When news broke of a new television series taking viewers behind the workings of Brooklands Museum, there was only one question on the minds of petrolheads: what took you so long?
From the producers of Bangers and Cash and Warbird Workshop comes Secrets of the Transport Museum, a 10-episode series that hits TV screens from Tuesday, 30 March.
It is the first time in the Museum’s 30-year history that cameras have been allowed to film uninhibited behind the scenes. The series is said to follow the dedicated band of staff and volunteers who devote their time, skills and passion to maintaining Brooklands’ collection of cars, motorcycles and planes – as well as preserving the site’s historic association with aviation and motorsport.
The self-titled birth place of motor racing kicks off Secrets of the Transport Museum with the restoration of a Fraser Nash, test drives of the first car ever to lap the banked bends of Brookland’s famous circuit and the ongoing work around a Harrier jump jet. The mix sets the scene for what’s to come over the further nine episodes, with slots dedicated to Concorde, the Routemaster bus, vintage Delage, a classic Triumph motorcycle barnfind and a wooden car that is being eaten alive by woodworm. And at a time when motor racing was almost exclusively a male sport, viewers are introduced to the infamous Belles of Brooklands, a group of pioneering women who raced on level terms with men in the 1920s.
As if that weren’t enough to tempt Brooklands fans to tune in, other episodes tackle the eight-year restoration of a Wellington bomber, Motoball – the sport said to be invented by bored dispatch riders in World War 1 – kicks off on the track’s old Finishing Straight, and Billy Monger, the racing driver, gives out driving tips to a fellow double amputee.
Along the way, the new TV series will shine the light on the merry band of enthusiastic and tireless volunteers who keep the wheels turning and wings working behind the scenes of the museum.
Originally established in June, 1907, when Ethel and Hugh Locke King opened the race track they had envisioned, Brooklands became a mecca for innovators and everyday people who wanted to race a car, fly a plane, or simply get caught up in the thrill of watching something so new and adventurous. Men and women flocked from across the globe to experience the revolution in motorsport and aviation
Tamalie Newbery, Brooklands Museum Director & CEO, said: “At Brooklands Museum we tell the stories of pioneering men and women, who risked it all in pursuit of their dreams of speed and flight in the 20th century. Brooklands was a place which fuelled innovation and it had a huge influence on today’s motorsport and aviation industries. I’m delighted the TV series is going to give more people the chance to find out about this inspiring place, and how we care for it today.”
Brooklands Museum remains closed until further notice, making the new TV show an ideal way for fans whet their appetite for a future visit. Those who want to peek behind the scenes of Brooklands can follow the new 10-part series, every Tuesday at 8pm, from 30th March on Yesterday channel. It will also be available on catch-up on UKTV Play.