Much competition for punters’ money at the foot of the Members’ Hill in the 1920s (Brooklands Museum).

which fizzled out for the Italian cars, a 12/50 Alvis being victorious. Yet at this early stage the same bookmaker was chalking up five-to-one on a Talbot winning (but these cars funked starting), seven-to-one on a Bugatti receiving the finishing flag and four-to-one on a Salmson winning the 1100cc class, or 10-to-one on a Morgan doing so. Longest odds were on the unfortunate Eric Campbell at 100-to-one.’ From a Bill Boddy article in the

Brooklands Society Gazette Vol 15 No 3 1990 The boards, or slates, showed the odds, the drivers’ names and the race numbers of the cars in accordance with the entry lists in the programmes. The race cards also contained advice for the punter: ‘In order to avoid any mistake or misunder- standing as to the competitors in a Brooklands race on whom, or against whom, odds are laid, all betting should be on the number of the car, as stated on the race card. There will be no objection to the names of the drivers being put in the bookmakers’slates, but these names will in no way govern the betting. The public are warned not to bet with bookmakers who do not display their Official Brooklands Permit. Bookmakers in the Members’ Enclosure and Paddock will only pay on the hoisting of the ‘All Right’ Ball. Bookmakers in the Public Enclosure will pay ‘First Past the Post’ irrespective of objection.’ BARC Race Card 9th June 1930

‘Before competitors are dispatched from the Paddock to the Starting Line, the numbers of the declared non-starters will be exhibited on the number board and the bell rung. After this bell has been rung, all competitors whose numbers have not so appeared on the number board will be considered as starters for the purposes of betting. ‘Reserves’ are not competitors unless their numbers are posted on the board.’ Race Card for the Guy’s Gala Meeting 2nd July 1932


‘Where betting takes place, the public are advised to back on the number of the car and not the driver, as changes of drivers may be made during the race.’ Race Card for the International Trophy Race 6th May 1933

In 1929 an innovation in the form of a Betting

Totalisator was located in the Paddock and later in the Members’ Enclosure. The display boards were fixed to the top deck windows of an NS-type AEC omnibus. Race cards dating from 1932 on- wards mention that: ‘All Totes and Bookmakers will pay ‘First Past the Post’ irrespective of objection. The Totalisator will be available for Members and the Public in both the Public Enclosure and the Paddock. 2/- units.’

BARC Race Card 10th September 1932 A map showing the circuit for the British

Empire Trophy race published in the programme for Saturday 30th April 1932 shows the location of three Totalisators – in the Paddock, on the Members’ Hill and at the Fork. Interestingly the law stated that it did not permit the employment of a Tote for public gambling at race courses where Jockey Club rules were not in force. Perhaps this was the reason that the Tote was not

The view from behind the stall in the 1920s (Brooklands Museum).

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