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Past Meeting

Alan Bodfish - Oxford Bentley Night - From Railway Stoker to Luxury Car Maker

WO Bentley in the DFP car
WO Bentley in the DFP car which
he drove into 6th place
in the 1914 TT race
The story of W.O. Bentley before and after he set up Bentley Motors Ltd at Cricklewood in 1919.

Alan's talk was based on the life of WO Bentley. His career in car manufacture has been well documented but Alan covered the period from when he started working with Great Northern Railways in 1906 until the folding of Bentley Motors in 1931.

WO Bentley is best remembered for the production of the Vintage cars from 1921 to 1931. However before that he had several "careers" which fashioned his skills for the car production.

The talk covered his life and work until the end of Cricklewood production in 1931.

Bentley BR2 Rotary WWI Aero engine
Sectioned Bentley BR2
Rotary WWI Aero engine
WO Bentley in overalls
WO Bentley in overalls at the DFP
Import agency circa 1912/14

Alan Bodfish

Alan works for the WO Bentley Memorial Foundation as a part-time administrator. He has been employed by the Foundation for 8 years after a long career in with Kraft Foods in Banbury where he was mainly in the Quality Assurance section working on food safety issues and manufacturing specifications.

The Foundation is a Charitable Trust working from the same premises as the Bentley Drivers Club just outside of Banbury. The Foundation has been in existence for around 16 years and was formed with the aims of the "advancement of public knowledge and appreciation of the Bentley motorcar and its history". There is an archive of Bentley related material and artifacts and a library for the study of Bentley matters at the Wroxton Clubhouse.

Although Alan works with the history of Bentley cars he is not an owner but any spare time he has is taken up with the restoration and running of two BSA motorcycles.

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Date:14 April 2016

Place:Chemistry Research Laboratory (CRL), South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX13TA

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Date:3rd September 2016

Place:OX18 4JP

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