Saturday, March 08, 2008

Trials and Tribulations of a Blogger

There's no point in regurgitating stuff that's readily available elsewhere on the web, which is why I try to go back to original sources in order to find fresh information for the posts on this blog.

Take Esme Stewart for example, there was a brief reference in Boddy's Brooklands book but otherwise nothing at all, even on the forums which occasionally interest themselves in motor sport's dim and distant past.

Esme's claim to fame was that in 1910 she attempted to break Felice Nazarro's 1908 Brooklands lap of 121.64 mph driving the same car in which he set the record, the frightening 18 litre Fiat Mephistopholes (see photo). Esme failed, but, hey, can you imagine driving such a beast at over 100 mph on the bumpy Brooklands banking?

Anyway reference to various online public records and newspaper archives soon identified that she was born in Scotland in 1887 and that she later married car manufacturer Noel Macklin, father of the similarly named 1950s racer and Stirling Moss team-mate. It turned out that Esme divorced Mr Macklin and that young Noel was the product of a second marriage.

How frustrating then to discover a copy of the November 1994 edition of The Automobile advertised on Ebay promising an in-depth article on Miss Stewart. There it was, my original research and "discovery" turned out to be common knowledge, although knowledge that hadn't, at the time, made it on to the internet.

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