The midnight steeplechase

The midnight steeplechase

Keen local historians, David Bowles and Gillian Lane, relate the story of one of Melton’s most famous escapades – the ‘Midnight Steeplechase’. Which has connections with both Thorpe Arnold and Waltham.

The article first appeared in the WOTWATA parish newsletter. We’ll reprint the final episode as soon as it’s published.

Click here to read part 1.


  1. This is fascinating story, the reverberations of which still reach us. The last time I visited the Farmers’ Market one Friday in Melton, you could even then, buy a picture of this event!
    Following on from Nigel Wood’s posting, I’m also interested in the man who came in second, Count Zborowski.
    I’m looking forward to part 2 when it is posted and meanwhile would like to hear anything of the Zborowski family and their circle.
    Coventry House, their old home is still standing and is near Melton Station.

  2. Keith,

    Two books have been published on the Zborowskis. The most recent is called “The Zborowski Inheritance” by David Paine, published in 2008 by Victoire Press Limited. The ISBN is 0955045649. I got my copy via Amazon.

    The earlier one is “The Racing Zborowskis” by David Wilson, published by the Vintage Sports Car Club in 2002. The ISBN is 0954287606. This is now out of print but you may be able to get a copy from one the more specialist secondhand book dealers.

  3. The book written by David Paine is also available at Melton Library, Gillian told them they should jolly well have a copy, so how could they refuse!
    The Zborowski family, father and son, seem to capture the imagination of so many people, including myself.
    In 2003, Louis Martin, the son of Louis Zborowski’s riding mechanic Len Martin, was still alive, he was born in 1924, and named after Louis, at Violet’s request, or is this yet another anecdote? If he is still alive, he is probably the last direct (almost!) link to the family.

  4. I’ve just added part 2 of Gillian and David’s story of the famous Midnight Steeplechase. Click here to read it.