90th Anniversary of Sir
Henry Segrave's Land Speed Record - Part 1
Photographs by Patrick Trollope.
IT might not have been the best weather for it, but
Southport held a Festival of Speed over 12 March to 20 March 2016, to
celebrate Sir Henry Segrave's Land Speed Record. Sir Henry Segrave, in March
1926, took to Ainsdale Beach with 4 litre Sunbeam Tiger 'Ladybird',
75 degree V-12, to try and make history. His bright red car shot along the
sands setting a new land speed record at 152.33 mph (245.15 km/h).
Interestingly, this record was only witnessed by a few spectators and
'Ladybird' was to become the smallest engine car ever to hold a Land
To mark this unique part in motor racing history, Aintree Circuit Club (ACC) the
Heritage Lottery Fund, National Motor Museum - Beaulieu and most
importantly, Thorley Melham Motor Racing (TMMR),
along with Sefton Council and the
Atkinson, all joined forces to put on a
Shockingly, the record was made with very little fuss, but this event
brought people from all over the UK and further to see the celebrations. So
it would have been interesting to see what the late Sir Henry Segrave would
have made of it.
For most of the week the Sunbeam Tiger and the green Sunbeam
Cub were located inside the Atkinson, on Lord Street, but on Wednesday, 16
March 1926, it returned to the sands, this time with TV cameras, journalists
and lots of spectators watching it run. After a procession of Sunbeams and a
few other vintage cars, also running the mostly flat beach, with the odd few
getting stuck, the Sunbeam Tiger 'Ladybird' roared up and ran
up the beach towards Southport and back. Sadly, the engine started to
overheat and it could not go twice. Add to that the wet sands, undulations
and the massive audience meant it was to unsafe to run at full speed, but it
gave a good view of just how incredible a feat this was, by Sir Henry
Segrave. Later that day, it was back in the Atkinson; and, ironically, this
was when the sun had come out; where a host of Sunbeams had been parked up
outside. This meant the public could get up close to some of the UK's most
interesting vintage cars. All of them looked stunning in the sunlight, lined
up in a long row, with the Town Hall and the newly restored Atkinson in
front and the Diana Memorial Gardens and Lord Street behind them.
The last vehicle action came on the Saturday, 19 March 2016, when Aintree
Circuit Club held a small, but very interesting display on Kings Gardens.
Again Weather was not ideal, but it did not put off many motoring fans from
attending. The event included a driving parade down Lord Street in the
We are adding video footage to our YouTube
Channel very soon and also you might
like to know
152@90 are putting a 90 minute runtime
film about the overall event together, called:- 'The Tiger Returns.'
The Tiger Returns is a shorter film concentrating on the history of the
Tiger. This is being made specifically for the current owner of the car and
will not be released, although there may be a private screening in Southport
in early May. The short documentary film will then be released from May on:-
DVD, Blu-ray and VOD, to raise funds for charity? The footage on our YouTube
is not the same footage, we will point out! The main charities will be
specifically Queenscourt Hospice and the Salvation Army. We are told that
they have already got pre-release sales have already covered costs so every
penny received from this point will be donated.
We would love to know what you thought of this Festival of
Speed and would you like to see it return? Please email us to:-
News24@southportReporter.com with your views on this topic.
now to see Part 1 of our photographic coverage from this event...
here now to see Part 1 of our photographic coverage from