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Commanders Cup-BRSCC East Anglian centre-Commander Phiip Heseltine

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#1 carrotcruncher

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:31

To all TNFers,can anyone enlighten me as to the history and life of this important man in the history of snetterton?

I thought I had researched my local circuit but this gentleman and his life have escaped me.

                                                                                        Anyone with any info, please help,can't find anything on the usual search engines.

                                Regards to all,



#2 carrotcruncher

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:45

Really surprised that there has been no reaction to this request for information.Does no-one know who he is/was?Or are they just not interested.

Don't think I'll bother again,


#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 13:43

CC, I'm sorry you've had no response so far, but I'm sure it's not down to lack of interest - if any of us did know something we would have responded. I know of two Snetterton experts who used to be regulars here but who we see little or nothing of these days - Andrew Kitson and Leigh Trevail. It might be worth dropping each of them a PM alerting them to this thread as they probably haven't spotted it. :)

#4 SWD

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 15:23

I dont have any information on Philip Heseltine but I am interested in this event, back in 1964 a Sabre Six won the event. The reg of the car was WGT 889 - f anyone knows its current whereabouts I would be interested to hear from them

#5 D-Type

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 16:13

CC, can you let us know what information you have already to save re-inventing the wheel.  It might trigger a few memories.


-     Who was Commander Philip Heseltine? 

-     Apart from the obvious Snetterton connection, what else was the BRSCC (East Anglian Centre) involved in? 

-     What was the Commander's Cup? - I assume a top level clubbie or national open race at Snetterton but for what type of car? 

-     When, for everything?

Edited by D-Type, 25 June 2014 - 16:15.

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 16:33

Like Tim, I was waiting for a Snetterton expert to chime in. The name Philip Heseltine is surprisingly unusual, with very few hits on Ancestry in England.


I've found two Lieutenant-Commander Philip Heseltines on Ancestry - probably father and son. The elder one - who is likely your man - was Philip Edward Heseltine, born August 27th 1904 in Hull, died 1992 in Bury St Edmunds. He was presumably a 'career man' as he's in the Navy List between 1924 and 1949 - a full 25-year hitch - although he appears to have not been promoted after 1934, so possibly on the reserve list. [edit: or maybe, like Ian Fleming's Commander Bond, he was doing something more 'interesting'?]


The second Philip Heseltine arrives in 1935 as a 6-week-old baby on a ship from Malta - the Bendigo - and many of the others who had boarded there appear (not surprisingly) to be members of RN families - lots of home addresses around Plymouth and Portsmouth.


If it's the right chap - and believe it is - then his full name was Philip James Heseltine and he was born on July 24th 1935 (presumably in Malta?) and died in Plymouth in 2002. According to the Navy List he was an engineering officer, commissioned as an acting Sub-Lieutenant in September 1955: the last Navy List on Ancestry which mentions him is Spring 1968 - by which time he was a Lieutenant-Commander, a rank he achieved in November 1965. He married a Susan Tremeer in Plymouth in early 1960: I'd guess she was probably another 'navy brat' since I can't trace her birth either, although there were a couple of naval officers with that unusual (Cornish?) surname in the mid-1950s..

#7 SWD

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:07

The Commander's Cup 24-hour was a distance record trial for a single car. As a said a Sabre Six won it in 1964, previous winners I think include a Jensen 541. Later the Willhire included the Commander's Cup as the first single car entry past the post and that of course included Martin Brundle and others - so clubbie yes but nevertheless a tad higher up the food chain than a 750 MC meeting at Lydden!

#8 carrotcruncher

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 11:05

Vitesse2 and SWD,

                             thank you both for your help and persistence on this topic,I have to admit that it did not occur to me to pursue the naval(military) angle .Apologise to all for my rather petulant post previously,just shows that I should try to think in a more lateral fashion in future ,and remember that Wikipedia is not the only /perfect source!

                                                                      Promise to keep on trying

                                                                                                              carrotcruncher :o

#9 dgs

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:37

Commander Philip Heseltine is mentioned in  Peter Swinger's book 'Motor Racing Circuits in England'


On Snetterton circuit it mentions that Commander Heseltine was a stalwart of the club, and one evening in the early 1960's he arrived with his wife Biddy at the clubhouse to find that Jim Russell had just completed a 24-hour reliability trial in a Vauxhall. During the evening Commander Heseltine asked Jim Russell if he would like a cup to commemorate the feat. The offer was accepted and a tradition developed whereby the record established by Jim Russell's Vauxhall was challenged in later years. There was only one basic rule to challenge for the Commander's Cup which was that the vehicle used had to be an unmodified production saloon; the rule was later changed to allow any production car to make the challenge.

#10 DavePoole

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Posted Yesterday, 15:40

Here's a photo of Commander P.E.Heseltine (centre) with Mike Watts (left) and Graham Warner (right) in front of the winning Reliant Sabre Six in 1964  :D 



Edited by DavePoole, Yesterday, 15:42.

#11 Dick Dastardly

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Posted Yesterday, 18:54

Here's a photo of Commander P.E.Heseltine (centre) with Mike Watts (left) and Graham Warner (right) in front of the winning Reliant Sabre Six in 1964  :D 




Given Graham Warner's connection with the factory team on the Monte earlier that year, I'm surprised they didn't use 876 HWD, the lightweight car built for Le Mans.

Unless, of course, it was being used elsewhere that weekend...