Brooklands Museum - Napier Railton

Brooklands Museum - Napier Railton

Brooklands Museum - The Clubhouse

Brooklands Museum - The Clubhouse

Brooklands, the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit, was built by local landowner Hugh Locke King on 330 acres of farm and woodland on his estate at Weybridge in Surrey. Work commenced in late 1906. As soon as the design of the track was entrusted to Colonel H.C.L. Holden of the Royal Artillery, the original plans began to grow beyond Locke King’s wildest expectations. Far from his initial idea of a simple road circuit, Locke King was persuaded that, in order for cars to achieve the highest possible speeds, with the greatest possible safety, the 2¾ mile circuit would need to be provided with two huge banked sections nearly 30 ft. high. The track would be 100 ft. wide, made of concrete and include two long straights, one running for half a mile beside the London to Southampton Railway, and an additional ‘Finishing Straight’ passing the Paddock and enclosures, bringing the total length of the track to 3¼ miles. This outstanding feat of engineering was built in only nine months and eventually cost Hugh Locke King his personal fortune. Before the first race was even run, Brooklands was the venue for a dramatic speed record attempt. A few days after the ceremonial opening of the Motor Course in June 1907, the motor-racing pioneer, Selwyn Francis Edge, used the Track for establishing a 24 hour record. With hundreds of roadside lanterns to mark the inner edge of the Track and bright flares to illuminate the rim Edge drove his green six-cylinder Napier for the whole 24 hours covering 1,581 miles at an average speed of almost 66 miles an hour. Supported by two other Napiers on the run, Edge established a record which stood for 17 years.

 

The first official race was held on the 6th July 1907 and was greeted by the press as a ‘Motor Ascot’. Because Brooklands was the world’s first purpose built motor racing circuit there were no established rules to follow. To begin with many of the procedures were based on horse racing traditions partly in an attempt to attract a ready-made audience to this new and curious sport. Cars assembled in the ‘paddock’ were ‘shod’ with tyres, weighed by the ‘Clerk of the Scales’ for handicapping and drivers were even instructed to identify themselves by wearing coloured silks in the manner of jockeys. At this time, even cycle racing was not approved of on the open roads and the Track proved to be a safe haven for cyclists as it had for the motor car. In September 1907 a 100 mile massed start cycle race was held, looking ahead to the great massed start cycle racing events at Brooklands of the 1930s. On the morning of 15th February 1913, in front of a large crowd of press and public, the small but courageous Brooklands racing driver, Percy Lambert, achieved 103.84 mph. Tragically, while trying to improve his own record a few months later, after promising his fiancée that he would attempt no more, he crashed and was killed on the Track. Many still say his ghost regularly walks at Brooklands in full racing attire. Motor racing stopped at Brooklands in 1914 with the outbreak of World War One.

 

Motorcycle racing started at Brooklands in 1908 and the British Motorcycle Racing Club - known as 'Bemsee' from its initials - was founded in 1909. Sidecar outfits joined the solo machines for racing and record breaking from 1912. The attendance at Brooklands motorcycle events was initially quite small, being mostly knowledgeable enthusiasts, and lacking the ‘Society’ element of the car racing crowd. However, an established pattern of race meetings emerged, speeds rose, the reliability of machines improved and a growing audience became attracted to motorcycle races. Two motorcycle events were held on the Track during the First World War, both organised by the British Motor Cycle Racing Club for men serving in the Armed Forces. One of these was the ‘All Khaki’ Meeting held on 7th August 1915. When the track reopened after the First World War, Brooklands was to witness the golden age of motorcycling when the British racing motorcycle was the best and fastest in the world. In 1933 ‘The Motorcycle’ magazine instituted a Clubman’s Day Meeting which proved an enormous success. Brooklands was the home of so many motorcycle riders. Workshops sprung up around the paddock with names of men and machines painted on the doors. Eric Fernihough, who took the Motorcycle Landspeed Record at Gyon in Hungary in 1937, had a garage by the perimeter of the track on the Byfleet Road. Many epic motorcycle record breaking attempts took place at Brooklands during the 1930s. Eric Fernihough raised the Brooklands lap record to 123.58mph in 1935 with his Brough Superior, topped in 1939 by Noel Pope at 124.51mph.

 

During the First World War the solid tyres of military lorries had played havoc with the track, and it was not until 1920 that Locke King had cleaned up sufficiently to enable the Brooklands Automobile Racing Club (BARC) to take over once again. Malcolm Campbell 1923Count Zborowski in a Mercedes leading Ellison in the 1912 15 litre Lorraine Dietrich 'Vieux Charles III 1924Throughout the 1920s the BARC continued to organise big popular race meetings, including the Junior Car Club’s famous 200 Miles Race, which first began in 1921. It was at this time that pre-war driver, Malcolm Campbell, returned to the scene from Army service as a Captain. Count Louis Zborowski was another great personality of Brooklands and raced a series of monstrous cars on the Outer Circuit, including the legendary Chitty Bang Bangs, in the early 1920s. In August 1926 the RAC organised the first-ever British Grand Prix, constructing sand chicanes along the Finishing Straight. The Junior Car Club 200 Miles Race was run again later that year and the race was won by Major Henry Segrave in a Talbot. A second British Grand Prix was held at Brooklands in 1927. From 1930 races on a smaller section of the track known as the 'Mountain Circuit' were introduced by the new Clerk of the Course, Mr A Percy Bradley. This fast and furious 1¼ mile lap running from the Fork to the rear of Members’ Hill and back, provided a cross between road and track racing. It was a tough course for the drivers and a stern test of acceleration, braking, and road-holding for the cars. The popularity of Brooklands grew throughout the 1930s. In 1930 the Clubhouse was extended to accommodate the social appeal of race meetings and the BARC adopted the slogan ‘The Right Crowd and No Crowding’. Brooklands, which was still the preserve of the wealthy amateur, became a fashionable venue on the sporting calendar along with Henley, Wimbledon and Ascot. Members of the BARC were often members of the Brooklands Flying Club as well and the airfield was a lively part of the track. The Paddock was a busy place as popular heroes mingled with Club Members or those spectators who could afford a paddock transfer pass into the’ inner sanctuary’.

 

he green-domed Clubhouse was built in 1907 to accommodate the race track officials such as stewards, the Clerk of the Scales and the Clerk of the Course. The Clubhouse also housed a weighbridge for the cars, changing rooms for the drivers and a large open viewing stand for the press facing south across the circuit. It had a bar and dining room exclusively for Brooklands Automobile Racing Club (BARC) members and their guests. In 1913 a luncheon room was added with stairs leading up from the Paddock, but it was not until 1930 that major alterations were made that included a Ladies’ Reading Room, Billiard Room, Members’ Lounge and Tea Room. Although anybody was allowed to join the BARC, few enthusiasts could afford to and, with its slogan “The Right Crowd and No Crowding” the club only admitted into the building those wearing their members’ or members’ guest badges. In 1947 the building was occupied by Barnes Wallis as part of the Vickers-Armstrongs Research and Development Department. Many alterations were made when rooms were turned into drawing offices and the original drivers’ bathroom was adapted as a shower room for those who worked in the newly-built Stratosphere Chamber next door. The Clerk of the Course’s Office, Ladies’ Reading Room and the Billiard Room have now been refurbished and form part of the Clubhouse displays.

 

The Malcolm Campbell Shed. 'The Great Racing Days of Brooklands' Exhibition. The World Land Speed Record holder Malcolm Campbell built his first shed here in 1926 and extended it in 1931. The building, surviving today, was used by him as office, workshop and showroom until around 1935. It was here that his successful ‘Blue Bird’ racing and world record-breaking cars were often kept, displayed or even built. The building was later taken over by leading motor engineers Thomson and Taylor as a workshop and showroom for Alfa Romeo and Railton cars. Today it houses a collection of racing cars, a driver’s study, an engineer’s workshop and displays of racing club memorabilia, around which the story of ‘The Great Racing Days of Brooklands’ is told. The ERA Shed – ‘Fastest on Earth’ Speed Record Exhibition. This building is the latest of all the Paddock workshops having been completed in the late 1930s. It was occupied by LBB Motors who needed unusually high external doors to accommodate the double-decker buses that they converted to use diesel. It was also used as a Paddock showroom for the renowned English Racing Automobiles (ERAs). By 1939 it was occupied by the Brooklands Engineering Company, well known for their ‘Martlet’ pistons. The building is now internally linked to the Malcolm Campbell Shed and continues the displays of racing and record cars, motorcycles and cycles. Here the ‘Fastest On Earth, exhibition recalls the countless speed records achieved at Brooklands and pays tribute to the Brooklands drivers, riders, mechanics and engineers who claimed new records across the world.

 

The Racing Lock-Ups – ‘Raleigh Cycle Exhibition’. These garages were rented by drivers and motorcyclists to house their racing machines and prepare them for competition. Raleigh Cycle Exhibition The Racing Lock UpsBuilt in 1927, the lock-ups changed hands continually but some of the doors were colourfully painted with names of the businesses that the occupiers ran. Inside, the building now links with the ERA shed and continues the story of the quest for speed, efficiency, and safety in the Raleigh Cycle Exhibition. The Brooklands Track was a popular venue for Cycle Racing in the 1930s following the Charlotteville Cycling Club’s massed start race in 1933, but the bicycle was also an essential means of transport for the majority of people who could not afford a motor car. Many race spectators, mechanics, aircraft factory employees and even pioneer aviators depended on their bicycles to get them to Brooklands and home again. The Raleigh Cycle Exhibition follows the development of cycling from the ‘Hobby-horse’ and ‘Penny Farthing’. The exhibition also includes the earliest known Raleigh ‘Safety’ bicycle in the reconstructed Raleigh Street Workshop; the influence of the bicycle on social change; 100 years of racing cycles and the record breaking 200 mph carbon fibre ‘Ultimate Bike’ of 1995.

 

The Jackson Shed – ‘Grand Prix Exhibition’. This shed was built in 1931 by Robin Jackson, one of motor racing’s leading engineers and tuners at the time. It became famous as the ‘Robinry’ where drivers could have cars serviced and tuned to the highest possible standards by the small team of engineers that worked there. Robin Jackson, himself a racing driver, specialised in the maintenance of MG cars but was also well known for building ‘specials’ such as the Appleton-Riley and the Bentley-Jackson. Following World War Two, Jackson set up premises locally in Byfleet and continued to work on record-breaking and Grand Prix cars through the 1940s and 50s. Today the building has been restored to its 1930s appearance and houses a Grand Prix Exhibition celebrating Brooklands as the venue for the first ever British Grand Prix races in 1926 and 1927. The development of Grand Prix racing in Britain is represented in displays of historic cars, photographs, costume and memorabilia from the 1920s and 30s up to the present day. The Jackson Shed is also home to their new Formula 1 Simulator, on which you can drive the following cars on the Brooklands Outer Circuit, Campbell Circuit and Mountain Circuit: Pre-War cars including E.R.A. Type B, Maserati 6CM, Mercedes-Benz W125, Alfa Romeo 12C 36, Auto Union Type C and 1928 Mercedes SSK; 1955 Mercedes Benz W196; 1979 McLaren M26; Wolf WR7 (James Hunt car as seen in the Museum); 1991 McLaren MP4/6 (Senna car as seen in the Museum); 2007 McLaren MP4-22 (the car in which you sit to operate the simulator). This is a genuine F1 car kindly loaned to them by McLaren. Please note that drivers must be taller than 1.5m and be able to enter & exit the car unaided (body weight needs to be taken on the arms and the foot well has restricted width).

 

Dunlop Mac’s Tyre Depot. Dating from 1921, this is the earliest of the sheds in the motoring village. Dunlop Mac’s Tyre Depot was the Brooklands headquarters of the Dunlop Tyre Company’s racing manager, Norman Freeman. The Track was used extensively for testing tyres, as it was a unique venue in this country where cars could be driven unhindered and at top speed for as long as necessary. It was tyre-fitter David McDonald who supervised tyre changes at race meetings and was best known among the Brooklands racing community - his name has therefore always been associated with the building which became known as ‘Dunlop Mac’s’. Part of the building is now a Museum vehicle workshop. Petrol Pagodas. The leading oil and petrol companies were keen to have a presence at Brooklands, supplying fuel for racing and testing. In the early 1920s some built their own depots here, each with a manager’s office, store, forecourt and pumps. Fuel was often blended to meet a driver’s own requirements and the companies often sponsored competitors in the hope of publicity on the back of their success. The Shell and BP Petrol ‘Pagodas’, both dating from 1922, have been fully restored to their 1920s or 30s external appearance, as has the Pratts (later Esso) Pagoda.

 

Test Hill was built in 1909 as another facility to encourage use of the track for development and test work. It is 352 feet long and divided into three sections, starting with a gradient of 1 in 8, then 1 in 5 and the top third has a gradient of 1 in 4. It was used by manufacturers to test both the ability of cars to climb steep hills and also of their brakes to stop them coming down. Records: As performance increased, cars and motorcycles driven at full bore inevitably ‘took off’ when they got to the top. This extra spice of danger made it an irresistible attraction to some of the Brooklands drivers, and the Test Hill Record became a recognised institution until speeds got so high that there was not enough room at the top for a safe landing. The record climb in 7.691 seconds (an average of 31.277 mph) stood for nearly seven years until on the 25th October 1932 R.G.J. Nash (no relation to Archie Fraser Nash) driving a Frazer Nash special called ‘The Terror’ established the all-time car record for Test Hill with 7.45 seconds (an average of 32.444 mph) . ‘The Terror’ crested the rise at about 50mph and flew about 40 feet before landing! Motorcyclists had the more daunting prospect of not only taking to the air but probably parting company with their machines in the process. Nevertheless, they were faster than the cars. On 9th June 1936 Francis Beart, on a Grindlay-Peerless, fitted with a 500cc speedway-type J.A.P. engine, established the all-time Test Hill Record at 6.99 seconds (an average of 34.55 mph). Beart came off on landing, but was unhurt.

 

The 24 Litre Napier-Railton Endurance Record and Track Racing Car. Commisioned by the Brooklands driver John Cobb, and designed by Reid Railton, the car was built by Thomson and Taylor at their engineering works within the Brooklands Track. The car was completed in 1933 and first appeared in a race at Brooklands in August of that year. John Cobb and his co-drivers achieved many Brooklands and World speed records with the car. Probably the most notable of these are the 24 hour record of 150.6mph set on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1936 and the Brooklands Outer Circuit Lap Record of 143.44mph set by John Cobb in 1935, which was never beaten. The Napier-Railton’s racing days at Brooklands came to an end in 1937. In 1949 the car was hired from John Cobb by the Romulus Film Company and was used in ‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’, a film about a racing car driver. In 1951 the car was sold to the GQ Parachute Company of Woking. GQ had the car modified and fitted with test equipment capable of deploying an aircraft braking parachute at high speed, and then retracting the parachute when the speed had dropped to about 30 knots. These experimental trials were carried out on Dunsfold airfield and proved to be most successful. After the parachute testing trials the car was acquired by Patrick Lindsay. It was overhauled by the engineering company Crosthwaite and Gardner, and then used by Lindsay in VSCC races. Technical Information : The car is fitted with a modified Napier Lion XI aero engine, chosen for its power and reliability. The engine has 12 cylinders in three banks of four, arranged in a ‘W’ or broad arrow configuration. The cylinder bore is 5.5” (139.7mm), and stroke is 5.125” (130.2mm) giving a total capacity of 23,970cc. It is fitted with double overhead camshafts, with four valves and two spark plugs per cylinder. Ignition is provided by twin Watford type 12B magnetos. The rated brake horsepower for the engine is 530 bhp at 2350rpm. The transmission via a Borg and Beck single plate dry clutch to a Moss three speed non-synchromesh gearbox, with no reverse gear. There is no self starter- the car is push started. The car was originally fitted with 16” drum bakes to the rear wheels only. These were changed to Dunlop 6 cylinder calliper disc brakes in the early 1950s when the car was used for testing aircraft braking parachutes. There is a transmission hand brake. In its present form the car weighs just over 2 tons . Overall length of the car is 16ft 3in, wheelbase 10ft 10in , and the track 5ft 3in. The fuel tank has a capacity of 15 gallons. The engine has dry sump lubrication, and the oil tank capacity is 15 gallons. The lubricating oil is Castrol GP50.

Brooklands Museum - Concorde

Brooklands Museum - Concorde

Brooklands Museum - Vickers Viscount

Brooklands Museum - Vickers Viscount

 

AUDIO

Aviation

Brooklands was a major centre for aircraft design, construction and flight testing for most of the 20th century. From A V Roe’s first trials here in 1907-08, through many decades of manufacture by such companies as BAC, Bleriot, British Aerospace, Hawker, Sopwith and Vickers, no other place in Britain, possibly even in the world, has seen such achievements. Some 18,600 new aircraft of nearly 250 types were first flown, manufactured or assembled at Brooklands. In June 1908 A V Roe made significant taxying and towed flight trials in his Roe 1 Biplane at Brooklands and at Lea Valley in 1909 he became the first Englishman to fly in a powered aeroplane of his own design. In 1909 the BARC arranged for an area in the middle of the Track to be cleared to create one of Britain’s first aerodromes, enabling Louis Paulhan to give Britain’s first public flying demonstration that October. Soon other pioneers were attracted to Brooklands. The best known of these was Tommy Sopwith who learned to fly here in 1910 and subsequently formed and led first the Sopwith and later the Hawker aircraft companies which produced the majority of Britain’s fighter aircraft in the the 20th century. In 1911 the world’s first Flight Ticket Office was built in what soon became known as the Brooklands Flying Village. Here groups of simple wooden sheds housed many of the greatest pioneers of British aviation from 1910 to the outbreak of World War One. These were immortalised in the 1960s film ‘Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines’ which was based around The Daily Mail Circuit of Britain Air Race held at Brooklands in 1911.

 

Brooklands performed a crucial role in Britain’s defence and ultimate victory in two world wars. In 1915 Vickers started manufacturing aircraft at Brooklands and progressively extended their premises with the growing demand from military contracts. Women increasingly replaced the men in the factory who had been called away for war. The first true Vickers fighter to go into production at Brooklands was the Gunbus, the world’s first aircraft specifically designed to mount a machine gun. This was followed by the twin-engined Vimy, a long range bomber. Alongside Vickers’ production, the output of the Sopwith Aviation Company was even more prolific. Besides a large number of prototypes, numerous Camels, Snipes, Pups and Triplanes came off the production lines in nearby Kingston and were all test flown and delivered from Brooklands. Vickers and Sopwith, together with the Martinsyde and Bleriot companies who also had factories close to Brooklands, supplied the British air forces with most of the aircraft which won air superiority over the Western Front.

 

When war began again in September 1939, the Vickers-Armstrongs and Hawker aircraft companies had exclusive use of the Brooklands site for military aircraft production. The Wellington was one of the world’s most advanced bomber aircraft at the start of World War Two and bore the brunt of the Allied bomber offensive in the early 1940s. Of 11,461 Wellingtons built by Vickers by 1943, 2,515 were built at Brooklands – one fifth of the total number. All 18 variants were developed and test flown here too. Throughout the war Wellingtons performed an extraordinary variety of roles and the type was Britain’s most numerous and successful twin-engined bomber of that conflict serving throughout the RAF. In September 1985 Wellington ‘R for Robert’ was recovered from Loch Ness, having ditched there during a training flight in 1940, and returned to Brooklands where it has since been meticulously restored. Britain’s most successful fighter aircraft of this era was the Hawker Hurricane designed by Sydney Camm at nearby Kingston. It was assembled and first flown in prototype form at Brooklands in November 1935. Altogether, 3,012 Hurricanes were produced at Brooklands – one fifth of the total built. When the Battle of Britain was fought in the summer of 1940 it was due to the tremendous production and test flying effort at Brooklands and other factories and to the skills of the RAF pilots that the Hurricane became the chief victor of this decisive engagement. At the time, Hurricanes equipped no less than two-thirds of RAF single fighter squadrons. A Brooklands-built Hurricane was recovered from Russia in 1997 and is now on display in the Aircraft Hangar. Renowned engineer, designer and inventor, Sir Barnes Wallis spent almost four decades working at Brooklands - most notably on the Wellington bomber and the ‘bouncing’ bomb. He also successfully developed the Tallboy and Grand Slam ‘earthquake’ bombs, the largest conventional bombs used in the war.

 

Vickers 290 Wellington 1A N2980 (1939). N2980 is the only surviving Brooklands-built Wellington. During a training flight on the 31st December 1940 she developed engine trouble and ditched into Loch Ness. All the crew escaped, but the rear gunner was killed when his parachute failed to deploy. Developed from the Wellesley, the Wellington prototype first flew at Brooklands in 1936. Its fabric-covered geodetic structure was able to absorb heavy damage, and it was the only British bomber to be used throughout World War Two, serving with Bomber, Coastal, Transport and Training Commands. Altogether 11,461 Wellingtons were produced, 2,515 of these at Brooklands. First flown on 16th November 1939, by Vickers’ Chief Test Pilot ‘Mutt’ Summers, N2980 was first issued to 149 Squadron at RAF Mildenhall and allocated the squadron code letter ‘R’ for ‘Robert’. It took part in the infamous Heligoland Bight raid on the 18th December 1939, during which over half of the twenty-two Wellingtons involved were shot down by German fighters. N2980 later served with 37 Squadron at RAF Feltwell, taking part in fourteen operations including day and night raids. In 1976 the Wellington was located by a team of American Loch Ness Monster hunters and was successfully salvaged on 21st September 1985 by the Loch Ness Wellington Association assisted by the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Despite nearly forty-five years underwater, the aeroplane was remarkably well preserved. The taillights still worked when connected to a modern battery and many of the crew’s personal effects remained in the fuselage.

 

Hawker Hurricane IIA Z2389 (1940). Built in 1940 by Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Kingston-on-Thames, then assembled and test flown at either Brooklands or Langley, Z2389 came from the 5th production batch of 1,000 RAF Hurricanes delivered from August 1940 to July 1941. Z2389 served with five different RAF Squadrons in 1941, including the American volunteer 71 ‘Eagle’ Squadron at Martlesham Heath. As part of emergency war supplies for Russia, Z2389 was crated up and loaded on the merchant ship SS ‘S85’ which joinied Convoy PQ16. The convoy left for Murmansk on 21st May 1942. With 35 vessels, this was the largest Russian convoy so far - losing seven cargo ships en route. On arrival the aircraft joined 767 Regiment of the Red Air Force on the Kola Penninsula. On the 20th June 1942, it engaged two Messerschmitt Bf109Fs and five Bf110s over a remote part of Murmansk but was shot down along with two other Hurricanes. Z2389’s pilot F/Lt Ivan Kalashnikov survived the forced landing. Fifty years later, Z2389 was found by Russian historians and its remains were taken to St Petersburg in 1996. Z2389 arrived at Brooklands on the 14th October 1997. Its restoration began in 1999 and it was unveiled on the 75th anniversary of the first flight of a Hurricane, which took place at Brooklands on the 6th November 1935. Restoration to taxying condition continues. By Hurricane Z2389 is an exhibition opened in 2010 on ‘Brooklands in the Battle of Britain’, which traces the role of Brooklands in the famous World War Two battle, including the two air raids on the Brooklands site on the 4th & 6th September 1940.

 

Concorde G-BBDG ‘Delta Golf’ (1974). The Brooklands Concorde G-BBDG was the second production Concorde and the first British production aircraft, with construction beginning in early 1970 at Brooklands and Toulouse. Delta Golf’s first flight was made by Peter Baker and Brian Trubshaw on February 13th 1974, and its first flight at Mach 2 on April 10th 1974. On July 6th, 1974, following a series of proving flights, she became the first production Concorde to land at London Heathrow. She performed engineering tests, route proving, CAA certification, public relations and promotional work and, in the course of this programme, flew in formation with the Red Arrows. In 1974, DG was also the first aircraft ever to carry 100 people in supersonic flight. With her final landing at Filton on Christmas Eve in 1981, piloted by Peter Baker and Roy Radford, Delta Golf had undertaken 633 flights 1,282 hours in the air. The aircraft was then stored at Filton and, in 1984, was sold to British Airways who used her as a source of spare parts for their Concorde fleet. A ‘Brooklands Concorde’ restoration appeal was launched and re-assembly of the main structure was carried out by an ASI team from March to December 2005. With considerable help from sponsors and many Museum volunteers, this aircraft was further restored, complete with a unique on-board exhibition. The Brooklands Concorde Experience is a 35-minute visit to see inside one of the world’s most iconic aircraft and to enjoy a virtual ‘flight’. In addition, there are number of Concorde Special Events including flying the Concorde Simulator, Concorde Champagne Days, and Deluxe and Technical Concorde ‘Flights’. Full details of all these can be found in the Concorde Brochure. The 30 minute visit on board Concorde includes an exhibition in the rear cabin about how the aircraft was built and its connection with Brooklands. After passing through a display of Concorde interiors through the decades, take your seat in the front cabin for a virtual flight, piloted by Captain Mike Bannister. The flight deck may be photographed before you leave the aircraft.

 

BAC One Eleven 475 G-ASYD (1965). This BAC 1-11 was retained by the British Aircraft Corporation throughout its 29-year flying career. During this time it was used as a development and test aircraft for 1-11 variants and testing technical equipment. The BAC 1-11 was developed from a Hunting Aircraft Ltd design and was one of Britain’s best-selling airliners. The first prototype flight was from Hurn in August 1963 and the initial customer was British United Airways. This aircraft was the prototype 400 series first flown 13th July 1965, piloted by Peter Baker. It was then converted to the series 500 prototype before being converted into the series 475 prototype, which is the configuration it is currently in. Donated by British Aerospace Airbus ltd, G-ASYD made its final (5,043rd) landing at Brooklands on 14th July 1994. The BAC 1-11 still operates with corporate services and in 2007 an RAF Tornado pilot successfully flew a 1-11 remotely whilst simultaneously piloting his fighter and three simulated aircraft during testing of the TIARA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control system. Vickers 806 Viscount G-APIM (1958). The Vickers Viscount, the world's first turboprop airliner was one of the few commercially successful aircraft programmes of postwar Britain. The first flight of the prototype was made at Wisley on 16/7/48 and in 1953 the first production aircraft, which were powered by four 1,890hp Rolls-Royce Dart RDa.7 Mk520 engines, entered regular service with British European Airways (BEA). Viscount production ceased in the early 1960s after 444 had been made.

 

Vickers Merchantman (Vanguard) 1969. This is the only surviving example of the 44 Vickers Vanguard airliners produced. The Vanguard was conceived as a replacement for the Viscount for BEA and TCA (now Air Canada), who were looking for an aircraft capable of carrying over 100 passengers. The engines selected were Rolls-Royce Tynes. Although these gave a significant increase in power over the Viscount’s Dart engines, they would prove too slow in comparison to the jet engines appearing on competitor airliners. This aircraft was built at Brooklands as a Vanguard, and had its maiden flight on 29th November 1961. BEA took delivery in December, when they christened it ‘Superb’. In 1969 it was withdrawn from service and converted into a Merchantman, and would serve BEA/BA until 1981. Vickers Varsity T.1 WF372 (1951). Derived from the Viking and Valetta, the Varsity was an aircrew trainer used primarily by the Royal Air Force. 163 aircraft of this type were built and of these, 36 were built at Brooklands, with many replacing the RAF's Wellington trainers in the early 1950s. In 1956 Varsity aircraft were used in Australia to gather air samples after nuclear tests. This was the 18th Varsity built, first delivered to the RAF in 1951 and finally retired from No. 6 Flying Training School at RAF Finningley, Yorkshire, in 1976.

 

Vickers FB27 VIMY Replica, ‘NX71MY’ (1994). The Vickers Vimy was designed as a long-range bomber capable of delivering a one ton payload to central Germany. Deliveries to the RAF began in October 1918, just too late to see operational use in World War One. However, pioneering flights across the Atlantic, from England to Australia and London to Cape Town would ensure its place in aviation history. This modern reproduction was commissioned by Peter McMillan in 1994 to re-enact the type’s three long distance flights of 1919-20. Its first flight was made in California on the 30th July 1994. In 1994 it flew the epic 75th anniversary flight to Australia, piloted by Peter McMillan and Lang Kidby. In 1999 it successfully flew to South Africa, piloted by Mark Rebholz and John LaNoue and on 2nd -3rd July 2005, the Vimy achieved the ultimate goal when Steve Fossett and Mark Rebholz successfully re-enacted Alcock & Brown’s trans-Atlantic flight from St Johns, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland, in just under 19 hours. Vickers VC10. The first VC10 flew from Brooklands on the 29th June 1962, and was the largest all-British production airliner ever built. With four Rolls-Royce Conway engines grouped in pairs at the back it is very loud by modern standards, although for its time it was regarded by passengers as quiet and comfortable, something the original operator, BOAC, was keen to trumpet, describing it as “triumphantly swift, silent, serene”. A further 53 examples (32 ‘standard’ and 22 Super VC10s) left the factory here over the next eight years. The largest VC10 customer was the British Overseas Airways Corporation, other operators including British United Airways, Ghana Airways and the Royal Air Force. The RAF bought 14 new VC10s in the 1960s for strategic transport and later went on to purchase aircraft retired from the commercial market, converting a further 14 into air-to-air refuelling tankers during the 1980s and ‘90s. In total, the RAF has operated 28 VC10s of differing variants, and the aircraft conducted a range of tasks from troop and VIP transport, aero-medical missions and air sampling after nuclear tests. There are three VC10's here ex G-ASIX/A4O-AB (1964); G-ARVM (1964) and ZA150 (1969).

 

The Stratosphere Chamber. The Stratosphere Chamber was designed under the direction of Barnes Wallis in 1946 to form a key part of the new Vickers-Armstrongs Research and Development Department. Its purpose was to test aircraft components under the environmental conditions experienced at 70,000 feet; the height at which Wallis’s designs for new supersonic aeroplanes would fly. This meant the reproduction of temperatures as cold as anywhere on the earth’s surface and an air density one-twentieth of that at ground level. Because some of the design problems were similar to those of submarines, it was manufactured in pieces at Vickers Shipbuilders of Barrow-in-Furness, transported by road to Weybridge and erected on what is now the Bus Museum site, before being ‘launched’ on to its present foundations in September 1947. A large refrigeration plant supplied very cold methanol liquid to ‘coolers’ at the four corners of each of the air circulation ducts. One end of this complete structure, The Great Door, is carried on wheels and can be moved to one side to give access to the working section to carry out experiments. The Chamber was in operation until 1980. Among the tests done in the Chamber was work on pressure cabins for the Viscount, Vanguard and VC10. Complete aeroplanes including the Scimitar and Sea Vixen were also tested there as were helicopters, naval guns, trawlers, buses and tanks. The building also houses the Museum’s collection of aero engines, ranging from early air-cooled piston engines to advanced turbofan jet engines. Next to the Control Room the Brooklands Radio Display can be found.

 

Guided Weapons. Having been the hub of Barnes Wallis’ secret weapons production during World War 2, weapons development continued at Brooklands during the Cold War era. Engineers at Brooklands developed a range of guided weapons for a variety of purposes during the 1950s and 60s. These included cruise missiles, TV-guided bombs and anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. Vickers also had a team in Australia and conducted trials at Woomera using Canberra and B-29 Washington bomber aircraft. Their Guided Weapons exhibition is housed in the Wellington Hangar (where many of them were designed) with interactive displays normally manned by volunteers of the Guided Weapons Team on Tuesdays and Fridays. The following missiles are on display: Canberra with two Red Dean Missiles over Wisley Runway ; Red Dean - This air-to-air missile was designed at Brooklands and tested with Canberra aircraft from nearby Wisley in the mid 1950s (see picture © BAE Systems) but was cancelled in 1956. Our displays include two full-size test versions of the missile. Blue Boar. This 5,000lb air to ground TV-guided gliding bomb was designed at Brooklands in the early 1950s with the intention of delivering warheads onto Russian targets. A full-size mock-up is currently undergoing restoration. Red Rapier - This surface to surface radar-guided missile was designed to be launched from a catapult similar to the WW2 German V1 flying bomb, although it flew at 50,000ft and Mach 0.83 compared to the V1, which flew very low and around 400mph. The project was cancelled in 1954. A one third scale test model is on display. Vigilant - An anti-tank weapon that could be carried by a person, Vigilant missiles were also mounted on Ferret scout cars and Land Rovers. Designed at Brooklands, over 17,000 of these anti-tank missiles were built at BAC Stevenage and supplied to the British army and also exported until the late 1970s. Several examples are displayed at the Museum including a sectioned missile and the image shows Vigilant being fired from its Carry Box Launcher. Rapier - This low-level anti-aircraft missile was designed at Brooklands as the Light AA Missile, before being developed further at BAC Stevenage. A mainstay of the British Army, and successful export product, Rapier was used in the Falklands War. An example of a Drill Round is on display.

 

Brooklands Museum is a large open air museum with many period buildings and exhibits, some with stepped access. All exhibits are wheelchair accessible. However there is no wheelchair access on board their aeroplanes, which all have steps (including Concorde). The Concorde Simulator is fully accessible with ramped access. Accompanying carers may be admitted free of charge where their presence is essential for a visit to the Museum. Disabled parking is available near the Main Visitor Entrance. Three wheelchairs and a mobility scooter are available for visitors to borrow. These may be reserved in advance of your visit. There are toilets at the Clubhouse (Radar Key), Jackson Shed, Vickers Suite and in the London Bus Museum. Baby changing facilities are available in the Clubhouse and in the Jackson Shed. Assistance dogs (guide dogs and hearing dogs for the deaf) are welcome throughout the Museum.

London Bus Museum

London Bus Museum

London Bus Museum

London Bus Museum

 

AUDIO

London Bus Museum

 

The London Bus Museum houses the world’s largest collection of historic London buses, covering 150 years of development – from the horse-drawn buses of the 1870s to the driver-operated, rear-engined 70-seaters of the 1970s. Their buses fall into 3 categories: The main display, arranged in an historical time-line; A working fleet of buses which can ‘come out to play’; Buses undergoing restoration and rebuilding. The majority of their buses – up to 30 at any one time – are always on display in the Museum. They are arranged in a walk-through timeline in galleries representing each significant era in the development of the London bus. Although on display, most of these buses are in working order and also appear on the road from time to time. They are much in demand for film and TV work. Each gallery features a background diorama of a contemporary street-scene together with displays of information and associated small artefacts. As their resources allow, they will add inter-active and audio-visual displays to further enhance the visitor experience.

 

1. Foyer & Welcome. 2. Era of the Horse Bus and Transition to Mechanical power 1829-1914. Step back in time in this diorama of Mansion House in 1900…follow George Shillibeer’s first London horse bus service in 1829 into the “knifeboard” and “garden seat” designs and early experimentation with steam, through 85 years of development. Finally, late in the 19th century, the need to carry London’s increasing numbers of passengers faster, farther and more efficiently, spawned a variety of ingenious mechanical buses, steam, electric, a combination of petrol and electric - and petrol, which swept the last of the horse buses from London streets by 1914. 3. Emergence of the Motor Bus 1914 - 1929. After the Great War, social changes and London’s expanding suburbs led to a huge increase in public travel, so hard-pressed operators sought larger buses to carry more passengers. “Roaring 20s” London was a wonderland of buses of all shapes and and types in the brightly coloured liveries of a vast number of bus companies, including the independent operators, the so-called “pirates”. By the end of the 1920s, buses had covered top-decks, softer-ride, pneumatic balloon tyres for improved passenger comfort and drivers’ cabs now had a windscreen against the weather.

 

4. The Decade of Development: the 1930s. In the 1930s, the pace of development increased dramatically and the London bus began to look like those we all still recognise today. A 1933 Act of Parliament compulsorily purchased all London’s bus companies to form the world’s biggest public transport undertaking, the London Transport Passenger Board (“London Transport”). There followed great leaps forward in the modern motor bus: diesel engines replaced petrol and semi-automatic transmission (preselector gearboxes with fluid flywheels) and power brakes all appeared in the early 1930s together with a pleasing elegance of design and improved passenger comfort. The shape of things to come is indicated by the AEC “Q” type revolutionary single decker with underfloor engine amidships and semiautomatic transmission, 20 years ahead of its time.

 

5. RT: The Bus designed for London. When London Transport took over in 1933, it found itself with a headache – trying to service and repair hundreds of different types and makes of inherited buses and coaches. It decided that, as soon as it could, it would replace them all with just a few types of specially-designed buses built for the rigours of working in London’s tough traffic conditions. In a final pre-war triumph, on 9th August 1939, just three weeks before the outbreak of World War 2, LT’s famous Chiswick Works unveiled its first advanced, state-of the art, standardised double-decker bus designed and specially built for London. But war-clouds were gathering over Europe and only 150 of the new buses could be built before WW2 called a halt and it would be nine long years before the aim of standardising on the new type of bus was accomplished.

 

6. World War 2 - London’s Buses...carry on! During 1940/1941 the Luftwaffe’s bombing of London wrought devastation, killing and injuring thousands and destroying hundreds of buses. It led to a desperate shortage of transport for Londoners, who somehow, just carried on. Initially, the government did not permit the construction of new buses – the war effort came first – and buses had to be borrowed from the provinces. Later, the government was forced to relent and allow a limited production of buses to re-commence. Known as ‘Utility Buses’, these were built to strict austerity standards, using any available wood and metal left over from the war effort but these buses helped to replace those destroyed by air raids. Crude but functional, with wood slatted seats, angular lines, and a single skin, these Guys, Daimlers and Bristols were quite alien to London but they played a vital role in keeping war-time London moving. Their G351 Guy Arab Mk1 (1945) is the sole survivor of this fleet of 800 war-time “utility” buses.

 

7. Post WW2 Austerity & Hardship. After the 2nd World War Britain entered a grim period of, if anything, worse austerity as the desperate shortage of money and raw materials bit hard. London Transport’s worn out, ageing bus fleet, battered by enemy action and made worse by minimum maintenance had soldiered on years past its withdrawal date. Finally, in a situation of desperate need, the British Transport Commission allowed LT to have a limited supply of new buses, mostly of provincial designs such as the Leyland single-deck TD95. These were not up to LT’s sophisticated specifications,but they bridged the gap until the new RT-family of advanced, standardised buses began to arrive in 1947. 8. New Buses for Old. After 1947, the trickle of the new RT-family standardised double-deckers became a flood and, by the mid 1950s, almost 7,000 of them had swept away all the worn out, pre-war time fleet as well as the “utilities” and London’s last trams. Bus services expanded rapidly to serve London’s countryside as new towns such as Crawley and Stevenage were built. The first of a handsome new, standardised single-decker, the RF type, appeared as sightseeing coaches just in time for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and then took over nearly all London’s single-deck services as Green Line coaches and red, as well as green, country buses. Almost the only exceptions to London’s now standardised bus fleet were the small batches of low-height buses for routes under low bridges and the little single-deckers for country-lane services.

 

9. Chiswick Works & Aldenham Works. Originally opened in 1921 by the London General Omnibus Company when it grew out of its works in Walthamstow, the famous Chiswick Works in west London was the crucible of design for developing and building London’s buses for over 35 years. London Transport’s other major plant was a purpose-built factory called Aldenham Bus Overhaul Works. Opened in 1956, it was designed specially for the purpose of overhauling the RT-family standardised doubledeckers, and later, the Routemaster fleet. It could overhaul 50 buses a week, using state-of-the-art production line techniques, previously unknown anywhere in the world. The huge original works signs from these buildings were rescued, and are on display at the Museum. 10. Routemaster - the last Bus made for London. The Routemaster bus was developed as a replacement for London’s wornout electric trolley-bus system. Although not unlike a standard RT bus of the previous generation, with the driver in a half-cab alongside the engine and open rear platform for the conductor, it is in fact a technological marvel under its skin. During WW2, London Transport’s works built Halifax bomber aeroplanes, jig-building them with advanced aluminium processes. In the post war years, they adapted these skills to design a new lightweight double decker bus for the future. First appearing at the London Commercial Motor Show in 1954, it was named the “Routemaster”, the familiar red bus that has become a national icon, loved the world over. 2760 were built in several forms using standardised module construction – as central buses, Greenline coaches, country buses, airbuses – and finally a stretched version. Sadly, a rear-engined front entrance Routemaster prototype, using the same standard kit of parts, was stopped when British Leyland took over.

 

11. All Change! Driver-only Buses herald the Future. By the mid-1960s London Transport had to solve the twin problems of reducing costs and difficulty of recruiting staff. It decided to introduce “oneman-operated” buses. But its standard RMs and RTs had a crew of two, a driver, and a conductor who collected passengers’ fares. This meant almost its whole fleet of double-deckers were not suitable for one person operation. A new bus had to be found quickly to enable the driver to take fares and oversee passengers by himself. A completely different bus layout was needed and M6 is an example of several different types of buses of the late 1970s built on this principle. Compare it with earlier buses to see how it differs. Overall, the Museum area is level and therefore provides easy access for visitors with a disability or who use a wheelchair for mobility. Assistance dogs are welcome. The bus museum doesn’t have its own Refreshments facilities but the Brooklands Museum Sunbeam Cafe is only a short walk and open to all. The museum has on site disabled toilet facilities. The entrance is shared with the the Brooklands museum and one ticket gains entrance to both.

Mercedes-Benz World

Mercedes-Benz World

Mercedes-Benz World

Mercedes-Benz World

 

AUDIO

Mercedes-Benz World

 

Mercedes-Benz World is a facility at the historic Brooklands motor racing circuit in Weybridge, Surrey, owned and operated by the German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. It opened on 29 October 2006. Mercedes-Benz World has five courses for learning advanced skills and trying out an AMG. The building is spread over three floors with over 100 cars on display, including a 300SL Gullwing as well as the McLaren Mercedes SLR sports car. Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, financed by Bertha Benz and patented in January 1886, and Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach's conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine later that year. The Mercedes automobile was first marketed in 1901 by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. (Daimler Motors Corporation). Emil Jellinek, an Austrian automobile entrepreneur who worked with DMG created the trademark in 1902, naming the 1901 Mercedes 35hp after his daughter Mercedes Jellinek. The first Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were produced in 1926, following the merger of Karl Benz's and Gottlieb Daimler's companies into the Daimler-Benz company. On 28 June, 1926, Mercedes Benz was formed with the merger of Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler's two companies. Throughout the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz produced the 770 model, a car that was popular during Germany's Nazi period. Adolf Hitler was known to have driven these cars during his time in power, with bulletproof windshields.

 

Celebrate over 100 years of Mercedes-Benz’s involvement in motorsport with View Suspended II. Offering an unprecedented insight into motor sport technology past and present, this breathtaking artwork displays a Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One car in the most visually spectacular and innovative way imaginable. Created by Dutch artist Paul Veroude and curated by Artwise Curators, View Suspended II dramatically deconstructs the racing chassis to reveal its innermost secrets. Combining engineering and sculpture, the piece comprises some 3,200 components, each suspended individually by wire from a purpose-built frame. The results have to be seen to be believed. Go behind the scenes and gain a unique insight into the Mercedes-Benz brand with a Mercedes-Benz World Guided Tour. Available on a first come first served basis, every Saturday and Sunday at 11.30 and 2.00pm and every day during local school holidays. Treat yourself to an exclusive look behind the history of the Mercedes-Benz World site and the significance of their presence at Surrey’s historic Brooklands racetrack. Let a Mercedes-Benz World expert guide you around the fascinating building with its ever changing exhibitions and attractions. You’ll be given an exclusive insight into automotive legends, learn about their unique history, from the invention of the motor car through to their latest automotive developments and be able to get hands-on with exclusive cars not available to the general public.

 

Current Exhibitions include 'Evolution - A journey through the life of the modern saloon car. ' The history of the compact executive car is a development story dating back to the earliest beginnings of Mercedes-Benz. Carl Benz, alongside Gottlieb Daimler, was not just the inventor of the automobile. In 1894, he also introduced the small, light ‘Velo’ model: the first volume produced vehicle in automotive history. Their new Evolution exhibition traces the development of the modern saloon car through constant innovation and engineering prowess, from the beginning to the current day. With pristine examples of the Mercedes-Benz 190 E, the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution and the Mercedes-Benz Brabus 190 E 3.6 models on display, get up close to some of the most important Mercedes-Benz vehicles ever built and find out how their legacy still lives on in the latest Mercedes-Benz vehicles on display.

 

Mercedes-Benz World is located within the famous Brooklands motor racing circuit, the first purpose-built banked motor race circuit in the world. Where in 1907 during the 1st Brooklands race meeting a 120 hp Mercedes driven by J.E. Hutton finished first in the inaugural Montague Cup race. Whilst the three storey brand centre, new Handling Circuits and wet driving facilities may be new additions to the site, their under 17s Driving Experiences allow younger drivers to follow in the footsteps of British motor racing legends and drive on part of the original banked motor racing circuit. The driving experiences include the AMG - Experience the unbelievable acceleration, unique handling and jaw dropping sound and power of a high-performance Mercedes-AMG engine. The most exciting Mercedes-AMG vehicles and a team of top driving specialists are ready and waiting for you. The 4x4 experience allows you to explore the 10-acre off-road terrain and you’ll encounter a range of exciting driving challenges - from extreme inclines to water crossings. But don’t worry, with their 4x4 Driving Experience you’ll have the latest 4x4 vehicles and a Mercedes-Benz driving specialist on hand to ensure that you and your vehicle conquer every obstacle. Even children aged between three and five years old can enjoy the fun of driving a miniature battery-powered Mercedes-Benz on their specially designed indoor driving circuit.

 

Mercedes-Benz World is fully wheelchair accessible with level access throughout the floors and a lift between levels. Assistance dogs are welcome. Unfortunately the driving experience does not cater to the mobility impaired.

 

Location : Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN

Transport : Weybridge (National Rail) then bus or 17 minutes. Bus Routes : Chatterbus C2, Arriva 436 and 437 stop close by.

Opening Times : Daily Summer (1st March until end of BST) 10:00 to 17:00;  Winter 10:00 to 16:00

Opening Times Mercedes Benz: Daily 10:00 to 18:00

Tickets : Adults £11.00;   Senior/Student £10.00;   Children (5 - 16) £6.00

Tickets Concorde : Adults £5.00;   Children (5 - 16) £3.00

Tickets Mercedes Benz : Free

Tel. : 01932 857381