Talbot Owners' Club

The Home of Pre-War London Talbots

The TOC 90th Anniversary Lunch, Ladbroke Hall Studios, Barlby Road, North Kensington 19th Apr 2024

On the 19th of April 1934, Members of the newly formed Talbot Owners’ Club sat down to lunch to celebrate the founding of the Club. Who could have imagined that present Members would be sitting down to lunch to celebrate that anniversary exactly ninety years later to the very day,? 

And, not just that, but sitting down to lunch in the Gallery of the Ladbroke Hall Engine Room, toasting the TOC on 19th April 2024.

Any of the TOC 2024 Members who were not there will think that I have gone off my rocker. They might be absolutely correct, but I am describing what was such a wonderful and hugely enjoyable Friday lunch amongst friends old and new, celebrating what a wonderful Club the Talbot Owner’s Club is. If you missed out on this one, you have my deepest sympathies. It was truly wonderful. To enlarge on that a little, one might include the Vintage Sports Car Club, which was also founded in 1934 for the purpose of owning and enjoying proper motor cars built properly with separate chassis and proper bodies. A requirement of the VSCC that includes every single motor car ever constructed by Clement Talbot Ltd., except perhaps the not hugely sporting Ambulances and the First World War Trucks. OK, it takes so long to put up the hood in your Roesch VdP Tourer 105 when it starts to rain, that by the time one finishes putting up the hood, it has usually stopped raining, but what a wonderful manner in which to conduct oneself in the empty roads of 1934 with the RAC motorcyclists saluting your Invincible Talbot whether it be a 12/16, 25/50 or Roesch Talbot as you drove past, always assuming that you had your RAC Badge displayed on the badge bar. Apparently there was another organisation that acted similarly in somewhat similar circumstances!

But, I digress.  16th June 2024, 90 years on from the very first lunch was followed by a lunch party that was held in the very building, Ladbroke Hall, in which every one of our wonderful motor cars was constructed, and that was really rather special. Howard Day, Glyn Lloyd and David Roxburgh seem to have been the major motivators in this plan, but there were others who contributed to this wonderful result. From my point of view, and that of many of the 37 TOC Members there present, it was absolutely wonderful. All that Gabriella and I had to do was to turn up and enjoy it.  

I feel the need to tell you just what was so enjoyable. Ladbroke Hall, London W10, which is generally referred to as Barlby Road, is the most magnificent building in London’s North Kensington, which has been from 1903 until relatively recently, the home of Clement Talbot Ltd., and then Sunbeam Talbot Automobiles, courtesy of the Rootes Brothers. More recently it has become the home of a most excellent, as we all discovered, Restaurant called Pollini and a most interesting Art Gallery.  

We sat down to lunch at a table that stretched all the way along the gallery overlooking the Engine Room, which used to house the generators for the factory that was laid out behind Ladbroke Hall and around which the test track used to run.  

Lunch was delicious, and hugely enjoyable. Towards the end, David Roxburgh stood up to tell a few tales about the history of the TOC, to introduce the Owner of the restaurant and the Chef, to announce that one Member of the TOC in 1934 just happened to be a mass murderer, and then to present a Silver Tankard to David Saxl, who has recently, after a much admired race season in his 105, given into serious pressure and joined the TOC. This Tankard had been bequeathed recently to the Club by the late Stephen Curtis’ wife Annie who as some might know, was Anthony Blight’s eldest daughter.  

David Roxburgh then proposed a toast to the health of the Talbot Owner’s Club, by which time the sun had broken through the grey cloudy sky to shine upon the magnificence of this memorable occasion.

Nigel Wills

Photos: the Engine Room now, with our lunch under way, and then. Charlie Elliott’s Pebble Beach prizewinning car—the first time it had got wet since restoration! Gordon Matthew’s AD 14/45 under the portico.




The Talbot Owners Club magazine is published bi-monthly and contains news, updates and informative articles. It is edited by club secretary David Roxburgh.

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The essence of the Club is to ensure that members meet and enjoy themselves; the Club is open and democratic, dialogie is encouraged. It is for people of all ages who like Talbot cars and want to enjoy the company of like-minded people and also to support current Talbot involvement in historic competition.