Lord Austin and Sir Mark Oliphant

Reference the Oliphant Biography (Page 74)


Thanks to Mark Heuzenroeder for suppling this little gem...... Oliphant (Sir Mark Oliphant) had high hopes for help from Lord Austin, who had been most generous to the Cavendish a year earlier. After all, Austin was a Birmingham man. His motor car factory was a major employer in the city; his mansion stood on the edge of town to the south. Oliphant wrote seeking massive financial support. Austin's response was an invitation to afternoon Tea.  As he and Rosa drove up to the gates, Mark realised with a jolt he was driving a Morris, the product of Austin's arch-rival. It was hardly an appropriate vehicle in which to arrive at Lord Austinís doorstep, hopeful of a warm welcome and offers of aid. He felt obliged to conceal the car and complete the trip up the long gravel drive on foot. The meal over, their host enquired about their return to town. A rather evasive reply gave Austin the impression they had walked. A chauffer was summoned and Mark and Rosa found themselves seated in state in Austin's limousine. Whizzing past the Morris still secretly around thew corner, they were driven back to town. Mark had to slip back quietly next day on his bicycle to pick it up.  The outcome of the meal was an offer of 2,000 pounds, very welcome but, under the circumstances, little more than pin money. Mark's rye comment to Rosa was that he needn't have bothers hiding the Morris.

 Sometime later he successfully 'touched' Neville Chamberlain for 60,000 Pounds.