The Beaulieu One Hundred Award is presented each year to an individual who is judged to have made a significant and important contribution to the preservation, understanding and enjoyment of our motoring heritage.
In 2014, we were pleased and honoured to present the Award at the Beaulieu One Hundred Annual Dinner to Edward, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, without whose drive, vision and energy we would not have a National Motor Museum and Beaulieu would be a very different place.
The Award was presented by Beaulieu One Hundred member, National Motor Museum trustee and chairman of the Museum’s advisory council, Nick Mason, whose speech is outlined below.
This was followed by a number of anecdotes from Doug Hill, Museum Manager and Chief Engineer who had accompanied Edward, Lord Montagu on many drives (and been left behind on a couple!) illustrating his active interest in and continued enjoyment of Motoring.
The then Honourable Ralph Montagu (now Lord Montagu), gave a moving speech in thanks for the Award on behalf of his father, highlighting how delighted he was to accept the Award and how much it meant to receive the Award from such strong supporters of the Museum.
Nick Mason’s speech
Back in 1952, when many stately homes were being lost, Lord Montagu had the vision to not only open his home to the public but also to commemorate his father’s life and his role as a champion of the motor car by creating a unique display of old cars in the front hall of Palace House.
Through his drive and energy, this small display fast grew to become the Montagu Museum. Then, in 1972 Lord Montagu created the National Motor Museum, donating many of his cars to the National Motor Museum Trust along with a substantial financial donation to support its development.
Prior to this, there had been no museum dedicated to motoring.
What is particularly significant was that Lord Montagu recognised the value and heritage in old cars that many others considered junk. He inspired others to look upon old cars as being worth looking after and worth learning from.
More than this, he inspired people to enjoy old cars and provided opportunities for the public to see others enjoying their cars – whether through the organisation of rallies, events such as the Autojumbles or simply being seen driving one of his cars, Lord Montagu has led the way in the enjoyment of our motoring heritage.
With the National Motor Museum and Beaulieu recently winning prestigious awards, it can be seen that Lord Montagu’s vision and inspiration continues.
Who better therefore, to receive this Award, than Edward Lord Montagu, to acknowledge his long standing and far reaching contribution to the preservation, understanding and enjoyment of our motoring heritage.