Jump to content


Photo

Roger Williamson memorial


  • Please log in to reply
80 replies to this topic

#1 Lec CRP1

Lec CRP1
  • Member

  • 182 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 29 July 2003 - 08:49

I recently read in August 2003's MotorSport that 'a small group of Zandvoort fans is trying to raise a monument for him at the location where [his fatal accident happened]'. Does anyone here know any more about this? They didn't show any contact details, even though I (and probably a few others here) would gladly fling them a few euros to their memorial fund.

Oh, and it's 30 years since that day at Zandvoort too. I raise this (non-alcoholic) drink to you, Roger. You're still missed.

Advertisement

#2 BorderReiver

BorderReiver
  • Member

  • 9,953 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 29 July 2003 - 09:27

I go to university in Leicester (fine city that it is), and Roger Williamson has a very nice memorial there in the Cathedral Grounds, it was unveiled in late 2001. I'll see if I can get a pic of it when I go back there in September.

My house-mate's mate's Grandmother (that make sense?) also knew Roger personally, I think they were neighbours at one point.

A memorial at Zandvoort would be nice, and would perhaps act as a bit of closure for Zandvoort.

#3 byrkus

byrkus
  • Member

  • 826 posts
  • Joined: October 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 12:10

Originally posted by Lec CRP1
I recently read in August 2003's MotorSport that 'a small group of Zandvoort fans is trying to raise a monument for him at the location where [his fatal accident happened]'.


IIRC, his accident happened around 'Tunnel' corner - and this part of the track no longer exists. Are they going to raise the monument around the houses (which I believe there are at that spot)? :confused:

#4 lustigson

lustigson
  • Member

  • 4,787 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 12:17

If I'm correct there are holiday cottages on and/or near that part. They could raise the monument somewhere else, though. Perhaps at the entrance or something.

#5 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,192 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 12:22

According to the letter in MS, the area around East Tunnel is now a golf course

#6 lustigson

lustigson
  • Member

  • 4,787 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 12:32

According to the map below, the golf course is further south-east. The new Marlboro corner is the nearest to old Tunnel part.

Posted Image

#7 Racer.Demon

Racer.Demon
  • Member

  • 1,705 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 29 July 2003 - 14:51

I will answer this on behalf of the Purley Williamson Memorial Foundation. I'm sure the Foundation people (our fellow TNF member Svend amongst them) won't mind me doing the honours, as I am very much involved in this too.

Contrary to what the MotorSport letter states, the memorial we are looking to erect will be dedicated to 29 July 1973 solely, so on Williamson's unnecessary death and Purley's heroic efforts to save him. It will of course be symbolic for the Courage fatality too, but the happenings of that day in 1973 were so poignant and gut-wrenching that in our view they in themselves serve as one of the starkest examples of drama, horror, cowardice and bravery in motorsport ever witnessed - in Holland at least.

The game's yet to begin, but here's the score so far: the foundation hasn't been founded yet, but will be any time now, after which we will strive to get a website up-and-running very soon giving updates on our progress and of course details on how to support the foundation and what is done with the donations once they start coming in. We are now in the stage of getting (vocal) support from several influential Dutch and British people to give the project the credibility it needs right from the start. Doug Nye (himself very much involved with Wheatcroft and Williamson at the time) has offered to contact Wheatcroft in a quest to get his support. We will also try to get the BRDC behind the effort, as both drivers involved were British.

Today is also the day that a Williamson memorial was officially presented by Tom Wheatcroft at Donington Park, so let's hope that will make it a smaller step towards a Purley/Williamson memorial at Zandvoort.

Good to hear that the Williamson drama is well and truly alive outside of Holland. We will keep you posted on any news concerning the foundation. This is strictly a spare-time project, so bear with us...

Perhaps Svend could digress on the location issue above. He's been digging into that (almost literally) much more than me.

#8 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 15:09

As you can see on the map Tunnel oost still exist
it is the road that goes up at 90 degreee from the middle of the Celsiusstraat to the former track
But I don't know if the Tunnel under the track is still there??
Have to check that soon,
may be in a week or so..
Chris Lambert was killed at Tunnel east too...
in 1968
The bungalow park is situated on all those lines north of the Van Lennepweg
so Bos Uit is gone forever, so is the beginning of the straight..
Paul Hooft

#9 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,192 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 17:44

I thought it was the West Tunnel where Chris Lambert lost his life rather than the East tunnel ?

#10 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 18:41

No:
There was another tunnel, and there still is on the straight, that enters the Outer Paddock, and then a road goes between it and the Hunze rug corner, to the Pits
Clay Regazzoni had this black moment with Chris at Tunnel East..
and Chris did not live to tell it.
I am still a little puzzled where Piers Courage accident happened..
but it was somewhere in the fast and last corners of the track, coming on to the staight
Paul Hooft

#11 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,192 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 20:27

Paul,

As far as I know, the Courage accident happened at Hondenvlak ie the corner before Tunnel Oost.

Chris

#12 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,897 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 29 July 2003 - 20:48

This memorial is a tree...from a Leicestershire local paper February 2001

Posted Image

#13 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 29 July 2003 - 20:53

I was at Zandvoort 1969..
and saw gentleman Piers and his lady...
As one of the simple dutchman,
as we were then...,
he made quite an impression on me..
Paul

#14 Steve L

Steve L
  • Member

  • 243 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 29 July 2003 - 21:47

There was rather a nice piece about the unveiling of the Roger Williamson Memorial at Donington Park on the BBC East Midlands Local News tonight.

It lasted 4 or five minutes - they showed the memorial, and also interviewed some of Roger's friends and his sister.

#15 Lec CRP1

Lec CRP1
  • Member

  • 182 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 30 July 2003 - 03:01

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
Today is also the day that a Williamson memorial was officially presented by Tom Wheatcroft at Donington Park, so let's hope that will make it a smaller step towards a Purley/Williamson memorial at Zandvoort.

Good to hear that the Williamson drama is well and truly alive outside of Holland. We will keep you posted on any news concerning the foundation. This is strictly a spare-time project, so bear with us... [/B]


Thanks to everyone for the replies. I'd quote everyone, but it would take forever :)

Williamson must have been getting plenty of news coverage yesterday. My Williamson tribute page alone got 56 hits yesterday, as opposed to it's normal 5-10. The BBC reported on the Williamson memorial at Donington here . No doubt there are more that I haven't found.

#16 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,897 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 30 July 2003 - 06:42

I took this photo in the Silverstone paddock during practice for the 1973 British GP. The March mechanic is enjoying taping over Roger's GRD badge.

Anyone know the mechanic?...I sometimes wonder if he would like a copy.

Posted Image

#17 Andrew Kitson

Andrew Kitson
  • Member

  • 2,535 posts
  • Joined: July 03

Posted 30 July 2003 - 08:14

It is hard to believe it is 30 years since the tragedy at Zandvoort. I saw Roger race so many times from his Saloon Anglia to the big shunt at the British GP just before Zandvoort. He was friendly with an F3 / Atlantic driver that my Dad was a mechanic for, a guy called Stan Matthews.
As a professional Motorsport artist I once painted Roger's F3 GRD. The painting was purchased by Roger's great friend Dave Brodie who took it along to the tree planting in Leicester as mentioned above. So many great memories of him, also David Purley, Tony Brise and Tom Pryce. One of the best races I can remember seeing was an F3 race at Snetterton in 1972. Roger and Tony fought tooth and nail with an epic side by side finish. Long may the memories remain.

#18 Svend

Svend
  • Member

  • 68 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 03 August 2003 - 08:37

Hello all :wave:

The current situation at Zandvoort;


Standing at the top of the artificial dune at the outside of the 'new' Marlboro-corner, looking in the direction of the old track. You can still see the contours of the Hondevlak righthander, you are standing on top of the Hondevlak lefthander (dune). If i'm correct, this is the spot where Courage lost his life;
http://dutch.simraci...dmem/imm006.jpg

Standing in the former tunnel tube of the Tunnel East corner. When the new track was built and the old one was torn up the tunnel also disappeared. If you jump over the fence and climb the banking, you are standing on the exact spot where Roger lost his life. As you can see, not the easiest place to put up a monument;
http://dutch.simraci...dmem/imm009.jpg

Again, from another angle;
http://dutch.simraci...dmem/imm012.jpg

Another picture of the spot, taken from the outside from the dune where the spectators used to watch. Imagine cars driving towards you. Where the golf players are standing is more or less the exact spot of the accident. It is difficult to see at the photo, but if you are there in real life the kink is still quite visible. The golf course was erected 1 year ago. This was as close as I could get for now, when I entered the golf course I was sent away quite rude, they probably have no idea of what happened there..
http://dutch.simraci...dmem/imm016.jpg

Finally, standing on top of Tunnel East, this is what the track looks nowadays in the direction of the old Panorama-corner. Where, on the photo, the road ends is roughly the spot where the track went to the right. The road was constructed 2 months before I took this picture, I felt quite sad that I had just missed my chance to see the old track in a bit purer state than it is now;
http://dutch.simraci...dmem/imm003.jpg


My main drive to make this project succeed was the somewhat angry feeling I got when looking at the monument which celebrates famous dutch drivers (think van Lennep, Luyendijk, Euser, Verstappen even) which was erected after the death of F3 driver Marcel Albers at Thruxton. There is absolutely *nothing* which remembers the Williamson-tragedy. This is also the reason that our initial plan is to erect the memorial at the spot of the accident itself rather than at the paddock or circuit entrance at Zandvoort. I think both Roger and David deserve that quiet place over there rather than standing in the paddock area where essentially it all went wrong that day. Saying this I have to let you know that when the monument in Donington was revealed one of the members of our project team spoke to the current director of Zandvoort en as far as I know (just returned from a 2 week trip) he took a very positive stance towards it.

Anyway.. loads of work left to be done, let's get to work :up:

#19 Jeroen Brink

Jeroen Brink
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 04 August 2003 - 20:42

Originally posted by Svend
Hello all :wave:

The current situation at Zandvoort;



Very interesting Svend, so detailed. It is good to see the heritage of the real Zandvoort is still respected by some people. It is really crazy how local politics squandered the place. Let me quote Nigel Roebuck once more:

" Back to Zandvoort, which was, in my opinion, the best circuit for pure racing anywhere. I loved the place: it had every kind of corner as it wound its way, up and down, through the sandhills, and it also had an abnormally long pit straight – a little like Indianapolis -- at the end of which was the legendary Tarzan hairpin. I always watched from there, and in the course of one afternoon would see more overtaking than in the rest of the season put together. It was here, in 1979, that Gilles Villeneuve took the lead from Alan Jones's Williams - on the outside...

Most of us would stay in Amsterdam, a city much to our taste, and commute to the track by train. The journey took about 20 minutes, and at the other end there was a short walk to the track in the brisk sea air. It was a great race weekend, and quite unlike any other.

I miss it still".

Advertisement

#20 Svend

Svend
  • Member

  • 68 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 30 January 2004 - 22:22

About time for an update :)

The memorial project team had a very, very productive day today. Around midday we had an appointment with the notary to officially launch the foundation. From now on we're officially known as the 'Stichting Gedenkteken Purley Williamson' which translates into English as 'Purley Williamson Memorial Foundation'. This means from now on we have a commitment which we are eager to fulfill.

After that we had our first formal meeting and decided upon a timepath for the coming weeks. There is not a website yet, but we hope to be able to open it in the coming weeks.

I have to say the spirit within the team today was very positive and I'm confident we'll bring this plan to a good end. I'll keep you posted :up:


Svend

#21 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 30 January 2004 - 23:47

We are beginning to see a lot of activity in the "monument" area and this is great for those individuals or places to be remembered and also great for us.

Being personally involved in having monument placed in Augusta this September, I can tell you there is no better feeling. In fact, I have given up a season of road racing to make this happen and I feel it is so very much needed world wide. I hope others take up a cause.

One missed season is nothing compared to retaining the memory of an individual or place of special honor.

Henry

#22 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,192 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 31 January 2004 - 00:55

Originally posted by Svend
About time for an update :)

The memorial project team had a very, very productive day today. Around midday we had an appointment with the notary to officially launch the foundation. From now on we're officially known as the 'Stichting Gedenkteken Purley Williamson' which translates into English as 'Purley Williamson Memorial Foundation'. This means from now on we have a commitment which we are eager to fulfill.

After that we had our first formal meeting and decided upon a timepath for the coming weeks. There is not a website yet, but we hope to be able to open it in the coming weeks.

I have to say the spirit within the team today was very positive and I'm confident we'll bring this plan to a good end. I'll keep you posted :up:


Svend


That is really good news. Please let me know if there's any non-financial support I can provide( Not a rich man, but still remember Roger, Gerry, Francois, Roger D, Hans-Peter, Massimo and the other victims of 1973 ).

Chris

#23 11

11
  • Member

  • 33 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 31 January 2004 - 04:39

Hi all,

I first became aware of Roger and the events of Zandfoort 1973 through a film called "Champions Forever" and the whole severity of his death and how easily it could have been prevented weighed deeply on me. I stayed awake the whole night obsessevly searching the net for any info on Roger I could and I found this most excellent page dedicated to him:

http://www.asag.sk/bio/williamson.htm

I hope you all enjoy it.

#24 Lec CRP1

Lec CRP1
  • Member

  • 182 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 31 January 2004 - 07:34

Originally posted by Svend
The memorial project team had a very, very productive day today. Around midday we had an appointment with the notary to officially launch the foundation. From now on we're officially known as the 'Stichting Gedenkteken Purley Williamson' which translates into English as 'Purley Williamson Memorial Foundation'. This means from now on we have a commitment which we are eager to fulfill.
[/B]


:clap:

I was rereading this thread yesterday and wondering what was happening. Then I checked TNF today and found the good news. I'll be paying closer attention from now on.

#25 dewittereus

dewittereus
  • Member

  • 103 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 27 February 2004 - 11:56

Just read in my TV guide that a documentary about the 1973 GP at Zandvoort, focussed on Roger Williamson's tragic accident, will be broadcast tuesday evening next week. (March 2, 8.55PM European TIME)

I doubt that this program can be received in the UK, unless perhaps on satellite


For more inf,see http://www.vpro.nl/g...4158511 2899536
Contents: "Dood op het circuit
Dit weekend begint het Formule I-seizoen weer. Ons eigen circuit van Zandvoort mocht vroeger ook meedoen, in 1973 bijvoorbeeld. De jonge Britse coureur Roger Williamson verbrandde levend in zijn bolide en de hele wereld keek toe. Nergens brandweer, de organisatie schoot zwaar tekort. Dood op het circuit, in Andere Tijden, dinsdag vijf voor negen, Nederland 3."

Tanslation:
Death at the circuit.
This weekend the new F1 season starts (did not know that). Our own Zandvoort cicuit used to be part of that series, eg in 1973.
Young British driver RW died in his burning car. No fire brigade to be seen, the organization failed miserably.
--------------------------------------------------------
Read in the TV guide: among those interviewed will be Ben Huisman (in charge of race control at the time), who is still vy much affected by the events, and Gijs van Lennep.



Dick
Holland

#26 Pedro 917

Pedro 917
  • Member

  • 1,767 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 27 February 2004 - 12:41

Here's a picture I took of Williamson in the STP-March during practice of the British GP at Silverstone 1973. It was his first formula 1 race and he got involved in the huge pile-up after Scheckter's spin at Woodcote. Then came Zandvoort.............

Posted Image

#27 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,089 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 27 February 2004 - 14:20

Originally posted by dewittereus
Just read in my TV guide that a documentary about the 1973 GP at Zandvoort, focussed on Roger Williamson's tragic accident, will be broadcast tuesday evening next week. (March 2, 8.55PM European TIME)

I doubt that this program can be received in the UK, unless perhaps on satellite


For more inf,see http://www.vpro.nl/g...4158511 2899536
Contents: "Dood op het circuit
Dit weekend begint het Formule I-seizoen weer. Ons eigen circuit van Zandvoort mocht vroeger ook meedoen, in 1973 bijvoorbeeld. De jonge Britse coureur Roger Williamson verbrandde levend in zijn bolide en de hele wereld keek toe. Nergens brandweer, de organisatie schoot zwaar tekort. Dood op het circuit, in Andere Tijden, dinsdag vijf voor negen, Nederland 3."

Tanslation:
Death at the circuit.
This weekend the new F1 season starts (did not know that). Our own Zandvoort cicuit used to be part of that series, eg in 1973.
Young British driver RW died in his burning car. No fire brigade to be seen, the organization failed miserably.
--------------------------------------------------------
Read in the TV guide: among those interviewed will be Ben Huisman (in charge of race control at the time), who is still vy much affected by the events, and Gijs van Lennep.



Dick
Holland


Thanks for the reminder Dick. I will watch. But dont you just LOVE that typical dutch anti-racing comment. I still have to see dutch glorious moments of racing on dutch TV. I think the last lap of Arie at Indy or Gijs and Jan at Le Mans have been broadcasted only twice or so.

What a great picture Pedro!!

#28 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 27 February 2004 - 15:43

arjan..
about anti-racing:
Did you ever read Dutch newspapers like de telegraaf back in the 60's..?
that was anti-racing!!
groeten
Paul Hooft

#29 hhh

hhh
  • Member

  • 156 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 29 February 2004 - 15:50

I'm not really sure putting up memorials is such a good idea.
In those days many drivers got killed in racing; why erect a monument for one driver and not for the others?
It's sad that many drivers are remembered for the way they died not for their racing career.....

Chris Lambert went of at the top of Scheivlak on the outside, a very unusual place to go off.

#30 Lipp

Lipp
  • Member

  • 408 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 02 March 2004 - 11:30

Translation of the article at the website:
Death at the circuit
This weekend the Formula I-season starts again. Our own circuit of Zandvoort used to be a venue for a race, in 1973 for example. The young brittish driver Roger Williamson burnt to death in his car as the whole world watched. No fireman in sight, the organisers failed miserably. Death at the circuit, in Andere Tijden.

Five days before the start of the new F1 season in Melbourne, Australia "Andere Tijden" (NPS/VPRO) looks back to the years that the circuit of Zandvoort still was a venue for F1 Grand Prix' racing.

One of the most memorable races was the on on 29th of july 1973, when the organisers, after a forced pause of one year, thought that they had built 'the safest circuit of the world'. But after only eight rounds the contrary came to light. The young and talented British driver Roger Williamson (25) crashed, went upside-down, his car cought fire and it lasted more than ten minutes before the fire was extinguished. In the meantime the whole of Holland saw live on TV how his friend and collegue-driver David Purley risked his life trying to save Williamson from the flames. the despair of this English driver is etched in the memory of everybody the saw this race. How he took the fireextinguisher from the hands of a fireman and started to battle the flames himself. Too late. Williamson burnt sitting in the wreck before the eyes of a crowd of millions. The dream of raceleader Ben Huisman became a nightmare.

In 'Different times' this fatal race will be reconstructed according to interviews with eyewitnesses and the people involved. Like racecardriver Gijs van Lennep who became 6th on that unfaithfull day in 1973 at Zandvoort and scored his first point for the WDC. Van Lennep now: 'We were all afraid of fire in those days. In fact we drove around in a can of petrol. Drivers died by the numbers. Safety was a far away.'
Cor Mooij, the Egmondse photographer that won the World Press Photo with his series of the accident: 'It was allmost unbearable to see how David Purley stayed to the last with the wrecked car of his friend.' Trackcommisionary Herman Brammer from Amsterdam describes the drama that took place before his eyes:. 'We could do nothing because we had no fireprof clothing, adn ther was only one twelve kilo poeder-based fireextinguisher at hand'.

Different times also went to the presentaion of a statue of Roger Williamson in the English circuit of Donington, thirty years after the tragedy, this last summer. At that occasion a letter of former worldchampion Jacky Stewart was read out loud in which he blames the organisers of the race in Zandvoort organisatie for the death of the promising talent Williamson. In Donington Jacqui Hamilton, the girlfriend of Williamson at that time, also was present. This model also blames the Dutch organisers. Different times also spoke in Donington with Ben Huisman, resonsible for the race: 'I am here to close this chapter after 30 years. I do not feel guilty, but I feel responsible for what happened that day and everything that went wrong. We were not in control'.


(sorry for the translation it was a quicky...)

#31 Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins
  • Member

  • 6,172 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 02 March 2004 - 19:10

Saw the statue, Memorial Garden & display yesterday for my birthday outing. A fitting tribute to a fine driver. :up:

Considering there are two drivers who hail from nearer Donington than Williamson himself - Brian Henton who comes from the town and John Taylor, from Anstey, I wonder if they too might one day get a little mention in the museum? But that's another topic altogether....

#32 Lec CRP1

Lec CRP1
  • Member

  • 182 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 02 March 2004 - 19:44

I wish I could have been there at Donington last 29th July, or anytime since :(

But I'm glad to see that Roger Williamson will be getting the kind of memorial he deserves - at the place he lost his life. Even if it's on a golf course. Hopefully all the details will be sorted out soon.

#33 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 02 March 2004 - 20:57

I am Dutch and I have have just seen the documentary
I remember I was at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1973 that day,
we were at Tarzan corner,
my wife - we were just married for only one year then- ,
wrote the lap card in the program,
I told here the numbers of the cars passing at our place,
she wrote them down,
a normal way of keeping track what was going on
I remember that Williamson and Purley where missing at that lap,
and some smoke in the distance ..
The speaker system was very bad then,
when we got back home on our yamaha 50cc bike,
we I turned on the GERMAN TV...
Dutch TV was only football then...
and we FIRST learned about the fatal accident...

Nothing new..
I had been looking at F3 at Zandvoort the day that Jimmy Clack was killed,
only to hear about his death on the radio beiing about 25 kilometers out of Zandvoort at around 6,
and was there when Chris Lambert had his accident at Tunner Oost in an encounter with some Clay Regazzoni only to hear about that the day after,
that was next monday..

Paul

#34 Nikos Spagnol

Nikos Spagnol
  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 03 March 2004 - 22:29

Originally posted by Lipp


Trackcommisionary Herman Brammer from Amsterdam describes the drama that took place before his eyes:. 'We could do nothing because we had no fireprof clothing, adn ther was only one twelve kilo poeder-based fireextinguisher at hand'.

This model also blames the Dutch organisers. Different times also spoke in Donington with Ben Huisman, resonsible for the race: 'I am here to close this chapter after 30 years. I do not feel guilty, but I feel responsible for what happened that day and everything that went wrong. We were not in control'.



I had been deeply shocked and even raged since the first time I read about Williamson's crash in 8W. It seemed to me depressing to believe the organization in Zandvoort had simply let a man dying unassisted, while they could had stopped the bloody race and saved him...

But after I saw a video of this sad accident, somehow I thought some of us are very harsh about the race direction and the marshalls in duty back then. Yes, Williamson could had been saved, as Cevert could be alive today if not for a bolt or two missing in Watkins Glen's armco. It's very easy to say that today and call people back then "stupid" or "coward".

When Purley arrived at the blazing car, the fire was not so huge but still enough to asphyxiate the poor Williamson in way less than one minute, I think. We can't expect the marshalls would try to even touch it without fireproof clothing. Purley tried alone, because he was the only out there with fireproof overalls. After all, IIRC track marshalls were unprepared amateurs, just ordinary racing fans like us waving flags and watching their heroes passing by.

Williamson's death was very sad, and worst of all was witnessed by millions in live TV. But, in my honest opinion, it could had happened anywhere at those times. It seems (thankfully) unacceptable by now, but back then was part of the sport. I think it's unfair to blame the organization or the marshalls or the drivers that "could", maybe, had saved the guy.

So let's put a stone over the incident - it's 30 years by now - and just remember how good Roger was, and imagine how far he could had reached if not for this carreer had been cut short like that...

P.S.: Sorry if I'm missing some important detail of it, but that's just my opinion over what I have seen 'till now.

#35 Svend

Svend
  • Member

  • 68 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 04 March 2004 - 02:58

Originally posted by Nikos Spagnol

So let's put a stone over the incident - it's 30 years by now - and just remember how good Roger was, and imagine how far he could had reached if not for this carreer had been cut short like that...


In the letter which I've sent out to the operator of the golf course I mentioned our intentions for the memorial were twofold; First we should never forget what happened that day. Whether Williamson could have been saved can be debated, but in my eyes more could have been done. Second of all, I see a memorial as a fitting end to this chapter in the history of the circuit. One can't change history, but one can certainly give it a proper ending, taking the circumstances into account. Hopefully it will put the sour feelings which still occupy so many when discussing this tragedy a bit more at ease. It's the least we can do.

#36 Nikos Spagnol

Nikos Spagnol
  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 04 March 2004 - 22:24

Originally posted by Svend


In the letter which I've sent out to the operator of the golf course I mentioned our intentions for the memorial were twofold; First we should never forget what happened that day. Whether Williamson could have been saved can be debated, but in my eyes more could have been done. Second of all, I see a memorial as a fitting end to this chapter in the history of the circuit. One can't change history, but one can certainly give it a proper ending, taking the circumstances into account. Hopefully it will put the sour feelings which still occupy so many when discussing this tragedy a bit more at ease. It's the least we can do.


:up: :up: :up:

That's exactly what I mean. Put a end on it, but never forget it.

#37 hhh

hhh
  • Member

  • 156 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 05 March 2004 - 17:11

Nikos I agree with your comments; it's easy to say he could have been saved with today's knowledge.
It doesn't change to point of view that the equipment and the training of the marshalls was inadequate; the circuit at the time was certainly one of the safest, but the circuitmanagement didn't organize the races.
The race organizers (KNAF) are to blaim if the marshalling is not up to par.

As van Lennep said, any driver could have had an accident like Roger in those days, and some did unfortunately; the chances of survival were quite different from today with good OR bad marshalling.

#38 Nikos Spagnol

Nikos Spagnol
  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 05 March 2004 - 22:14

It's hard to believe that this tragedy alone was not enough to change drastically safety conditions of Formula One. The marshalls everywhere were still unable to deal with a fire situation.

I saw once a picture of Revson's crash's aftermath in Kyalami, which happened in 1975. It was just appalling, the Shaddow upturned in flames surrounded by a lot of people trying to grab the poor driver out of there and there was only one firefighter - a fat guy with a single, big, heavy and innefective fire extinguisher. I wish I had never saw such a sight. :(

After Roger, Revson and de Angelis - in 1986 - died in similar situations. Both could also - I think - be saved with a little more marshall's training. But telling it now doesn't change anything. :cry:

#39 Double Apex

Double Apex
  • Member

  • 2,334 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 06 March 2004 - 18:49

For those of you who haven't see the documentary that was on Dutch television earlier this week, you can still watch it on the internet on http://www.vpro.nl/g...4158511 2899536

You'll see a picture of Roger on the middle of the page and below it are two links, one for broadband (500 kb) and one for slower connections (100 kb). It's pretty interesting even for non-dutchies as quite a bit of it is in english. The revealing of his statue at Donington is in it, David Purley is in it and so are Williamson's wife and one of his friends.

Advertisement

#40 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,571 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 07 March 2004 - 21:08

Originally posted by Double Apex
For those of you who haven't see the documentary that was on Dutch television earlier this week, you can still watch it on the internet on http://www.vpro.nl/g...4158511 2899536

You'll see a picture of Roger on the middle of the page and below it are two links, one for broadband (500 kb) and one for slower connections (100 kb). It's pretty interesting even for non-dutchies as quite a bit of it is in english. The revealing of his statue at Donington is in it, David Purley is in it and so are Williamson's wife and one of his friends.


I’ve watched the video – I wish I hadn’t.

Something has always bothered me though. Not far away, just three years earlier, Piers Courage crashed his De Tomaso in the Dutch Grand Prix and was left by the marshals to burn to death. Nobody went to help the Englishman. Nobody. Fact.

So, my question is: were any of the same marshals at the scene of the Williamson accident in 1973?

The lack of willingness to help, the total inaction, incompetence and sheer, indefensible cowardice sickens me to this day. One of the individuals concerned actually tried to hinder David Purley in his efforts to save Williamson. So what’s the likelihood that the same people were present?

Unless I’m badly mistaken, I’m sure DCN asked in this thread if the “marshals” at the scene had been interviewed in the programme – but this contribution seems to have been removed. Why?

I would be interested to know what happened to those who stood by and watched that day in 1973.

Thirty years on I haven’t forgotten and I find the laughing, smiling demeanour of Ben Huisman in the TV programme absolutely unforgivable.

A memorial for Roger I wholeheartedly support – I still have treasured signed photographs of him (and of David Purley for that matter).

But what about a memorial to Piers Courage, who surely died an equally unnecessary and tragic death just three years earlier due to the incompetence of the likes of Huisman and his ilk?

MCS

#41 scheivlak

scheivlak
  • Member

  • 11,916 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 07 March 2004 - 21:34

Originally posted by MCS
Unless I’m badly mistaken, I’m sure DCN asked in this thread if the “marshals” at the scene had been interviewed in the programme – but this contribution seems to have been removed. Why?

You're mistaken, DCN's question about the marshalls was in the parallel thread http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=66634

#42 Nikos Spagnol

Nikos Spagnol
  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 07 March 2004 - 21:43

Originally posted by MCS



But what about a memorial to Piers Courage, who surely died an equally unnecessary and tragic death just three years earlier due to the incompetence of the likes of Huisman and his ilk?

MCS


IIRC, Courage died at the impact, unlike Williamsons. Of course, he should had been helped even so. But I read somewhere that his De Tomaso was mostly made of Magnesium or something similar, which made it`s fire impossible to put out.

#43 Racer.Demon

Racer.Demon
  • Member

  • 1,705 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 07 March 2004 - 22:35

It's "TNF, can you help us out?" time...

On behalf of the memorial foundation I'm interested in contemporary press reports from the Dutch, British, French, Italian, German press (and from other countries too, of course), both motorsport and general (newspaper) press. We would like to add a section devoted to those reports on the forthcoming website. So any report from Autosport, Autosprint, Auto Hebdo, Auto Motor und Sport or your local newspaper will be hugely welcomed by all at the foundation.

Thanks in advance to those who can help us!

#44 Lec CRP1

Lec CRP1
  • Member

  • 182 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 08 March 2004 - 09:49

Originally posted by Nikos Spagnol


IIRC, Courage died at the impact, unlike Williamsons. Of course, he should had been helped even so. But I read somewhere that his De Tomaso was mostly made of Magnesium or something similar, which made it`s fire impossible to put out.


According to Adam Cooper's book, Courage was most likely killed when, on impact, a front wheel came back into the cockpit with sufficient force to remove his helmet from his head. It quotes Frank Williams : "...his helmet turned up. It had a big black smudge on the front, from a tyre, and a little bit of hair and scalp on the inside as far as I remember." If that was the case, then he wouldn't have experienced the fire, for which we should be grateful. :(

#45 smithy

smithy
  • Member

  • 2,459 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 08 March 2004 - 22:08

Recently there was a newspaper interview with Jack Brabham where among other things the Courage incident was discussed. Jacks said that the accident occured right next to him and he remembered Piers' helmet bouncing down the road next to his wheel as he passed by. Grisly.....

Jack went onto say that his father was at that race and Courage's crashed 'turned' him. Previously he had been very supportive of Jack's career but now started to agitate for Jack to retire.

#46 Twin Window

Twin Window
  • Nostalgia Host

  • 6,611 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 03 September 2004 - 23:14

As it's now six months since the last post was left on this thread, I wondered if Svend, Racer.Demon or anyone else has any news on the planned memorial tribute at Zandvoort?

And if any further motivation is needed, you need look no further than David Beard's wonderful photo of the man...

Posted Image
(Copyright David Beard)



#47 Lec CRP1

Lec CRP1
  • Member

  • 182 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 04 September 2004 - 06:37

I've been awaiting news for quite a while. I emailed them in early July inquiring about their progress, and a sort-of website has turned up, though virtually all the pages say something about content to be added at a later date. According to their statistics, quite a bit of their web traffic comes from my website :), plus my pictorial record of the events page which I put together to give an almost dispassionate view to those seeking to find out about 29/7/1973.

So, here I am with money awaiting to be donated but nowhere to give it. Oh well.

#48 Racer.Demon

Racer.Demon
  • Member

  • 1,705 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 05 September 2004 - 10:04

There's been quite a delay that was caused by the original webdesigner disappearing from sight :rolleyes: and having to find a new server platform. All of my editorial content has long been written, but I don't have any direct influence on the site finally being finished...

#49 Jhope

Jhope
  • Member

  • 9,437 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 05 September 2004 - 14:51

I'm sorry to add a little morbidity to this thread, but I didn't know where to place these. I found a series of shots from Zandvoort which I've never seen before.

Warning: Depicts the process of a fatal accident. :( :cry:

#50 PLAYLIFE

PLAYLIFE
  • Member

  • 899 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 05 September 2004 - 21:53

Originally posted by Jhope
I'm sorry to add a little morbidity to this thread, but I didn't know where to place these. I found a series of shots from Zandvoort which I've never seen before.

Warning: Depicts the process of a fatal accident. :( :cry:




I don't recall seeing the car up in the air as the first frame shows. Certainly looks very high which demonstrates he hit the armco with quite a force.