Sunday, 17 February 2019

Sunday Snap – The Racing Track

We were looking at the statute of the discoverer of air, Joseph Priestley, for last week's Sunday Snap. I asked which type of air he discovered and the answer was

Oxygen

Breathing in deeply with the right answer were Sarah, Kara, Soma, Susan and Mary.

This week we are off to Weybridge in Surrey and the birthplace of British motorsport. After travelling through Europe in the early 20th century Hugh F. Lock King decided that Britain needed its own purpose built race track to support its own car industry. At that time the speed limit in Britain was just 20 miles per hour and Lock King was worried that without the ability to test cars at high-speed would hold back British manufacturers. He had inherited an estate in Surrey which he turned into the first banked racing track in the world.

The track was official opened on 17th June 1907 and racing commenced later that month. It was popular from the outset with the public with races bringing in over 10,000 spectators. In the following years it built up a reputation for well-publicised attempts to break time and speed records.

During World War I the track was requisitioned by the War Office. As it also had a flying training centre the site was used for the construction, testing and supply of military aeroplanes. After the end of the war racing started again at the track. In 1926 the first British Grand Prix was held here.

The thrills and spills of racing stopped again in 1939 with the start of World War II. Once again it was used for the production of military aircraft. As such a vital location for the war effort it was subject to bombing. Parts of the track were cut into for access roads and other sections had temporary hangers built on them. By the end of the war the track was in such a state that it was no longer fit for motor racing. It was sold to Vickers-Armstrong for the continuation of aircraft manufacturing.

Today part of the track takes in rather appropriately an aviation and motorsport museum, Mercedes-Benz World with test track, an Art Deco inspired hotel and rather less glamorously a Tesco. Much of the old airfield is now a community park. The track also gives its name to a particular shade of green popular with vintage car enthusiasts.

For Downton Abbey fans this the race track that Henry Talbot invites Lady Mary to watch him race but tragically his friend Charlie Rogers is killed in a crash. For filming purposes the original buildings which now form part of the museum were used but the racing was filmed at Goodwood. This week's question is

What is the name of this race track?

We were joined last week by Susan and some ice bubbles. Sarah has been to Light Up Cheltenham. A tiger was spotted by Mary having a drink. Kara's daughter got her hands on the swimming cup and found the pond frozen over. There's also been cold weather in Seattle for Sara as she captured a snow scene at night and snow falling in her backyard. In contrast Sara found in Arizona Saguaro cactus by the roadside and a spiky cactus in the botanical garden. Soma has been using her birthday presents to paint a phoenix. Finally, Jesh has been seeing red this month.

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8 comments:

  1. I have no idea of the name of the track, but I do like the dramatic sky behind it. X

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  2. I could look it up I'm sure, but I feel that would be cheating, so I have to say I don't know! It was very interesting to read about it though.

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  3. Is it Brooklands? It sounds like the place my husband wants to visit, but we haven't yet. Thanks for hosting x

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  4. It's too difficult to find the name. Bexhill-on-Sea?

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  5. I don’t think my comments are showing when I post on my phone but it’s Brooklands - ice walhed the oval that remains #sundaysnap

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  6. Have changed the settings of firefox - hurrah, am able to link up now!

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  7. Oh feel sorry for your brother's last Christmas -of all days!
    Here, I still have the woodstove to cook on - limiting in dishes, but when you are hungry, you don't mind simplifying (it's our only heat, because the central heat really does not do the job in the mountains). Thank you for stopping by!

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