June 2007 News Letter – Number 2

Fifty five years ago, in July 1952, the fledgling Lotus Engineering Company had been in existence for six months. Colin Chapman, very ably assisted by Michael and Nigel Allen, had enjoyed a very successful 1951 season racing the 750 Formula Mark 111 and people were quick to take notice.

At the end of the season with growing demand from other enthusiasts for parts and even complete cars, Chapman decided he had the basis for a business. Consequently, on 1st January 1952 the LEC was formed and the move made from the Allen brothers’ garage to the stables belonging to Stan Chapman – Colin’s father – behind his pub the Railway Hotel in Tottenham Lane , Hornsey.

From these humble beginnings a series of world beating Lotus cars emerged over the following seven and a half years.

The Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre project has made considerable progress over the last two months. We now have all of the initial infrastructure in place and the Directors and Trustees are working well as a team. We will be able to move quickly once the question of where the museum is to be situated is resolved.

Premises are still our main focus and negotiations are continuing with the current tenants at Tottenham Lane . Our prime aim remains to establish the museum at Hornsey but our overriding ambition is to establish the facility in North London . Accordingly we are currently exploring the viability of a significant alternative site not very far away. There are a number of important issues to be considered over the coming weeks and we will be keeping you up to date with progress.

The brewery who currently own the Wishing Well pub are still 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.

Neil Duncan

Secretary to the Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre