Brooklands Museum has its own TV show called Secrets Of The Transport Museum which is on Yesterday channel and is well worth a watch (it’s on catch up at UK Play TV too). Although my series of photographs, The Spirit Of Brooklands mainly focussed on its history as a motor racing circuit, Brooklands also played a significant part in the aircraft industry being a just in time manufacturing centre for aeroplanes during World War Two.
The hangar featured in this photo is a Bellman Hangar and was designed to be a temporary fixture when it was first located on the Finishing Straight of the racing circuit, but is now a grade II listed building. I shot this just before it was moved to another area of the site to become part of the aircraft factory.
Next door to the museum is the UK Head Office for JTI, who owned the site on which Brooklands Museum was located until 2010 when they donated the freehold to the museum. JTI’s office is located next to the Test Hill and on the former Members Banking, which has retained its original shape but is now just grass instead of 6″ concrete, so staff and visitors enter the HQ driving along side the banking before arriving at the car park.
It was quite unusual to have to climb a grassy bank to compose this shot as most of the other banking images in the series required climbing up, usually very slippy, concrete in the dark. After a few failed attempts I eventually found a technique for doing this, which generally involved leaving most of my camera equipment at the bottom of the bank and only carrying with me the camera, lens and tripod that I was going to use – quite often tripod first then camera and lens.
At the end of the drive is the start of the Campbell Circuit, an extra circuit added to Brooklands in 1937 to allow more road like conditions for racing. This is also the vehicle and members entrance to the museum and there is a hairpin bend at the bottom of the Test Hill.
The shot looking down the Test Hill was the most challenging photograph to create as at the top it was pitch black but the hill descends in to the old Finishing Straight which is now a car park for The Heights Business Park which has street lamps on it and so, relatively very bright. I had to use a technique called HDR for this shot, which involved taking several different exposures of the same shot and then combining them all together in special HDR blending software, which at the time was the only way of capturing such a high dynamic range of brightnesses. Luckily nothing moved even though the longest exposure was around 1 hour!
If you fancy something special then this Test Hill print is one of several different prints that I have in stock already framed and with a 20% discount off the price. This offer is valid until May 21st 2021.