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TNF Guide to former premises: Bourne


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#1 Terry Walker

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 08:45

I found the Bourne premises more or less by accident, looking for somewhere to park to consult my map.

It's easy enough to find; drive into Bourne from the south or west, and in the middle of town follow the signs towards Spalding. On the right, quite close to the town centre, is the Bus Company depot (B), on the left the boarded up, derelict site of the Raymond Mays car dealiership ©. Duck around the corner into Eastgate, and there's the Mays house (A).

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Eastgate House, in Eastgate, is big, and Raymond Mays' family was obviously not short of a quid. There's a plaque on the garden wall near the gate.

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Around the corner in Spading Road, directly behind Eastgate House, is an auction rooms, which I think was the ERA works.

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A little to the left is the bus depot, the former BRM works. How much remains I can't say; it was obscured by a hardstand full of buses.

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Finally, on the other side of Spalding Road is the derelict site of the Raymond Mays car dealership. I couldn't work out what make was sold from here. Maybe a TNFer knows (what do I mean maybe? Of course a TNFer knows.)

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#2 RTH

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 09:28

Great pictures Terry, I went to the final auction sale inside the BRM premises at Bourne more than 25 years ago and bought a batch of odd sized very large 3/4 " drive sockets in imperial sizes really as a momento of the firm and the day.

#3 BRG

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 09:34

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Finally, on the other side of Spalding Road is the derelict site of the Raymond Mays car dealership. I couldn't work out what make was sold from here. Maybe a TNFer knows (what do I mean maybe? Of course a TNFer knows.)

Judging from the signage, it was a Ford dealer. It looks very like their house style.

#4 jph

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 10:20

Last time I drove past there, probably about 5 years ago, it was a Ford dealer. Given the rate at which petrol stations and small garages are closing, I doubt that these premises will remain standing for much longer.

#5 Macca

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 11:47

Good to see there's a Graham Hill Way on the map; and of course The Slipe was the road to Mays' knackers yard, up and down which BRM would sometimes run cars.

I believe there is now a small museum to BRM in Bourne, though I haven't seen it.

Paul M

#6 Terry Walker

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 11:55

At the corner of Graham Hill Way and Cherry Holt Rd you find this establishment:

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#7 RTH

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 12:01

Pilbeam had a car at Le Mans last month.

#8 RaymondMays

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 13:54

As a "son" of Bourne (parents still live there, Dick Salmon former BRM mechanic lives next door to them), allow me to fill you in...

Baldock's Mill is on South Street, opposite Bourne Abbey. It is a Heritage Centre, run by the Civic Society and has a room dedicated to Raymond Mays, with some interesting artefacts, including the recent addition of many trophies (although no cars).

Next to Baldock's Mill, between the river and South Street, there is a memorial to Raymond Mays and Bourne's motor racing history.

The petrol station on Spalding Road was indeed a Ford dealership for some time, which I understand has succumbed to the supermarket run filling stations.

There is a great BRM website created by David Hodgkinson, which has some dodgy photos taken by me (as well as many others of far higher quality), of the BRM 50th Anniversary celebrations in Bourne.

Hall & Hall are still based up the road at Folkingham airfield. Take a look at the "sales" section of their website and dream of that lottery win!

Of course, Pilbeam Racing are still flying the flag for Bourne, and I believe that there are a number of other specialist companies in Bourne that supply Pilbeam and others with motor racing components.

#9 Peter Morley

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 14:15

Hall & Hall have just taken over the old Pilbeam workshops - they need the extra space as well as the old BRM engine test shed site.

#10 BRG

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 14:28

Just out of interest, how do Pilbeam actually make their money? I know many of the UK's hillclimb cars are Pilbeams and that there is the odd sportscar as well, but it hardly adds up to 'volume' production of the Lola, March, van Diemen, Reynard sort of scale. Or maybe it does?

#11 RaymondMays

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 15:36

When I last spoke to Mike Pilbeam, I got the impression that they made their money from maintaining cars they've built, plus doing a lot of consultancy for other companies racing projects. They had a mock-up of some kind of Paris-Dakar 4x4 (I think it was for Toyota or Nissan) when I last visited the factory.

As an aside, when I was in the Sixth Form at Bourne Grammar School, I was involved in a Business Enterprise Project, which Mike assisted with every year, and we met at Pilbeam's old factory every Tuesday night for about 6 months. I was far more interested in seeing the progress made in building their cars than the business enterprise!

#12 BRG

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:34

Thanks RM, that makes sense. Consultancy work can be a nice little earner - it kept Lotus Cars going for years when they weren't making many cars for instance. Obviously, Pilbeam must have
a reasonable income flow to afford quite a decent looking factory unit. I guess people are prepared to pay a premium for really top quality engineering.

#13 David Beard

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 15:50

Originally posted by RTH
Great pictures Terry, I went to the final auction sale inside the BRM premises at Bourne more than 25 years ago and bought a batch of odd sized very large 3/4 " drive sockets in imperial sizes really as a momento of the firm and the day.


I wonder what nuts on a BRM needed the sort of torque one can apply though a 3/4" drive?

#14 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 22:04

Terry - the modern(ish) auction hall is actually the BRM race shop which was built here at Bourne in 1960-61ish, when the team lost the use of its former race workshop site up at Folkingham Aerodrome, where Hall & Fowler (latterly Hall & Hall) have been based for many years. This was the first racing car factory I was ever able to visit, just after I had joined 'Motor Racing' magazine, in 1963. It left a deep impression on me...

The Delaine bus company occupy - or occupied - part of what remains of the original pre-war ERA works, which is to the far left of the site as you face it from Spalding Road.

At the back of the vehicle park in the centre of the site - at least until relatively recently - a high wall was standing which was pierced by a number of circular holes. This was all that remained of the original BRM V16-cylinder Test House, which was built there at British Motor Racing Research Trust expense in the period 1948-49. The circular holes originally housed the venitlation and extraction funs and trunking for the sturdily built Test House, which consisted in effect of a brick or block-built box within a box to provide noise insulation there in the middle of the town.

The heart of the BRM works used to be The Old Maltings building which stood right alongside the road, to the left of the race shop/auction building, as one faced it from Spalding Road. This historic old building was never - in my experience - in particularly good condition, but it was truly historic and it was in my view a criminal act when the local authority sanctioned its demolition and clearance.

Raymond Mays & Partners - the garage site opposite - was for many years a Rover and Ford agency. It was in the forecourt there that the prototype Type 25 BRM 4-cylinder 2 1/.2-litre car was first photographed and shown to the specialist press, in 1955. The business was managed for many years by RM's friend, Henry Coy. The business originally occupied The Old Maltings, but moved to this site on the other side of the Spalding Road when BRM operations expanded to absorb the whole of the Maltings, the ground floor of which became the well-equipped machine shop.

DCN

#15 RTH

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 14:47

Originally posted by David Beard


I wonder what nuts on a BRM needed the sort of torque one can apply though a 3/4" drive?


I have yet to find something to fit them over too David !

The premises the dispersal sale was held in still had 2 rows of ancient looking machine tools and amazinglly the buildings all had suspended wooden floors, even all that time ago it was like walking in to a bygone era.

#16 Terry Walker

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 15:04

H'm - I had to buy a 3/4 drive to fit the 37 mm (or was it 35 mm?) socket needed to undo the nut on the front of the crankshaft on my Alfa 1750GT. Later someone borrowed both to undo something in the front hubs of, I think, a Citroen. Don't chuck them away, you never now when you might need them.

#17 kayemod

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 15:49

Originally posted by RTH
The premises the dispersal sale was held in still had 2 rows of ancient looking machine tools and amazinglly the buildings all had suspended wooden floors, even all that time ago it was like walking in to a bygone era.


If a present day health & safety inspector had walked through a time warp into the BRM workshops at Bourne back when they were operating, he'd have closed them down on the spot, I've been round quite a few racing shops, and BRM were the worst I ever saw. Makes the quality of some of the engineering they turned out even more remarkable. I've mentioned this before I think, but earth floors with wood duckboards in front of each lathe? That was some time around 1970 I think.

#18 Terry Walker

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:06

I wonder if any TNFer with Google Earth could zero in on the BRM-ERA site? I've tried to install it on my PC but GoogleEarth just sneers at my graphics card and goes home.

The Bourne works are at

52 degrees 45 minutes 57 seconds N
0 degrees 22 minutes W

or in decimals 52.7659, -0.3668 (don't forget the minus).

It would be a great help in identifying what's left of the works.

#19 Murray Lord

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:55

Terry,

If you can't run Google Earth, go to maps.google.com and click on "satellite" - it will give you basically the same picture as Google Earth does.

Here's a direct link (I hope) to that area:

http://maps.google.c...001876,0.005407

Murray

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#20 Terry Walker

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 08:00

Many thanks Murray.

Here is what I got, enlarged and processed a bit to increase brightness. I also had to turn it upside down (north to the bottom) because air photos always get mentally processed better if the light is coming from the top of the picture:


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You can make out Eastgate House easily, and the car dealership. The auctioneers shed is also clear. The buildings within the bus depot are less certain; I'd love a stero pair to bring it up in 3d. I don't know if it helps anyone else, but it certainly helped me.

#21 Macca

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 15:18

Have Hall & Hall now moved entirely to the Pilbeam factory at Bourne? Or have they just expanded from the old engine house at Folkingham?

If they have permanently left Folkingham, it seems to me the site should be protected or listed or whatever, with its part in F1 history. Was it part of the airfield infrastructure originally?

Paul M

#22 bradbury west

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 20:57

I came across this list of personnel at BRM
http://homepages.whi...ymond Mays4.htm
Roger Lund

#23 john winfield

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:45

Slightly OT, here are a couple of shots taken in 1999. Could someone tell me who is driving the P25 and is it that same driver sitting alonside Tony Rudd? Thanks.

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#24 David McKinney

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:56

Looks very much like John Pearson at the wheel, but not next to Tony Rudd

#25 john winfield

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 13:10

Thanks again David. Here are three more shots from a memorable day in Bourne.

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#26 HistoricMustang

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 22:28

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Many thanks Murray.

Here is what I got, enlarged and processed a bit to increase brightness. I also had to turn it upside down (north to the bottom) because air photos always get mentally processed better if the light is coming from the top of the picture:


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You can make out Eastgate House easily, and the car dealership. The auctioneers shed is also clear. The buildings within the bus depot are less certain; I'd love a stero pair to bring it up in 3d. I don't know if it helps anyone else, but it certainly helped me.


Not sure when Google Earth took this information but there appears to be activity at the BRM Works.

Henry

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#27 Terry Walker

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:32

Much better pic than the one I posted - taken in bright sunshine on a fairly smog-free day, instead of through an atmosphere full of junk. I just did a building by building comparison and it looks the same otherwise. I'll have to see if Folkingham has better coverage now.

#28 Paul Jeffrey

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:34

It is David Owen sitting next to the late Tony Rudd. My father used to work for him at Rubery Owen. Are their plans for a 60th anniversary bash next year?

#29 Terry Walker

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:46

Folkingham airfield. The brown rash on the edges of the north-south runway seem to be rusting auto bodies.

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#30 john winfield

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:16

Originally posted by Paul Jeffrey
It is David Owen sitting next to the late Tony Rudd. My father used to work for him at Rubery Owen. Are their plans for a 60th anniversary bash next year?


Thank you very much Paul. I have a few photos from that day and, while I can identify Louis Stanley, Tony Rudd, Jackie Oliver, Dickie Attwood etc., there are plenty of subjects, human and four-wheeled, that I can't! Rather than clog up Terry's Bourne premises thread, I'll find or create somewhere more appropriate for posting.

A 60th anniversary do would be nice but I haven't heard of any plans. I think I got to hear about the 1999 event from Michael McGregor who wrote 'Raymond Mays of Bourne'. 1999, I assume, was seen as a key anniversary, being not only 50 years since the appearance of the V-16 BRM, but 100 years since RM's birth.
John

#31 Macca

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 14:24

The 'brown rash' is actually rusting heavy plant machinery - I went there a few years ago and managed to sneak in and pleaded ignorance in searching for a short-cut when challenged...........visitors are not welcome I think. The three large earthworks near the runway crossing are the Thor missile revetments, the construction of which caused BRM's eviction from using the test circuit there.

Paul M

#32 bradbury west

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 00:40

Photolink to picture of original BRM staff, described as such, on eBay
http://cgi.ebay.ie/B...L...A1|240:1318
Roger Lund

#33 HistoricMustang

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 00:24

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Folkingham airfield. The brown rash on the edges of the north-south runway seem to be rusting auto bodies.

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Thor site and old equipment on runway.

Henry

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#34 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 13:36

I was pleased to discover this thread, having spent a couple of hours mooching around Bourne in October.

Quite why it had taken me so long to get there for the first time I don't know, as the name and place has fascinated me since I started to read about BRM as a seven year old back in the early sixties. I've visited much more far flung places like Pescara and the Monza banking before I made it there!

Suffice to say it was fascinating to see RM's home and the site of such important British motor racing history. A fuller story of my visit can be found on post 1620 here:

http://forums.autosp...=&pagenumber=41

There are some recent Rheims pics also a little higher up the thread for those interested.

You will see I managed to get inside the auction room (before being asked to leave, rather curtly) to take this shot...

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Rob :wave:

#35 sterling49

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 14:03

I was there on business a few years back, but did not have much time to look around, it is however, a lovely village and I did promise myself a return visit.

#36 john winfield

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Posted 02 June 2021 - 13:48

A quick update after a visit yesterday to Grimsthorpe Castle and sunny Bourne.

 

As far as I can tell, no major changes to Bourne premises since the later posts above.  Delaines still run their bus garage (ex-ERA works? now modernised) and the 1960/61 BRM workshops remain, still used as the auction house from which Rob was evicted! The workshop frontage on Spalding Road looks fairly sorry for itself, and authentically 1960s, so I wouldn't be surprised if something changes there soon!

 

Raymond Mays' house in Eastgate looked wonderful in the sunshine but, on closer inspection, it's not in great condition. I'm not entirely sure it's even occupied. The RM plaque on the garden wall remains.  What is the small C19th? brick building to the left of the Eastgate house, neither quite on Eastgate itself nor on Spalding Road? RM's early workshop? I can never remember.

 

Walking alongside the Bourne Eau, east along Eastgate, into Cherry Holt Road, then immediately right into Graham Hill Way, two of Bourne's modern day heroes are still there, Hall & Hall immediately on the left, Pilbeam further down on the right, backing on to the stream and Eastgate.

 

As I hoped, the hot weather meant the Hall & Hall workshop doors were open, so I had a quick peek. Wow. A V16 BRM, the 1960 Graham Hill car, a 1970 P153, more GP cars, Formula Juniors, sports cars, Derek Daly's 1978 Hesketh etc. etc. Spare BRM nosecones hanging high above the cars. The staff were busy loading up before heading off to Europe  -  like old times  -  taking customer cars off to historic meetings at, I think, Dijon and Paul Ricard.  A McLaren M23 was peeping out of one transporter.

 

Despite being busy, the guys had time for a swift chat, before I got out of their way, and headed to reception for a quick drool over Jackie Stewart's 1965 BRM. I noticed some YPF fuel funnels tucked under the stairs - perhaps they had been used back in 1973, on Regazzoni's car out in Argentina. Who knows? 

 

It was time to go and meet Mrs W in M&S Food, which now looks over the spot where, in both 1999 and 2012, a public car park became an impromptu paddock of Bourne's motor racing history: ERAs, BRMs, Pilbeams, Tony Rudd, the Stanleys, Damon Hill and family, Jackie Stewart and many more. 


Edited by john winfield, 02 June 2021 - 13:52.


#37 sstiel

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 12:31

Bourne was in the news recently. A BRM model going to be installed soon: https://www.stamford...istory-9198611/



#38 Maxdecel

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 22:06

This is quite atmospheric Shame it's not longer