Hot on the paws of Crufts, Brooklands Museum in Surrey is looking for a new dog star to make the headlines.
But the specification of the canine required by the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation is very specific.
It must be a white, male, standard poodle with a utility or lamb cut that is benign of nature yet ready to “turn it on” for the cameras.
Brooklands, the first purpose-built motor racing circuit in the world, celebrates the centenary of its opening this June and one of the high points will be a grand charity ball on Friday, June 15.
The connections between a handsome dog and a charity ball may seem remote but Hugh Locke King, who gave up his own land and his fortune to build Brooklands in 1907, had another passion other than motoring and that was his succession of pet poodles—all called John.
Hugh and his wife Ethel were never seen without John loyally at their heels, riding in the family cars or curled up at their masters’ feet in family portraits.
When found, the 21st century equivalent of John will be temporarily re-christened and will join the actors that play Hugh and Ethel Locke King at the centenary charity ball being held at Brooklands Museum’s neighbor, Mercedes-Benz World.
He will greet guests at a lavish drinks reception and then settle down with his own dish of specially prepared tasty treats. Of course his proud owners will also be able to sip wine and mix with the great and good of Surrey and personalities of the motorsport world.
Brooklands Museum is keen to hold auditions for pedigree potential VIP’s as soon as possible. Any appropriate contenders should contact Celia Rhodes at 01932 857381, ext. 243.
The centenary ball is just one element of the celebrations that will take place on the weekend of June 16 and 17, and the museum is looking for Brooklands’ period cars to go on display in special car parks around the historic Paddock and Motoring Village. Anyone who believes their vehicle may have the right provenance should contact Museum Director Allan Winn.
Both Saturday and Sunday will feature attractions that will appeal to all the family, not just enthusiasts, with fairground-style rides and food, as well as spectacular displays by some high-performance and historic cars.
On the Sunday, there will be a re-enactment of the grand opening parade that was led by Ethel Locke King exactly 100 years ago.
For tickets for the Brooklands Centenary Weekend, call 0870 8506639. For more details visit www.brooklands100.org.