The Brooklands Museum is determined to celebrate that quite unofficial ladies’ race which Dame Barbara Cartland held at Brooklands on a non-race day 65 years ago, between society girls in a number of MGs, which took place in the summer of 1931. It was unpopular with the Brooklands authorities who judged it dangerous as the girls, unaccustomed to driving on the track, took to the open spaces of Brooklands. The first BARC Ladies’ race was held in 1908 and by the 1920s they had become an accepted part of the Brooklands scene. So I am surprised to learn that at the Museum on November 2 the Dame, some girls and MGs will re-enact that notorious Cartland frolic. Another piece of Brooklands Museum news is that it is hoping to get £10 million from the Heritage Lottery food in order to build another hangar to accommodate its aircraft exhibits and a visitor centre, situated close to the original Clubhouse in the Paddock.
The Clubhouse itself, the Test Hill and the sweep of the home banking are about all that is left to recall what the Track used to look like; the proposed hangar would alter that and block out the view of the banking from the Clubhouse. The plan seems also to conflict with the Brooklands Society’s desire to maintain and restore Brooklands as it was from both the motor-racing and aviation aspects. WB