Hugh Fortescue and Dame Ethel Locke King

Member of The Hundred

Hugh Fortescue and Dame Ethel Locke King
Birth and death
1848 - 1956
Profession details
Landowner, Motor-racing Promoter, Hospital Patron
Related places
Alistair Grant
Hugh Locke King

© Brooklands Museum

Hugh Fortescue Locke King (1848-1926) landowner and motor-racing promoter, born at Chertsey. In 1906, concerned that the strict speed limits on public roads meant British motor manufacturers and racers had no test facilities, Locke King met with Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the Daily Mail. Encouraged by Northcliffe, Locke King decided to build the world's first purpose-built motor-racing track where cars could be driven at speed. The idea was publicly floated in May 1906, supported by the Automobile Club and Society of Motor Manufacturers and traders, as well as leading figures in the racing world, including Selwyn Edge and Charles Jarrott, who were persuaded by Locke King's friend Ernest de Rodakowski to get involved. In 1906/7 he built Brooklands Automobile Racing Club on the heath of his Brooklands estate. It cost Locke King around £150,000, which he raised by mortgaging his properties. Loans from his wife's family saved him from bankruptcy in July 1907.

Dame Ethel Locke King (nee Gore-Browne;1864-1956) motor-racing promoter and hospital patron. During the First World War, Ethel Locke King established fourteen auxiliary hospitals in Surrey.

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