The Campbell’s and Sir Henry Segrave: A Celebration of Land and Water Speed Record Breaking

The Campbell’s and Sir Henry Segrave: A Celebration of Land and Water Speed Record Breaking

The Atkinson, Thursday 23 July 2015, 7pm

At the turn of the century, a visit to Southport wasn’t just about enjoying an ice cream on the pier. Racing, both on the land and water, was in its heyday and a thoroughly fashionable and aspirational pursuit, for participants and well-heeled audience alike.

The Atkinson is holding a special event on Thursday 23 July 2015 to celebrate the achievements of some remarkable figures in land and water speed record breaking as well as exploring Southport’s pivotal role in the early years of motor racing. This event coincides with the 60th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s first world water speed record at Ullswater.

This unique evening will bring to life some of the personalities that dominated the early years of motor-racing, as well as the nail-biting occasions when records were lost and won. Gina Campbell, daughter of Donald and grand-daughter of Sir Malcolm Campbell and a past holder of the women’s world water speed record, will talk about her life, experiences and achievements. Whilst local historians and racing enthusiasts Peter Cowley and Keith Hick will discuss the fierce rivalry between Sir Henry Segrave and Sir Malcolm Campbell.

The event is organised by The Atkinson’s Development Trust, in order to launch next year’s celebrations of the 90th anniversary of Sir Henry Segrave’s world land speed record.

In March 1926, Segrave captured the land speed record on Southport sands in his four-litre Sunbeam Tiger Ladybird.

Throughout the latter part of the 1920s, until Segrave’s untimely death in 1930 aged just 33, a great struggle for speed developed between the pair. Segrave, a former fighter pilot set three land speed and one water speed record, was the first person to hold both simultaneously, and was the first to travel at over 200 mph (320 km/h) in a land vehicle.

Rival Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record on nine occasions between 1924 and 1935, was the first person to drive at over 300 mph and set the water speed record four times.

There’s no better place in the north west to celebrate a motor-racing milestone, as The Atkinson’s permanent museum displays, Between Land and Sea-10,000 years of Sefton’s Coast, strongly features the early years of motor racing.

Treasures on show include 1920s medals and trophies won on Southport beach by motorcycle racer William ‘Sax’ Pearce, a model of the Hudlass car from the 1903 speed trials on Southport promenade, and a 1920s racing car wheel similar to those used on Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird.

Emma Anderson, Director, The Atkinson, said: “The heyday of motor racing in Southport was the 1920s and 30s, when record times were being set and broken in magnificently crafted machines which were themselves lovingly tended by the finest mechanics in the land.”

In addition to three inspiring talks, the fundraising event will also include drinks and refreshments, a chance to handle some of the museum’s objects and related displays of pictures and memorabilia.

Tickets for The Campbells and Sir Henry Segrave: A Celebration of Land and Water Speed Record Breaking Fundraising event are on sale and are priced at £25 (price includes refreshments and a signed print). To book your place please contact the Box Office on 01704 533333 or book online at
The Campbells and Sir Henry Segrave: A Celebration of Land and Water Speed Record Breaking
The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport PR8 1DB T: 01704 533333
Thurs 23 July 2015, 7pm
£25 (price includes refreshments and a signed print)

Notes to Editors:
For more information, interviews or press tickets please contact Emma Lloyd. 0151 934 2129 /

About The Atkinson
The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.
The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wile the day away visiting the new shop, that sells gifts and contemporary crafts from regional makers and then relax in the Bakery, choosing from a selection of artisan bread sandwiches, cakes and sharing platters. You can even take little bit of The Atkinson home with you from the delicatessen. Wonder through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

Emma Lloyd

Posted on 1 July 2015 under Museum

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