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BTM SAYS GOODBYE TO ALLANWINN


News


latter. Allan explained that he feels people are born journalists with an incredible enquiring mind and an ability to explain to others. After a spell at Commercial Motor he moved to Flight International magazine where one achievement was to make the magazine light for air mail purposes so that a subscriber in Australia would get his copy the same day as one in the UK. Allan had been involved with the Vintage Sports-


Car Club since coming to the UK, eventually join- ing the committee. In 1996 he was invited by Alistair Pugh to become Chairman of the Friends of Brooklands, during which time money was raised to purchase the Napier-Railton. At the end of 2002 he was offered redundancy by the owners of Flight International which he took. At this point he was approached by Lord Trefgarne about the vacancy of Director of Brooklands Museum. Within two days of his arrival Allan found out


Allan Winn in front of the Paddock Scoreboard with a farewell message (Gareth Tarr).


a question and answer evening in early April. To be fair, the questioners – veteran motor sport journalist Simon Taylor, Daily TelegraphMotoring Correspon- dent Andrew English and Museum Trustee and former Concorde pilot Mike Banister – didn’t have too difficult a task. Allan’s fulsome responses demonstrated the enthusiasm and attention to detail that has marked out his 15 years at the helm of the institution we all know so well and love. Allan arrived in the UK from New Zealand in


B


1974 on a scholarship with the aim of investigat- ing technical journalism in the UK, only to find that there wasn’t any. A trained engineer, he started freelancing before getting a job with The Consulting Engineer. Next came Engineering Today, which was part of Haymarket group, and it was during this time that Allan met both Simon and Andrew, acting as mentor (‘Mother Goose’) to the


30


rooklands Trust Members said ‘Au Revoir’ to retiring Museum Director Allan Winn with


two fundamental issues; first there wasn’t even enough money in the bank to pay the wages and secondly the caterers were two weeks away from leaving having handed in their notice. In addition, an application to BA for one of the Concordes had to be completed within two weeks. There was therefore no time for strategic planning, just a series of hurdles to be overcome. Fortunately the staff and volunteers bought into Allan’s ideas for moving the Museum forward (including opening on Mondays!) During the next period of the discussion, Allan


revealed some of his mantras in managing the Museum. People must see engines working, Allan expressing an aversion to “Dead things in sheds”. In contrast to many museums, Brooklands is the authentic article, it is where it happened. But it was all built in nine months, very shoddily. It was never built with the expectation it would still exist 110 years later – for example the Clubhouse doesn’t even have proper foundations. So there is a long list of items requiring tackling – the aircraft exposed to the open air, the crumbling Banking, the Campbell circuit and... Simon Taylor mused that the successful events held at Brooklands take their toll on the fabric, but Allan retorted by saying it was like a Victorian swimming pool; it doesn’t mean anything unless you fill it with water and chuck people into it. But there is a risk that items break, such as when the Grand Prix Delage engine broke with Allan at the wheel. Inevitably this all boils down to finance. Allan is proud that we have now got it to the stage that


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