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National Museum of Australia

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Letter and envelope from Joan Richmond - Baalbek

2007.0034.0024

Letter and envelope from Joan Richmond - Baalbek

Object information

Physical description

A handwritten letter with an envelope and poem booklet. The letterhead of both the letter and envelope reads: "VILLA HOTEL DE LA SOURCE / SPRINGS OF RAS ELAIN - BAALBECK". The letter is dated on the first page "BAALBECK Dec 6th 1931", and "Dec 7th 1931" on the third page. The letter opens "My Darling Ma / Here we are in Baalbeck ...", and closes with "Heaps and Heaps of Love My Darling ... Joan". The envelope is addressed to "Mrs John Richmond". A booklet included with the letter is entitled: "At the "Sea of Life"/ JERUSALEM/ Armistice Day, 1930".

Statement of significance

The Joan Richmond collection consists of items related to the motor racing career of Joan Richmond. These include a racing suit, goggles, a trophy, number plates, a personal journal, letters, photographs and newspaper clippings.

Joan Richmond (1905-1999) was a successful racing car driver at a time when women racing drivers were not only a rarity, but competed in the same events as men. Richmond's first major event was the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in which she drove a Riley and placed a creditable fifth. Shortly after, Richmond and four friends embarked on an overland journey from Australia to Europe in order to compete in the Monte Carlo rally. This journey is credited as the first international overland tour to have originated from Australia. Following the group's successful completion of the rally, Victor Riley offerd to sponsor Richmond and in 1932, she supported the English racing car driver, Elsie Wisdom, to win the 1000 Mile Race at Brooklands. Throughout the 1930s, Richmond stayed in England and competed in more motor racing events, including several Monte Carlo rallies and the Le Mans 24 Hour race. She returned to Australia in the 1940s but was unable to continue her motor racing career due to a lack of money and sponsorship. Joan Richmond died in Melbourne in 1999.

Object information

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