The Ken Jones Photographic Collection
An accumulation of motorcycle sport photographs covering in particular Brands Hatch from the grass-track days of 1946 up to 1950 when the first road-racing events took place. Other circuits covered include Haddenham, Blandford, Crystal Palace, Silverstone, Mallory Park, Biggin Hill and Lydden Hill.
Kenneth George Jones was born in November 1910. On leaving school he took a job in a garage but his father had other ideas and made him go into 'the print'. On a visit to Wales Ken watched a motorcycle trial and soon joined the local Sidcup & District Motorcycle Club, eventually becoming its Chairman. The Sidcup Club was part of the Brands Hatch Combine and Ken was also Chairman of that organisation from just before the war until just after.
Called up for RAF service at the start of the war, he was posted to Boscombe Down to join the team developing what would become known as the 'Pathfinder' system of target marking for bombers. After demobilisation he wanted to buy a new motorcycle but had to make do with a second-hand BSA sidecar outfit until he could take delivery of a new Norton ES2 from Harold Daniell. Ken was nearly 40 when he met and married his wife Gladys, Social Secretary of the Sidcup Club, in July 1949.
From his early teens Ken had studied photography and this interest lasted until he died. Ken maintained that he wanted his news pictures to be works of art and, whenever possible, composition was his main consideration. In 1955 he joined a small group of enthusiasts that went on to publish the first ever edition of 'Motor Cycle News'. Ken's health deteriorated in the 1980s and he died on 27th February 1987. His wife Gladys is now 93 and still lives in the Sidcup area.
Ken photographed trials, scrambles and grass track events; the Knatts Valley Hill Climbs and the Moto Cross Des Nations held at Brands Hatch back in 1957, as well as the International Six-Days Trial and Welsh Two- and Three-day events. His collection is a most evocative representation of the period containing an estimated 8,000 photographs, mostly 8" x 6" prints, along with race event programmes.
The collection highlights the careers of many of the greatest names in motorcycle sport. Listed in no particular order, these include: John Surtees; Bob McIntyre; Bill Boddice; Chris Vincent; Geoff Duke; Ginger Payne; Eric Oliver; Tony Godfrey; John Hartle; Paddy Driver; Bruce Daniels; Ernst Degner; Harold Daniell; Jack Surtees; Tom Thorpe; Arthur Wheeler; Alistair King; Stanley Woods; Dave Degens; Fred Stevens; Brian Setchell; Terry Shepherd; Dave Potter; Phil Read; Jock West; Rex Butcher; Pip Harris; Ray Campbell; Georg Auerbacher; Colin Seeley; Hugh Anderson; Percy Tait; Peter Williams; Dave Downer; Fred Neville; Dave Simmonds; Michael O'Rourke; Ron Chandler; Florian Camathias; John Cooper; John Blanchard; Dave Croxford; Joe Dunphy; Griff Jenkins; Derek Minter; George Brown; Owen Greenwood; Alan Trow; John Holder; Giacomo Agostini; Bob Anderson; Bill Ivy; Mike Hailwood. In addition, the collection features many other riders from the immediately preceding period of racing history.
Other important motorcycling personalities represented include Steve Lancefield; Lawrence Hartley; Vic Willoughby; Dennis Jenkinson; Harry Louis; Bruce Main-Smith; Cabby Cooper; Mick Woollett; Charlie Rous; Cyril Quantril; Tom Kirby; Graham and Murray Walker; Syd Lawton; Les Graham. Off-road stars pictured include; Sammy Miller; Vic Eastwood; Don Godden; Malcolm Simmonds; Brian Stonebridge; John Giles; Ron Langston; John Giles; Ken Heanes; Alf Hagon.
The list is endless, encompassing so many 'greats' from the early days of Brands Hatch grass-track and road-racing, not forgetting a certain Bernie Ecclestone, pictured on the start line with his Norton International ready for the first test of the newly Tarmacadam-surfaced Brands Hatch Circuit in 1950.
The Ken Jones Collection is offered with copyright.