I'd always wanted to visit Brooklands, the world's first purpose built racing circuit, constructed at Weybridge in Surrey and the birthplace of British Motorsport and Aviation.
|The Clubhouse, Brooklands|
The opportunity arose this weekend, when we were completing our duties as grand-parents at our eldest daughter's family home in Camberley. So, on a rather gloomy Sunday morning in May, we drove there to visit the Museum and the renowned banked circuit, at least what remains of it.
First port of call was the Malcolm Campbell Shed, formerly his workshop and showroom which now contains primarily Brooklands racing cars and amongst those, as expected I should add, were two Morgan three-wheelers.
|Morgan Model 'F' Two-Seater|
The Model 'F' two-seater was built in 1937 and had a 1172cc four cylinder side-valve Ford 10 engine and could be bought for the princely sum of £130. Up to this date the Morgans were powered by a variety of 'V Twin' engines, Anzani, Blackburne, J.A.P.,Matchless, M.A.G. but this new 'F' model had a new chassis, interconnected front and rear braking and powered by the four cylinder engine. They enjoyed huge success at Brooklands. In 1937 the factory was of course also manufacturing the new 4/4.
The Clive Lones Morgan was built to that gentlemans special requirements and raced at Brooklands from 1929 to 1935. It achieved 37 World Records and in 1930 was the first Light Car to lap the outer circuit at 100mph for which it was awarded the Gold Star by the British Motor Cycle Racing Club.
|The Clive Lones Morgan|
Interestingly the car was also part of the Morgan team that in 1931 experimented with pits-to-driver radio contact. The loudspeakers were defeated by noise, but the occasion attracted significant press attention!
Having looked at all the interesting exhibits in that part of the Museum and extracted my 3 year old grandson from the drivers seat of a McLaren F1 car, we moved on to the aeronautical buildings which house some wonderful historic exhibits, including a replica of the 'Roe 1' biplane, the original of which was used by A V Roe to carry out pioneering flight trials on the Finishing Straight in 1908, a Wellington Bomber, a Vickers Vimy, Hawker Hurricane and displays of Vickers' guided weapons and Barnes Wallis' bombs.
|The Members Banking|
The 'Concorde' which is an outside exhibit brought back many happy memories for me having flown in it from Manchester to Heathrow, sub-sonic of course!
The London Bus Museum was next on the agenda followed by a very long, steep climb alongside the Test Hill, 1 in 4 and 1 in 5, to the Members Bridge for a view of the Members Banking, the steepest part of the track, which reached nearly 29 feet high before descending onto the Railway Straight on the other side of the river. Those drivers were certainly courageous.
|On the Members Bridge|
This was a most enjoyable visit and although we spent only a few hours there, due to the obvious constraints of a junior member of the party, in different circumstances we could have spent a full day soaking up the atmosphere.
Highly recommended, and remember too, that 'Mercedes World' is just across the road if you fancy charging around their circuit or pitting your skills on their skid pan! Unfortunately I can't imagine that they will allow me to use their facilities in the Mog!