Land Speed Record Anniversary puts Southport’s Motor History and Heritage on the Map

Land Speed Record Anniversary puts Southport’s Motor History and Heritage on the Map

More than twenty five thousand vintage racing enthusiasts flocked to Southport between 12-19 March, for the anniversary celebrations of a land speed world record.

Ninety years ago, Sir Henry Segrave entered the record books when his Sunbeam Tiger reached a top speed of 152.33 mph on Ainsdale beach. The contemporary and racing rival of Sir Malcolm Campbell was briefly the fastest man on earth – and Southport was the setting for his success.

On Wednesday’s 16 March, despite a cloudy outlook, 2,500 people lined the beach and the dunes at Ainsdale to catch a glimpse of the pioneering sports car recreating Sir Henry’s record breaking land speed record.

The anniversary fuelled a week long programme of activities, including a series of talks, a special Anniversary Dinner, free interactive Sir Henry character performances and the Bloodhound project that between them engaged over 1000 school children across Sefton.

A parade of vintage vehicles dating from as early as 1910 took over Lord Street last Sunday and proved a fitting culmination for the week’s events. This was organised and managed by the Aintree Circuit Club.

The week attracted visitors from far and wide, including Gloucester, Oxfordshire, Stafford, Rochdale, Trafford, Port Sunlight, Burnley, Morecombe, Blackburn, Wales, Leeds and the West Midlands.

Emma Anderson, The Atkinson’s director said:

“The Atkinson has achieved more than we ever thought possible in celebrating the Landspeed Record Anniversary event. It was the most ambitious project that we have undertaken and it was fantastic to see the whole organisation working together on an event of this scale that achieved such a huge degree of success for Sefton and for The Atkinson.  It just shows what we can do when we are determined and ambitious.

“The project could not have happened without key partner organisations from the private sector, especially Aintree Circuit Club. We very much look forward to working with them again in the future.

“It also proved how much interest there is in Southport’s heritage. Setting us a huge challenge on how we now take this forward and develop it further for the future.”

The Atkinson and its partners received media coverage from the national BBC and regional news, specialist, local and regional press. The value of the coverage hit hundreds and thousands of pounds, all helping to raise the awareness of Sefton as a visitor destination for cultural tourism.

The visitors to the town spent upwards of £100,000 during their visit, with the money immediately benefitting the local economy.

The week’s celebrations also saw an increased footfall of 20% into The Atkinson, which benefitted The Bakery, bars and The Atkinson’s gift shop.

Peter Cowley, racing history enthusiast and member of The Atkinson Development Trust said:

The anniversary event went far beyond what I could have possibly imagined.

“I would not have believed that Henry Segrave’s Tiger would run again on the sands and be reunited with a living member of the Segrave family. That the recreation of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 1927 Napier Bluebird would put on such an awesome display and be reunited with Malcolm’s granddaughter Gina, which was truly the icing on the cake.

“The display of vintage Sunbeams outside The Atkinson was truly magnificent.”

The Atkinson, Sefton’s cultural hub, managed and run by Sefton Council, now begins the planning for its next project to continue the association between Southport and 1920s motor racing glamour.

For more information on The Atkinson, its programme, collections and how you can support The Atkinson’s Development Trust, please visit




For interviews, or more information please contact or call 0151 934 2129

Image Credit: Paul Greenwood, Norwyn Photographics


The Atkinson

Lord Street






In person: Visit The Atkinson box office on Lord Street

For tickets: visit the website or call box office on 01704 533333




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. While 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. Wander 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.


Posted on 29 March 2016 under General news

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