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TNF Guide to former premises: McLaren Colnbrook/Poyle


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#1 Terry Walker

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 10:40

Poyle trading estate is a small, incredibly cramped operation directly under the Heathrow flightpath and yards from the M25.

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McLaren's works were, I'm informed at 17 David Rd, Poyle. It's a cul-de-sac and choked with cars on both footpasths, so I had to park a few blocks away. While I was trudging down David Rd I was entertained by a European semi-trailer driver trying to reverse his vast semi into a loading bay, dodging parked cars with about one inch to spare.

Most of the buildings are not numbered, but enough were for me to conclude this this vacant building was No 17:

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However, I'm also told that McLaren's works were the second-last building on the left, which is this one, next door:

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Tigwell and Williams occupy most of the buildings on that side of the road, from about No 5 onwards.

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#2 Cirrus

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:18

At the bottom of the map is Calder Way, where the FORCE GP team were based - premises later occupied by March/Ralt. Towards the top of the map is the HQ of the Motor Sports Association on the corner of Poyle Rd/Mathisen Way

#3 BRG

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:27

This is all excellent stuff, Terry, and nicely presented. It puts us locals to great shame that it took someone coming al the way from WA to document the motorsports history that is on our very doorsteps!

My only question is when you found the time for any holidaying during your holiday!

#4 Terry Walker

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:36

Myy trips to UK are family visits but since my brother and his wife both work long hours, I have to amuse myself weekdays. So I go to work with my brother in the morning (he works at Ridge, near South Mimms), borrow the car, and poke around. A while back it was the Rolls-Royce Tour of England (see www.rrocwa.com, under "articles"), to give those weekday drives a focus. This time it was Nostalgia Forum Tour of England...

#5 kayemod

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 14:40

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Most of the buildings are not numbered, but enough were for me to conclude this this vacant building was No 17:

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Oh joy! That's the one alright Terry, number 17 David Road, Poyle Trading Estate. From my own distant recollections, all McLaren had went straight back from that frontage, they didn't own or use anything on either side, and parking was always a nightmare. All the blue painted stuff used to be bare brickwork, and there was big McLAREN RACING lettering, white on a grey background I think, that filled most of the space between ground & first floor windows to the left of the central main entrance. First time I went there, I thought it was the cleanest least cluttered factory I'd ever seen, though after having seen BRM's place at Bourne, almost anything looked clean and uncluttered. As a 20 year old, I remember being greatly impressed that they had free PepsiCola (a McLaren CanAm sponsor) on tap in the workshops. It wasn't what I'd been used to at all, no-one seemed to wear overalls, they all dressed in the late 60s equivalent of 'designer sportswear'. It was a great friendly place with a happy atmosphere, and everyone seemed to be on first name terms. One strong memory is that Teddy Mayer's trousers always seemed about one inch too short, but I suppose that's Brookes Brothers US style for you.

#6 Terry Walker

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 14:51

I was certain a TNFer would pin down the site for me. There's a laneway on the far side of the building, which was chicken wired up when I visited a few weeks ago. Maybe I should have pretended to be interested in leasing it, and had a look inside...

#7 Alan Cox

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 16:19

Does anyone else agree that there should be some form of TNF accolade to recognise the sterling work Terry has put in on his various 'Guide to former premises' threads.

Many congratulations, Terry. It's much appreciated and most illuminating.

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 16:24

Hear Hear
:up: :clap: :clap: :clap: :up:

#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 16:40

Ditto

:clap: :clap:

#10 Pete Stowe

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 18:59

Not sure of the exact dates, but McLaren were earlier at number 5 David Road, before moving to number 17.

#11 Terry Walker

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:19

Yes, number 5 was used by them before 17. It's a panel beating shop now, I think. For some obscure reason I failed to photograph No 5 while I was there.

And thank you for the applause. I can't find a smilie for a deep bow, so this will have to do: :blush:

#12 Jerry Entin

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 13:48

Terry according to Howden Ganley the white building with the for rent sign is the McLaren building. The smaller building down the street #5 was to be used to build a McLaren roadcar version. Very good work.

#13 Gary C

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 14:55

.....and don't you love the row of oil drums out the front?

#14 nikhil

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 13:21

The white building with for lease sign is correct building - the very last building on left at the end David Road

These shots were taken 1977 or 78 when Hunt & Mass were the drivers


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#15 David M. Kane

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 13:53

Nikhil:

Those are great shots...how we get from Colnbrook/Poyle to the need for a Space Ship of a facility
with marked tea cups?

Your shots have such a human feel to them as opposed to today's totally alien and over the top
Spaceship Gallacia, whatever...

Did anyone ever visit March, Surtees or GRD, I did but I don't have clue where my 1972 or '73 shots
are. We took a train up to Thetford, that was a great adventure, my mate got chased from the magazine stand for reading this girly magazine (like we do all the time in the US), I remember the woman chasing him away after 15 minutes with a broom! He was quite culturally shocked. I think she demanded he buy it since he spoilt it by reading it...I believe he forked up the cash.

#16 kayemod

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 14:38

Originally posted by nikhil
The white building with for lease sign is correct building - the very last building on left at the end David Road


That's what I remember, last building on the left in a cul de sac, parked cars backed up all the way from the end, right opposite Graviner Fire Extinguishers. I know I have a pic somewhere showing white on grey McLAREN RACING lettering though, probably some time in the early 70s, but maybe they changed it to McLaren orange at some later date. The orange looks nicer.

#17 Johnnym

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 12:45

I have just found this... and I can't believe it. I was living about a mile away from there in Horton/ Wraysbury when those early photos were taken, and I never knew! My dad was always interested in cars and motorsport, and I'm sure if he had known he would have taken me to see the factory.

Thanks for the information- when I next go to see my dad I'll check out what is happening to the old building.

John

#18 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:57

Poyle trading estate is a small, incredibly cramped operation directly under the Heathrow flightpath and yards from the M25.

Posted Image

McLaren's works were, I'm informed at 17 David Rd, Poyle. It's a cul-de-sac and choked with cars on both footpasths, so I had to park a few blocks away. While I was trudging down David Rd I was entertained by a European semi-trailer driver trying to reverse his vast semi into a loading bay, dodging parked cars with about one inch to spare.

Most of the buildings are not numbered, but enough were for me to conclude this this vacant building was No 17:

Posted Image

However, I'm also told that McLaren's works were the second-last building on the left, which is this one, next door:

Posted Image

Tigwell and Williams occupy most of the buildings on that side of the road, from about No 5 onwards.


The building in the first photo, number 17 David Road, was the McLaren factory from circa 1970 to circa 1981 when they moved to Boundary Road in Woking. Prior to no.17 being acquired they were in no.5 David Road, which is on the same side of the road. The building in the second photo was not a McLaren building. Adjacent to no 17 was the sports field for the Graviner fire extinguisher company, which was used for photographs of the cars for press launches.


#19 arttidesco

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 14:32

Seems a lot more space outside than I remember on my factory visit one Saturday late in 1976, great pics belated congrats to Terry for finding it :-)