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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 22:23

I am currently reading Tony Rudd's book 'IT WAS FUN'. If you haven't got it - GET IT! It's an excellent read.

It got me thinking about the old aerodrome at Folkingham, where BRM had some of their facility and I wondered if any records survive of the layout of the roads they used to use for their test track. Tony Rudd says there were no slow corners and the lap length was close on 3 miles, giving a lap of over 100 seconds in the V.16 car.

Doug? Anyone?

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 22:50

Aerial photographs taken in the 1951-5 period would show the circuit used clearly. The rubber left by the screaming V16s would show up well enough, I would think.

You should be able to look at these at the appropriate mapping authority's office, and no doubt you can order a copy if you wish. That's the way it works here...

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 22:58

Nice thought Ray, but the only comprehensive aerial survey of the UK in that period was done by the RAF in 1947. A year or two too early ......

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 23:02

You're kidding?

Here it's done every five or seven years... or it was during that period, and that's without taking into account what the Federal (military) mappers did.

I'd look further afield then... and I wonder if anyone flying into the establishment for a testing day ever took a snap of the place?

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 23:06

A bit of Googling came up with this, overlaid on the OS map:

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#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 23:10

Oops - should have given the URL for the site too!

http://members.madas...gkinson/brm.htm

#7 Geoff E

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 08:52

I have an older OS map which shows the northern half of the airfield in its entirety. I could post a scan to someone if they have a means of displaying it.

#8 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 08:56

Barry,

The best plan of Folkingham is obtainable from The Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon. Give them a call and tell them you're a researcher and ask if they could provide a print of a contemporary Air Ministry - or War Ministry - site plan of Folkingham Aerodrome circa 1945. For a few quid - very reasonably priced I thought when I did this about ten years ago - you should receive a large-format plan showing the aerodrome at its peak of development, with every building marked, numbered and keyed to an identifying list. I provided a marked-up circuit map in 'The BRM Saga - Volume 1' and I'll happily scan it for you if you'd rather not go to the trouble of contacting the above. For anyone interested in wartime military aerodromes, these contemporary Ministry plans are absolutely fascinating. Silverstone, Goodwood, Gamston, Rufforth, Full Sutton, Davidstow, Llandow, Pembrey, Ibsley, dee daa dee daa...

DCN

#9 Geoff E

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 11:21

There are still BRMs at Folkingham:- http://www.pincinc.com/contacts.htm - Hall and Fowler

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 11:35

Originally posted by Barry Boor
.....It got me thinking about the old aerodrome at Folkingham, where BRM had some of their facility and I wondered if any records survive of the layout of the roads they used to use for their test track. Tony Rudd says there were no slow corners and the lap length was close on 3 miles, giving a lap of over 100 seconds in the V.16 car.....


Oh my...

I just realised! The probability is that B J Boor is about to extend his crazy slot car antics to include test tracks!

Come on Barry, say it isn't true!

#11 Geoff E

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 11:48

Links to modern aerial photos of hundreds of old airfields here:- http://www.aviationu...ed/disusedf.htm

or just Folkingham here:-
http://www.multimap....ys=&mapsize=big

#12 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 20:11

The probability is that B J Boor is about to extend his crazy slot car antics to include test tracks! Come on Barry, say it isn't true!


'Fraid I can't, Ray. I have just completed several hundred laps around Modena (the outer bit, not including the middle runway) getting Ferrari and Maserati ready for Reims.

Doug, if you could possibly scan and post that Folkingham map, I would be very grateful. And my BRMs may well go much better for the testing they will do there.... :rolleyes:

#13 D-Type

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 20:45

Totally OT.
Having been to your website, Barry, I have to ask how do you ensure that those who ought to win (e.g. Moss in a Mercedes) do win rather than the also-rans (say Manzon in a Gordini or Collins in an early Vanwall, a competitor but not a contender)?

#14 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 20:51

D-type - good question. Check Private Messages for lengthy answer. (I'm not boring the wheels off TNF members by posting on the Forum.)

#15 dolomite

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 21:15

Originally posted by Barry Boor
D-type - good question. Check Private Messages for lengthy answer. (I'm not boring the wheels off TNF members by posting on the Forum.)

Oh, go on.....

#16 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 21:28

Oh.... alright then....

When I decide to build a new series of cars, as I am just embarking on my 1961-62 series the 'Halfton Series', having been around when those cars were actually racing, and from books of course, I know who was quick and who wasn't.

Now, the motors from one series of cars will be passed on to a new series. So, the motors from my recently completed Historic (1959-60) Series will be passed on to the new cars. So, when I build the Sharknose Ferraris, I shall make certain that they all get good motors (probably from the 1959-60 Ferraris). Similarly, the works Lotus team will get the 2 quicker motors from the Lotus 18s etc etc etc. Then, when I run the new cars for the first time, they will be un-numbered and will have no drivers. The quicker Lotus will be allotted to Clark and the slower to Taylor. Moss will get the motor from his Rob Walker Lotus 18 in his new Rob Walker Lotus 24 and again etc etc etc.

You may say that this artificially biases the racing but although I never know what is going to happen in any race until it unfolds, I do want the cars to be in roughly the right sort of position relative to the rest as they would have been.

Where I build brand new cars from scratch, like the mid-1950s cars, I get a whole lot of motors together and run them in pukka Scalextric cars, e.g. the BRM P160 to see how they perform and then group them into 3 basic groups very quick, fairly quick and average.

The motors are then allotted on a purely arbitrary basis to the relevant teams, BUT, I will test the cars, as described above, before I put the drivers in them. Thus, Fangio and Moss' Mercs are naturally quicker than Kling or Herrmann's. But that doesn't mean that one a given track and a given day, Kling won't be quicker. It will happen that way occasionally.

Of course, there are times during a 'season' (which might last 4 or 5 years!) when I have to change an engine due to one going 'off' (they very rarely fail altogether as each car runs for such a relatively short time in any race - average, about 10-12 minutes). I put a fresh engine in Villoresi's Lancia fairly recently as its pace was way off that of Ascari and Castellotti.

Naturally, there are frequent anomalies. I never know how a particular car or type of car will work on any given circuit. My Connaughts have had a mediocre year but Archie's car ran beautifully at Silverstone. I suspect the lack of slow corners and also the fact that there are no combination corners (left-right-left close together)(I don't count Maggotts, Becketts, Chapel as a combination because Maggotts is almost flat and Chapel is) just suited the Connaught chassis.

One of the most interesting aspects of the hobby is wondering which car or cars is/are going to surprise me at the next race.

Another little glitch, especially where the 1950s cars are concerned is the swapping of drivers. There was always a hierachy and I maintain it. Following testing at Modena this morning I have transferred Behra into one of the 2 V.12 250.F Masers I built, while Musso, who is second in seniority is sticking with his new airfix based 6 cylinder 250.F. Mieres will drive the second V.12 car, leaving Perdisa in the slowest of the 4, which is another Airfix 250.F. But this was around the fiddly little Modena Autodrome; at Reims, on the long straights, things may look different.

BTW, I am close to scrabbling together a 250F for Signor Volonterio!!!!!

I do try to run the political side of the racing in the way that it used to be, as far as I know it. It just adds a bit of extra interest. But, I long for the day when a Gordini wins a Grand Prix.....

Well, you DID ask... :blush:

#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 21:48

Originally posted by Barry Boor
BTW, I am close to scrabbling together a 250F for Signor Volonterio!!!!!


:clap: :clap: :up:

Originally posted by Barry Boor
I do try to run the political side of the racing in the way that it used to be, as far as I know it. It just adds a bit of extra interest. But, I long for the day when a Gordini wins a Grand Prix.....


.... or the Bugatti T251 :rolleyes: :D

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 21:52

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Oh.... alright then....


About time you took us into your confidence!

And Barry concluded:
Well, you DID ask... :blush:


Of course... we do want to know these things! Are they to be secrets between yourself and your wife?

Oh, yeah, I join with the speedy one in wanting to see a Bugatti humble the Benz...

#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 22:35

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I provided a marked-up circuit map in 'The BRM Saga - Volume 1'


What page is it?

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#20 Vicuna

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 09:50

Originally posted by Barry Boor
I am currently reading Tony Rudd's book 'IT WAS FUN'. If you haven't got it - GET IT! It's an excellent read.


Absolutely unbelieveable Barry - I'm reading it at the moment also.

Agree that it's very good.

Perhaps surprisingly so.

I cannot believe the seemingly saintly qualities of Sir Alfred? and the complete bumblings of 'RM' & 'PB'.

I should probably, and will eventually, read DCNs history but how on earth could anyone continue with RM handling driver contracts when he'd never heard of some of the drivers he was supposed to helping to employ.

And what was the deal with PB never fronting up before noon.

Something very strange seems to have been going on in Bourne at that time.

I'm at the point of the book where TR has gone to Lotus but it strikes me he was the normal person working for BRM - in a management position - at that time.

I guess I've probably answered my question - go find Doug Nyes books.

#21 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 10:03

Originally posted by Roger Clark
(BRM Folkingham map)...What page is it?


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DCN

#22 Roger Clark

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 17:09

Thankyou - I was thrown off course by the other section on Folkingham (Page 99).

#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 18:28

My fault for not including an Index. I have quite often been berated for this omission. I will defend it on the basis that this was a conscious policy decision, made because I'd rather have more appendices and more photos within the dictated number of pages. By the time we get to Volume 834 we intend to append an overall Index covering them all...Volume 835...

DCN

#24 Barry Boor

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 19:04

Many thanks, Doug. It looks like a fairly easy track to reproduce in slot track.

I look forward to testing my cars there - (Of course, I will cheat and will run the 1962 V.8 cars there too, when I build them).

#25 Geza Sury

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 15:31

Originally posted by Barry Boor
I am currently reading Tony Rudd's book 'IT WAS FUN'. If you haven't got it - GET IT! It's an excellent read.

Thanks for the tip Barry, I've just ordered my copy :up:

#26 RaymondMays

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 16:16

I know that this isn't quite the thread, but I thought that as it was a BRM thread I would ask the question anyway.

Does anybody know how I can find out when and where BRMs are racing in the UK this year?

Coming from Bourne, but being slightly too young, I have only ever seen one BRM in a race - and that was at last years Ferrari Festival at Brands Hatch! (a P115 in an F5000 race).

I would dearly love to see a BRM P160 at speed, but even more than that, I would love to see (hear) a V16 at speed.

I did read in Motorsport magazine that for the Donington 70th anniversary in June, they are trying to get four V16s together, but I wasn't sure whether that would be for a static display, or for a demostration run, at the very least.

#27 Peter Morley

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 18:32

Since you are in Bourne you should nip up to Folkingham.
Find the Old Test Shed (that is the official address!).
That is where Hall & Hall are located - in the old BRM engine test sheds (on the old WW2 airfield - the entrance is through a farm), they are very approachable people (rather busy so don't expect too much of their time).
They usually have several BRMs on site (as well as all the drawings & patterns), and will be preparing them for any events this year.
If anyone is going to run a V-16, Hall & Hall will be preparing it (you can't imagine anyone would take one anywhere else).

The V-16 does have an amazing sound (while it is running!) - modern super high revving F1 cars do produce a similar sound so the impact is possibly less than it was 10 years or so ago (I remember that while testing an F3000 at Goodwood, someone was testing a V-16 BRM and a local resident heard the sound from miles away and came down to the circuit!!).

#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 20:25

...as you would!

#29 oldtimer

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 21:02

Originally posted by Vicuna


I cannot believe ... the complete bumblings of 'RM' & 'PB'.

I guess I've probably answered my question - go find Doug Nyes books.


OT Vicuna, but had you seen the pair in action, you would. I was loitering in the paddock at a practice session at Goodwood in 1957, and watching the tweed-jacketed brigade explained the team's prior history. Amazing the impressions you can collect just as a spectator, and how they get confirmed in later writings.

I too must track down Doug's books...

On topic, I seem to remember DSJ writing of Archie Scott-Brown enjoying the Folkingham curves in a P25 test drive in 1957.

#30 David Beard

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 21:09

Originally posted by oldtimer


On topic, I seem to remember DSJ writing of Archie Scott-Brown enjoying the Folkingham curves in a P25 test drive in 1957.


In Motor Sport? Interesting. Can anyone point us to the relevant issue?

#31 oldtimer

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 21:45

In his Racing Car Review for the 1957 season.

#32 Vicuna

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 15:56

Originally posted by Vicuna
I cannot believe the seemingly saintly qualities of Sir Alfred? and the complete bumblings of 'RM' & 'PB'.

I should probably, and will eventually, read DCNs history but how on earth could anyone continue with RM handling driver contracts when he'd never heard of some of the drivers he was supposed to helping to employ.

And what was the deal with PB never fronting up before noon.

Something very strange seems to have been going on in Bourne at that time.


OK I'm going to search out Dougs book but in the meantime, can anyone help me understand what was going on.

#33 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 03:03

Originally posted by Vicuna
OK I'm going to search out Dougs book but in the meantime, can anyone help me understand what was going on.


Doug's BRM - Vol. 1 is one of my favorites and a first-rate piece of work. I recommend the book without reservation. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the forthcoming Vol. 2. I would also highly recommend Tony Rudd's, "It Was Fun".

You ask a very interesting question I think, one that I have often pondered as well. The question seems to center upon the contrast between the styles of Alfred Owen, by all accounts that I've read he comes across as a gentlemen of quality and a highly successful businessman and the styles of Raymond Mays and Peter Berthon.

My impression of Mays is of a man dedicated to having a British team, but was perhaps not the gifted manager of people to accomplish the task. If I am totally off base here, I apologize in advance as I did not personally know any of the characters involved in the BRM saga, but my mental image of Mays is of a successful amateur gentleman racer who parlayed his notority into creating his own team that demanded more than his abilities.

Peter Berthon is one of the most interesting characters of the BRM story to me. Again, he comes across as a gifted amateur who is beyond his depth. I would love to learn more about Mr. Berthon. And his wife Lorna seems like quite a handful as well.

As the removal from BRM of Mays and Berthon by Owen occurs during the timeframe of Doug's forthcoming BRM volume, perhaps there will more on this shortly.

#34 Vicuna

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 04:15

Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury
I would love to learn more about Mr. Berthon. And his wife Lorna seems like quite a handful as well.


:confused:

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 04:21

Well, yeah, now you put it like that!

I wonder if she was merely jealous?

#36 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 09:44

Not in the sense I presume you mean Ray - let's say Lorna Berthon could be described as having been a - umm - "enthusiastic and immensely sporting hyperactive amateur..."

Ahem - or at least, that seems to be the concensus amongst those who knew this vivid lady.

She and her daughter Jackie caused real problems for the simple country-boy racing mechanics at Folkingham, as they competed with one another to sunbathe at their former control tower home wearing the most startling of contemporary swimwear...or not...as the case may be. :blush:

How much this caused BRM bolts to be over-tightened, or vital BRM oil or fuel unions to be left undone I can't say - but PB's girls might have had an adverse effect upon BRM reliability.

You see - not all of motor racing history can be reflected adequately in the record books and results tables...

DCN

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 09:59

Ahh... but in the bedrooms of Bourne and the annals of the Nostalgia Forum, much can be revealed?

#38 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 10:10

Good job the "Hello" and "OK" magazines weren't around in the 50s. Alternatively, it's a pity "the "Hello" and "OK" magazines weren't around in the 50s.

#39 Vicuna

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:06

There seems to be a several tons of reading between lines required here.

It sounds very 'wink, wink, nudge nudge' stuff - the British lead the world in that.

If 'it' can be told - tell it.

If it can't - why are we wasting our time?

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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:16

Well, I'm not sure how it all relates to PB getting up late in the mornings, but I believe that RM was AC and DCN seems to be telling me that PB wasn't but he might be saying he was and that LB didn't care because she was making her own alternate arrangments. Eric, of course, has thrown in some clues that I don't understand because I neither know what those magazines are or whether or not they were around in the 50s, 60s or 90s, but I can make a semi-educated guess. And I've left no space for reading between the lines in this post, have I?

#41 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:30

Hello and OK are gossip mags, slightly above the level of National Enquirer.

And I was under the impression that PB was actually AC/DC, which fitted rather well with RM being only AC and LB being DC and "vivid".

Doug - presumably those BRM mechanics often had problems getting their nuts tightened or released? :p

#42 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:32

"Hello" and "OK" are "Tittle, tattle" celeb mags here in Europe. Not my cup of tea at all. They thrive on gossip and inuendo - something the Great British Public can't seem to get enough of. They definitely weren't in existence in the 1950s, Both mags began in the 90s as far as I know. Hello was originally a Spanish mag I think.

To be honest, most of the intimations about the relationship between PB and RM I've picked up from TNF over the past few years. I've definitely not got any insider knowledge. I think Doug is the key to the real story but there may be legal reasons why "all is not revealed".

#43 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:32

And I've just realised that, given the direction this thread has taken, there's more than a little unconscious humour in the title ...... :lol:

#44 Catalina Park

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:35

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Hello and OK are gossip mags, slightly above the level of National Enquirer.

And I was under the impression that PB was actually AC/DC, which fitted rather well with RM being only AC and LB being DC and "vivid".

Doug - presumably those BRM mechanics often had problems getting their nuts tightened or released? :p

Or they were just frightened of bending over the car :eek: :blush:

#45 Roger Clark

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 13:38

Might I suggest that some of the recent posts would be more appropriate to "Hello" and "OK"?

#46 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 13:41

Or Viz ....

#47 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 15:20

I am not convinced that TNF is the proper place (if there is one) to air all the following but I am confident that you are a more appropriate audience than any other I know of.

The mindsets which triggered the following had distinct effects upon the course of motor racing history, which is our shared interest, but I would emphasise that the various natural drives which motivate the human animal will surely have played some role - to greater or lesser degree - within every racing car team or manufacturing concern which has ever merited our interest. Let's simply ensure that the following is kept in proportion, all right?

OK - tell it like it was time...



Raymond Mays was quite rampantly homosexual at a time when it was quite dangerous to be so - for such practises were illegal in the UK.

Peter Berthon may have been ambidextrous.

Former ERA and Dick Seaman mechanic 'Lofty' England told me that in the 1930s he found them both stark naked in RM's hotel room using a bed literally as a trampoline after an ERA success at Peronne, giggling like demons as - standing - they bounced up and down while showering their freshly collected start and prize money large-denomination Franc notes into the air!

This might have been relatively innocent - it's recognisable rugby club behaviour isn't it - but it definitely was NOT the norm amongst officer-class racing gents of the 1930s.

Otherwise Peter Berthon was most definitely a ram in the heterosexual sense, he could be an absolutely charming man, pre-war he was certainly exceptionally handsome, he was irresistibly attracted to women and many of them seemed irresistibly drawn to him. PB was renowned and rather admired for this by the BRM blokes who worked for him at Bourne and Folkingham.

Lorna Berthon, a former dancer who I am told had an absolutely beautiful body by the standards of the time, and loved to show it off, was known at the time as being completely sexually voracious...and almost equally barking...and allegedly she even propositioned Alfred Owen in the team's hotel at Liverpool during (I think) the 1957 British GP meeting there. As an extremely strait-laced lay preacher and utterly committed Christian gentleman the poor chap made his excuses and ran a mile!

When puzzled by hilarious paddock reaction to what today would be described by as 'homophobic' headlines in 'Motor Racing' magazine - including 'Queer Goings On at BRM' and 'Backs to the Wall at Bourne' - his PRO, A.F. Rivers-Fletcher, explained the reason to him. According to Rivers poor Alfred Owen was shattered by the revelation that such people existed, and could not understand it at all. In fact he was so shocked and embarrassed by Rivers' revelation that he avoided them meeting for several weeks afterward - almost a classic case of virtually shooting the messenger after having asked the original question which triggered the discussion.

Now is the above all clear enough Vicuna?

Perhaps it really is more fun - and it sounds less ugly - being not quite so literal????

Most of the time, in period, these extraordinary characters all had quite a lot of politically incorrect FUN - and also experienced some misery. Their behaviour also hurt a number of people, not least (ultimately) themselves...

DCN (Oh and Vitesse that schoolboy humour is extremely naughty - and funny... :up: )

#48 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 15:41

Thank ypu Doug for telling the "true" story at last. You are right, of course. The personality of an individual (including their sexual tendencies) is important to know if you are to understand the motives for their actions.

Having now "come clean" on their behind the scenes personal activities, I would like to know more about their handling of the then considerable sums of money that was placed into their hands by both the motor industry and by the impecunious enthusiasts of the immediate post war era. Was it all properly allocated to the task for which it was intended (i.e. the development of a genuine Formula 1 contender) or did some if it end up financing "other activities"?

I know Stirling Moss has described Raymond Mays as someone who could "sell snow to an Eskimo" so his persuasive powers were obviously highly developed.

#49 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 16:10

Originally posted by Doug Nye
...and allegedly she even propositioned Alfred Owen in the team's hotel at Liverpool during (I think) the 1957 British GP meeting there. As an extremely strait-laced lay preacher and utterly committed Christian gentleman the poor chap made his excuses and ran a mile!

Doug, many many thanks for sharing this information with the TNF crew. The thought of Lorna propositioning Alfred Owen is priceless.

I am still intrigued by the contridiction between Alfred Owen's continued support for Mays/Berthon throughout the balance of the 1950's. I can't square my impression of Owen as a highly moral, dedicated industrialist and that of Mays/Berthon who impress me as poseurs. Perhaps BRM was Owen's indulgence?

#50 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 18:08

Oh my - I am afraid that really you should read 'BRM Volume 1' to be offered a complete grasp of what you ask...I can't go through all that again....

The quick version would be simply to tell you a story.

One of the last times I visited Ray (who had grown into a thoroughly charming, thoroughly nice old gentleman in old age after being, I conclude, a still absolutely charming but utterly self-centred, manipulative, scheming and pretty unprincipled scam-merchant pre-war) he showed me how his 'Mays blue' stair carpet in Eastgate House had scuffed through to the threads on the step edges.

He bewailed the cost of replacing such a carpet and regretted that it was quite beyond his means in old age.

Subsequently - in the BMRR Trust files dating from around 1949-1950 - I found a memo from Old Man Vandervell (RM's greatest enemy) to Bernard Scott of Lucas (RM's 2nd greatest enemy) cursing outrageous expenditure by RM and PB on fitting out their offices in the Old Maltings at Bourne. One item he hit upon was the outrageous cost of "a Mays blue stair carpet".

Of course if you order double the amount (in order to carpet the stairs at your home in addition to those in your office) then costs do tend to double...

Re Alfred Owen - I am assured he was utterly fascinated by these exotic motor racing people with whom he had made contact, and his was a Christian acceptance of their "different and rather unusual working practises and ways of life" combined with absolute faith that their ultimate ambitions and aims were the same as his - to bring prestigious motor racing success to British industry.

His long-suffering patience and commitment only really began to fray during 1960 - when properly encouraged by Louis Stanley who was of course married to Owen's sister, Jean - and by his team's most promising driver, Graham Hill.

Through 1961 his determination to ring some changes became more resolute - and early in 1962 he did the job aned the Tony Rudd-run team promptly won the World Championship titles.

Alfred Owen was a most remarkable man.

He could have been more brutal in his pursuit of team success...and it is his gentleness and long suffering forebearance which is often characterised as weakness, lack of will, indecision - each characteristics which Owen most demonstrably did not display in any of his other undertakings.

His everyday business, charitable and religious commitments were absolutely immense, and his Formula 1 operation was just a tiny sideshow, one of his very rare indulgences. He was happy to indulge RM and PB...until they finally went too far...their warcry used to be "Alfred will be OK" - and one day, finally, Alfred was not OK, not OK at all...and they were the first to hear about it. When finally roused he took no prisoners.

DCN