Charles Cooper
race engineer to Kaye Don


Cooper house at Fassett RoadWorks at Surbiton Hill RoadCooper house at Beresford Avenue

During the 1920s and for part of the 1930s, Charles Newton Cooper was race engineer to Brooklands driver Kaye Don. Cooper was a skilled engineer. He met Kaye Don before the First World War, when both competed in motorcycle trials. Following the war, both men lived in Kingston-Upon-Thames, Don at Anglesea Road and Cooper nearby at Fassett Road, where the house was occupied under Mrs Cooper's maiden name - Elsie Paul. The Coopers' famous son John was born there. The photos show the house at Fassett Road, the garage site in Surbiton Hill Road, where Cooper maintained Kaye Don's race cars, and the Cooper residence at Beresford Avenue, Which they occupied from 1934.

Wyckham Court Mansions showroomWyckam Court Mansions signCooper works at Hollyfield Road

In 1934, Kaye Don went to prison on the Isle Of Man, following a fatal crash on public roads. At about this time, Charles Cooper went into partnership with "Ginger" Hamilton, a Brooklands race driver who had managed Fisher's Garage, just South of Ripley, in Surrey. The Coopers moved to premises at Wyckham Court Mansions in Ewell Road Surbiton, and Beresford Avenue. In the 1950s, the tiny Norton-engined, Cooper racing cars could be seen in the Wyckham Court Showroom. Still in the 30s, the partners acquired premises to the rear, in Hollyfield Road, and set up a new works. This building has been much photographed and many will remember it's use as a police garage in recent decades. During the Second World War, Cooper used these premises to repair the wings of damaged Hawker Hurricanes. Tommy Sopwith and Sydney Camm designed and built the first Hurricanes at a purpose-built factory which can still be seen, near Kingston Station.