May 2007 News Letter – Number 1
In 1952 Colin Chapman started the Lotus Engineering Company Limited in Hornsey, North London . The original building was set up in the old stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey with the aim of producing racing cars and road going machines.
The original building still exists:
As does the Railway Hotel, although it’s currently called the Wishing Well.
The Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre was setup by a group of enthusiasts who love Lotus and want to preserve this important heritage site. The directors and trustees are wide ranging in their interests and include amongst others Alan Morgan, Chairman of the Lotus Club, to Michael Oliver a well respected Motor Sport Historian, whose books on the 49 and 72 are considered leaders in the field to John Scott-Davies our President, owner of a replica Lotus 6, retired racing driver and total Lotus fanatic.
The aims of the charity are to promote the achievements of Colin Chapman and Lotus cars in the field of engineering and design. The museum will promote the value of engineering as a career path for young people and we aim to establish links with Universities who provide graduate courses in this field.
The original workshops will be restored and exhibits of cars and racing cars of the era will be there. We do however want to provide many examples of engineering and design from the period as well and will be trying to have examples from companies like Ford, Cosworth, and Hewland in the museum. As we want to have this as a dynamic museum rather than static displays our President is working with Caterham to see if we can have an example that can be built and rebuilt by young people from the schools in the community.
The brewery who currently own the Wishing Well pub are very much on board and will rename the pub back to its original name of the Railway Hotel and give it a Lotus theme.
As with ventures of this kind finding the money is always a challenge, so we are working with the London Development Agency and will be putting a bid in to the Heritage Lottery fund. We have the enthusiasm and the right team so hopefully we can make it all a reality.
A monthly newsletter will be put up on our website so interested people can follow our progress.