Great Auclum Hill Climb
From 1947 the Hants & Berks organised a successful hill climb in the grounds of Great Auclum, a private estate in Burghfield Common, Reading, owned by Neil Gardiner who was a director at Reading’s Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory and pre-Brooklands competitor.
Great Auclum was one of the few hill climbs in the English collection that enabled an underpowered car to compete on more or less equal terms with the expensive quick boys. A quarter-mile course was formed from the estate’s unique driveway which, from a driver’s point of view, proved ideal for a challenging hill climb with a downhill start followed by a twisting climb and a steep bank corner at the lowest point.
Becoming part of the National Championship from 1959, these events saw many famous names take part alongside local competitors, including Ken Wharton, Stirling Moss, Renato Martini, Roy Salvadori, Eric Brandon, Roy Lane, Colin Chapman and Tony Marsh.
The last event was held in 1975. Since then the majority of the grounds have been redeveloped but the track, although fenced off, overgrown and in a poor state of repair, still remains to this day.
The following shows a selection of images from some of our organised events.