Tuesday, 27 March 2012

London attractions.

If you search for London attractions on the web you will find a lot of interesting places to visit. Here are two you can visit in the same area…….slightly different from each other: The British Museum and Lewis Leathers Ltd.

You can`t resist to get something from a kiosk like this. It`s outside the British Museum.

Not far from the museum there is another great place to visit: Lewis leathers Ltd.

The shop looks just right with a “cafe" Triumph in front.

Just like Steve McQueen’s jacket.

“Ride a BSA”….. Yes sir, I will.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Brookelands cans and eye candy.

Some more photos from Brookelands……I hope you get the Brookelands spirit

1927 Brough Superior 100cc.
“World`s fastest” attempt by Freddie Dixon in 1927. Only one run 130mph.
Bert LeVack broke the record in 1929 two runs .129.05 mph

Well, well, well…..What have we here…A Triumph 8” front brake….

1927 Norton with Sidecar.

Brooklands Museum celebrates 75 years to the day when Walter Handley lapped the famous circuit at over 100mph on a BSA 'Empire Star', which was promptly renamed 'Gold Star'……And as we say: The rest is history…..
The event will be celebrated at Brooklands Museum on 30th June - 75 years to the day.
Now you can get a Gold Star in a bottle.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Breakfast at Brooklands.

I had checked out at Brooklands museums homepage and found out that they had a breakfast meeting for classic vehicles on last Sunday. Nearest trains station to Brookelands museum is Weybridge, only 38 minutes from Waterloo train station in London…….so naturally I made some plans to go out to the English countryside….I lost many point when I told my wife and son that we had to get up at 06.30 that Sunday…..I lost a lot more when there was signals problems at Weybrigde station…..The train had to go by and set us off at a station in the middle of nowhere to wait for a train in the opposite direction……One hour wait…No shop, no toilets. We missed the breakfast with good margin.
And the “short” walk from the station to the museum is not as short as the museum map says……Grab a taxi at the station…..Everything will and can be used against you……

Brooklands is a very special place. It`s the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation. The world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit. The first official race was held on the 6th July 1907 and the last ever meeting on 7th August 1939.
With the outbreak of World War Two the aerodrome was requisitioned by the Government and devoted to the production of Vickers and Hawker aircraft including Hurricane fighters and Wellington bombers.

When peace returned there where high hopes of the Track’s recovery, but the costs were too high. Temporary hangars had been built on the Track, German bombs had exploded on various parts of the track in 1940 and camouflage was used heavily in the form of tree planting and canvas houses to obscure Brooklands’ distinctive shape which made it an easy target for the Luftwaffe. The government could not see its way to releasing Brooklands until 1949 and the track was sold to Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd in 1946 and motor racing at Brooklands gradually became no more than a memory.

Today the spirit of Brookelands lives on at the museum and the old restored buildings.

Malcolm Campbell, The World Land Speed Record holder, 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 Brookland 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. If you have a red car without a roof this is a great place to park it…..

The construction of Brooklands Motor Course in 1907 was a wonder of its age. Much of the Track and many of its original buildings and features have survived to this day, some as Listed Buildings or part of a Scheduled Monument.

Wellington IA serial number N2980 is on display. Built at Brooklands and first flown in November 1939, this aircraft took part in the RAF's daylight bombing raids on Germany early in the Second World War but later lost power during a training flight on 31 December 1940 and ditched in Loch Ness. All the occupants survived except the rear gunner, who was killed when his parachute failed to open. The aircraft was recovered from the bottom of Loch Ness in September 1985.

You can see part of the old motor course behind the aero plane display.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Lawrence of Arabias Brough.

I am just back from London, a long weekend visiting museums and interesting places. One of the stops was the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth.

In 1917 the Cabinet decided that a National War Museum should be set up to collect and display material relating to the Great War, which was still being fought. It was named the Imperial War Museum.
In 1936 the museum moved to its present home, formerly the Bethlem Royal Hospital, or ‘Bedlam’.

The first view inside the museum reminded me of my childhood room with all the planes hanging from the roof.

The museum has on display one of the world’s most iconic motorcycles:

  T.E. Lawrence had a passion for motorcycling, and rode the best and fastest he could find: the  Brough Superior. Lawrence owned eight Broughs in all.  On display at the IWM is the bike wich he died riding.
This is a 1932 1000cc SS100. In 1932 Brough Superior only produced 58 bikes.

The fatal accident happened in 1935, the bike was only slightly damaged in the accident and returned to the factory for repair.

Did they not replace the headlight rim?

This is the last known photo of Lawrence, on the displayed Brough, GW 2275.

Friday, 9 March 2012

A self-propelled man.

Now it’s time for some interior blogging….A man’s home is his castle and in some strange cases it is his hangar.
You cannot visit a man without viewing his propeller, so when helping Gunnar with the Velocette we also took a look inside his house

And what a beauty!  From a Mercedes powered Hansa Brandenburger.

A short background story:

Gunnar’s hometown Horten where once the hometown of Norway’s major naval base. And when airplanes found their way into the Norwegian army, the navy found use for them first.  In the twenties the government bought licensing rights to build the German designed Hansa Brandenburger in Norway. Thirty planes where used by the Naval Air force from 1922 to 1935. Most of them where build in Horten. The plane type was also used by the famous Roald Amundsen on his last and fatal journey.

This propeller is a big piece of local history.

A Hansa Brandenburger has done a rough landing.

We are given ten arguments for why a man shall own at least two wooden propellers.

Guns, swords and boxing all over the house…..are we dealing with a violent man?