A Saturday in January
It may have been a bit glum on Saturday 7 Jan 2017 but it was sunny indeed at William Medcalf’s. A mighty array of cars and owners pitched up to help him open his showroom on Saturdays. Octane magazine were there and the plan was leave at noon to motor up to Brooklands to view the Start/Finishing straight. A great number of the cars assembled round William's Building were, of course, Bentley and the Cricklewood cars were lined up close to showroom. A couple of interlopers were there including an MG which looked like a toy car sandwiched between a 3 litre and a 8 litre. All the Bentley motor cars were overshadowed by this car which was Robert Cook’s 8 litre open tourer, a mighty car, indeed.
Elsewhere there was a current Rolls Royce, a Phantom, I think, three wheeler Morgans, Aston Martins, Jaguars, a pretty Alpin, Austin Healy 3000, David Ayers' early Itala and many others.
When it was time to go the procession caused a great deal of interest and people were popping up here there and everywhere to cheer us on and take photographs. As we motored up the A3 there were even crowds of well wishers on the bridges. It certainly was a carnival atmosphere.
We arrived at Brookland to observe that work there is pushing on apace and you would have to be very old to have seen the view that greeted us. Since World War 2 the Bellman Hanger has blocked the view down the straight but it is now gone. Virtually the entire half mile length of this important part of Brooklands can now be seen for the first time since 1939. The Bellman Hanger was a listed building and will be re-assembled on the side of the Finishing Straight this year. All the components have been re-furbished and the building will be just as we all know. Julian Grimwade gave a spirited explanation of how the works are going and conducted a tour round the works. It was all jolly interesting.