Tuesday, 26 January 2016

This Southport motoring event is one you won't want to miss

SOUTHPORT is finally getting its moment in the motoring spotlight.

Anyone up on their local history will know the town actually does pretty well on automotive heritage – and that Red Rum isn’t the only sort of horsepower our part of the world can be proud of. A century ago we were building Vulcan cars here, followed by Corgi scooters well into the 1950s, and when the beach wasn’t being used to hone future Grand National winners it was being used as a race circuit for blokes in Minis and Hillman Imps. We’re also home to the oldest Morgan dealership in the world (which has been selling Malvern’s finest since 1926) and just up the road in Banks there’s a chap who’s made more than 400 re-creations of the Lotus Europa.

Yet our finest automotive hour has been all but forgotten. Five years ago I remember writing for The Champion that the day Sir Henry Segrave set the world land speed record right here in the North West – March 16, 1926 – was marked only by the name of the town’s branch of JD Wetherspoon. The resort’s stint as the fastest place on earth had been all but forgotten - until now.

Organisers The Atkinson and Aintree Circuit Club – the people behind the Ormskirk MotorFest – have vowed to mark the 90th anniversary in style. I’ve seen the plans for the event and it’s exciting stuff; they could have parked some classic cars outside The Atkinson and left it at that, but they haven’t. They’re planning an entire week of events, topped off by a re-creation of the actual run on 16 March using a Sunbeam Tiger (the V12-engined vintage monster, not the 1960s roadster) just like Sir Henry did.

That means it’ll be the second land speed record re-enactment in a year, following the return of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird to Pendine Sands in Wales. To have something like that happen right on my doorstep is hugely exciting, which is why I can’t wait to see this event getting off the ground and witnessing a 1920s racer capable of more than 150mph fire into action on the very beach it wowed the world.

The event’s called The Southport Festival of Speed and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more on it The Champion in the coming weeks. See you there!


  1. I love old photos such as the one you posted. Really cool picture, love the car!

  2. Great event. Affordability is the cornerstone of everything at FR Conversions.