The second annual Bromyard Speed Festival took place on Sunday 2nd of April 2017, round the normally quiet market town of Bromyard in Herefordshire, England. The normal population of around 4,500 was boosted as hundreds of people flocked to the town to see cars and motorcycles parade round the closed roads of the town centre. The organisers had made a tremendous effort to provide a great variety of vehicles to entertain the crowds who had free admission to this popular event. This year they had three former Land Speed record holding cars in attendance, Babs, held the Land Speed record in 1926 driven by owner J.G. Parry-Thomas at a speed of 171.02 mph. It was not able to run round the track as the vehicle was too long for the course and could not make some of the tight corners. It was a very popular attraction in the paddock, with the engine cover off. The other two record holders were The Beast of Turin, a Fiat S76 powered by a 28.5 litre four cylinder engine and a recreation of the 1927 Napier Blue Bird II. The Beast of Turin held the World Speed Record in 1911 at a speed of 116 mph for the one mile land speed record. It was driven at Bromyard by it’s owner and builder Duncan Pittaway. The 1927 Napier Blue Bird II was originally driven by Sir Malcolm Campbell and set a record speed of 174.88 mph in 1927. His Grandson Don Wales rode in Blue Bird round Bromyard, to the delight of the crowd. The town centre echoed to the thundering Thud Thud Thud of these monster engines as they were driven enthusiastically round the course for several laps.
The event was supported by local vehicle manufacturer Morgan, who originally started building cars in Bromyard. They provided one of the course cars and also had a cavalcade to start proceedings of Morgan three wheelers and Plus 4 models. There were parades by Rally Cars, Austin Healey sports cars, Hill climb racing cars, Vintage Cars , Classic Cars, Electric cars, motorcycles and Racing cars and the large crowd made the most of the action in bright sunshine. For many of them it was the closest they had ever been to racing and rally cars in action, and they seemed to enjoy it however young they were. The organisers must be congratulated for the well run meeting.
By Simon & Janet Wright