Saturday, 2 March 2013

Update on My Help for Heroes Thousand Mile Relay Fund Raiser

I have been trying very hard to establish the exact route taken by the drivers in the original 1900 Thousand Mile Car Trial organised by Claude Johnson, the then head of the Automobile Club.

Claude Johnson 

I have been very fortunate during a recent visit to our local Oxfam Shop to find two fantastic books to help me in my quest.

The first find was an actual book compiled by Claude Johnson called 'Roads Made Easy - Picture & Pen. It was published in 1907 and is Volume 2. Covering Journeys from London to Wales. It was probably compiled from actual journey experience. It was published by 'The Car Illustrated, Ltd.' 

You can see from this page the conditions of roads in those days and the novel method Claude uses to describe directions, a frequent one being 'Follow the Telegraph Wires'.

My next find is a more recent publication which may still be in print? 

In one of the early sections of the book he describes the Thousand Mile Trial with some interesting comments made by pundits at the time, such as 
' The Biggest and Most Important Thing Done in this Country'
'Shap Fell, with some considerable Muscular Assistance'
'A Wierd Drive in the Dark beside Thirlmere'
The First Milestone of the British Motor Industry'

The Precious Photos below are all from the book showing various places and events along the way.

The First Badge of the Automobile Club before becoming Royal in 1907

'Ready for the Off' at Grosvenor Place, London

The Toll Gate at Maidenhead used as a Time Check Point.

At Calcot Park Reading where Daily Mail owner Mr Hawkworth had laid on a sumptuous lunch. 

Also at Calcot Park with the Mayor of Reading in Top Hat.

One of the Exhibitions held along the way at Edinburgh Waverley Market Hall - John (lord) Montegue Sitting on the Rostrum Rail.

 Arrival Home in Whitehall London.


  1. What a splendid idea and I look forward to meeting you at some point during your period in darkest Lancashire. I do hope that 'Miscellany' will publish the details and give you the best possible support for what is a very worthy cause. Chris Gleave 'onemanandhismog'.

  2. Hello Chris,
    After the total ignorance and rejection of my multiple requests for support last time, I have not bothered even contacting Miscellany this time.
    When I have my fundraising stops confirmed, i'll let you know when I intend to be in Stockport & Preston.
    Lancaster Sainsbury's Cable Street is already confirmed for Thurs 2nd May Mid afternoon.
    Best Wishes

    Stockport is now also confirmed for Wed 1st May in the afternoon at Sainsbury's London Road Hazel Grove, Stockport