Monday, 28 October 2013

Donation of the Percy Lambert Plaque: 14th October 2013

National Motor Museum
On a misty February morning at Brooklands in 1913, Percy Lambert achieved the long sought-after target of being the first man to drive 100 miles in one hour. In a streamlined Talbot belonging to the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, Lambert broke the record by driving 103.76 miles within the hour. To commemorate the occasion, a brass plaque was placed on the wall of the Clubhouse where it remained until the track closed. Tragically, the same year, on the 31st October 1913, Lambert was fatally injured trying to improve on his own record and was pronounced dead on arrival at Weybridge Cottage Hospital.

Brooklands Museum
When the Clubhouse was being cleared out after World War II the plaque was discarded and rescued by the Brooklands racing motorcyclist, Charles Mortimer. Recognising its historic significance, he later donated it to The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The plaque was in turn loaned by the National Motor Museum Trust to the newly founded Brooklands Museum in the 1980s for inclusion in a display on Percy Lambert.

NMM Curatorial Officer Gail Stewart-Bye with John Pulford
Now, in the centenary year of not just Lambert’s great achievement, but of his death too, The National Motor Museum Trust has kindly donated the plaque to Brooklands Museum for permanent display, together with replicas of his silk racing jacket and cap.

John Pulford, Head of Collections & Interpretation at Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd said: “We are extremely grateful to the National Motor Museum for its generous donation of the Percy Lambert plaque and his replica silk racing jacket and cap.  In this the 100th anniversary year, not just of his I00 miles in one hour record, but of his death too, it is very appropriate that these items can be seen together in their original environment and stand as a fitting tribute to an outstanding Edwardian racing driver.”

Allan Winn and Andrea Bishop
Andrea Bishop, Director of Collections at the National Motor Museum, said: “In this 100th anniversary year is was important to tell Percy Lambert’s story. His original racing silks at the National Motor Museum required urgent conservation and replica sets were required for display at Beaulieu and Brooklands. I am very grateful to Arts Council England for its support in this endeavour, and also to Alfred Dunhill Ltd. We had loaned the Percy Lambert plaque to Brooklands for many years, and the centenary of his achievements provided an appropriate occasion to donate it, along with the display silks.”

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