Tag Archives: social history

Luffield Priory and the Silverstone elephant

My latest research work at Silverstone has unearthed the story of Luffield Priory, the abbey complex on the site.  It’s a fascinating tale of medieval life – and monastic misbehaviour – largely lost under the plough and the JCB but coming to life from the records and the digs.  And I took an excursion into circus history to track down the elephant who visited the circuit in the 1950s!

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Back to Silverstone

I’m enjoying more work on the Silverstone Heritage Project, this time researching and writing up just about everything that’s happened at the circuit.  It’s involved revisiting many years of watching sports with the F1 story, but new ground for me with motorcycles and production cars.  This great picture is of Sheila Van Damme with her Sunbeam at Silverstone in about 1955.  Her racing team partner was Stirling Moss.

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`Belvedere Village’ to be published in `Bygone Kent’

`Belvedere Village – Victorian Prayers and Profit’ is a primary source- based article on the rapid development of Upper Belvedere in the 1800s.  It’s a tale of pubs and patrimony, crooks and committees, old salts, villas and watercress.  `Bygone Kent’ is the magazine of Kent’s history and `Belvedere Village’ will appear shortly.

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