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Brooklands from the air
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 3292
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:33 am    Post subject: Brooklands from the air Reply with quote

How did it ever come to this?

It would take a great deal of money and imagination to restore to a complete circuit but I think it could be done.

Whether or not it should be done is a different matter but historic motor racing is a big money spinner...just look at Goodwood.!

Brooklands "membership" stands at 16,000 and the site has historic listing.

What do we think?

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2017/08/01/brooklands-racing-circuit-declared-at-risk-preservation-plan-in-the-works/
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 21022
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm amazed that any of it survives at all to be honest.

I think given that various sections of the track have been built over, resurrecting proper racing there - even on a modified layout - isn't going to happen. Plus, I've not checked but I'm sure there'll be plenty of housing close by, the owners of which would no doubt get quite uppity at the thought of racing taking place on their doorstep on a select number of days each year. IIRC Goodwood has to walk on egg shells with regard to noise, as do other circuits.

RJ
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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petelang



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 246
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering its location in prime area of Wadebridge Surrey, it's a miracle that it hasn't already been bulldozed for high value properties, no doubt marketed on the very fact that it has such historic pedigree. How many of the uber wealthy would buy into such a prestigious development named after famous makers as "Bugatti court" or Ferrari Drive".
It's regrettable in this nation, where we have so much heritage that other countries deeply envy, that we allow so much to be destroyed without question.
Where I am, Nottingham was pillaged by town planners in the 60's and 70's destroying countless pieces of unique architecture replacing it with faceless "brutalist" concrete edifices, most of which are now being torn down again due to structural failings or the fact that they are plain ugly, in addition to being unfit for purpose after only 50 years.
If more of the older buildings survived, repurposed, they would have provided a far more pleasant environment and doubtless improved tourist revenues, let alone costing the ratepayer far less in the long term!
Ah but for hindsight, sadly though, it will all to often be repeated again elsewhere.
Peter
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2323
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brooklands is not alone..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHfSlMPenR4

Albeit that many of the tracks featured were a post war attempt to make money from Motor Racing. However worldwide there is a decline in the number of motor race circuits, the US having the highest number.
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3491
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least there is a fuel station on the circuit now, so one could drop down from the banking to refuel!



Dave
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 3292
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose it is my family connection with Brooklands that has helped to feed my imagination since I was a child. My Dad knew many of the famous names before the War. I have mentioned previously that I was named Raymond after Raymond Mays who Dad knew.

On the other side of the coin the Class barrier would have separated the Motorcyclists like my Dad with his CS1 Norton and the race car drivers - but they all valued a good mechanic which my Dad most definitely was. Eddie Duke must have thought highly of him as he gave Dad a "Brooklands Can" tail pipe. What happened it we don't know.

Some parts of the Brooklands track was destroyed by German Bombing during WW2. My Dad was based at Brooklands with the Air Defence Cadet Corps while all that was going on. On one occasion the Vickers factory was hit and many people - mainly young women - were killed. It must have been heart breaking.

As a teenager I would ignore the "keep Out" signs and venture onto remnants of the Brooklands track on my bicycle.

It was all a long time ago.
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray White wrote:
I suppose it is my family connection with Brooklands that has helped to feed my imagination since I was a child. My Dad knew many of the famous names before the War. I have mentioned previously that I was named Raymond after Raymond Mays who Dad knew.

On the other side of the coin the Class barrier would have separated the Motorcyclists like my Dad with his CS1 Norton and the race car drivers - but they all valued a good mechanic which my Dad most definitely was. Eddie Duke must have thought highly of him as he gave Dad a "Brooklands Can" tail pipe. What happened it we don't know.

Some parts of the Brooklands track was destroyed by German Bombing during WW2. My Dad was based at Brooklands with the Air Defence Cadet Corps while all that was going on. On one occasion the Vickers factory was hit and many people - mainly young women - were killed. It must have been heart breaking.

As a teenager I would ignore the "keep Out" signs and venture onto remnants of the Brooklands track on my bicycle.

It was all a long time ago.


Very interesting, I don't remember you mentioning this on here before.

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 3292
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:


Very interesting, I don't remember you mentioning this on here before.

RJ


In one of (if not THE) first of my postings I said in reply to a question about what you would do with a very large amount of money that I would restore Brooklands. I definitely said my Dad knew Raymond Mays and that I had been named after him. I seem to remember Peter Scott replied to that.

I still think that Brooklands could and should be restored because it was the first motor racing circuit in the world. In my opinion it is far more important that anything that has been built over the site in recent times.

The problem is one of logistics. I understand that Vickers still owns most of the site but there are many vested interests so only a Government decision to proceed with the power of compulsory purchase could have sufficient weight.

If Boris Johnson wants a transport legacy then I say forget about HS2 and restore Brooklands as a venue for historic motor sport.
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3491
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray White wrote:
I still think that Brooklands could and should be restored because it was the first motor racing circuit in the world. In my opinion it is far more important that anything that has been built over the site in recent times.

The problem is one of logistics. I understand that Vickers still owns most of the site but there are many vested interests so only a Government decision to proceed with the power of compulsory purchase could have sufficient weight.

If Boris Johnson wants a transport legacy then I say forget about HS2 and restore Brooklands as a venue for historic motor sport.


I suppose just like cars there comes a point where things are just old, disused, unwanted so become abandoned/ scrapped , as time goes by the chance of resurrection reduces and the cost to restore increases, in this case compounded by massive increases in property values.

I follow the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust who since 1975, have a goal to re-open the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals abondoned in the mid 50's, it's now no longer a case of just restoration as buildings have been erected on parts of the canal, the M6 Toll, cuts through it; (you may have notice the aqueduct crossing the M6 Toll, apparently going nowhere built when the road was built) , currently they are raising 1M to fund a short new tunnel build through a railway embankment; all cash they have to raise through the trust.

It would be great to see Brooklands restored, unfortunately I can't see it happening soon Sad

Dave
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 3292
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I can gather, Brooklands was abandoned after the War because there had been significant bomb damage; not to mention a
Bellman aircraft hanger that had been built over the finishing straight. This dilapidated Grade 11 listed building has recently been removed and conserved with a National Lottery grant of 4.6 million. https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/explore/our-history/buildings-and-landmarks/ww2/bellman-hangar

Some of the banking had also been removed as part of Wartime requirements but that was not all.

Even by 1939, the concrete surface had become degraded to such an extent that cars were suffering damage from it. This was because of the unsatisfactory building methods used in it's construction originally. Extensive repairs had already been carried out but basically even without Hitler's help Brooklands was knackered.

If the political will could be supportive rather than indifferent I have no doubt the funds could be found. Approximately 30 houses would need to be purchased; valued presently at about 1million each. However, owners would need to see a significant above market value return to persuade them all to sell.

The industrial buildings would probably be less of an emotive issue but again substantial recompense would be needed.

I think compulsory purchase would be better left as a last resort. Perhaps the issuing of "Brooklands" Government Bonds potentially worth a substantial amount would be a more appropriate method of persuasion.

Apart from areas of complete obliteration where new track would be required, I imagine much of the existing concrete surface would provide a good base on which to lay new sections of reinforced concrete.

The banking is of course a different matter and would require some serious underpinning!!
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