Fully illustrated. Technical line drawings, historical photographs, and covering the restoration of the only surviving complete example of a Brooke - the unique "Swan car"
David Butcher (Review)
To people familiar with the town (and maybe to ones who’ve only just heard of it), Lowestoft probably means fishing and seaside holidays. This book presents an aspect of its past which is little known, even to many residents, and which should be the subject of far greater awareness on the part of local people and visitors alike. Thanks to David Weavers and his years of meticulous research, this can now be the case – and the story of J.W. Brooke & Co. can take its rightful place in the published record of Lowestoft’s history.
Known in its latter days as Brooke Marine and Brooke Yachts, the firm began in the 1860s as a general engineering enterprise, before diversifying in the early 1900s into automobile manufacturing and even making engines for aircraft. The Brooke of Lowestoft presents various aspects of the company’s original activities, before focusing on its motor vehicles and including a dedicated chapter on the sole, known, surviving model: the famous Brooke Swan Car. It is possible that, had the company not begun making engines for speedboats (with resulting increased concentration on maritime activity), it might still be producing cars today for a specialist market – like the Morgan company in Great Malvern. In their day, Brooke vehicles were on a par with Rolls Royce and Napier.
This book is a “must-read” volume for anyone interested in automobile history or in the bygone industrial activity of Lowestoft.
David Weavers was born and brought up in Oulton Broad, departing at the age of seventeen to serve in the Royal Air Force.
A nomadic lifestyle has seen David and his family set up home in such diverse locations as Fife, Sussex, Rutland, The Cotswolds and Berlin before retirement brought him back to within a few hundred yards of his birthplace!
Fascinated by all aspects of the motorcar from a very young age, and then later by the history of his home town, the story we have here is the result of over forty years of painstaking enquiry.
150pp Soft Bound A4