At the Brooklands Velocette Centenary in 2005, I met two surivving Brooklands racers – David Vincent and Dennis Loveday.  David Vincent won a Gold Star for recording 100+mph laps at the Brooklands speed bowl during a race, and both men raced 350cc Velocette KTTs.   Regardless Dennis Loveday is pictured here on a Velocette, most of his Brooklands racing was on single-cylinder Ariels.  Both men were successful riders and race winners in the 1930s, and it was fascinating to hear them talk about the old track.

Dennis Loveday getting down on his 1930 Velocette MkI KTT, during the Brooklands Clubman Junior GP, August 31st 1935 – which he won. [AC Perryman]
I asked Michael Sands at Brooklands later about the man: “Denis told me that one of his techniques was ‘grass cutting’. He said, ‘If I could keep as near the bottom of the track as possible, I would be going round a smaller route than those riding way up on the banking, so I might save a bit of time and that meant that some of the time I had my elbow in the weeds. I fitted a pair of bicycle drop-handlebars to get lower [see the above photo of Dennis ‘getting lower’!] and one time Noel Pope said to me, ‘That looks a bit agricultural’ (meaning the Ariel) but I beat him in one race and he never forgave me!’ “Dennis is now a very keen carp angler and although he cannot see the float on his line, he has an electronic bite detector so he can fish day or night. He is still driving short journeys on very familiar local roads because his sight is too poor for general driving….so just beware if you’re on the road in south-east Devon!”

Another shot of Dennis aboard his Velocette KTT at Brooklands in the mid-1930s, from the excellent ‘A Clubman at Brooklands’ (AC Perryman, Haynes, 1979)


At the Brooklands Centenial in 2005: Dennis Loveday, John Bottomley of the Brooklands Museum, Paul d’Orleans, and fellow Gold Star winner David Vincent [Dai Gibbison]


Paul d’Orléans is the founder of He is an author, photographer, filmmaker, museum curator, event organizer, and public speaker. Check out his Author Page, Instagram, and Facebook.
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