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‘Increasingly stringent economic conditions in the book publishing industry have marginalised specialised and low-volume titles regardless of their historic worth’
The Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust is not a membership organisation, it is a charity giving financial and other help to authors and publishers.
The Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust (“the Trust”) exists for the advancement of education in the particular field of the history of vehicular transport and the research and enquiry into specific aspects thereof. The Trustees encourage the publication of the research as a book, other printed medium, publishing on the world wide web or as film or audio recordings. The Trustees include Authors, Publishers, Photographers, Archivists, Curators and an Accountant and can give advice to would-be authors on all aspects of publishing and research. This advice may be in the form of introductions to suitable publishers or where self-publishing is the preferred option, designers and printers, help with gauging print runs, editorial comment or other advice.
The Trust’s view is that even books with a very limited sales potential should be published if the subject matter is worthy and the research is new and comprehensive. In cases where the Trustees concur with the view of the publisher or author that the subject is worthy of publication but is not going to be a viable commercial proposition, the Trust can often offer some financial help to bridge the gap or enable the author to self-publish. The Trust may share the financial risk by way of granting an advance or loan repayable on a royalty basis from sales of the book, or may make an outright grant towards the costs of publication. To date the Trust has assisted in the publishing of 75 books, making financial contributions of circa £107,700 and has received £37,700 of royalties from sales of these books. Financial contributions are made upon publication of the end product to ensure that the research is in the public domain.
Where the research is of a very specialist nature and is not commercially viable even with a subsidy from the Trust, the Trust may offer funding to assist that research provided that copies of the manuscripts are lodged in selected specialist libraries, County Record Offices and possibly published on the world wide web. Where the Trust identifies a significant gap in recorded history, it may suggest a subject to authors and/or publishers. The Trust does not publish or sell books it has supported, or any other materials itself.
The Trust relies for its funding on donations from the public. In 1984/5 after the death of Michael Sedgwick, a substantial sum was donated by his friends in his memory and this has been invested to provide an income to support the work of the Trust. Those wishing to support the aims of the Trust are encouraged to make a donation either directly by cheque (please post to the secretary at the address given under contact on this website, including your name and address and consent if you wish the charity to benefit from and claim Gift Aid on your donation) or via the Charities Aid Foundation where the Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust can be found on this link: Donate to charity | Giving made simple and secure with CAF (cafonline.org) . The CAF website also has facilities for donors to elect to add Gift Aid to their donations.
Fuller details of supported books appear elsewhere on the website. The Trust is unable to offer a facility to sell books, but where still in print we have endeavoured to provide web links to the publishers. For out-of-print books an internet search may find them on Amazon, EBay, secondhand or charity bookshops. Another source may be boxes of books at auctions of automobilia or at an autojumble such as Beaulieu. Some of the recent books that have been helped financially by The Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust include:
The subjects of books supported have included:
• Histories of Marques – Wolseley, Standard, HRG, Vale Special, Bean, Hampton
• Biographies of significant individuals in motoring – Archie Frazer-Nash, Bert Hadley, Freddie Dixon, Harry Lester, Reggie Tongue, William Beardmore
• Records of motorsport – Caithness to Cote d’Azur (Monte Carlo Rally), Morgan International Adventure (Le Mans and Tourist Trophy, ). South Harting Hill Climb, Alpine Trials and Rallies
• Histories of particular types. models or periods of vehicles – De Dion Bouton Tricycles, Sunbeam Talbot and Alpine in Detail, Rise of Jaguar, English Model T Ford, Postwar Panhard Flat Twins
• Technical aspects of vehicles – Coventry Climax Racing Engines, Proprietary Engines
• Miscellaneous aspects relating to vehicles – Petroleum Collectables, Number Plates, Road Signs
The Michael Sedgwick Award
The Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust sponsors an annual award for the best book on motoring history. The award is organised and judged by the Society of Automotive Historians in Britain, who appoint a committee for the purpose. Past winners have been :
2020 Louis Coatalen – Engineering Impresario of Humber, Sunbeam, Talbot and Darracq by Oliver Heal
2019 The All-British Marendaz Special by Graham Skillen
2018 Reid Railton – Man of Speed by Karl Ludvigsen
2017 Wolseley – A Very British Car by Anders Clausager
2016 Skinners Union by Mike Harvey
2015 Harry Lester – His Cars and the Monkey Stable
2014 Morris – The Cars and the Company
2013 Carscapes by Kathleen A. Morrison and John Minnis
2012 Coachcraft – 1930s Coachbuilding Style by John Dyson
Some Good News
The Trustees have arranged special discounts with the National Motor Museum Trust at Beaulieu for authors using the Museum’s research and library facilities, also for the use of photographs from the Motoring Picture Library. These discounts can be claimed by any author whose work has been provisionally approved by the Trustees to receive financial assistance. Further information on these arrangements may be obtained from the Secretary to the MSMT, or access to both library’s using the NMMT link at the top of the page.