Monday, May 23, 2022

A visit to the Brooklands Museum pt1

The first batch of a slew of snaps from a recent visit to the Brooklands Museum. A wonderful day out and thoroughly recommended.

It's been a long time since I was last at the Museum so a pleasure to see that it is flourishing. The Museum is nowadays surrounded by a vast industrial estate and the neighbouring 'Mercedes Benz World' but it's good to see that within its boundaries the Museum is going from strength to strength with an enthusiastic band of volunteers and staff and many new exhibits since my last visit (I think some twenty years ago...)

The pictures start of with some of the bicycle collection. Though Brooklands is most associated with thunderous racing cars and motorcycles it was also a thriving venue for bicycle sport as well as, of course, a pioneering aviation site in Britain.

I used my British Motorcycle Charitable Trust card to gain free entry, membership highly recommended! I made sure though to help the Brooklands coffers by eating a hearty meal in their excellent restaurant!

1901 BSA fittings path racer.

Monitor Supercam front brake on a 1935

The 1935 Saxon from slightly further afield.

That's a late 1880s Quadrant hub centre steered
cycle nesting in the corner.

The Museum is unexpectedly home to
a large and impressive collection of
Raleigh cycles.

A lovely pair of Raleigh x frames. To the left a 1901
Model 20a Superbe Featherweight and on the right
a 1925 Model Superbe X ladies.

1905 x frame tandem in the Raleigh collection.

Wonderful 3d Raleigh advertising sign.

Above mentioned sign in the third dimension.

A 1950 'P Ellis & Co' Champion Model
R. Part of the Cyclists Touring Club collection.

Conloy steel front brake on the P Ellis.

Hiding at the back of the workshop is a 1912 Lorraine
Deitrich Grand Prix racer 'Vieux Charles III'.
The car was raced in the fourth ever GP in France in
1912 and thereafter brought over to Britain and raced
at Brooklands where it broke several circuit records.
After WWI the car was bought by Malcolm Campell
and became part of his 'Blue Bird' team of race cars.

The Halford Special was built by Major
Frank Halford, an aero engineer. The car
has an Aston Martin chassis and Halford's
own design of engine. When first built it
sported a turbo charger - the first known
fitment of a turbo to a car. In 1926 the car
won two raced on the Brooklands outer circuit
lapping at just shy of 110mph.

In the GP hall a Delage 15-S-8, Bugatti Type 37 and
the Halford Special.

1926 Delage 15-S-8. This car competed in the 1926
and 1927 British Grand Prix as part of the Delage
works team, it was then sold to Malcolm Campbell
who raced it at Brooklands and Southport. Later
in its life it passed through the hands of Prince Bira.
That's quite some history!


  1. Wonderful that these bikes and cars still exist to tell their stories. Only wish there was more elbow room in museums to show each off to its best advantage. Some art museums use invisible electronic devices to keep viewers at appropriate distance; that would at least get rid of the chains. I liked that you focused on details when they're special.

    1. Agreed, it would be nice at times to get closer to the exhibits. I guess unfortunately museums have to cater to the lowest common denominator as there are always some out there that can't look with their eyes. Many of the cars at Brooklands have values comparable to the Old Masters so the desire to keep folks at a distance is understandable. The good news though is that it is very much a working museum and exhibits are regularly taken out and exercised both at the museum and as attendees at events.