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Howard Strawford RIP


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#1 Tim Murray

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 08:33

Howard Strawford died yesterday at the age of 77. He was the owner of Castle Combe circuit since 1976 and the man chiefly responsible for turning the track into the impressive facility that exists today, whilst still retaining its informal charm and friendliness. Sincere condolences to his wife Pat and all his family and friends.

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#2 Nick Savage

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:34

Anyone who raced and spectated there as I did from the 1960s through to the present day would mourn the passing of Howard. I never met him, but (until recently) Castle Combe had a wonderful mix and in particular hosted local saloon and sports car Championships which drew a massive local following - in my experience more so than any other South-of-the-Wash track. All that seems to have been Howard's inspiration.

There were always great crowds at CC when the historics had a shared meeting with the local Championships.

A very friendly place (on a par with the revived Croft) and the facilities improved massively over the last 15 years. The Breakfast in the CC cafe was on a par with the legendary Mallory Park heart-stopper.

He will be missed, I think.
Nick

#3 ErleMin

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 13:14

He was a talisman of British motorsport club racing.
I still have a an image in my brain of him in his wellies standing on a wooden chair giving his drivers' briefing.

#4 DogEarred

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 13:21

Back in the late 70s & early 80s, I remember he used to give the driver briefings (as well as organising much of the other stuff).
No nonsense & everything crystal clear but laced with good humour. He & Pat seemed to want to make sure everybody had as good a day as was possible.
Always a highlight going to CC meetings. Long may it survive him.

#5 arttidesco

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 13:24

Condolences to Mr Strawfords family and friends.

#6 MCS

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 21:55

This is sad news.

The passing of a very committed, serious and forward-thinking motor sport enthusiast and organiser who put his heart, soul and even his own money into the circuit he loved so dearly should be mourned by all; especially by those of us who probably took for granted the wonderful motor sport we enjoyed there.

I met him in the late seventies and you almost felt he was carrying the place – or, more realistically, trying to transform it into something else, something better. He clearly succeeded – although I didn’t actually know until recently when I visited on a quiet midweek afternoon when my curiosity got the better of me in an idle, spare moment on the M4.

The circuit is so incredibly different from what I remember in the late seventies although, in fairness, the track itself looks ostensibly the same – but seemingly significantly wider in places. I walked a lap and spent time in the spectator enclosures. It had a great feel to it.

Credit to Howard Strawford – you did a very good job.


#7 RTH

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:47

Yes remember him well,good man, sad news.

#8 Graham Gauld

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:14

Back in the 1990s I served with Howard on the RAC Race Committee and recall many amusing moments when Howard was battling with the unforgettable Syd Offord of Thruxton over the setting of new rules. Howard was the moderniser and Syd the ghost of Chistmas past. Poor old Rob Walker who was Chairman at the time, had to use all his skill to manage the two of them.
Howard was always a staunch supporter of the club racing driver and he certainly spent a lot of time and money on Castle Coombe and will truly be missed in motor sport.

#9 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 14:05

Very sorry to hear this, it was mentioned at Race Retro that he was very ill.
He kept a struggling track alive against all the odds when many other venues went under and turned it into a thriving success despite continuing pressure from outside sources.
I remember sitting in the paddock in 1997 surveying the wreck of my Rover 220, after a wild trip into the armco at Folly, and he sauntered round with a wry smile on his face
"Any damage?" he asked
"Yeah - the front corner, the wing, the door, the bonnet, the..."
"Not the bloody car! My barrier?" and off he went roaring with laugher.




#10 D-Type

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 14:44

I think that's how he would like to be remembered. :)