In late March, I paid a gloomy last visit to Brooklands just before the museum closed for the Great Lockdown. Today, though, was an altogether happier occasion as the old race track opened its gates again after all these months. Dozens of major revenue-raising events fell by the wayside and, in common with all similar organisations, Brooklands has felt the financial pressure of this prolonged closure. Let’s hope the situation will now start to improve.
Today was a members’ preview, and I couldn’t wait to put my name down for an entry slot, observing all the new etiquette of social distancing. I’m even prepared to endure prune-like hands with all the washing and sanitising.
It’s a different Brooklands, thanks to Covid-19. During the lockdown, there has been a lot of work underway. Some of the tired exhibits have been moved out to allow for more SD (social distancing) space and to permit the now-obligatory one-way systems. In many ways, though, this is an improvement since some of the older tableaux were getting slightly faded. Instead, we can now get a bit closer to those fabulous racing and sports cars of yesteryear.
Sadly, the bus museum remains closed for the time being, but everything else is up and running, including the Concorde tours. Brooklands is just 25 miles from home and it is a pleasant enough drive with a hearty welcome at the end. I’ve missed my weekly visits and I have certainly missed the photo opportunities that invariably arise. In the main, given that the exhibits are familiar, this new interest comes from the wide variety of classic and vintage vehicles that members and visitors bring to the site every day. There’s always something new.