Ladbroke Hall welcomes back its 'children' for double celebration

| 13 Sep 2013

A brilliant showing of Talbots and Sunbeams visited the marques' ancestral home Ladbroke Hall on September 8.

Organised to celebrate 110 years since Britain's first purpose-built car factory opened in 1903, the event was hosted by Sunbeam Studios which now occupies the site originally established as Clément-Talbot by Charles Garrard.

The event was a double celebration because 2013 also marks the centenary of Percy Lambert's 100 miles in one hour record at Brooklands in a 25HP 'Invincible' Talbot, an achievement honoured by the presence of Ian Polson's part-built replica of Lambert's car.

Members of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq Register turned out in force, including the team Talbot 90 that came first on handicap and first in class, plus third overall, at Le Mans in 1930.

The largest of the four photographic studios in the building held a live professional car photoshoot of one of the cars attending. 

Earlier in the year, members of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq Register recreated Lambert's record-breaking feat at Brooklands, but as a team effort.

Click here for that story and click here for even more on that event.  

More info on Ladbroke Hall...

  • Situated in North Kensington, London, it was the first purpose built car factory in Britain.  
  • It produced the world's first motor car to travel more than 100 miles in one hour.
  • It was also for a time Churchill's experimental warfare establishment.
  • It was used to develop the world's first successful and effective fleets of armoured cars.
  • It produced the first prototype tank which, following development, helped end the stalemate of the trenches in WW1.
  • It was the home of the first anti-aircraft brigade established in 1915.
  • Its designers and artisans developed and built teams of racing cars which were successful in the 1930s at Le Mans, Brooklands, various Grands Prix, Alpine Trials and Monte Carlo rallies.
  • In 1935 the building became the Rootes Group’s London Headquarters which during WWII produced many vehicles, aeroplane components and bombs to aid the war effort.
  • When car production ceased it was used by several organisations including Thames Television.  By the turn of the 21st century, the factory complex to the rear of the building had been demolished to make way for housing and large parts of the building remained unused.
  • In 2005 Sunbeam Studios established itself here and has brought a new lease of life back to this stunning and historic building.