Rottingdean Preservation Society suggested it was a talk about someone’s life in Rottingdean. However when I got there and discovered it was an illustrated talk on the ‘History of Early Motoring’ I nearly went home. But the car was so impressive, (I once had an old bright red MG sports car) I stayed and found myself happy to learn more about an ambitious trip made by the author Andrew Jepson’s grandfather who had once lived in Rottingdean and travelled around the world – in you’ve guessed it – an earlier Napier.
The man paying for these trips, with his wife in one of those glamorous hats of the day, was a wealthy American. He not only paid for a private chauffeur/engineer, the said author’s grandfather, but promoted Napier along the way including visiting Maharajas in their palaces, no less.
Napier were making printing machines before the Great war, engineering was their forte, so no wonder when the age of the motor car came about they were keen contenders to make their name.
Maybe the cold or Andrew’s tendency to ponder just a fraction too long on some of the pics and especially the maps made it a bit too long. If he cut it down by ten minutes it would still be a happy romp with none of the content missing. However he also sold several books.
An interesting interlude on a cold afternoon, with both the car owner and the chair of the Napier Trust in attendance. Well done Andrew.