The National Motor Museum has recently received two interesting and very important donations of archive material.
The first has been donated by David Paine and includes a rather sad handwritten letter from George Eyston in response to a request for research material for a book about the racing driver Zborowski. This material includes two excellent photographs, one of Thunderbolt taken in 1938 and the other of Flying Spray. These are the only photographs which remained with George Eyston – he says in his letter that unfortunately he lost all his photos in the London blitz during World War II. Thunderbolt was destroyed by fire on the premises of the Centenary Exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand, during the war, and Flying Spray was lost in the London bombing. However, the original engine from Thunderbolt is at the Science Museum, South Kensington.
The second collection has been donated by Mr R. Penrose and includes some wonderful items relating to Sir Malcolm Campbell and John Cobb, including the menu for a Farewell Dinner held at the Café Royal on 5 January 1928, with the inscription 'To wish Great Success, Good Luck and a Speedy Return to Capt. Malcolm Campbell and John R. Cobb'. As often happened on these occasions, this menu has been autographed by all the guests. A personal handwritten letter from John Cobb to George Reynolds is part of this donation, and refers to Lap Tables at Brooklands. It is believed that George Reynolds was the official timekeeper at all or most of the Speed Record attempts during this period, including the Schneider Trophy. There is also a menu for a luncheon given by Sir Charles Wakefield in honour of Major Henry Segrave on his return from America after winning for England the World’s Maximum Speed Record on Land and the Motor Boat Championship of the World Trophy. The luncheon was held at the Connaught Rooms on St. George’s Day 1929 and contains photographs of the Sir Charles Wakefield Trophy for Maximum Speed, one of Major Segrave at the wheel of the Golden Arrow, with Mrs. Segrave, and the speedboat Miss England with Major Segrave at the wheel.
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