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January 22, 1959 - J. M. Hawthorn


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 10:28

We're just about to go down to West Street cemetery here in Farnham to pay annual tribute to our late World Champion on the anniversary of his fatal accident just a few miles away on the Hog's Back road. Raise a beer to the old hooligan's memory...

DCN

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#2 Cirrus

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 10:39

I'll make sure we do at the Three Horseshoes tonight

#3 VAR1016

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 10:40

Originally posted by Doug Nye
We're just about to go down to West Street cemetery here in Farnham to pay annual tribute to our late World Champion on the anniversary of his fatal accident just a few miles away on the Hog's Back road. Raise a beer to the old hooligan's memory...

DCN


Quite so; I shall do that tonight, in excellent company, at Laleham.

PdeRL

#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 10:51

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Thanks for the reminder, Doug - I'll hoist a pint or two for Mike tonight.

Although I've travelled the Hog's Back many times, I've never known (nor wanted to know) exactly where it happened - it would freak me every time I passed otherwise ....

#5 bill moffat

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:27

I'll pay my respects at the Duke of Cumberland, albeit in a few days time.

The DoC was another favourite Hawthorn haunt. Take the uphill blast North out of Midhurst and then the narrow Rt hand lane at the brow of the hill (sign-posted Henley). The DoC is a delightful retreat from modern-day life and I can totally understand why Mike so enjoyed his times there.

I would imagine that the Jag was given a good old thrash in the midnight drive home...

#6 bill moffat

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:33

..and for those to whom it is important ,you will enjoy very well kept Adnams and Youngs bitters. A mobile phone with a nail struck through its innards hangs forlorly behind the bar, a subtle reminder that certain standards are expected...

#7 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:41

I'm planning on going to The Three Horsehoes tonight. It will be my first TNF event so, if anyone spots a chap wearing a Lotus 7 baseball cap wandering aimlessly about, that'll be me.

#8 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 13:38

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Raise a beer to the old hooligan's memory...

I shall indeed.

While the events surrounding Hawthorn's death were well chronicled in Nixon's "Mon Ami Mate", I am curious to know of the reaction amongst the press and general public in Britain.

RIP Mike.

#9 Cirrus

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 13:59

The DoC was another favourite Hawthorn haunt.



I had no idea that he drank there. Bill's right - the pub is a bit of timewarp. I went there a couple of years ago, and the beer came straight from the barrel, there were no gastro-pub pretentions (but they did a good crab sandwich), DEFINITELY no piped music, and of course no mobiles.

#10 VAR1016

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 14:00

Originally posted by bill moffat
I'll pay my respects at the Duke of Cumberland, albeit in a few days time.

The DoC was another favourite Hawthorn haunt. Take the uphill blast North out of Midhurst and then the narrow Rt hand lane at the brow of the hill (sign-posted Henley). The DoC is a delightful retreat from modern-day life and I can totally understand why Mike so enjoyed his times there.

I would imagine that the Jag was given a good old thrash in the midnight drive home...


Thanks, Bill for the tip; I shall certainly try to visit the pub.

One of his haunts that is also very pleasant is the Barley Mow at Tilford which is just off the A3 about a couple of miles south of the Hog's Back turn off.

I have also enjoyed a few pints at The Talbot in Ripley, where a famous incident related by Nixon in Mon Ami Mate took place.

PdeRL

#11 Uncle Davy

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 16:42

I don't drink anymore, but would wearing a bow tie to work do?

#12 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 16:49

Originally posted by Doug Nye
We're just about to go down to West Street cemetery here in Farnham to pay annual tribute to our late World Champion on the anniversary of his fatal accident just a few miles away on the Hog's Back road. Raise a beer to the old hooligan's memory...

DCN


I will ... :)

#13 alessandro silva

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 16:51

I wish I had been in Farnham today. I am wearing a bow tie and soon I'll have a scotch. Nobody around here would understand why I am dong that, but Mike IS my all-time favourite.

#14 Gary C

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 17:14

I will certainly raise my glass to him this evening in the Three Horseshoes, I currently happen to be reading 'Mon Ami Mate', so he fresh in my memory.

#15 Don Capps

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 17:52

I thought about Mike this morning. I recall how devastated we schoolboys were when we heard the news. Difficult to fathom that it has really been 45 years.... I remember how strange it was to go to a race that Spring and there not being any chance that he would be around.... :(

#16 VAR1016

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 18:13

Originally posted by alessandro silva
I wish I had been in Farnham today. I am wearing a bow tie and soon I'll have a scotch. Nobody around here would understand why I am dong that, but Mike IS my all-time favourite.


Mine too Alessandro, mine too.

PdeRL

#17 bill moffat

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 18:46

"After the race, Mike and I went back to the hotel with Harry (hotel owner Harry Rugoni) . A tremendous party party followed. The Holdroyds had come down from Oporto, Peter Whitehead had recovered from his heat stroke and Harry's friends were legion. Mike and I became separated from the main party around midnight. We then looked for, and found, a local night club where we joined in the fun. At 4am the club closed and we were more or less compelled to return to the hotel. Mike was on the first floor; I was on the third. Neither of us felt like going to sleep so we decided to change our bedroom furniture around. Using knotted sheets I lowered all my furniture down to Mike's room; he, in return, helped me pull all his up to mine. A poor drunk on the 2nd floor who chanced to look out of his window as dawn was breaking was convinced he had the DTs when a large armchair went by.

When Harry called on us both some hours later he just could not work it out. If it had not been for the fellow on the second floor blabbing about poltergeist he might never have guessed the truth.

After lunch with Harry at the airport where I attracted unwanted attention by sitting on a chair which collapsed under me, we flew back to London Airport. Mike and I hit it off with the two air hostesses, and arranged to take them up to town for supper and a show; alas, when we stepped out of the aircraft on arrival at London Airport, we found Mike's mother and Angela waiting for us".


An excerpt from Duncan Hamilton's "Touch Wood".


...so when you raise that glass to your lips tonight do it with a :) and emphatically not a :( .

Bill.

#18 oldtimer

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 19:37

Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury
I shall indeed.

While the events surrounding Hawthorn's death were well chronicled in Nixon's "Mon Ami Mate", I am curious to know of the reaction amongst the press and general public in Britain.


As I remember it, the press tended towards sensationalising the accident. Mike was not a favourite of the British press, nor was he the British racing hero, who was Stirling.

But he was mine.

Though aware of his fun loving spirit, it was not until Doug's welcome arrival in these columns that I realised the spirit was carried a 'hooligan' epithet.

As for fun loving, I am looking at a photo in Alan Smith's 'Fifties Motor racing-The GP Scene'. I shows the front row of the grid for the 1956 International Trophy 30 seconds before the flag was to fall. Hawthorn (BRM), on the outside, is looking towards the other drivers with a huge grin on his face, Fangio (Lancia-Ferrari) and Schell (Vanwall) look as though they are suppressing a laugh, while we can't see Moss' (Vanwall) face because he he looking towards whoever was the comic.

But when the flag fell, it was all serious, and the guy with the huge grin on the grid was leading well and truly until the BRM expired. It came to rest opposite my spectating point, and I don't think I have seen such a picture of racing dejection as Mike stepped out of the car.

And there you have it. The fun loving racer

RIP Mike

#19 jgm

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 19:56

He'd be going on 75 if he was still around.

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#20 UAtkins

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 20:04

Cheers Mike...I remember the day well.

Since it's before noon here I'll wait until I get home to have that toast.

Ursula

#21 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 21:09

Originally posted by oldtimer As I remember it, the press tended towards sensationalising the accident. Mike was not a favourite of the British press, nor was he the British racing hero, who was Stirling.

Thanks for the reply. I would have thought that there would be a great deal of sensational reportage by the British press, but I had not actually seen much of this.

Your remarks on Mike versus Sterling were highly thought provoking as I had not considered how each were viewed by the press or public.

Originally posted by oldtimer But he was mine.

Although I was too young to have appreciated Mike Hawthorn during his life, I can identify with your sentiments as I felt, and feel the same about Jim Clark.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this.

#22 David J Jones

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 21:16

I feel quite depressed at the memory of it, I was working in Brighton for a while 10 years ago and would deviate on my way home along the Hogs Back ... thinking of Mike.

What a pity the peasants did not honour him.... but I suppose he did not care that much. The picture in 'Mon Ami Mate' taken while Moss was speaking appears to say it all.

I also deviate when travelling north off the M5 - thru Kiddy and out through Shatterford - to remember the other half of that Ferrari team...

45 years.......... I remember all as if it were yesterday

#23 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 22:59

I was around then. I remember. I was sad but did not shed a tear. Mike's death to me felt different than the others. I believe Mike's death felt different to me because he crashed on a regular road, not on a race track. So, I knew he was just unlucky in his carelessness of speeding and his death was brought about by his own fault whereas on the race track, had he died there, he would have died racing in a racing car and I would have felt different, I am convinced.

I remember the others also, the continuous bloodletting in the 50’s, Ascari, Le Mans, Castellotti, de Portago, Musso and when Collins got killed, I felt devastated. Then Jean Behra, Harry Shell and von Trips got killed also, after which I ignored racing till 1963. Thereafter I must have had a better handle on myself but the killing went on and on until Jackie Stewart started the ball rolling and racing became much safer after he initiated his safety campaign.

#24 Barry Boor

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 23:32

Learning of Mike's accident ranks along with JFK, Jim Clark, John Lennon and Ayrton Senna in the 'I remember exactly where I was when I heard' category.

I was a 10 year old junior school pupil and was informed by the class 'erbert, David Fawcett, who had been home to dinner and heard the news.

The memory of that moment is still as clear as crystal......

#25 Joe Fan

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 08:31

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Raise a beer to the old hooligan's memory...

DCN


Will do.

Mike was a great driver and I feel that he is very underrated, even amongst Brits. I really wish somebody would write a new biography on him and one that does him some justice. I almost would but such a book really needs to be written by a British author for proximity reasons.

Doug or Karl, any chance that we could twist your arm and crank this one out?

#26 bill moffat

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 09:08

Originally posted by Joe Fan


Mike was a great driver and I feel that he is very underrated, even amongst Brits. I really wish somebody would write a new biography on him and one that does him some justice. I almost would but such a book really needs to be written by a British author for proximity reasons.

Doug or Karl, any chance that we could twist your arm and crank this one out?


Mon ami mate not good enough ? :eek:

#27 David J Jones

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 09:35

Mon Ami Mate is a fine book and does justice to both drivers.

Perhaps I might be bold enough to suggest a TV Program on the 58 Series with footage of each of the GP's involved. 1958 was a fabulous season - we knew JMF was not going to be champion and follwers were partisan regarding drivers and teams.

The BBC did a program a few years ago which was televised before the Ozzie GP in the early hours of the morning. Although footage of each GP was not there - I do not know why - I am sure acceptable renderings can be found in the various archives.
It would be a tremendous opportunity to provide a fitting tribute to Mike and Peter as well as fond memories of Musso and Lewis-Evans.

Mikes place in British Motor Sport history is underplayed - he was the first Briton to win a GP since Dick Seaman (in a foreign team as well) - and he was our first World Champion.

I was ecstatic in 58 when Mike and Peter were one two in the British GP but devastated two weeks later in Germany. As for January 59 after Buddy Holly...............

#28 Joe Fan

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 09:57

Originally posted by bill moffat


Mon ami mate not good enough ? :eek:


I haven't read it but I have heard good things about it. Preferably, I would like a biography soley on Hawthorn but I realize that a dual-biography may have been the way to go due to his short career.

#29 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 10:11

Channel 4 did a resume of the 1958 season as part of their Stirling Moss night (1997?). It was presented by Raymond Baxter and featured some newsreel footage of that season as well as some newly shot video clips recorded at Goodwood. I think you'll find that footage no longer exists for many of the 1958 races (GP or otherwise).

Maybe it's about time that serious attempts were made to hunt down home movie film of old motor racing meetings. As the "World War 2 in Colour" and similar series shows, there are lots of unseen archives out there sitting in lofts and garages - probably deteriorating as we speek.

#30 VAR1016

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 10:26

Originally posted by David J Jones
Mon Ami Mate is a fine book and does justice to both drivers.

Perhaps I might be bold enough to suggest a TV Program on the 58 Series with footage of each of the GP's involved. 1958 was a fabulous season - we knew JMF was not going to be champion and follwers were partisan regarding drivers and teams.

The BBC did a program a few years ago which was televised before the Ozzie GP in the early hours of the morning. Although footage of each GP was not there - I do not know why - I am sure acceptable renderings can be found in the various archives.
It would be a tremendous opportunity to provide a fitting tribute to Mike and Peter as well as fond memories of Musso and Lewis-Evans.

Mikes place in British Motor Sport history is underplayed - he was the first Briton to win a GP since Dick Seaman (in a foreign team as well) - and he was our first World Champion.

I was ecstatic in 58 when Mike and Peter were one two in the British GP but devastated two weeks later in Germany. As for January 59 after Buddy Holly...............


Buddy Holly died later in Feb '59

Remember that terrible "tribute" that came out a few years later:

"Wind was a-blowing/snow was a-snowing/when the world said 'Goodbye Buddy'...."

PdeRL

#31 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 10:46

Even worse was Heinz's tribute to Eddie Cochrane - "Just Like Eddie". Urgh.

#32 Lec CRP1

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 10:56

Originally posted by VAR1016
Remember that terrible "tribute" that came out a few years later:
"Wind was a-blowing/snow was a-snowing/when the world said 'Goodbye Buddy'...."

Originally posted by Eric McLoughlin
Even worse was Heinz's tribute to Eddie Cochrane - "Just Like Eddie". Urgh.


Hey! Don't slag off the legendary Joe Meek! (producer of both the above records) :cool:

--------------------------------
Matthew Lawrenson
(Bizarrely a fan of old 60s music as well as old 70s F1)

#33 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 11:01

I could have guessed he was responsible for both.

What about "Telstar" by the Tornados - another one of his concoctions.

#34 ian senior

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 11:22

Originally posted by Uncle Davy
I don't drink anymore, but would wearing a bow tie to work do?


No - wear a "Bo" tie.

#35 VAR1016

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 13:15

Originally posted by Lec CRP1



Hey! Don't slag off the legendary Joe Meek! (producer of both the above records) :cool:

--------------------------------
Matthew Lawrenson
(Bizarrely a fan of old 60s music as well as old 70s F1)


Please don't shatter my illusions by telling me that Meek actually wrote that stuff!

Actually I like the sounds he created.

Eric: ...I'll sit under the stars/and play my guitar/just like Eddie... Aaaaarghhh!

PdeRL

#36 Lec CRP1

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 14:19

No, Meek himself didn't actually write Tribute To Buddy Holly or Just Like Eddie . They were written by Geoff Goddard (who wasn't a motorsport photographer but did write the #1 hit Johnny Remember Me ).

And anyway, slagging early 60s pop for crappy lyrics and tunes is like slagging off the Lotus 25 for not having wings or a Cosworth DFV :)

#37 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 14:28

Am I actually the only person who handed over real £.s.d for Geoff Goddard's (only?) record which I seem to recall was called 'Girlbride'?

#38 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 14:32

I hope you're not equating the beautiful Lotus 25 to "Just Like Eddie".

Lotus 25 = I Want to Hold Your Hand

Just Like Eddie = ATS

#39 Lec CRP1

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 14:33

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Am I actually the only person who handed over real £.s.d for Geoff Goddard's (only?) record which I seem to recall was called 'Girlbride'?


I believe that particular disc sold over 10,000 copies (not quite enough to get a hit in 1961). And it was the first of 4 discs he made before he fell out with Joe Meek.

(Ummm...are we off topic yet?)

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#40 dolomite

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 20:18

I've just had the opportunity to look through some copies of the 'Bristol Review', the in-house magazine of the Bristol Aeroplane Company and Bristol car company published in the 1950s. Here's a couple of extracts from 1952 which I hope are appropriate to this thread:

Posted Image

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#41 D-Type

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 19:23

Just about the firstmotor racing book I had was "The BP book of Motor Racing" (1959 or so). It included pen portraits of leading driver. Whereas the photo of Stirling Moss showed him in racing gear, Mike was shown in tweed sports jacket with a pint of beer in his hand. At the time I didn't appreciate how appropriate that was!

#42 oldtimer

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 19:56

Originally posted by D-Type
Mike was shown in tweed sports jacket with a pint of beer in his hand.


Sometimes he wore a tweed sports jacket when racing his Riley.

1951: Club racing in a 1930s Riley.

1952: Snapping on the heels of the top dogs in an underpowered Cooper-Bristol.

1953: Beating Fangio at Rheims as a Ferrari team driver.

A natural?

#43 VAR1016

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 20:49

Originally posted by oldtimer



1953: Beating Fangio at Rheims as a Ferrari team driver.

A natural?


Undoubtedly.

Consider also that fantastic battle at the tragic 1955 le Mans, where he and Fangio were at it for hours consistently shattering the lap record.

And add to that his ability in the notoriously tricky Ferrari 750 Monza.

PdeRL

#44 flat-16

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 21:08

A reminder to raise a glass in the "hooligan's" memory tomorrow. Should get down to the Three Horseshoes or the D.O.C myself shod with bow tie, but alas a flu-like virus has put pay to the weekend's plans so I'll be raising a glass at home, probably one of Port.

Mikes place in British Motor Sport history is underplayed


In my humble opinion I would be inclined to agree with you.




BTW, watch what you say about Meek - his early stereo orchestra recordings are some of the finest I've ever heard, even after nearly 50 years :p

#45 VAR1016

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 23:26

Another year..


I remember walking into the breakfast room; as usual, my mother had the radio on.

"Mike Hawthorn's dead." she said. Of course I was young, but for a while, I felt quite alone.


PdeRL

#46 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 00:00

There is a small display of Hawthorn memorabilia in the Hawthorns showrooms, now a TVR dealership, at the top end of Farnham High Street, and amongst the stuff is the front page of the following days daily news paper with a very graphic picture, presumably taken from the air, of the circumstances of the crash. Of course only a few yards from Mike Hawthorn's grave is the grave of his father (Leslie Hawthorn?) who also died in a road crash on or near the Hog's Back.

#47 amorandi

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 01:26

Originally posted by bill moffat
I'll pay my respects at the Duke of Cumberland, albeit in a few days time.

The DoC was another favourite Hawthorn haunt. Take the uphill blast North out of Midhurst and then the narrow Rt hand lane at the brow of the hill (sign-posted Henley). The DoC is a delightful retreat from modern-day life and I can totally understand why Mike so enjoyed his times there.

I would imagine that the Jag was given a good old thrash in the midnight drive home...


Well, it's half to midnight in Rio now, Thursday night. A very hot one indeed down here, believe me...and I am duly paying my respects with a cold beer to M. Hawthorn. And one to P. Collins as well. Such nice guys and outstanding drivers deserve our thoughts for good. :up:

#48 David Birchall

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 01:30

For me it will always be like "Where were you when you heard President Kennedy had died?"
I lived in Milford, just below the Hogs Back, at the time and together with the other lads on the estate cycled up to the A31 out of morbid curiosity (I was eleven).
I will go to the local pub tonight and raise a pint--nobody else there will know what the bloody hell I am concerned about but that doesn't matter.
David B

#49 amorandi

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 01:36

Originally posted by amorandi


Well, it's half to midnight in Rio now, Thursday night. A very hot one indeed down here, believe me...and I am duly paying my respects with a cold beer to M. Hawthorn. And one to P. Collins as well. Such nice guys and outstanding drivers deserve our thoughts for good. :up:


Oops, sorry...Friday night...and just a couple of beers!!

#50 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 17:22

West Street Cemetery, Farnham, Surrey - earlier today - 46th anniversary of the Hog's Back accident.

The replica Hawthorn 3.4 is Nigel Webb's (I was surprised to see it).


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...Just across the little parking area, opposite JMH's grave, lies another - often overlooked...

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DCN