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Over the years the original building seems to have been gradually extended (Brooklands Museum).


for both JAP and Excelsior. Although his business interests resulted in less


time for racing, Eric continued to make his mark in the early 1930s. He was a regular competitor at Brooklands and in continental road races riding his fast 175cc Excelsior-JAP and 250cc Cotton- JAP machines. In April 1934, no doubt for reasons of accessibility, he was running ‘Fernihough’s Garage, Byfleet Road, Weybridge. Telephone Byfleet 373. Specialist in high speed experimental work.’ In 1937 the road became known as the Brooklands Road. There were four petrol pumps on the forecourt, whilst the area around the garage, which backed on to the River Wey and the Byfleet Banking, provided space on race days for spectator parking –‘Car Park 2/-’ – with access to the Track just up the road by the Vickers building. Perfectionist In early 1935 Dick Chapman replaced Francis Beart as Eric’s assistant at the garage. Although he had learnt much from his boss, Francis consid-


ered Eric ‘...brilliant, but a perfectionist and not the easiest person to work with’. Dick’s opinion was that Eric ‘...was an extraordinary person to work for, being so meticulous in every way. He was simply very careful and methodical, working out on paper before starting and never in a hurry.’ That is except when record breaking! October 1935 saw Eric and Charles Mortimer sharing the 250cc Cotton-JAP and taking 12 world records, including the 500 miles and 12 hours at Brooklands. After Eric and Charles had been riding for some 10 hours, daylight was fading and the infamous Brooklands rabbits were coming out in swarms on to the warm concrete. Eric suggested that he drive his sports Railton (now in the Museum) alongside the bike so lighting the way and enabling the rider to ‘...spot the rabbits and swing in between them. In this way we continued ...with every record we had gone in for in the bag with a good margin’. Eric’s interest was not only in tuning small capacity machines, but also larger bikes with


Fernihough (right) with Jock Forbes in 1933 (Brooklands Society).


35


Fernihough on his Excelsior-JAP (Brooklands Society).


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