Motor Racing - A Brief History of Brooklands Race Track

As my interest in music slowly wanes, I am more and more drawn to motor racing, in all its forms.
Last weekend we motored over in the Lotus Elite [1978] to the famous Brooklands racing circuit, or what's left of it, on the outskirts of London. As far as I know, Brooklands was one of the first purpose built racing circuits in the world, and it's steep banking is legendary.

Although most of the track is now gone, sold off to developers, the main stretch is preserved, along with the sheds that the teams used - people like Malcolm Cambell, father of Donald, both land and water speed record holders in their time, amongst others. Great names are painted meticulously on the shed doors, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, MG and so on.

The museum holds a fantastic collection of vintage cars, but we went when it was closed, so missed that.
Thing was, as it was closed, it afforded us a peak into a lost silent world of memories and imagination, as noone was about.

You could easily conjour up the beasts that hurtled their way over the stone pebbled concrete track, up the banking and pounding round the corners with their huge engines roaring. There was even a 'test hill' built, in order to test brakes and speed. It was all stunning. They even used the main track as an airfield in both wars.

The eeriest part came when we discovered the field filled with all the 'lost aircraft' parked up. 'British Sea Ferries', BOAC, RAF test planes and others I didn't recognize. And the surprise treat was seeing the nose of Concorde poking out of an enormous marquee, being completely rebuilt and restored, ready to go on show as part of the museum.
The conversation on the way home went along the lines of 'Where have all the great British Engineers gone?'.


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