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Rare film of the Count who inspired a children's classic

Rare footage has been unearthed by a Kent academic which sheds light on the man who inspired the children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Count Louis Zborowski lived just outside of Canterbury in the 1920s and raced his own cars. Built using First World War aeroplane engines they were nicknamed Chitty Bang Bangs because of the noise they made when they coughed and spluttered.

Ian Fleming, who also wrote the James Bond books, saw the cars racing and later used the idea for his book, which was adapted into a film and then a stage musical.

Tim Jones from Canterbury Christ Church University discovered some amateur film taken by Zborowski which shows a light railway built in the grounds of his home.

He will screen the half-hour footage on Saturday 25 October at 2pm and Saturday 1 November at 2pm at the Powell Lecture Theatre at Canterbury Christ Church University’s North Holmes Campus.

Further details of the screening are here.