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Conservation of the Percy Lambert racing silks 

After many years of trying to raise funds for the conservation of Percy Lambert’s racing silks, we are delighted to announce that funding has been secured through The Arts Council Designation Development Fund. This has allowed us to commission interventive conservation treatment to stabilise and support the silks.

This year marks the centenary of a remarkable motor sports achievement. At Brooklands racing circuit, on the 15th February 1913, Percy Lambert became the first person to cover one hundred miles in one hour at the wheel of a 4,531cc 25hp Talbot. His actual record distance was 103 ¾ miles.

At this time motor racing at Brooklands was still very much in its infancy and it adopted many horse racing traditions, this included the wearing of silks in the sponsors colours which enabled individual drivers to be identified.
 

Percy Lambert's racing silks

The National Motor Museum Trust is privileged to include the silks worn by Lambert in our collection. Donated by the family of Percy Lambert, they are believed to be the only surviving examples of racing silks and comprise a jacket and cap.

Percy Lambert silks before (above) and after (below) conservation

However, over time the silks had become extremely fragile. It is understood from the Lambert family that the silks had been stored for many years in the attic of the family home before being donated to the museum. This, and the acidic nature of the yellow silk, caused the fibres to break down and meant that interventive treatment became necessary.  

The Arts Council funding has also enabled us to commission two sets of replica silks. One set has been given to Brooklands Museum as an acknowledgement of the momentous record set by Percy Lambert in February 1913. The second set of replicas will go on display at the National Motor Museum.
 

 

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