Tom Barnard, a local author, racing driver, engineer, boat builder, track designer, car designer along with a string of other accomplishments. His book 'I gathered no moss', an autobiography detailing his fascinating life story
His book starts with the advent of WW1 when his father returned from the war and purchased Bluepool at Furzebrooke. He then set about landscaping the grounds with rare plants and trees. Soon enough, tourists started flocking to this wonderful place of tranquillity.
WW2 then disrupted proceedings and Tom writes about the Army taking over the land and buildings, overhead dogfights and near misses from exploding bombs.
After the war, he schooled at Eton and entered into a social life in London. Around this time, he got interested in Engineering but also in Motor Racing. This was the golden era for racing and he was fortunate enough to compete in races with the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss and driving cars for Colin Chapman at Lotus.
A few years later on, he decided to adapt his engineering business to small-scale racing cars that children (or an adult) could race on any track, The Barnard Formula Six. The car could be adapted so that it was safe for any youngster to drive at a very early age and the controls were within reach of a supervising adult.
His early childhood, first in South Africa and then in South Dorset was suddenly interrupted by World War Two. The Barnards were evicted from their house, which became a military hospital, and bombs soon became part of daily life.
After schooling near Swanage, and then at Eton, Tom was called up for National Service in the Army. He then spent sixteen years in his chosen profession of engineering but managed, during this time, to fit in seven years as a racing driver, mostly with Lotus.
His invention of the Barnard Formula Six miniature racing car earned him enormous publicity in the UK and abroad with over four hundred models sold. This was followed by boat building, classic car restoration and then four years helping to develop Silverstone Circuit. His success with race track designing led to projects in a dozen countries spread over a further twelve years. Finally, with a quiet life in mind, he began a study of his family history and the writing of his book.
The fourteen chapters confirm that the title is fully justified. He has been throughout his life, a true rolling stone.
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