Raymond Mays was an accomplished and respected racing driver in the 1930s. He founded English Racing Automobiles (ERA) and later British Racing Motors (BRM) and would eventually be appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the sport.
What is less known is that the former Grenadier Guards officer was mad about the theatre. As a young man, he was besotted by an actress called José Collins, who was the star of the musical “The Maid of the Mountains” which ran for three years at Daly’s Theatre, near Leicester Square. He saw the show no fewer than 84 times. Mays was also a keen dancer and among his motor racing trophies was a cup he won for winning a dancing competition at the Casino Ballroom in Skegness, partnered by his cousin, Nona Agnew.
He was also a member of the Bourne Amateur Operatic Society in Lincolnshire, where he lived, and appeared in a production of The Quaker Girl at the Bourne Corn Exchange in 1930.