Carrying on from the first part….
I was now ready to “see everything else”, because Brooklands
was not only a hub for aviation, but also a hub for motor racing. It is also home to the London Bus Museum
. When the track opened in 1907 it was the world’s second purpose-built motorsport track, it was also the first purpose-built banked motor race circuit in the world.
There are a number of features of the old race track on the site, and it must have really been something to experience in its heyday. Unfortunately I am not a car buff, so I really did not appreciate it as much as dedicated motorsport enthusiast would.
The old club house building is spectacular, although for some reason I thought it was part of the airfield. Right next to the clubhouse is the building with the Stratosphere Chamber
, and this was yet another Barnes Wallis project. It is a mammoth machine, and it must have sounded even better.
There were also a number of interesting aircraft engines there, including the iconic Merlin.
Now if only somebody had put one of those in a racing car!
The Munchkins were still following me around so I headed off to take a look at some of the classic cars on display in the Malcolm Campbell Shed. Now I must admit my dream car is probably one of those great big green open top Bentleys with large headlights. But I did see a few oldies here that I liked, that three wheeled Morgan was especially nice.
There is also a display of vintage motorbikes and an interesting Raleigh cycle display. To my amusement one of the cycles on display was a Raleigh Chopper! These come from my childhood and these were THE bike to ride (and fall off from), but alas I ended up with a sensible Raleigh Rapier and was not not the doyen of the playground after all. This particular example is dated 1979 (and is probably worth a lot of money).
I was curious to see what some of the items on the map were so headed to the area where parts of the old racing circuit were, the hill was horribly steep too, and I was bushed by the time I got to the top. But what a surprise it was to see this remnant of an era gone by…
The next time I am here this is one area I do want to investigate. The one thing about this museum is that there is a lot to see, and I had really only breezed through a lot of it. I really needed to revisit the Concorde, and investigate some of the other exhibits in the Wellington Hanger, I also missed the museum shop, and of course I wanted to take a better look at those olde racing cars and vehicles. There are also a number of period buildings on the site that are interesting in their own right, and they are worth investigating too.
There were also a few olde vehicles that amused me parked outside, and if anything you could have probably have found similar ones like this in South Africa way back when.
My time was almost up and I started to head towards the station, a quick pass by the Hawker Hunter to photograph the Supermarine Swift Fuselage,
And then I was on my way, leaving this really nice museum behind. It had been a very enjoyable trip, and one which I would make again if I get the chance. Brooklands is a wonderful museum and well worth seeing. The London Bus Museum pics
I will paste under a separate post.
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