The SAHB Spring Seminar this year went on Sunday 26th March to the British Motor Museum at Gaydon. This was, as usual, a well attended event, with around 50 delegates and 10 guests, and with a splendid programme delivered by six speakers.
Some SAHB members also attended the seminar on the future of the British motor industry on the Saturday. This was also fascinating, and we are looking to see whether we can repeat this sort of joint weekend – which undoubtedly swelled the numbers at both events.
A full report on the SAHB seminar will appear in the next issue of the SAHB Times, but here is a summary of the presentations:
- How I Became a Motoring Historian. Jonathan Wood told the remarkable story of his journey from local newspaper writer to distinguished motoring author.
- Women in Motorsport & Social History. Sarah Crofts shone a much-needed light on the achievements of some great women in the sport – and set this against film footage of some outrageously sexist advertising from the 1930s to the 1970s that illustrated the prejudice that women have always had to overcome.
- Eighty years of the Cinquecento. Malcolm Bobbitt gave us a very personal story of the many incarnations of the delightful Cinquecento – from the original 1930’s Topolino to the present-day car: tribute or pastiche, depending on your point of view.
- Briggs Cunningham, Le Mans & Bentley Drivers Club. Richard Harman drew upon his fabulous collection of images to delve into the history of this wealthy sportsman with a determination to win at Le Mans – which he very nearly achieved – and his string of Bentleys. A rare example of money AND good taste?
- The North West’s Early Motor Clubs. Young (very young) Josh Butt showed us that the future of motoring history research is in the safe hands of the next generation. He took us through his current post-graduate research into a previously hardly known area of motoring and social history: the clubs that were set up to promote the interests of both commercial transport and private motoring in the very early years.
- The Routemaster’s Other Enduring Legacy. Registration numbers of London Routemaster buses are boring, aren’t they? No they’re not, they’re absolutely amazing! John Harrison gave us a funny and beautifully researched exposition of these numbers, why they existed and what happened to them.
By the way, the buffet was good, too.