Autosolo at the home of K3

Filching Manor just outside of Eastbourne is the home to the Foulkes-Halbard collection of Campbell memorabilia. But it is not just small items – Paul Foulkes-Halbard spent over twenty years restoring Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird K3 water speed record boat having purchased it from Thorpe Park in Surrey. Campbell broke the water speed record three times in this boat in 1937 firstly two times at Lake Maggiore in Switzerland reaching 129.5mph and then the following year at Lake Hallwyl also in Switzerland ultimately breaking the 130mph barrier at 130.91mph.

The boat now resides in one of the sheds behind Filching Manor itself along with Gina Campbell’s own Bluebird power boat in which she broke the ladies water speed record and a full-size model of Donald’s Campbell Bluebird K7 created for a film of Campbell’s life. There are other memorabilia, too, and a good collection of other vehicles to see when not out on the track.


Whilst the entrants in the Autosolo could not hope to get anywhere near those speeds, the track did sometimes take on the appearance of a river. It was a day of very mixed weather from glorious sunshine and blue skies to dark clouds and torrential rain – not to mention high winds necessitating the gazebos to be held down firmly!

This was the second visit to Ficlhing Mnaor and the old Go-Kart track for the MGCCSE and Sevenoaks & District Motor Club. Its location and undulating track make it an unusual venue for this type of event much appreciated by the Motor Club entrants as well as the MGs.

The event is run with the help of the Motor Club who provided the new timing equipment. Everything is now electronic and the days of stop watches operated by hand are gone. This greatly aids the timing procedures and getting the results instantaneously so that you always know how well you are doing from the app. No more calculating of times to get the results made for a speedier end to the day.


There was an increase in MGs entered since the inaugural event, most of whom were still in the beginner class but with times improving throughout the day. Time and the weather put paid to a projected third course so entrants negotiated Course One and Two three times and then Course Three, which was the same as Course Two, twice more. 

Predictably the cars from Sevenoaks dominated the higher echelons of the results table but the MGs did well amongst themselves. David Smith was the top MGCCSE driver of the day in his MGB Roadster whilst the best MG was a ZR driven by Sevenoaks’ Steve Burles. The Overall winner was Tyler Baker in an Alfa Romeo GT.

Thanks go to John Morgan who was the lynchpin in organising the day along with the Sevenoaks & District Motor Club. Austin Banner, Ron Kemp, Jenny Morgan, Philip Roussel-Smith, Gareth Evans and John Davies all helped out on the official side for the MGCCSE. Also thanks to those drivers who acted as marshals when not on track – sometimes in very adverse conditions!

Click on the buttons below to see the full results in various orders. The Chairman made two videos of the day to accompany – one mainly shows the MGs taking part and the other is a personal view as Tim tackles the course again – Having Another Go!

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