“New” archive displayed at 2019 AGM.
About 100 years after the event, the STD Register has obtained access to an interesting album of original photographs from the 1920s taken by a former Sunbeam employee Mr. J.V. (Jack) Ridley. The new photos were displayed for the first time at the AGM held on 12th April.
Jack Ridley was one of the select few racing mechanics who worked in Sunbeam’s Experimental Department throughout the 1920s . He was involved in building the racing cars, testing them and supporting them at the major races in which they were entered. He was also involved with Sunbeam engined power boats and the Land Speed Record car which achieved 203 mph in 1927 .
JVR took many photos of the cars on which he worked, the people he associated with and the circuits visited. He also kept newspaper cuttings and diaries, some of which have survived. His Archive passed down through the family to his grandson, Mike Ridley who is very much involved with “proper “ motor cars, especially those made by Alvis. STD member Mike Tomlin also has an interest in that marque, knows Mike Ridley and so became aware of the existence of the Jack Ridley archive .
Mike Ridley has very kindly allowed the STD Register full access to the Archive. To date, the photos which were in an album have been scanned by Carol Allen, Professor Erez Yardeni and Oliver Heal have assisted in checking the captions. These photos are now available for viewing on the Members’ Forum. Additional loose photographs are presently being copied and will be added to the Forum in due course. Mike Tomlin has offered to prepare a small book about Jack Ridley’s life at Sunbeam, using the material available in the Archive.