The British Racing Motors (unofficial) information centre.
The Guide to the Places Where it Happened
(try the superb town guide of Bourne by Rex Needle to find out not only all about Bourne, BRM & Raymond Mays - but also how to set out a top class web site (much better than mine !).
The team itself was based at Bourne, Lincolnshire.
For most of its life the team was under the control of Alfred Owen of the Rubery Owen industrial empire based at Darlaston in the Black Country of England.
Raymond Mays Way (A151)
The Bourne bypass to the south and west of the town is named after it's noted motor sports hero.
"The Raymond Mays and BRM Exhibition
The exhibition, maintained on the first floor of the Heritage Centre, is a lasting tribute to and commemoration of the life and racing career of Raymond Mays and the achievements of the ERA and BRM racing cars.
There is an extensive display of trophies, memorabilia and photographs, probably unique in the country, which will be of interest to all motor racing fans."
Check the Bourne Civic Society website for details.
(photo 14/6/2009) - (Updated 15/9/2013)
The family residence of Raymond Mays CBE (1899-1980) was an imposing Regency house in Eastgate and a plaque on the front wall reminds us that he was born here on 1st August 1899 and that this was his lifetime home. Mays established English Racing Automobiles at Bourne in workshops built on the orchard adjoining Eastgate House.
Raymond Mays Garage, Spalding Road
The site was taken up by Raymond Mays after WWII.
The garage was opened in 1952
As a Ford dealer "Raymond Mays Converted" Fords were a feature of the business.
After the death of Mays, the garage was sold and continued in
private ownership up to 2005 when it closed. Outline planning
permission has already been given for housing develpoment.
(photo 14/6/2009) - (Updated 14/6/2009)
Richardsons Auction Rooms corner of Spalding Road and Eastgate.
New workshops were erected in 1960 on the site of the Bourne gas works for the BRMs to be prepared for racing. It was sold and is now an auction salesroom.
The Delaine Buses site in Spalding Road.
The righthand side of the compound (previously used by ERA/BRM) was added to the original Delaine site which predated the motor racing activity of the area.
Graham Hill Way, an industrial estate off Cherry Holt Road, Bourne, is named in memory of BRM's World Champion.
Hall & Hall and
Pilbeam Racing Designs, Graham Hill Way.
Originally occupied by Pilbeam Racing Designs the unit was opened in 1997 by Graham Hill's widow Bette. The unit is now used by Hall & Hall and Pilbeam have moved to a unit opposite.
Well Head Field (from South Street) - home of the Bourne
Classic Car & Bike Show
- from 2009 - "Following the success of the last three Classic Car shows in Bourne, the committee of Bourne Motor Racing Club have commenced preparations for this year's show. The event will take place on The Well Head Field in Bourne on Sunday, June 14. 2009 A major celebration is being planned in Bourne, Lincolnshire, home of the former B.R.M. Formula One Grand Prix team, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their inaugural world championship victory. This year also sees the 60th anniversary of B.R.M unveiling their first Grand Prix car and the 75th year of the E.R.A marque."
The "Mays Memorial", South Street
To commemorate The Motor Racing
Heritage of Bourne
the Centenary of the birth of Raymond Mays CBE (1899-1980)
A veritable giant of motor sport, he put the Town on the World Map of Motor Racing.
65 years of E.R.A. (1934-1999)
These voiturette racers became renowned worldwide for success in the classes for which they
were designed and built, Successes which continued into the 21st century with Historic Events.
50 years of B.R.M. (1949-1999)
The natural successor to the E.R.A. the B.R.M. was aimed at the Formula One World Championships in a determined
effort to put British cars in the front line of racing. In 1962, Graham Hill OBE won the Formula One Drivers
World Championship in the P57/8 Model. This brought the Formula One Constructors' World Championship to The
Town. testament to the dedication and professionalism of a workforce comprised mainly of local people. The Company
was acquired by the Rubery Owen Group on November 1, 1952. Sir Alfred and Ernest Owen, along with their
sister Jean Stanley took much personal interest in its running. Mrs Stanley and husband Louis later assumed
full management of The Company.
On August 29, 1999. Bourne saw
the return of the Cars associated with the Town. The occasion was
marked with a
Celebration Dinner and roads were closed off to allow demonstrations of The Racing Cars.
This Memorial was financed with the proceeds of this Event.
2012 BRM Celebration Day -
Sunday, 7th October 2012, Bourne, Lincolnshire
"For one gloriously sunny day in October, a small market town on the edge of the Lincolnshire Fens was transformed into a mini Monaco. The roar of Formula One cars from a bygone age echoed between the buildings fronting the main streets and the smell of Castrol R, redolent of an earlier glorious age, wafted amongst the crowd. The event was planned not only to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BRM Team, whose home base was in the town, winning the World Formula One Championship with the late Graham Hill winning the drivers championship,
but also as a day where the community could come together and renew its pride in its heritage and oh boy, did that happen!
The town was packed with a crowd estimated at over 25,000, intent on enjoying an unrivalled spectacle of motor racing history and also numerous organisations and volunteers intent on making our visitors welcome."
photos of the 50th. birthday parade through the streets
in August 1999 were generously provided by David Smith.
Darlaston, South Staffs.
The team, for most of it's life, was under the control of Alfred Owen of the Rubery Owen industrial empire based at Darlaston in the Black Country of England. The town is no longer part of the ancient county of Staffordshire, being part of the County of West Midlands (created in 1974).
26 June 2003 - corner of Booth St. & Queen St.
|Booth Street - the
site of the former Rubery Owen factory. In 1884 the J.T.
and T.W. Rubery of Darlaston established a small light
metal work factory. Alfred Ernest Owen, from Wrexham,
joined the company in 1893 and in 1905 the firm became
Rubery Owen & Co. Owen became sole owner in 1910 and
the business grew to become the largest privately owned
manufacturer in the country.
In October 2004 this building was sold for £1 to Walsall Housing Regeneration Agency for use as the Rubery Owen Enterprise Centre.
26 June 2003
|The main Booth Street factory closed in
1980 and most of the site was replaced by the "Victoria
Mews" housing development.
The centre piece of the estate is a large machine press from the factory - a reminder of when the area lived by "metal bashing".
At the junction of Princess Way, Empress Way, Memory Lane and Windsor Walk.
July 2004 - between New St. & ASDA supermarket
|Owen Memorial Garden - As well as major employers, the Owen family were great local benifactors.The memorial reads - This garden was laid out and given to the people of Darlaston in memory of A.E. Owen by his wife and family in the year 1932.Originally opened on 17th May 1932 the garden was re-dedicated on 12th June 2003 by grandson (and Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd. Chairman) David Owen.|
The OWEN MOTORING CLUB website - Owen Motoring Club - is keeping the name of BRM alive. Owen Motoring Club was formed in December 1959 by a group of motoring enthusiasts from the Rubery Owen Engineering Company and keeps the link as Sir Alfred's son, David Owen OBE, is the club's President.
Folkingham Airfield a little way from the village of Folkingham (near Bourne) was used as a testing track from the BRM's official launch on 15th December 1949. The site was also used for early workshops. Engine testing continued on at the site. Later a further dyno testing house was added and was used for commercial projects and the CanAm Chevrolet engines this is still in use by Hall & Hall for engine work. Hall & Hall (Rick and son Rob) currently have their restoration centre there in place of the earlier Hall & Fowler concern. Former BRM workers Rick Hall and Rob Fowler set up on their own after the 1977 season. In 1981, when BRM finally closed, the pair took over the engine test house on the airfield which now forms part of their more modern workshops.
Ordnance Survey 130/TF050300. West of Aslackby (between Bourne and Folkingham along the A15)
Situated a few miles North of Bourne, Lincolnshire near the
village of Folkingham, the site was opened as a decoy airfield
which was set up to divert enemy aircraft away from nearby
1941 The dummy airfield was abandoned in 1941 when daylight air raids had almost ceased.
1943 The same site was probably developed as a standard pattern bomber station for No 5 Group, Bomber Command.
Main runway 2000yards
Two subsidiary runways 1,400 yds.
Standard width 50yds.
Perimeter track 50ft. wide approx 3 miles
1944 when Folkingham was ready for use it was handed to the US IXth Air Force, opening on 5th February. The unit supported four squadrons with a total of 70 C-47 Dakotas transport aircraft.
1944 The unit took part in the D-Day landings delivering 1,181 paratroopers of the 508th Parachute Infantry and the 82nd US Airborne unit to Normandy.
1944 90 transport aircraft delivered paratroopers of the British 1st Parachute Brigade to Arnhem.
1945 Folkingham closed to flying on March 20 1945 and was finally handed over by the USAAF on 15th. April 1945 to RAF Maintenance Command.
1945 Technical Training Command took over until1946.
1947 Folkingham closed down (again!) on June 27.
1959 From late 1959 three Thor ICBM missiles were operational at Folkingham.
1963 This unit disbanded in August 1963 and the airfield was closed (for the final time!).
Halls Garage, Folkingham Road, Morton - between Bourne and Folkingham
From the Hall's Garage
web stite 2009 ....
"For those motor sport enthusiasts old enough to remember, the market town of Bourne will always be linked with the BRM grand prix team of the early sixties. It is no surprise therefore that engineering firms and garages such as Hall's Garage became involved with the Formula One company and in Graham Hill's championship winning year, Hall's Garage actually worked on the cylinder heads and light machine work for BRM.
They would cross-etch hone the cylinder block for BRM right up to their demise in the early seventies. Indeed such was the family firm's depth of knowledge of the cars that Steve's brother Rick formed Hall and Fowler to restore BRM's - a link which has remained with the company to today."
New Hall, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.
New Hall, Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.
Alfred Ernest Owen (1869-1929) had his Rubery Owen Company based at Darlaston where he was a major manufacturer of automotive and aerospace components. Like many successful Victorian industrialists, Ernest (as he was known) invested some of his wealth in a property to match his standing.
"Ernest Owen lived in an ancient moated mansion known as New Hall, although it was originally built about the year 1200 in the manor of Sutton Coldfield. It was extensively rebuilt in the sixteenth century and both the great hall and the banqueting hall have their walls lined with beautifully carved-oak paneling of the period and ceilings of moulded plasterwork, elaborately ornamented and painted. Surrounded by a deep clear moat, spanned by two stone bridges, New Hall is set in beautiful gardens and extensive wooded grounds which contain an ancient water mill and old fish ponds.
Ernest Owen acquired the property early this
century for his family home and it provided the room to display
his collections of furniture, paintings and object d'art. The dry
dark vault, affectionately known as "the dungeons",
provided the ideal storage condition for his large print
collection, hence the brilliant clean state in which they were
rediscovered after 60 years, on the eventual disposal of the
The previous information was found in the old site detailing Ernest Owen's important collection of early Victorian colour prints by J.M. Kronheim & Co. of London to the Baxter patent oil colour printing processes - "http://www.acid.co.uk/acid/hp.htm".
"Despite its name, Sutton Coldfield's
New Hall is reputed to be the oldest listed inhabited moated
house in England. Seven miles from Birmingham, it is set back
from the roadside, surrounded by 26 acres of gardens and boasts
an eventful history. William The Conqueror executed its first
owner, and subsequent residents included several Earls Of Warwick.
After his father, Ernest, Sir Alfred Owen, as chairman of Rubery
Owen and Company Limited took over the property. Industrialist
Michael Blakemore was the last person to live at New Hall as a
private residence before Thistle Hotels bought it in 1985.
Now a luxury country house hotel run by Ian and Caroline Parkes, its proximity to the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) has meant visits from stars such as Robbie Williams and Cliff Richard. And if the lounge, with its views of manicured lawns and topiary, evokes the sort of showbiz grandeur demanded by Pavarotti (whose picture hangs above the reception desk), then the restaurant recalls the lives of the English nobility. The dining room dates back to Anglo Saxon times and still contains the original 17th century fireplace, along with windowpanes made of 16th century Flemish glass. The restaurant has an impressive pedigree, having held the highest RAC award, the Blue Ribbon, for the last six years. It is also listed by this year's Harden's guide to top restaurants in the UK.
With the ever-watchful Caroline Parkes making sure the restaurant runs smoothly and the guests are pampered, it is difficult to find anything sub-standard about our visit. Our bill, which included pre-dinner drinks from the bar, came to £106 for two. This seemed on the expensive side but, given the superb food and location, New Hall is nothing less than a total gem."
From a "Food and Drink" review by Annette Rubery for the Metro, 28/3/2001
Sir Alfred's Way, off Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. A street a little to the north of the New Hall Hotel is a reminder of the Owen family connection.
Transporters - Anywhere that the team needs to be ......
1959 Leyland Royal Tiger
1959 / 1970 in the Owen Racing Organisation colours.
1970 / 1971 in the colours of Yardley-BRM .
1972 / 1973 in the colours of Marlboro-BRM.
(Photograph - Bourne Classic Car & Bike Show 14/6/2009)
More Photos in my Flickr album - BRM at the Bourne Classic Car & Bike Show 14/6/2009
V2.9 - 5 December 2015 ---- recommended resolution (1366 x 768)
© David Hodgkinson 2001-2015. All rights reserved.