Brooklands Centre News

June 2013

Buttercup Bounce and other outings

Our annual Buttercup Bounce BBQ was held on 29th May delayed inevitably by the bad weather. Our hosts Betty and Graham Currie welcomed us to their home and their relatively dried out field. As usual we voted for the "car I would most like to take home with me" award. The award was donated by our much loved and much missed fellow club member Bob Smith. The award is a medallion which was originally presented to Austin dealerships on completion of 25 years service selling Austin's.

Buttercup Bounce 2013

The 2013 Buttercup Bounce

Young Paolo, the eldest grandson of Bob and Jean Smith at 7 years old made a lovely presentation in memory of his Grandad to the winner. Jean and son Aiden also came along. And the winner is … Brian and Jana Adam for their lovely 1926 Top Hat saloon. The car has been lovingly restored by Brian and has taken some 20 years to complete. Well done to Brian and Jana.

We had last month a super run to Sussex organised by Stephen and Joyce Lloyd with a visit to Singleton Museum in the afternoon. A lovely day out and thoroughly well planned. Thank you Stephen.

Brooklands Centre has just enjoyed a trip to Jersey,so will report that next month.

Things to look forward to:

February/March 2013

Feelie bags and events to come

Our February club night was held the Barley Mow West Horsley and featured our annual "Feelie" night. Nigel produced three cloth bags containing interesting car parts for the feeling of. Judy produced one cloth bag containing 13 or so various objects ranging from a ear plug to a rug making hook. The winner of Nigel's bags was David Witton and Sue Perkins guessed most of Judy's bits.

We are attempting to run the Winter Walk again on Sunday 14th April as the first one was spoilt by rain. We will meet as before at Noon for lunch at the Duke of Wellington at East Horsley. Please let Judy (01483 566161) or Robin (01483 284184) know if you require a lunch place or .

Our AGM will be held on Wednesday 24th April at St John's Hall, Merrow. We are back upstairs in the Seminar Room and there will be the usual coffee/tea/biscuits during the meeting. We will also show a short film and have a caption competition featuring amusing members photos. Please attend and show support to your Committee. If you need directions they can be found on our website on the Events Calendar.

Sunday 28th April is the date for our Cobham Trial. This is a production car trial in the beautiful setting of Cobham Park in Surrey. If you wish to enter this hugely enjoyable trial contact Nigel Coulter (01428 606753). We also need marshals to help so please contact Nigel if you can help. Or just come, picnic, watch and enjoy.

Sunday 19th May is the date for the Buttercup Bounce held as always in the garden of Betty and Graham Currie. Thanks to them this annual event is one of the most looked forward to events in our calendar. We will supply the BBQ, please bring your food and drink and something to sit on.


September 2012

Peking to Paris, Christmas & next year's Calendar

For our September club night we were pleased to welcome Annabel Jones who came to talk about her 2007 trip in an Austin 7 from Peking to Paris. We were a little short of Brooklands members owing to another trip but were pleased to see old and new friends from other clubs in the area.

We were spellbound as Annabel related the challenges and the excitement of the marathon journey, about the planning, the maintenance of the Austin, the navigation and the logistics of fitting two adults plus spares and a tiny amount of personal luggage into such a small space.She explained the difficulties of being at the right place at the right time with the appropriate paperwork and how easily it could have all gone wrong.I think it shows a steely determination to attempt such a journey but the rewards must have been huge.

Peking To Paris talk

Annabel and her co-driver

I could tell the assembled audience were incredibly entertained by the talk and almost all of them probably wishing they had attempted a similar adventure in their car. Many thanks to Annabel for such an exciting talk.If you missed the event and want to learn more there is a very good account of her achievements on the internet under "Annabel Jones" and also if you can obtain the September 2012 issue of the Automobile magazine there is a very good write up there too.

Peking To Paris talk

At an oovoo in the Gobi

On Wednesday 28th November we are meeting at St John's Hall Merrow for our annual film night. Roger will be showing a collection of Brooklands 2012 antics and also a piece on his and Jane's trip to New Zealand in old car (apologies for not knowing the make of car).

The Brooklands Christmas Dinner is planned for the 19th December and will be held at the Burhill Golf Club Walton on Thames. Robin will be sending out the invitations shortly so please keep the date free.

We have started to plan a calendar for 2013 so any suggestions and offers of new ideas will be gratefully received.

We were very sorry to lose our dear friend Bob May recently who was a Brooklands Centre member for many years. Bob very kindly offered a selection of Austin 7 spares to the club members on his death for which we are very grateful to him and his family.


February 2012

A quiz & a Feelie bag

Last night our February club night was" feelie" bag and quiz night. It was very well attended, over 30 members tucked cosily into the small bar at the Barley Mow West Horsley. Nigel had hidden some Austin 7 parts in cloth bags which were passed around the assembled group. (This was the Feelie part.)

Quiz Night

Mervyn feeling the bag

Claire and I had found an interesting object in a local antique shop that neither the shop owner or the object owner knew the history of. This was our quiz. Questions on use,industry, age, and other inventions by the manufacturer which was Horstmanns. The object was a clockwork timer that had been attached to a street lamp and could be set to last from 15-40 days. The company now apparently make domestic heating timers etc but also made a motoring part in 1905 being a variable gear ratio using expanding pinions.

Quiz Night

Whatever is it? David & Colin with the mystery object

A very interesting Club night which could only have been made better by a leap year marriage proposal,an opportunity sadly missed.


Quiz Night

Nigel reveals all

August 2011

Ripley, Painshill & Elstead Mill

The Ripley Event and Vintage and Classic Car Show attracted a huge array of cars and we Austins put on a good show.It was lovely to see such a wide range of Austin in the arena much enjoyed by the public.

The next day a few of us drove to Painshill Park in Cobham for a Charity meet and car show. For a small donation to local and Cancer charities we were allowed to stroll around the Park which is full of folly and interest. Painshill was the creation of Hon. Charles Hamilton in the 18thC and has been carefully restored to it's original glory. If you haven't been there it is well worth a visit on a fine day. On returning from our walk we were entertained by an excellent Jazz band Hopefully it will carry on as a regular event.

This Sunday Brooklands met at the Elstead Mill for a lunchtime concours. After an excellent lunch at the Mill we asked a very handsome young man to judge the array of cars( see how we look after you girls in the club). He chose the immaculate Austin Ruby Cabriolet owned by Jim and Sue Robinson. Apart from it being the fastest Austin in the club and sounding like a sewing machine it is beautifully maintained and very worthy of the prize which was a grope in Rogers carrier bag full of tools and a couple of the now famous Brooklands mugs. See picture of the winners.


Concours winners Jim and Sue Robinson

January 2011

Film Night & Christmas Dinner

Our November Club night at Merrow was well attended. It was Film Night and we were shown film of the Le Mans Classic 2010 and an old film of Brooklands Centre 21st birthday. This was fascinating for those of us not members then. We saw Robin with hair, Jane a sweet young thing "yes she still is" they cried and young Jim Robinson even then sporting a very natty beard. Many other very young looking friends dancing to a Jazz band and having a fine old time. It was especially nice to see our friend Marion showing them how it should be done and looking a million dollars.
We then watched a very shocking piece of film showing Stephen Lloyd doing wholly inappropriate things in Hastings including removing his clothes.

Our Christmas Dinner at the Burhill Golf Club went with a swing. The meal was excellent and was followed by the usual Horsfield Raffle. Judy Noakes received the famous Bum Kit which has been in the raffle for many years. Well done to whoever disguised it. We were pleased to have the company of Jean and Aiden Smith and a new Trophy was announced which will be called the Bob Smith Memorial Trophy and will be awarded annually at the Buttercup Bounce, one of Bobís favourite events.
The John Oliver Trophy and the Out and About Trophy were awarded to Sue Perkins (who certainly does put herself out and about)
The Newcomer award was awarded to Mervyn and Carla Rogers for their attendance at Club Nights and we hope to see a lot of them in 2011.
Clubman of the year was awarded to Stephen Lloyd (fully clothed this time) for his contribution to events in 2010.


Stephen Lloyd

Roger Horsfield


April 2010

Chatham Historic Dockyard and Surrey University

We spent a cold day at Chatham Historic Dockyard this month. It was Steam Day and very enjoyable despite the weather. Lots of steam obviously and vintage motorbikes, dogs pulling carts and all sizes of owls. A great selection of interesting displays. We were also lucky enough to be shown round the Commissioner's house where Bill and Traudl Higgins (members of Brooklands), once lived. It was very beautiful and 'haunted' apparently, although we were sadly disappointed not to be 'visited'. A very interesting Museum if you haven't been and well worth a visit.

Last night a group of our members went to Surrey University where we were shown around S.S.T.L. Surrey Satellite and Technology Ltd. Andy Currie who is Launch Manager gave a presentation on the work they do and showed us around the lab site, clean rooms, etc. The group enjoyed the visit very much and we all learnt a lot about the subject (a change from car stuff!)

We are all looking forward now to our summer trips and holidays. All booked up by now but contact Committee if you have queries regarding this or any other subject.

Our website has been updated now so have a look and hopefully now with the help we are receiving it will be more interesting to view.



March 2010

Quiz Night and a washed-out Winter Walk

Unfortunately our Winter Walk was a washout. We had a lovely lunch at the Abinger Hatch but the rain didn't stop so we all gave up on the walk.

February Clubnight was Quiz night and Nigel produced an interesting set of mostly motoring questions. The winner was Roger Horsfield, 2nd the Owens and joint 3rd Southcott and Nelson.

If you haven't entered for Cobham Trial please contact Nigel ASAP and if you would like to volunteer to help as a marshal ditto Nigel. We need all the help we can get and it is really good fun in a splendid venue.

The arranging of the trips so far has proved a bit muddly so please see date change for Suffolk trip and get in touch with Judy or Robin if you wish to go on that or the Menorca trip in September.

We hope to have a bigger turnout this year at the AGM. Please support your committee by attending. A lot of work goes into organising events and we need your input.


January 2010

Christmas Dinner and snowy Austins

Our Christmas Dinner was superb. It was held at The Burhill Golf Club in Walton on Thames, a beautiful house in, I understand, beautiful grounds (a pity it was so dark and so wet that we couldn't see them). The event was well supported as always and the food excellent. Thanks to Jane and Roger for organising the raffle. I left before it started, unwell; unfortunately winning the prize I had donated. That will teach me not to leave early.

The John Oliver Trophy was awarded to Jim Robinson
The Out and About to Paul Noakes
Newcomer Award to Colin and Sue Shaw
Clubman of the Year to Graham Currie

On New Year's Day which proved sunny but very cold, a crowd gathered at Newlands Corner and set off on a very enjoyable run through the Surrey lanes finishing at Elstead Mill for a roast dinner. Len and I thoroughly enjoyed the run which was very well instructed by David and Rosemary, so thanks to them for a splendid day.

The committee has worked out a Calendar of events for 2010 but if anyone has an idea to put forward please contact one of us.

14th Feb Valentine Winter Walk following pub lunch TBA
24th Feb Wednesday Club night Quiz at the king William IV West Horsley
28th March Sunday Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre Arundel visit
31st March Wednesday Noggin and Natter King William IV
25th April Sunday Cobham Trial Production car trial for any Austin 7
28th April Wed AGM at St. Johns Hall Merrow 8pm
23rd May Sunday Buttercup Bounce fun and games in a field after lunchtime BBQ

The snowy photos in the gallery and on the home page show what we already knew: that Austins can get to places other cars can't reach!

Nigel Coulter wrote about the photographs:
"The recent snow was as bad here as it was in 1963 and we couldn't get the modern out for a week (this Tuesday) and then got snowed-in again when it snowed that night. Skanky [the Chummy in the pictures – ed.] was our saviour because I had it out the first morning of the freeze after digging the snow away from the garage. I found it perfect for getting around and Wendy and I used it to get feed and hay to Wendy's horse – no other vehicle, apart from a well prepared and driven 4x4 could have reached the field the horse was in. The pictures show us delivering the feed. I drove Wendy to Farnham the following day – 10 miles over deserted snow-covered roads, skirting round fallen trees and abandoned cars to collect some essential papers so she could work from home. On the way we caught up with a Landrover going very slowly and they eventually pulled in to let us pass so we could then get into top gear. On the way back we seemed to romp up the hills that were seemingly very challenging to other road users. I've attached a third picture of Skanky in Grayshott – note all the other cars snowed in."


November 2009

Winter Walkies and more

Not much to say now that year is nearly over. Our Winter walk was very jolly. After a pub lunch we walked on Whitedown, a beautiful wooded walk in Surrey. Our walks are very popular and attract large numbers. This year we were very pleased to welcome Harvey and Lesley Russell.

Winter Walkies 09

Our members did the usual marshalling at the London to Brighton in November and were pleased to say that they did it in the dry before the heavens opened on the poor entrants. What a pity it was such terrible weather for them.

Please click here for next year's calendar. I will give out calendars at the Xmas Dinner and afterwards at the January club night. If anyone gets missed please contact Judy. We hope our members are pleased with the plans for next year but if anyone has an idea for an event please contact the committee so that we can try to include the idea.

The committee of Brooklands Centre wish all our members and our club friends a very Happy Christmas.


June 2009

Brooklands Centre Holiday to Switzerland June 2009

We set off from Calais early on the 5th June with a few members unfortunately missing due to illness. Their places had been filled by friends of friends who could leave with very little notice and they were most welcome.

We drove to Cambrai for a quick look round and then towards the Ardennes for a fabulous Hotel stop in the largest occupied medieval fortress in Europe. A wonderful place to stay with an unfortunately unmarked drain gully in the courtyard. Stephen Lloyd drove over it at very sedate pace and broke the bracket off his spare wheel carrier. Much tinkering followed and a temporary repair with wire was carried out.

Tinkering in Switzerland

Off to Verdun the next morning and a short visit to the memorial and a picnic lunch in the car with roof up. Next stop Wangenbourg for two nights so a chance to relax and walk a little. We walked for an hour to a waterfall which we couldn't find but on the way out the next morning drove past the viewing place. ARGHHHH!!

Through the Forest of Haslach to Molsheim, home of Bugatti, so a good place for visits to Museums etc. Then a pleasant meander through the rolling Alsace hills into Switzerland. We were now heading for Basal and Luzern so had to make the decision "To buy a motorway permit or not". We decided we could just about avoid them by some diversions onto minor roads, but this caused extra miles and extra time, so in hindsight I wish we had paid up and skipped on and off the Motorways.

Followed by the Law

The hotel on the Lakeside at Winkel-Kastanienbaum was very pleasant, so a pity we had to move on the next day. Beautiful views of the lake and the weather was improving. But the wine prices were so high we all drank water and moaned a lot. Isn't it awful when you can't afford to buy a round of drinks for your friends!!

The next day was another "avoid the Motorway day" but took us through some beautiful countryside along the side of the Brienzer See to Interlaken and a stay in a very pleasant Hotel at Neuhaus. On the way there Len and I visited Meiringen and the Waterfall at Reichenbach where Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes fell to their deaths only to cause a public outcry and be miraculously saved. The museum there is just wonderful for anyone interested.

Sherlock Norman at Reichenbach Falls
Sherlock Norman at Reichenbach Falls

At this point Len, Bev. and I collapsed in a heap and decided to spend a wimpish day on a boat going round the Thuner See and a visit to Spiez which was wonderful. The others hared about in their cars up mountain railways and on cable cars etc. All exciting stuff.


Len and The Chairman enjoying a beer

The journey continued to Gstaad and Lake Geneva and up into the Jura Mountains to a Logis at Les Molunes. Although we arrived at 8pm utterly exhausted it was a place we will definitely return to.

Onwards to Blois in the Loire, another long day but a day off to explore. We were very lucky to be met by Christine a friend of the 750 Motor Club who took us on a tour of her home town. A super day so a BIG thank you to her.

We ended our holiday here with a lovely dinner and great thanks to Robin who organised the holiday.

Points remembered:

  1. One car had to come home early with head gasket problems, so commiserations to the owners.
  2. A few had minor problems but with lots of help continued their journey.
  3. Great company and lots of laughs.
  4. One car that shall be nameless spread approx. 3 gallons of oil around France and Switzerland.
  5. Robin kept "Flashing intermittently". I do wish he wouldn't.
  6. And the star of the trip was "DAISY" no, not a car, but a very young baby who was perfectly behaved at all times and a joy.


P.S Please, we beg forgiveness. Due to the mileage and the mountains this trip was done by us all in faster and more modern "Classics" than our Austin 7's.


May 2009

The Virginia Water Anniversary Run organized by Brooklands Centre was a fantastic day out with weather to match. Over 50 cars assembled at Savill Gardens and followed a route through the Surrey lanes stopping at Manor House School in Bookham for coffee and biscuits. Many thanks to Stephen Lloyd and to the school staff for laying on this very welcome break. One hiccup, a wrong turn led us into Pirbright Army Camp where we were greeted by an armed guard who beckoned to us to approach. It appeared that I was not the first Austin he had seen that morning and unfortunately there was a stream of Austins behind me so he was kept busy turning us all around. A little light relief from his usual duties perhaps. We then made our way to Brooklands Museum where we assembled on the famous banking for a photo call.

Virginia Water Run - Brookland Museum

We were then addressed by Nigel Coulter the organizer of this first class event and Ken Cooke who acknowledged the success of the Run and welcomed the entrants who had come from far and wide to take part. Thank you Nigel for a day to remember.


Please check out our Forthcoming Events page.