I say, Raymond Baxter and some spiffing motor race action…

The 1973 British Grand Prix at Silverstone with commentary by Raymond Baxter.

All we English used to speak like Flight Commander Baxter you know, oh yes I should say so, absolutely clipped and tight, every syllable pronounced in our best BBC Queens English, never flapping when all of the cars crunch into each other but getting ever so slightly irritated when some small protocol is not followed, “That should have been a red fleg, not a yellow fleg…”

Theres a very casual attitude to safety too, don’t forget that these cars were racing on high octane fuel stored in normal petrol tanks slung either side of the driver, it was like wearing a suicide bombers vest when the crashes started.

Not that it was any safer for spectators either, you’ll notice at the start that some highly intelligent people are stood on the track taking photographs as the cars race towards the first bend, totally permitted of course, if you got hit by a car it was your fault and your admission ticket to the venue actually used to state this, something along the lines of  “You are attending this venue of your own free will and its not our fault whatever happens to you”, we used to go to speedway meetings in the 1970s and it was the same there, “By attending this meeting you agree to get covered in shit every time the bikes pass by you, your clothing will stink of methanol for days after and if you get hit by anything its your problem”

The fire marshalls seem to be very casual about their job too, why bother putting a fireproof hood on your head if the rest of your body is protected only by your jeans and a shirt and your fire extinguisher is less effective than if you just urinated on the burning car, at least they had fire marshalls though, at the Halifax Speedway every Saturday night you’d see dozens of scruffy individuals walking around the pit area with watering cans full of methanol to top up the bikes while smoking cigarettes, I can’t decide whether we were just more stupid in the 1970s or whether we are just too careful now.


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