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But how and why did this road on the beach become a venue for motoring events.

You will be aware that the speed of the early motor cars (the horseless carriage) was limited by law to walking speed (2 mph in town, and 4 mph in the countryside) and that the car had to be preceded by a person carrying a red flag. That law was abolished in 1896 and as it happened a celebratory run from London to Brighton was organised - which incidentally was won by a steam-engined car!

In 1905 Harry Preston, owner of the Royal York Hotel in the Old Steine, and who was both a motoring and flying enthusiast, proposed to the local council that Madeira Road (Drive) be resurfaced with tarmac, and be the venue for a Motor Race Week. The event was a great success and the top speed achieved was a very impressive 97 mph!

The National Speed Trials have continued ever since, and today is a one-day event in September.

Many other motoring events have found their way to Madeira Drive. In 2006 the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society held their 45th London to Brighton Run. More are likely in future years. For example, an official scooter run wouldn't surprise me; there already seems to be an unofficial one.