CHAPTER FIVE Sept 8, 2009 12:14:18 GMT 1
Post by administrator on Sept 8, 2009 12:14:18 GMT 1
[u]Speculation: Arthur and Lancelot
It’s a clue, isn’t it ? But is it a blatant one ?
I wonder if there was any connection between Lancelot ‘Lance’ Palmer of Palmer’s Garage, Tooting, established 1904, and Arthur Palmer of Palmer’s Confectioners, Merton, established 1910. Was Lancelot a cousin, and did he provide the initial finance for 14 Merton Park Parade?
The two businesses were situated less than two miles apart along a main road. Lancelot was born in 1884, to George James Palmer, master builder. In 1920 his business occupied nos.183-199 Tooting High Street, but by 1928 his premises were reduced to nos.191-195 where he ran a ‘motor spirit service station’ until at least 1934. Lancelot lived at 190 Mellison Road, Tooting, from at least 1911 until 1934, initially with his father George and mother Caroline, eventually alone.
In later life Jean Reville claimed much that was untrue about the part he played in the beginnings of midget car speedway – the most important part of his life, where he had a genuine claim to fame – expanding his role to the extent that one could say he was recalling a fantasy life of his own imagination.
Perhaps he was shocked that, after two years of prominence, from being a very big fish in the small English pond (he was British champion in 1935) he became just another driver in the increasingly well-organised and technically advanced Australian midget car racing scene. Though, as midget car historian Derek Bridgett remarks, ‘One often finds that ex-speedway riders exaggerate and get faster and better with age!’
(c) DAVID HAUNTON 2009