Manor motor Museum near Polegate in East Sussex is the home of the last
remaining intact Bluebird boat - K3
Rolls Royce engined speedboat driven by Sir
to take the world water speed record.
This is the only world record
boat surviving intact and well worth a visit. A long term
restoration project is still ongoing. There
are dozens of other vehicles in storage and on display.
It is advisable to telephone well in advance of any planned
visit. The Museum is not open on a daily basis, although the owners
of the Museum, Greta and Karl Foulkes-Halbard may take visits by
appointment. Telephone: 01323 487838 between 9:00 - 3:30.
Manor also boasts an outdoor go kart (the Campbell) circuit, which is open to the public
for corporate and other private or club events.
K3 at Bewl Waters and Karl Foulkes-Halbard at the helm
MANOR - WIKI
Filching lies at the other end of the Wannock Glen from Wannock along the Polegate to Friston road. It consists of a few houses, Gibby's Tea Gardens, a chalk quarry and a Medieval Manor House. Filching Manor was built around 1450.
Filching Manor motor Museum near Polegate in East Sussex is the home of the last remaining intact Bluebird boat - K3 Rolls Royce engined speedboat driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell to take the world water speed record. This is the only world record boat surviving intact and well worth a visit. A long term restoration project is still ongoing.
The Museum also had the Bluebird Electric 2 vehicle on display. It is advisable to telephone well in advance of any planned visit. The Museum is not open on a daily basis, although the owners of the Museum may take visits by appointment.
Filching Manor is also the site of the annual Jevington Fete, and it houses a public karting track (the Campbell Circuit) in the grounds for arrive and drive sessions, and other race events.
England, location map
NEWS - K3 RESTORATION 12 AUGUST 2012 - Original Bluebird powerboat restored in Polegate
The Bluebird powerboat used by Sir Malcolm Campbell to break the world water speed record in the 1930s has been restored to its former glory.
The owner of Bluebird K3, Karl Foulkes-Halbard, has spent 22 years on the project at
Filching Manor Motor Museum in Polegate, East Sussex.
He hopes to take the hydroplane out on the River Thames later this year.
The Isle of Wight-made boat broke the water speed record twice in 1937 and once in 1938 at 130mph (209km/h).
Mr Foulkes-Halbard told the BBC: "It's an incredible piece of British marine history. She was built by the firm Saunders-Roe on the Isle of Wight and commissioned by Sir Malcolm Campbell.
"His aim was to get the world water speed record off America and get it back for
Sir Malcolm, who was born in Chislehurst in Kent, achieved that feat twice in 1937 on Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian border, and again in Switzerland a year later, reaching 130mph.
His son Donald Campbell died in 1967 trying to increase the world water speed record to above 300mph in his famous jet-powered hydroplane
The craft lifted up from the surface of the water and somersaulted before crashing and killing him. The wreckage was not recovered until 34 years later in 2001.
Mr Foulkes-Halbard hopes to return to Lake Maggiore next year to recreate Sir Malcolm's world-record run, albeit at the slower speed of about 70mph.
He has already carried out a 40mph test run at quarter throttle at a reservoir in southern England.
Speaking from Filching Manor in East Sussex, he said: "We got hold of the boat in 1988, my late father got hold of it, and we brought it back here.
[Previously the boat was a static attraction at Thorpe Park where it
"It was in a very, very poor condition when we got it and in 1990 she went into the workshop and we set about the very lengthy restoration."
He said the wooden hull, decking and main structure of the boat were in "very poor" condition although the sides were intact.
has in the past displayed Nelson's Borzoi joystick concept car,
Bluebird Electric 1 and Bluebird Electric 2 vehicles. The BE1 was partly
constructed at the Motor Museum. Paul was a great friend
to Nelson, always ready to listen or lend a hand (and facilities), a walking
encyclopedia and an inspiration. He was also a generous man, an avid collector of
vehicles and automotive art and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Nelson recalls riding with Paul to the Bexhill 100 on his Mercedes, an
event where it was the Mercedes giving all the other cars a run for
their money. Paul did not hold back. Paul also arranged for the Borzoi
to be delivered to the Bexhill 100 on a truck at his own expense, so
fostering local talent.
HERALD - VILLAGERS SHOCKED BY DEATH OF 'MR FILCHING'
The owner of Filching Manor Motor Museum, fondly described by friends as 'Mr Filching', has died.
Paul Foulkes-Halbard died on Friday following a stroke. He was 66.
Mr Foulkes-Halbard, who had lived in Filching for 17 years, was involved with a number of organisations, both in and out of the village, as well as owning and running the Filching Manor Motor Museum with his wife Greta.
He was a patron of the St Andrew's restoration fund, a Freeman of the City of London, a Freeman of England, a member of the Jevington Residents' Association and a member of the Fellow
Royal Society of
Mr Foulkes-Halbard was also a well-known figure in the car world, and belonged to the
Bentley Drivers' Club, as well as being a member of the
Bugatti Owners' Club.
Eastbourne MP Nigel Waterson, who knew Mr Foulkes-Halbard from around the village, said, 'He was a very original character, who cared passionately about the local environment.
He was always generous with his time and money and will be much missed in the area.'
David Harris, owner of Gibbys restaurant and tea gardens in the village, said, 'We are absolutely saddened to hear the news.
'I always thought he was the most kindest gentleman I knew.
'He always had time for somebody and he was the focal point of our village.
'He was the most amazing person.'
Nick Leadbitter, who part owns The Eight Bells, said, 'I knew him as a very charming, knowledgeable and interesting man.
'His contribution towards the local village atmosphere will be sorely missed.'
Karl Foulkes-Halbard, Paul's son, said, 'He was very well admired locally and known in the car world and he spent his whole life building the family collection which I am involved with which is based at Filching Manor.
'We are going to miss him every day.'
Mr Foulkes-Halbard originally came from Little Kings Hill in Buckinghamshire.
(Published on the 15 October
The Bexhill 100 Festival started
as an idea in late 1989- early 1990. Derek Smith, a marketing man came to Bexhill for a job interview with Rother District Council's Tourism Director David
Blake. This was for the post of "Tourism Officer". As a result Derek decided to find out more about Bexhill, its residents and its history.
It was just prior to his final interview with David Blake that Derek
sought out Brian Storkey in the restaurant on Bexhill seafront that his family had run for several years. During
that conversation Derek asked Brian if he would be interested in helping him with an event.
Brian of course agreed in principle without fully realizing the
consequences. It turned out that the two had met before a few years earlier, when
Brian was a Director of an Advertising, Conference and Exhibition Company
had met at "The Griffin" public house near Charing Cross station. The Griffin was used as a meeting place every month for The Monday Club organised by Rob Spalding, editor of The Conference & Exhibition Magazine. Derek at the time was working for an Eastern airline in their marketing department.
Derek was offered the job with the Council. The next vital issue was to
see if Bexhill had any history that could be the basis for an event.
this research Derek looked out Brian Hazell on the advice of Brian Storkey,
an established Estate Agency on the seafront. Brian Hazell
had a keen interest in local history and photography. He had moved to Bexhill from Byfleet in Surrey close to the famous Brooklands Racing circuit, and was consequently keen on motoring history. Brian had
been to Motor Races in Bexhill, on the sea front, at the turn of the Century. There was plenty of evidence of these early races in
the local museum, together with several books about Bexhill's fascinating past.
The team subsequently learnt that The Sackville Hotel had been the headquarters for the Automobile Club, during the original races on Bexhill seafront in 1902. The Automobile Club later became the Royal Automobile Club, the RAC,
Foulkes-Halbard in the driver's seat - Mercedes vintage car
BEXHILL'S MOTORING HISTORY
From these first casual meetings between Derek, Brian Hazell and Brian Storkey, things started to move at a quite a pace. After some
intensive research it appeared that Bexhill was one of the first places in Great Britain to ever hold a motor race meeting, just after the turn of the century. It could even have been the first, which would unbelievably make it The Birthplace of British Motor Racing in 1902.
the team needed now were
contacts in the world of veteran, vintage and classic motors. Fortunately, about 10miles from Bexhill, there lived the ideal person, Paul Foulkes-Halbard. He was the owner of Filching Manor, a magnificent historical manor house and Motor Museum, which included a superb "Campbell Collection". We had several very fruitful meetings with Paul at the Manor, he was genuinely excited by the prospect of an event, virtually on his door step, giving him the chance to show some of his wonderful cars being actually driven on Bexhill sea-front, and to be involved with what may turn out to be a celebration of a unique historic motoring event.
Paul, at this time was having new brochures designed for his Motor Museum and he was using a local chap, Keith Wallace, a talented artist.
Thus the Bexhill team used Keith's talents for the Bexhill motoring event. Keith
designed the now famous Bexhill 100 "winged logo" seen above. He also went on to design various other aspects of
publicity and marketing literature. Keith's daughter was a professional photographer
who recorded the first Bexhill 100 for posterity, some of which are
Keith's Wallace knew Shelagh Milligan, wife of "Spike" Milligan, who lived not far from Bexhill in Udimore near
Rye and that is how Shelagh became involved, useful for her links and contacts with personalities from "Show Biz."
key member was local cabinet maker, carpenter and builder, Ken Pope for his practical expertise and local contacts, and who, over the thirteen years that the Bexhill 100 existed, toiled tirelessly each year planning the layout and positioning of all of the marquees, stands and displays and utilities which filled the mile of seafront from the Sailing Club to the top of Galley Hill, named De la Warr Parade.
Naturally the team conducted a feasibility study of organising this
event. Derek had persuaded David Blake to support the event with
some of Rother District Councils Advertising Budget.
By now it was established with certainty that by the early part of 1990 that motor racing had
taken place on Bexhill seafront on the May Bank Holiday in 1902 on the private road owned by Earl De la Warr. Several books had recorded comments from those present at the time, including John Montague MP father of the present
Lord Montague of Beaulieu, indicating that Bexhill may well have been the Birthplace of British Motor Racing in 1902. He in fact had stated in one of his books that "British Motor Racing started at Bexhill-on-Sea"
BIRTH OF A
With some finances in place, the team took a deep breath and went ahead.
From this point they had just 13 weeks to and organise a "Motoring
Festival" for the May Bank Holiday of 1990.
With Filching Manor Motor
Museum the team organised a cavalcade of American cars for the opening, filled with dignitaries and local
celebrities. The team had Filching Manor's wonderful 1904 open top Mercedes Racer, and several other stunning cars from the collection, buzzing along the seafront to Galley Hill, where in 1902 the cars gathered in pairs to begin their race along the measured kilometre. In fact for the thirteen year duration of the show,
A McDonalds restaurant was about to open at the newly built Retail Park on the outskirts of
Bexhill and generously supplied burgers and chips free of charge to the large number of enthusiastic Air Cadets who
marshaled the car parks so superbly at St Richards School and the Glyne Gap Field.
The show opened on the Sunday, for what
was called at this first event, "Pit and Paddock" day - a sort of "warm up" tester day to make sure all of
the preparations and plans were adequate for the main event.
Campbell hall of fame at Filching Manor
THE 1ST BEXHILL 100 FESTIVAL OF SPEED
Hundreds of vehicles appeared, and an estimated crowd of 25,000-30,000 people, about the same number that attended that first meeting in 1902. The promenade was
filled with Marquees and motoring exhibits, bands and individual musicians
added to the bustle.
They had been blessed with glorious weather for that first festival weekend - it could have been the South of France, the sea was calm and blue, the sun was warm and the atmosphere was really Continental, Bexhill had seen nothing like it for 88
An old battleship grey pre-war coach turned up from Sweden, with the driver, conductor and passengers dressed in period costumes, it was certainly a day full of surprises. In later years it was a common occurrence for vehicles to come to the Bexhill 100 from the Continent.
Some wonderful cars were on show, they just kept on arriving throughout the day from all over the country. The event seemed to have caught the imagination of the motoring world and had suddenly taken on a life of its own.
Today Health & Safety and Risk Assessments would require a minimum £10,000,000 compulsory
public liability insurance etc. For that reason subsequent shows included all of these missing safety elements
from the first event.
The RAC finally acknowledged in 1994 that Bexhill-on-Sea was indeed the Birthplace of British Motoring.
Brooklands Motor Museum and Track therefore had to amend their logo to "Home of British Motor Racing", and signs to the three approaches to Bexhill proudly proclaim its place in British Motoring history.
The organizers gave their time for nothing, because with no funding, very little sponsorship, and being unable to charge for entry to the show on a public promenade, funds were
tight. Entrants were charged just £2 to cover the cost of postage and paper work.
Then in 1997 they managed a 6 year sponsorship deal from locally based national insurance company Hastings Direct which enabled
the event to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the very first motor race in Great Britain at Bexhill-on-Sea in 2002.
The event policy was that "The Cars are the Stars". They accepted Vintage, Veteran, Classic, Military, Custom, Racing and
other vehicles of interest providing it was of a high standard. They all had to be noteworthy for one reason or another.
The "strap line" for our event was "Keeping History Alive."
After the first Bexhill 100 event the Council did their sums, and to their horror Derek had spent £14,500 on the Bexhill 100, which was two whole years of the RDC's tourism advertising budget at the time. At the end of the year Derek unfortunately, still with head held high, left the Council under a little bit of a cloud and got a marketing job in the West Country. He did however come back a couple of times in subsequent years to get involved with the Bexhill 100 event. However, with Derek leaving Bexhill, it meant that for the following 12 years
Brian Storkey had a difficult, stressful but rewarding task of being the main organiser of the Bexhill 100 Festival of Motoring,
of course, aided by a hard working, talented and enthusiastic team.
The result of this overspend in 1990 was that the Council never directly helped financially after that first event, although they did generously each year pay for the cleaning contractors to clear the litter etc from the sea-front immediately after the
In the final few years of The Bexhill 100 Rother District Council realised the importance of the event to the town and were much more helpful and constructive. Unfortunately they would not change the Bye-law, although we asked them to do so many times, to allow
a "Road Closure" on the promenade and seafront road to enable a small entrance
charge to be made. If not for that the Bexhill 100 may still have been
THIRTEEN GLORIOUS YEARS
The event kept going until the final Bexhill 100 in 2002, the final agreed year of
the main sponsor, Hastings
Direct. Thanks to their continued sponsorship, Bexhill was able to celebrate the Centenary of those first Bexhill Races in 1902, on the sea front, in grand style. Exhibits included the replica Serpollet Easter Egg, the replica of the Trevithick's 1803 London Steam Carriage, Russ Swift , World Champion at "Parallel Parking", "helicopter displays", a collection of Elvas and much more.
There were so many people who became involved with and contributed to the Bexhill 100 Festival, not necessarily with finance but with time, enthusiasm, excitement and passion over the life of the festival, individuals, families, companies and small businesses, too many to name.
Foulkes-Halbard and Bexhill 100 supporters at Filching Manor
Paul Foulkes-Halbard sadly passed away in 2003. He was such a larger than life, eccentric character and he is sadly missed by all that knew him, everyone involved with the Bexhill 100 and of course by his family. Pauls' son
Karl continues to run Filching Manor, the Motor Museum and the very popular Campbell Go- Kart track. Paul was renowned for his bad time keeping
for photo shoots, when he would often arrive an hour late. That was Paul. He was a real
character. Paul attended one of the early Bexhill 100 meetings with one of the very first mobile phones, it was as big as 3 house bricks and weighed about as much, he kept it for a few quite a few years. He loved driving his wonderful blue racing Bugatti, and his beautiful white vintage Mercedes racer at great speed down Bexhill seafront, wearing goggles and a white leather aviators helmet. He was a one off, a great character.
Also sadly David Blake passed away in 2005. He was a true gentleman, a great supporter of Bexhill-on-Sea and the De la Warr Pavilion. He first came to Bexhill as the Stage Manager of the De la Warr
Pavillion. David eventually became Rother's Director of Tourism, Head of Parks and Gardens and Manager of the De la Warr Pavilion, positions which he jointly held successfully for a number of years.
It is probably true to say that if David Blake had not gone out on a limb and allowed Derek to use Rother funds as seed corn money for the First Bexhill 100, then it
may never have come to fruition, let alone continue for a second year and another 12 years.
Brian Hazel passed away in May 2009 and he is sadly missed by everyone who was privileged enough to have known him. The signs on the approach roads to Bexhill stand as a tribute to him and his love of Bexhill, and his wonderful photographs are a legacy of his passion for the town and its historical past.
(Reference an article by Brian Storkey, link below)
K3 restored in sussex
original Rolls-Royce R37 engine fitted in K3
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