Anything Nostalgia Related.

Moderators: timetravel, ukdrn

 #31065  by MikeH
Good day All, Some notes to go with the final pictures of Brian's, that Jon has posted. As these are probalby the last pic's I just want to repeat my thanks to Brian and Jon for putting the photo's in the web site. It has meant a great deal to me personally to see the car once again. Anyway onto the notes. Image no. 28 is a shot of John Whitney in the process of filling the HTP tank. As you can compare from earlier pictures of BB 1, the BB 2 car was much easier on the back; a small peristaltic pump transferred the HTP from the plastic container to the tank. A zero spill Quick Disconnect was attatched to the tank. Note John has the "regulation Marigolds" to protect the hands. The venue I am not too sure of, maybe it's Leavesden but the line of trees does not look familiar now. Maybe Brian could let Jon know when they next meet. For me the alternative could be Bruntingthorpe. Lifting the nose of the car could well of helped the "purging" of the HTP feed line, by putting it lower than the tank inlet, but this is an assumption now. You can see from other pictures, the car sat nose down a fair bit. Image no. 29. I have to say for me, it's probably not Leavesden with the bank in the background, so my guess would be Bruntingthorpe. I think that's Barry bending over the back of the car, probably me nex to him, hair's about right but I don't recall the boots; John again doing the filling. It's obviously difficult to put a name to the person at the front, but at a guess it's Mel Bettison. Image no. 30 not much to say about this. It may not be the same place as the previous picture, or at least the Fire Engine is not the same vehicle. A nice view of the car though. Image 31, first the people; the guy near to the front wheel looks like Peter Gazey The person with the white hat, I think is Anne the wife of Denis Atkin, I expect one of the non defined persons, in the trailer, would have been Denis himself. That's probably Barry standing just inside the trailer, with the white arm bands on the jacket. The rear wheels probably are for transport only. I don't remember ever running the car with treaded tyres, but it's a long time ago now. The rocket motor has the protective cover fitted to the nozzle to help protect the catalyst pack, I expect all will recogonise the push frame mounted on the rear. Image 32, this iamge looks more like Leavesden, from the house line and proximity to the runway/apron. Another nice shot of the car. Image 33, this is one of the images I saw a while back, from the Record Breaker Club web site. When my wife saw this picture, she straight away said it was me in the picture, I was not sure then. However having seen this better resolution copy, I would say it probaly is me looking at the car. Yet another masterful shot of the car from Brian, it does look good, sorry did look good. The final two images speak for themselves, but in the final one, Barry can be seen walking towards BB 2.
 #33023  by Old Boy Racer
My buddy Dick Keller, who co-designed the Blue Flame, has added a commentary to his movies about the development and running of the car. The early stuff covering the X-1 rocket dragster driven by Chuck Suba makes a nice comparison with BB. Watch out for some interesting stuff in the background at the tracks where they ran it. ...


 #33427  by bryceee
Hi all,

I am posting to ask a favour of anyone who has photos of the BB1 or 2, or news clippings - some of the posts in this topic don't have high quality versions and I am trying to put together a photo style book for Mel Bettison's 70th Birthday. I'm Mel's partners (Eileen Bryce) son. Any photos of Mel and the BB would be even better!

I've sent a few people emails from the forum but I don't think the forum emails are working as I didn't get copies myself. My email is sbryce138 at gmail dot com.

If anyone wants to get back in contact with Mel, please let me know and I can pass on the details.

 #33430  by bryceee
P.S. it's a surprise for Mel's birthday. Thanks for the call Brian and great to hear from you. My Mum will call you back shortly - I'm currently travelling through South and Central America and won't be back until later in the year so I'm on email and this forum only!
 #36195  by malcolm uk
The Speed Record Club are trying to reach Barry Bowles.

The reason is that the SRC have instigtaed a UK 200mph Club to honour those on land or water who have set National or International records on British soil. One of the recipients of a 200mph club hat and certificate will be Barry Bowles.

I know from this thread that Barry resides in Spain and therfore he may not be available on the weekend of 17th and 18th May 214 when the Club Chairman will be awarding the first hats, but if in the UK his presence at the Records Weekend (hosted by the UK Timing Assocition) on either day would be most welcome.

Contact can be made with the SRC through 'news (at)'

I can be contacted through this forum if necessary (see my posting July 12 2012 in this thread for some background).

Malcolm Pittwood
 #36315  by ukdrn
I did have some contact with Barry a while back when this thread was running.
Although he was really flattered that everyone still remembered and wanted to talk about his cars and achievements it also reminded him of a very difficult personall time in his life and we have to respect that.
 #39628  by ukdrn
Thanks Nick. I hadn't seen that.
Since this thread first started I've had more correspondence about it than any other on ukdrn.
 #39719  by Filby
Just adding some extra mileage to this thread.

Regarding the last round of images from Brian Sparrow: Images BB2-30 to BB2-35 were almost certainly taken at Leavesden aerodrome. The main clue in this set of pictures is the Beech Super King 200 aircraft with the registration G-BEST. In November 1979 it was only 18 months old and was owned/operated by Eagle Aircraft Services Limited who were based at Leavesden, from early 1970s to the mid 1980s.

By coincidence, Eagle - who were sole UK distributors for Beech aircraft - advertised this very aircraft for sale in the November 1979 issue of “FLIGHT International”.

If the location is correct, then it’s likely to relate to the south west end of the Leavesden runway, where a hanger and service facilities catered for light aircraft and helicopters. The tree line and bank in the background of image BB2-35 would correspond to area atop the north western portals of the Watford tunnels section of the Euston railway lines.

The entire site has changed rapidly over the last 20+ years, and most recently due to the investment and expansion by Warner Brothers who have demolished the old hanger and redeveloped the site according to their needs.

The first two images - BB2-28 & BB2-29, could be a different venue from the rest. The inclined nature of the runway and lack of any building in the distance suggest this is not Leavesden. However, its location appears to correspond to that of image BB2-23. Without knowing if Brian scanned the images as per negative order, then it’s difficult to ascertain.
1979 - GBEST.jpg
1979 - GBEST.jpg (216.13 KiB) Viewed 15298 times
  • 1
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12