The Prince Henry Tour (letter)
Conan Doyle tells his participation to The Prince Henry of Prussia's Motor-Car Cup of 1911.
The Prince Henry Tour
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir, — As a driver in the Prince Henry contest I should welcome the opportunity of acknowledging through your columns the extreme kindness and hospitality which we competitors have received in Germany. That our hosts should endeavour to make things pleasant for us might be taken as a matter of course; but what could not be prearranged or organised is the warm reception which our motors bearing the British flag have received from every class of people along the whole line of a route which extended to nearly 300 miles. Some of this may be discounted as being due to the great personal popularity of Prince Henry, which must cause general sympathy for a contest in which he takes part; but, making every allowance for this, no one can possibly doubt that we received a true message of good will for England. The endless line of students, soldiers, peasants, wine growers of the Rhineland, artisans of Westphalia, agriculturists of the North, all had the same wave and cheer for us as we passed, while the enormous assemblage of children, presage of the great future of Germany made a deep impression upon our minds. The only contretemps (and it is one which is worth mentioning in view of the thousand miles of road work awaiting us in Great Britain) arose from ignorance of the fact that even a small bunch of flowers received in the face when you are travelling at high speed may become a dangerous missile. Several nasty blows were received, and one German competitor was so injured in the eye that he will be compelled, as I understand, to retire from the race. This exuberance of welcome is really the only possible criticism which could be made of our perfectly organised excursion. I can only hope that during our British run, which extends from Southampton, trough Leamington, Harrogate, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Windermere, Shrewsbury, Chepstow, Cheltenham, and so to London, we can make our German friends feel welcome in the same complete way that they have done for us.
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.
Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen (Dampfer, "Grosser Kurfurst.")