I'm sorry to have to convey the news that Nick Brimblecombe, 'bon viveur', motoring enthusiast and founder of the Grand Touring Club (one of the first companies to organise tours for car enthusiasts centred around motor sport events) and all-round good bloke died yesterday while enjoying a day with friends on the river, near his adopted home in the Charente.
I first met Nick some 21 years ago on my inaugural trip to the Circuit des Remparts at Angouleme, where he had taken one of his early tours, coaxing Eoin Young along with him and, straight away, warmed to him and found him to be the very best of company, always keen to introduce one to what he considered to be the better things in life - the first priority always being good food and drink. My wife, Pat, and I met him virtually every year since then in Angouleme, and also at other historic racing events in Europe, as well as at shows such as Race Retro in the UK. He was so taken with the Charente area on his many visits to Angouleme, that he and his ever-supportive wife, Sally, acquired a former Cognac distillery and converted it into a 'logis' which proved popular with British visitors. He became the English face of the 'Remparts' and did a great deal to cultivate and increase its popularity amongst British motoring enthusiasts.
I will miss his warm greeting and his jovial countenance, and I offer my sincere condolences to his wife Sally and son Thomas, and to all members of his family.