3 May 2013

First photo? 1960 Tourist Trophy

I found this photo on a short strip of negatives in a file a couple of weeks ago.It was taken by me at the 1960 TT (Tourist Trophy) sports car race at Goodwood.The race was won by Stirling Moss driving Rob Walker's Ferrari 250 GT.The picture shows the Ferrari 250 GT of private entrant Pierre Dumay overtaking what looks like an AC Bristol on the back straight at Fordwater.Even in this poor picture the Ferrari looks superb. but it retired early from the race with a gearbox problem.

It is a remarkable photo because it may be my oldest surviving photo.The race was in August.I received my first camera, a Halina 35X, on my 14th birthday in July and this picture was taken with that camera.I processed the Kodak Plus-X film myself.The Halina was a Leica look a like - made in Hong Kong ( which at the time probably meant that it was made in China but exported from Hong Kong which was still a British colony and hence it did not attract duty coming into the UK)-it had reasonable reviews at the time and it served its purpose as my starter camera.I had my eyes on either a Agfa Silette or an Aretta B but they were both out of my price range.The Halina cost just 8 pounds sterling-$12 -the cost of 30 mins parking at Sydney Airport today!

I travelled to the race by public transport with a friend.I lived in Ewell near Surrey, my friend lived nearby in Surbiton.We took a bus to Kingston,a train to Chichester and a bus to a village near the circuit and then we walked some distance down lanes to the back entrance of the track.We had a very basic timetable but only for the trains-no internet in those days - and it was a long journey-it took us over 5 hours.We were very determined We arrived after the race had started.We got home late yet my parents were completely relaxed about me heading out on such a long trip.

I clearly remember that there were no other spectators along the back of the circuit.It was a stellar entry and it was classic race.The entry list reads like a who's who of motor sport greats-Stirling Moss,Roy Salvadori,Innes Ireland,Graham Hill (in a Porsche), Jo Schlesser,Willy Mairesse,Jo Bonnier, Mike Parkes,John Whitmore and more .The only big player missing was Jim Clark who must have been up on his farm for the weekend.
If you are not into the motor sport stars of yesterday to put it into musical terms this is like going to a concert and finding that the artists appearing that evening are The Rolling Stones,Pink Floyd,Queen,The Who,Fleetwood Mac ,Bruce Springsteen,The Beatles and Dire Straits.

Stirling Moss was superb and we stood on the fence and waved to him as he came through Fordwater flat chat and drifting and he gave us a big wave.I can remember it with absolute clarity .Magic.Forget the Goodwood Revival TT -I saw the real thing.I count myself very fortunate.

My friend's name was Mike Worrell or maybe Worrall.I lost track of him a few years later.I wonder if he maintained his early interest in motor sport.This blog has generated some remarkable responses recently so if anyone out there knows a Michael Worrell or Worrall, formerly resident of Surbiton, Surrey in the UK about 67 years old please let me know.

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