Bromyard’s Motoring History & Heritage
Bromyard and its immediate locality has been linked to the British motor industry since the birth of the motorcar. The Chairmen of the Austin, Bean and Morgan motor companies lived in the surrounding parishes and frequented this attractive market town.
Automotive manufacturing was first started in Bromyard by the Pettifer family. This was by way of chassis components for the Morgan Three Wheeler of 1910, prior to the building of the Malvern factories.
At the Bromyard Speed Festival, Morgan is the featured marque, due to its special association with Bromyard and being the last British owned motor manufacturer.
This year’s track will be the high street, but in future years we hope to be able to utilise local roads and fields for true competition events. The two Paddocks will be situated in the town centre near the circuit and will be the hub of the action with VIP area for paddock entrants with hospitality facilities.
Saturday will see the Drivers’ Banquet being held at Bromyard’s own Fawlty Towers – the Falcon Hotel – watering hole of choice with early drivers such as Prince Bira, Raymond Mays, and latterly where the commentators of Shelsley could be heard discussing the merits of Scottish fuels rather than methanol or Castrol R! This Drivers’ Banquet will be held in the ball room on Saturday 1st April 2017.
The area around Bromyard is known to many as the VSCC heartland, due to its location in relation to Shelsley Walsh, Prescott Hill Climb, Chateau Impney, Welsh Trial, Herefordshire Trial, Hereford Vintage Auctions, Brightwells Classic Car Auction, Red Marley Hill Climb, Bringsty Grand Prix and the unofficial Boxing Day Down Hill.
Laverda was an Italian manufacturer of high performance motorcycles. The motorcycles in their day gained a reputation for being robust and innovative. The Laverda brand was absorbed by Piaggio when, in 2004, Piaggio absorbed Aprilia.
Their UK base was near Bromyard in the village of Collington and many Laverda enthusiasts remain in the vicinity. Slater Brothers (Richard and Roger) of Collington, Bromyard who developed the Jota and other Laverda models using the roads between Tenbury Ledbury and Ludlow as a test track!
The factory took up these developments to produce the Jota between 1976 and 1982. It was the fastest production bike on the market at the time of introduction – top speed of 140 mph. The Jota won the Avon Production Bike British Championship in 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980.
Bromyard is home of the Fast Karts built by Wizzo Williams’ father Tony and friend Mal Baylis, the UK’s first go-kart manufacturer.