan opened the Test Hill ascents with me in Peter Agg’s impressive 38/250hp Mercedes-Benz, its blower shrieking on hill and banking, compensation for Dudley’s T37 Bugatti later stopping twice sans fuel-pressure.

A fine variety of cars followed, those with Track connections including the ex-Le Strange Metcalfe Fiat Balilla, the ex-Parnell MG Magnette, Delaney’s Hyper Lea-Francis and the 1908 Napier 60, on which Kaye Don’s widow enthusiastically requested a ride.

Others included a rare flat-radiator Morris two-door tourer, Leslie Ballamy’s Model B Ford Purdue saloon with LMB front axle for old times’ sake, at least three open vintage Bentleys watched over by Stan Sedgwick, and a Speed 20 Alvis in which, not to be outdone, my wife cadged a lift. Gahagan also had his recently-acquired part-Oats, part-Tozer, part-Zere Wade-blown Amilcar Six in the Paddock, whilst in the marquee, where I was asked to cut the first slice of birthday cake as member No 1, the Midland Motor Museum displayed the lap-record Napier Railton.

Something like 1500 members and friends gathered for a share of the cake, among them Mrs Hess and the granddaughter of Vernon Balls. In this happy atmosphere Sir Peter Masefield and the Executive Vice-Presidents were greeting their guests. WB