For 32 action-packed years, from 1907-1939, Brooklands Motor Circuit was the undisputed focus of British motorsport.
Brooklands, the World’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, where the World’s Land Speed record was smashed no fewer than three times, a 100 miles was covered in one hour for the first time, the inaugural British Grand Prix was run, and whose slogan was ‘The Right Crowd and No Crowding’, attracted thousands of motor racing fans and casual spectators alike.
Brooklands became as much a part of the English social scene as Ascot, Henley or Derby Day at Epsom.
At a time when the national speed limit was 20 mph, Brooklands’ spectacular bankings were scientifically designed to accommodate 120! By the end of the story of Brooklands racing, John Cobb’s Outer Circuit lap record stood at a staggering 143.44 mph.
Brooklands. No other place in Britain, possibly the world, has witnessed a greater range of aircraft design, construction and flight testing as Brooklands did throughout most of the twentieth Century. Many of the greatest names in Aviation history were attracted to what was one of Britains first aerodromes including Roe, Paulhan, Sopwith, Hawker and Bleriot. Brooklands was the location for the start and finish of the 1911 Daily Mail AirRace immortalised in the 1960s film ‘Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines’.
Brooklands played a crucial role in two World Wars; Vickers, Sopwith, Martinsyde and Bleriot all either built, assembled or test-flew numerous aircraft and supplied the British air forces with most of the aircraft which won air superiority over the Western Front. When war began again in 1939 Vickers-Armstrongs and Hawker produced some of Britain’s most successful aircraft, namely the Wellington bomber and the Hurricane fighter.
Following the war Vickers proceeded with a new range of civil and military aircraft. Vikings, Viscounts, Vanguards, and VC10s were followed by the British Aircraft Corporation’s One-Eleven, TSR2 and Concorde. Illustrated with captivating film footage, this is the remarkable story of over eighty years of aircraft production and flying at Brooklands, by such companies as Bleriot, Sopwith, Vickers, Hawker, BAC and British Aerospace, where over 18,600 new aircraft of nearly 260 different types were first flown, manufactured or assembled.