Collection of the week: The Brooklands Museum

Brooklands, the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit and centre for aviation, was created by entrepreneur Hugh Locke King on his estate at Weybridge in Surrey, and opened in 1907. In order for cars to achieve the highest possible speeds with the greatest safety, the 2.75 mile circuit was provided with two huge banked sections nearly 30 feet high together with two long straights. Only 11 days after opening, racing driver Selwyn Edge broke the 24-hour distance world record with 1,581 miles covered at an average speed of almost 66 mph.

In the 1920s, the Brooklands Automobile Racing Club organised big popular race meetings, attracting drivers such as Count Louis Zborowski and Malcolm Campbell. The latter was to break the world land and water speed records multiple times in the twenties and thirties. The races became a fashionable fixture on the sporting calendar throughout the 1930s, but the outbreak of World War Two spelt the end of motoring at Brooklands with the site devoted to the production of Vickers and Hawker aircraft.

The Brooklands Museum Collection documents the track's construction and the history of motor racing, flying and cycling at Brooklands, and also includes great shots of Malcolm Campbell's Blue Bird at Daytona Beach in 1935. You can view a selection here and if you can't find what you're looking for, please get in touch, either by email at or by telephone on 020 8318 0034.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
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