Brooklands to celebrate speed in the sky


The famous Brooklands race circuit will celebrate a centenary of women in flight this coming weekend.

The circuit's '100 years of women in aviation' exhbition takes place over 20-21 August and is dedicated to celebrating female endeavour and achievement in both the air and on the track.

The event marks the centenary of the first British woman, Hilda Hewlett, gaining a pilot’s licence but it will also celebrate the extraordinary antics of women who helped shape the circuit's illustrious pass.

Hewlett was instrumental in establishing the country's first flying school (with Gustav Blondeau) the year before while the famous banked raceway - the country's first dedicated race circuit - was the site of several epic race battles and victories by lady drivers .

Fittingly the Weybridge circuit was even opened by a woman: Ethel Locke-King was the first person to drive on the completed track, back in 1908.

Other lady aviation and motor racing pioneers to be celebrated in an exhibition of archive material at the museum this weekend include Gwenda Hawkes  - who won the 1922 Double 12's motorcycle endurance race - and The Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce.

She took part in the circuit's first all-woman race (back in 1927) and set some 17 world records in cars, boats and aeroplanes and her name - along with others - is up there with the likes of Kay Petre.

Complementing the exhibition will be a raft of aviation-related activities at the historic location, including: Air Cadets’ and Astro-Sim’s state-of-the-art Flight Simulators and seminars on flight and aerodynamics.

Aviation-related interest groups, including the Light Aircraft Association, Ari Cadets and 'Red Letter' charity Fly2Help - along with representatives from Brunel University - will also be on hand to discuss career opportunities while Italian car enthusiast Angie Voluti will be launching her novel, ‘Clay Ghosts in Sicily’, a true account of a Cypriot pilot and women’s contribution to the war in Sicily.

Admission prices for either day are: Adults £10, Seniors £9, Children (5-16 yrs) £5.50. Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £27. Call 01932 857381 or see:


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Good to see Hilda Hewlett being celebrated. People such as her and Amelia Earhart are inspirational.

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