The last day of June saw over forty Fellows and guests visiting the innovative Silverstone Experience attraction, followed by lunch in the members’ dining room of the British Racing Driver’s Club (BRDC).
With the original plan for the visit postponed by the pandemic restrictions, the Fellowship took the earliest opportunity to kickstart its events programme. The gathering of Fellows took time to pay respects to Former Chairman Mike Garton who first proposed the event but, very sadly, passed away before it could me held. Mike was a highly respected racing sports car driver, engine preparer, and classic racing car archivist. He was an honoured member of BRDC and past-President of the Healey Drivers Club. Mike’s widow, Lyn Garton, was invited to join the group visit and she took the opportunity to view a commemorative bench outside the clubhouse, dedicated to Mike’s memory.
The Silverstone Experience is exactly that, an experience. Introducing visitors to the long history of Silverstone, from medieval priory, through its agricultural heritage, famous educational site, to WW2 bomber airfield. Finally gestating to post-war racing circuit, the venue for the first Formula1 Grand Prix in 1950, followed by seventy years of expansion and development to become one of the most famous racing circuits in the world.
This progress is amply illustrated by a wide range of exhibits with, of course, racing paraphernalia to the fore. Grand Prix cars, right up to 2020 examples, famous drivers’ cars, racewear and helmets; plus a most informative and interactive tech zone, explaining cars and their components and demonstrating the relevance of racing to the everyday motor vehicle we all use.
Fellows enjoyed a very full guided tour to the exhibits with extensive opportunities for questions and were highly entertained by some stories of motor racing legends and their exploits, on and off the track.
An excellent lunch was enjoyed in the members’ dining room of the British Racing Drivers Club, situated in a superb position, trackside within the circuit. Sadly, no machinery was circulating that day, but you can’t have everything !
Fellows left the venue greatly cheered by this opportunity to enjoy Fellowship in its full meaning; with old friendships renewed and new ones forged.
A great day, and thanks should go to Fellow and Vice-chairman David Manchester who took on the responsibility for organising this event.