Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Hickman Bacon

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Sir Hickman Beckett Bacon (1855-1945) Unmarried

Sir Hickman Bacon was a founder member of the Lincolnshire Automobile Club and became its President in 1902 a position he held until his death in 1945.

He was one of the first people in Gainsborough to own a car, a Panhard Levassor.

In 1908 Sir Hickman purchased from his friend Herbert Austin an Austin Grand Prix Racer. It was one of the three Austin cars to have competed in the 1908 Grand Prix at Dieppe. These were the only motors Austin ever built for the Grand Prix Circuit and they were then converted to tourers. Sir Hickman had much enjoyment from his Austin tourer, he tarmacodamed the surface of his extensive drive to test drive his Austin Racer. He used it to compete in hill climbs locally and it was reported that the roads of Thonock Park often echoed with the roar of a racing car and famous racing drivers were frequent visitors to the hall. Legend also has it that by posting men with flags along the Ermine Street he could go flat out from Caenby Corner to Lincoln and even claimed a speed of 100 mph. He owned the Austin tourer until the early 1940’s when he was eighty five. Eventually he missed the corner by Somerby and overturned the car. He gave the tourer back to Austin Motors after that accident.

1910 Of the Lincolnshire Automobile Club. Biographical information and image at Automotor Journal 19100924

In his later years he became an eccentric and him and his car were well known locally around Gainsborough.

Sir Hickman also owned a motor bicycle and learnt to ride it.

Sir Hickman died on the eve of his 90th Birthday on the 13th April 1945.


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