The above Jaguar is part of the collection at Lakeland Motor Museum. There were three body styles in the XK120/140/150 range – the fixed head coupe (as above), the drop head coupe and the super sports – often called the roadster which featured a simpler hood, side screens rather than wind up windows and a more water resistant dashboard covering. Similar to the Jaguar XK120, wire wheels or wire-spoke wheels were an optional extra whereas cars with the standard disc wheels had spats (fender skirts) over the rear wheel opening. This stunning Jaguar also features a heavier full width bumper rather than the two lightweight thin bumpers found on the XK120.
The Pigeon House above forms part of a cluster of outbuildings to the south east of Mirehouse and is linked by way of a covered pavillion to the Garden Hall. The building is a three storey structure with store rooms at ground and first floor levels with a dedicated pigeon loft above. Constructed in the 18th century, this building is one of only two listed pigeon houses in the Lake District. Pigeons and their eggs were kept as a source of food for the estate but their numbers had to be regulated due to crop decimation. This pigeon house was thus constructed pursuant to the special right of the Lord of the Manor to keep pigeons. In a state of disrepair and requiring substantial works to be undertaken, the building was made structurally sound and refurbished in 2010 with generous help from the Country Houses Foundation. The Pigeon House is Grade II* Listed.
The Triumph Tiger range was introduced by Edward Turner following his installation as Chief Designer and General Manager at Triumph Engineering. The motorcycle producing arm of Triumph hadn’t been performing well in the early 1930’s and was sold off in 1936 to JY Sangster of Ariel. Valentine Page was a British motorcycle designer who worked for several of the UK’s leading marques, including Ariel, Triumph, and BSA. Edward Turner took Page’s range of 2/1, 3/1 and 5/1 (250, 350 and 500cc single cylinders) adding chrome petrol tanks, upswept exhausts and polished crankcases, and gave them Tiger 70, 80 and 90 models names relating to their top. This particular model above is on display at Lakeland Motor Museum and was bought new in October 1937 by Sydney Waterfield of Manchester. He used the motorcycle extensively for commuting as well as pleasure trips including visits to the Isle of Man TT, Silverstone and other race circuits. After WWII, rear suspension became popular on new motorcycles and the bike was converted from the original rigid rear end to a swing-arm and dual seat. It is believed that this is a McCandless design, produced under license by Feridax, who still produce motorcycling accessories and clothing. Continuing to use the motorcycle throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, Mr Waterfield made a note of all maintenance work undertaken. He had a second engine which he refurbished and swapped over every summer. Upon his retirement in 1980, it remained untouched in his garage until his death in 1999. His family arranged its restoration to the fantastic condition seen today.
British brothers William and Edward Douglas founded the Douglas Motorcycle company in Bristol in 1882. The firm was founded as a blacksmiths and iron foundry, producing their first motorcycle, a 2.75Hp flat twin, in 1907. The company won an army contract during WW1 and produced 25,000 machines for the use of dispatch riders on the worst terrain of the front. The above rare model is on display at Lakeland Motor Museum and features a horizontally opposed engine – also known as a flat twin or boxer, mounted longitudinally – in line with the length of the frame (See the two cylinder heads, one behind the front wheel and the other towards the back wheel). The Fore and Aft description is the nautical term for a boat with its sails in line with its keel, such as on a sloop or a schooner. Later motorcycles used this engine configuration but mounted transversely (across the frame). The design meant the motorcycle was longer than others with single cylinder, or v-twin engines, and is more suited to riding on straight roads than twisty ones. That said, Douglas had success in motorcycle racing, speedway and trials events – even securing wins at the Isle of Man TT races with various sporting models. For almost three years, the Dirt Track Douglas was the supreme dirt track machine selling around 1200 in 1929 alone. In the 1920’s, Douglas built the first disc brakes and had a Royal Warrant for the supply of motorcycles to the Princes, Albert and Henry. Following bankruptcy in 1935, Douglas reappeared after WWII with a range of motorcycles that were far less successful than the Vespa scooter they imported and produced under license. The 1955 350cc Douglas Dragonfly was the last model produced by the company. Westinghouse Brake and Signal bought Douglas out and production of Douglas Motorcycles ended in 1957. Douglas continued to import Vespa scooters into the UK and later imported and assembled Gilera motorcycles.
Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo began in 1910 as A.L.F.A – Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. During the First World War, entrepreneur Nicola Romeo took over the firm and in 1920 they returned to car production with the new company name. The Milan based factory only made vehicles in left hand drive except for a small batch of 404 Giulia Spiders, all produced in 1963 and sold to right hand drive markets, including Britain, Australasia and South Africa. The above example was one of the last produced, only selling in September 1964.
Spider is the name Alfa Romeo and Ferrari used to describe its cabriolet/roadster models. Many vehicle body styles come from horse drawn vehicle descriptions, both Cabriolet and Roadster are used to describe a vehicle with only one row of seats, a folding hood and no window frames – a convertible differs in that it can have two rows of seats and possibly fixed side window frames.
This model was based on the previous Giuletta Spider – rather than the new Giulia’s underpinnings, but using the Giulia’s larger and more powerful 1600cc twin overhead camshaft 4 cylinder engine – the only external difference in the two models is the raised bonnet centre which is to clear the taller engine. This fabulous vehicle is on display in the Lakeland Motor Museum and is 1 of 404 made in right hand drive.
Located at the rear of Fell Foot Farm in Little Langdale is an unassuming moot mound. Known as the Ting Mound, moots were open air meeting places during Anglo Saxon and Medieval times. Such monuments were situated at convenient or well known sites and could take several forms – a natural feature such as a hilltop, tree or rock, existing man made features such as prehistoric standing stones or a purpose built monument such as a mound. First established between the seventh and ninth centuries AD, moots were originally situated in open countryside but gradually became located in villages or towns. By the 13th century, construction and use of rural moots largely disappeared. Only a small number of man made mounds survive today and the moot at Fell Foot Farm is one of only three known moots in Cumbria. The moot includes a flat topped rectangular earthen mound with rounded corners and is almost three meters high. It features two terraces on the north and east sides, three on the west side and on the south side of the mound, there were originally four terraces.
This particular spot was on the crossroad of busy trading routes that were established in Roman times. The Romans had built the road along the valley and over Wrynose Pass to link the Galava Fort at Ambleside and Mediobogdum Fort at Hardknott Pass. These forts were two of several fortified structures built to protect the vital trade route through Cumbria with Galava being constructed around 79AD. The Roman road, known as the 10th Iter, ran from the coastal fort at Ravenglass (Glannaventa) up the Eskdale Valley to Hardknott Fort and continued over the Hardknott and Wrynose passes towards the forts at Ambleside and Kendal. Mediobogdum Fort is situated on the western side of Hardknott Pass and was built between 120-138AD. Several centuries later, this long established highway route would have provided the Vikings with the perfect site for their Thing – from the Old Norse meaning meeting or assembly place. The Lake District Vikings arrived from western Norway, via Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. The legacy of the Vikings remains not only in local place names – the practice of dividing holdings with drystone walls has its origins in Norse traditions which has influenced the distinctive view we see in the countryside today. The existence of such Thing Mounds in Cumbria provides a small link to the Viking political system of their time in North West England. The Ting Mound is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
On display at Lakeland Motor Museum is the above model of the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen. The 1886 Benz was the first motor vehicle ever that was successfully powered by internal combustion. There was already automobiles that were powered by steam or electricity but the German engine designer, Karl Benz, secured success for his invention on 29th January 1886 when he presented his stroke of genius at the Imperial Patent Office. His single-cylinder 4-stroke engine with a displacement of 0.954 of a litre anticipated elements still found in every internal combustion engine to this day: a crankshaft with balance weights, electric ignition and water cooling: enough to generate 0.55 kW and a top speed of 16 km/h, virtually corresponding to the power of a whole horse. This beautiful model is the first 1:8 scale precision die-cast.