Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Noel Macklin

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Sir (Albert) Noel Campbell Macklin (1886–1946) was an innovative British car maker and boat designer. He was also the father of post-war sports car and Formula One racing driver Lance Macklin.

He was a captain in the Royal Horse Artillery in the First World War. He was invalided in 1915 and on his return to England joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and served with the Dover Patrol.

He founded two car assembly companies: Invicta in 1925 and Railton Cars in 1933.

He achieved some fame as the designer of these sporty motor cars before turning his attention to motor boats. The Fairmile Engineering Co took its name from the name of Macklin's country estate, Cobham Fairmile in Surrey. He used the garage at his home for manufacturing and assembly.

In 1939, inspired by an article on the need for small boats for the Royal Navy he founded Fairmile Marine for the design and serial manufacture of small naval boats for the Admiralty. Since the company did not have the necessary capital to meet the Admiralty needs it became a semi-independent department of the Admiralty coordinating the supply of parts to build the vessels at boatyards around the country. For the loss of his company Noel was paid a large sum and given a salary. Fairmile boats served in the Royal Navy as motor boats, gun boats and torpedo boats throughout the Second World War. As the war came to the end Noel was made Director for the disposal of the small boats in RN service.

After the war Macklin was knighted for his war effort, but the Admiralty, who had requisitioned his Cobham site, didn't return it.


1946 Obituary [1]



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Sources of Information

  • [[1]] Wikipedia