Sunday, March 09, 2008

Vintage Photographs

Dennis Quinlan has been scanning his extensive collection of Vintage motorcycle photographs, which he has sourced from the Keig collection, the archives of 'MotorCycle' and 'MotorCycling' (now owned by Morton's Media), Fox Photos, Keystone Press Agency, etc. These photos are being sent for publication/archiving on this blog, the Velocette yahoogroup site, and the Velocette KTT yahoogroup site, as the photos mostly concern Velos (Dennis has been involved with owning/restoring/racing Velocettes for decades).
Here are his thoughts:

"I'm a person who believes in sharing information, photos, etc...we are only on the planet for a brief time & as such are 'custodians' of anything we hold. We should ensure their posterity by getting their maximum exposure. My house could burn down & all those gems be lost...
Government institutions such as libraries etc have a great purpose, but restrict the access. For example, the Lou Borgelt [Australian motorcycle dealer] literature given by Pud Freeman to the SA public library is restricted to those who visit & who will pay the $15 a print or whatever for photos. I see them strapped for cash by the government allocation to them annually, but it stops you just the same."
"...Remember that the copyright for these [photographs which he is scanning] is likely to be held by others. I have spoken with the archivist at Mortons Media, who hold the copyright for 'MotorCycling' and 'MotorCycle' photos from these magazine's inception...I will credit them where necessary & note that they should not be used by others for a commercial gain, without first contacing Mortons."

Top photo is from Sep 5, 1935 (can't tell if that's the race day, or publication day of the magazine), and shows Charles Mortimer (author of 'Brooklands: Behind the Scenes' , Haynes 1980- buy this book!), likely in a Clubman's event at Brooklands. He has just hit one of the course marker barrels (the Clubman's races involved more corners than the all-out speed events on the banked bowl, and these were laid out using barrels on the flat infield), and come off his bike. They are on the Finishing Straight, near the Member's Bridge (seen at top of pic), and the banking can be seen in the background. Some cheeky competitor is giving him the 'thumbs up'!

Second photo shows a massed race start at Haddenham Airfield, June 4th, 1949. What a mess! Airfield racing was very popular after WW2, as there were so many decommisioned RAF landing strips around Britain, waiting to be used by enterprising speed merchants. They are still popular for sprints, although road racing is less popular on them, as they are entirely flat, and the courses must be marked out with barrels or cones. Famous races such as the Thruxton 12-Hour (which gave name to both the Triumph and Velocette Thruxton models after victoires in their respective classes) were held on airfields in the 50's and 60's.

No comments: