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Harry (aka 'The Lurker')


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#1 Twin Window

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 00:22

Harry...

I've mentioned this somewhat enigmatic character before, and promised to expand upon the subject - but I must say I've been astonished at the lack of photographic references I've been able to turn up!

Basically Harry was a character who was known for turning up at all the main race meetings, managing to get in all the right places, and in all the photos...

This is from a Mike Hayward photo of the start of the 1969 British GP...

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...and this is from [the corner of] a cartoon drawn by the late Willy Rushton, and published in 'The heavily censored history of Hesketh Racing' softback from 1974...

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In the latter, the full caption (or word bubble) reads "Good God, he's everywhere!". And, as someone else suggested in a previous thread, he's the same bloke who Robin Herd referred to as 'The Lurker'! I must get round to checking this out with Robin, but I'm convinced that's correct.

And he was - that's why I'm completely bemused as to having been unable to dig up other images of him. Also you'll notice that he's wearing a Goodyear jacket in the photo, a Ford jacket in the cartoon - and when I first became aware of him he was always wearing a Castrol jacket.

But yet no one seemed to know who the bloke actually was. Or even if his name was really Harry...

So, does anyone out there have an 'angle' on this chap?!

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#2 Vicuna

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 00:59

Looks like Sir Les Patterson - in the cartoon at least..

#3 Alan Lewis

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 11:24

Maybe he's lurking here, right now...

APL

#4 David Hyland

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Posted 12 December 2004 - 23:31

Originally posted by Twin Window
...and this is from [the corner of] a cartoon drawn by the late Willy Rushton, and published in 'The heavily censored history of Hesketh Racing' softback from 1974...

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What was Schumacher(M) doing at Hesketh in 1974? (It's the chin...)

#5 WDH74

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 20:21

I've just finished reading Peter Ross' excellent "Lotus The Early Years", and he mentions a very similar fellow. A mechanic, working on one of the early Lotus customer cars, who would travel around to race meetings all over Europe, and always managed to be in the photo with the winners. Naturally, I can't remember the bloke's name, and I won't be able to check the book before I get home from work tonight (at around midnight Chicago time). But it could be the same guy....I'll check back.

-William

#6 bill moffat

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 11:13

Castrol jacket... surely this must be motorcycling's legendary Edgar Jessop ?

I'm glad that we can boast our own lurker. Horse racing has that chappie who always seem to lead the Grand National victor into the winner's enclosure whilst Man Utd. have, in the past, had a 12th player lining up for pre-match photos. Bogus batsman have also been known to make their bold approach to the Test crease...

#7 petefenelon

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 11:17

Originally posted by bill moffat
Bogus batsman have also been known to make their bold approach to the Test crease...


Many of them have even played for England. :smoking:

#8 bill moffat

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 23:25

Originally posted by Mike Lawrence
First of all, nobody is in the slightest bit interested what happens at Manchester United, or what happens in Manchester. Everyone who supports Manchester United is a lurker.

Manchester is Oop North where people speak funny and eat the most peculiar things. They hang on Friday nights when the man selling hot ferrets comes aroujnd.

Okay, I concede, Manchester United achieved the Treble, it achieved the rare distinctintion of being equally loathed, hated and despised, which is not bad going for a bunch of big girls' blouses.


Bold, outspoken but surely just a tad abusive. Symptomatic of a "closing time" post ?

#9 eldougo

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 00:47

:)

I don't know who the Lurker is .However during my time at Shadow speaking to Bert Balwin on a flight one day he told me as story that sound like this bloke. He was at Long Beach when he was working for Goodyear and they had won that day afterwards they went out to celebrate :drunk: at the party this bloke turned up and had a great evening with them,next day he asked around
nobody knew who he was? But he was known as" The Ghost" grey and a mistery to all who did not know him. We all thought he was with these people and those people thought he was with us? Bert words. :lol:

#10 KJJ

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Posted 17 December 2004 - 08:34

Look I don't want to insult the memory of Twinnie's lurker but the truth is there were no lurkers in British motorsport before 1992. Fact.

My take on the picture that Twinnie has posted at the top of this thread is that someone gave a Goodyear jacket to that old guy who used to work for Dunlop and said lets take a couple of snaps of you pretending to be a lurker.

No doubt some clever dick will do some intelligent googling and come up with stuff about lurkers in 1970's motor sport, maybe Twinnie will go down his local newspaper and dig out an old article about his lurker, but hey what does that prove? Anyway this thread will disappear down the board soon and then we can forget all about this lurker nonsense!

#11 eldougo

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Posted 17 December 2004 - 09:42

:rolleyes: Wrong side of the bed again!!!!!!

#12 Twin Window

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 01:27

Originally posted by KJJ

Look I don't want to insult the memory of Twinnie's lurker but the truth is there were no lurkers in British motorsport before 1992. Fact.

Oh, really? Please do explain why...

#13 Frank S

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:13

Originally posted by Twin Window
Oh, really? Please do explain why...


Methinks he doth protest too much.

--
Frank ess

I'm not a race-lurker, but a race-lurker's son
And I'll lurk your races ' til the race-lurkers come


Or was it Fig-pluckers...?

#14 Todd

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:37

I think you found your Harry. :lol:

#15 KJJ

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 09:04

Oh dear, I'm afraid my sorry attempt at wit has failed with you guys.

Have none of you read the "Mother's Racing Pix Found - Car No. 16 (merged)" thread where boynton2222 came as a pupil and ended up having to teach?

#16 Twin Window

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 17:55

Originally posted by mgtd in the 'Autograph hunters' thread

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The older bloke on the right is Harry!

If you check the Willy Rushton cartoon in the opening post you'll see that he's wearing the same jacket, which makes perfect sense as the pic and the cartoon are both from the 1974 International Trophy! And to make it even more quirky, the pic shows Harry nosing into... the Hesketh awning!

#17 eldougo

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 02:56

He is still lurking ..... thanks Twinne.

#18 fuzzi

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 07:37

According to Peter Ross's book the lurker from the fifties was Fred "Sorrento" Brown who worked for the Clairmonte brothers.

I've seen published photos of him at Le Mans (seated between Rolt and Hamilton) and at Aintree in 1955, right up at the barrier, and on his own, waving his hand at Stirling Moss as he crossed the line to win the Grand Prix.

I always wondered who he was and was grateful to Peter Ross for identifying him. Perhaps he went on into the 70s and became known as Harry the Lurker?

#19 DJO

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 09:59

I knew the lurker as Harry Marks. Always seen with the winners, often with stop watch in hand. There is a You Tube clip of Gerry Marshall in Baby Berta at Mallory. When he comes inot the pits, who can you see - yes Harry!

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#20 Jerome

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 12:28

Funny, that these kinds of blokes were kinda infamous in the tennisworld. If you can pick up a copy of Gordon Forbes' Handfull of Summers, he describes how in the lockerroom of big tournaments (not Wimbledon, presumably) there were always professional dressed young men present, in full atire, swinging a racket, talking about how 'their forehand was finally getting grooved'. In the beginning, Forbes thought: 'He. New guys on the tour? Who are they?' Then he would see them on the practice-court... and they could not play - at all!
Finally he started realising this was a special kind of fan, someone who posed as a pro, even got in the dressingrooms where the topamateurs were like Laver, Newcome and Ashely Cooper dressed, and he never understood how they managed to get in there...

#21 Rob

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 12:45

Originally posted by Jerome.Inen
Finally he started realising this was a special kind of fan, someone who posed as a pro, even got in the dressingrooms where the topamateurs were like Laver, Newcome and Ashely Cooper dressed, and he never understood how they managed to get in there...


I know someone who managed to do this fairly recently.

#22 Jerome

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 14:23

Originally posted by Rob


I know someone who managed to do this fairly recently.


Do share that, please. Include also your psychological evaluation of your friend or acquaintance. The tennislurkers Forbes described believed THEMSELVES that they were part of the pro-tour. Rather disturbing...

#23 Twin Window

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 17:25

Originally posted by DJO

I knew the lurker as Harry Marks. Always seen with the winners, often with stop watch in hand. There is a You Tube clip of Gerry Marshall in Baby Berta at Mallory. When he comes inot the pits, who can you see - yes Harry!

Excellent - Harry now has a surname!

I must have a look at that vid you mention.

#24 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 10:45

Originally posted by DJO
I knew the lurker as Harry Marks. Always seen with the winners, often with stop watch in hand. There is a You Tube clip of Gerry Marshall in Baby Berta at Mallory. When he comes inot the pits, who can you see - yes Harry!


I always wondered who that was!! He's also in a few of Dad's photos and the video form Brands Hatch 1976, Dad has a conversation with him about James Hunt winning the Championship that morning and Dad is very polite and has his BBC voice on, made me think he was some "posh" chap!!

#25 sandy

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 11:06

His real name was Henry Bolte and he was in fact the State Premier of Victoria, Australia. Punch "henry bolte" into Google images and you will see the identical features of the Lurker therein

#26 Nordic

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 11:58

The guy to the extreme right with the 2 cameras seems to have a passing resemblance to the 'lurker' in the other photo and the cartoon.

Lurker?

#27 Jerry Entin

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 14:46

Twinny is right on this one. His name was Harry Marks. He was very, very good friends with Jim Clark. He also liked Denis Hulme and hung out at Sid Taylor's shop in the day. I don't know where he got the funds to go to the races but he went all over and was in many pictures with Jim Clark.

#28 Formula Once

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 14:52

I seem to remember that when I was in F1 sometimes a guy would turn up wearing old (1983) but shiny white Brabham driver overalls (probably home made) and he seemed to walk through any gate and got as far as the paddock during some European rounds. Anyone remember him?

#29 iharos

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:55

Originally posted by Formula Once
I seem to remember that when I was in F1 sometimes a guy would turn up wearing old (1983) but shiny white Brabham driver overalls (probably home made) and he seemed to walk through any gate and got as far as the paddock during some European rounds. Anyone remember him?


Could this be Zelig

#30 275 GTB-4

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 10:41

Originally posted by Vicuna
Looks like Sir Les Patterson - in the cartoon at least..


Absolutey no way....more like Sir Henry Bolte :rolleyes:

So "Will" Rushton (as we fondly remember him) was a Motorsport enthusiast?? :cool:

#31 Ian Titch

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 16:19

Ok Everyone, you read it here first. What follows is a letter which I sent to Motor Sport at the beginning of the month. Gordon Cruickshank told me that he has passed it to Doug Nye who will be following it up with a piece in his next column. In the meantime, these are my recollections of Harry Marks:

"The picture of Jack Fairman in the Ferguson P99, which was part of Doug Nye's column last month, gives me the excuse to flag up another motor racing "legend" of that time. The grey haired gentleman standing immediately to the right of the Ferguson's cockpit, and looking rather like a latter-day Hercule Poirot, is the redoubtable Harry Marks.

Harry was a 'man about motor racing' who always had the knack of being in the right place at the right time, more often than not without any pass or other accreditation. He worked for a time as a salesman for Broadspeed and, so the story goes, he was given strict instructions on the occasion of the 1965 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in those days on a Saturday of course, that his place was in the showroom and he (Ralph Broad) did not expect to see him (Harry Marks) at Silverstone. The day passed and there was no sign of Harry until, come the end of the Grand Prix, and Jimmy Clark's victorious Lotus 33 had been driven on to the trailer to be taken round the circuit on a lap of honour, who should Ralph see standing next to Jimmy on the trailer but Hary!

A few years later Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart arrived with F1 Lotus 49B and Matra MS80 respectively to give demonstration runs and attack the lap record at a FordSport day at Mallory Park. Needless to say everything was rather more informal in those days and no one seemed to have been appointed to flag off Graham and Jackie. Step forward Harry Marks who not only waved the Union Jack to send the F1 World Champions on their way but was also ready with the chequered flag at the end.

In his Formula 3 days, James Hunt was fascinated and highly amused by Harry's amazing ability to place himself in prominent positions where strictly speaking he had no right to be. I still remember James roaring with laughter at the front cover of Autosport for 1 June 1972 which shows Harry standing beside Reine Wisell's BRM P160B in what passed for the F1 paddock at Monaco in those days. Reine had become a particular favourite of Harry's when he had been driving for Sid Taylor in Formula 5000. If Harry was to be believed, he was the one who sorted out Reine's drive for Gold Leaf Team Lotus at the end of 1970 after the Swede had driven an outstanding race to beat Frank Gardner at Oulton Park.

Or take a look (if you have a copy!) at the front cover of Autosport for 25 July 1969 and you will see Harry standing level with the start line as Jochen Rindt and Jackie Stewart outdrag Denny Hulme's McLaren and set off on their monumental duel in the British Grand Prix. Harry is wearing a McLaren jacket, presumably because of his association with Denny, another of Sid Taylor's drivers outside Formula 1.

Harry had the happy knack of attaching himself to winners, perhaps most remarkably in a recent sighting of him in Paul Parker's excellent Sports Car Racing in Camera 1960-69. On page 93 is a picture of the start of the 1963 Le Mans 24 hours, the first when cars were lined up according to practice times rather than engine size. Second in the line, and eventual winner of the race, is the Ferrari 250P of Lorenzo Bandini and Ludovico Scarfiotti. And yes, you've guessed it, standing alongside the 250P, in much the same position as in the Jack Fairman Ferguson photograph, is Harry Marks."

That's the letter. But there's more. Last week I was at Hay Fisher, watching parts of the Ford film about the 1967 F1 season - Nine Days in Summer. There's a close up shot of three men standing on the grid just before the start of the British GP at Silverstone. On the left Jimmy Clark, on the right Stirling Moss, and in the middle, hanging on their every word but probably not contributing all that much to the conversation although loving every moment, is Harry Marks of course.

And earlier in the day, again for other reasons, I was watching parts of a film made by Neville Hay for Donington Park around the 1981 season. That year the European F2 round was for the John Howitt Trophy. It was won by Geoff Lees. So we all go over to the podium which used to ride up out of the grass verge on the opposite side of the track to the pits and Patrick Howitt presents the trophy, garland etc to Geoff. No sooner has the podium descended back to ground level than enter Harry Marks stage right to relieve Geoff of his garland, champagne bottle etc while Neville's voiceover says "And who better to be the first to congratulate Geoff on his victory than that friend of so many winners over the years - Harry Marks".

The reason for the inclusion of Harry in the Willie Rushton Hesketh drawing is perhaps now a little clearer because, as I say in my letter, James Hunt's sense of humour was certainly considerably exercised by Harry's antics. The Mallory Park incident occurred while James was still in Formula 3 but was on the verge of real stardom with the F2 Hesketh March 712M over the next few months.

Also in the 1970s Harry's son, Phil, set up his own engine preparation business Phil Marks Engine Developments aka PMED.

#32 Ruairidh

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 17:38

Ian - I think you've just made Twinny's day! :rotfl:

#33 Giraffe

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:34

Pictured at the GP3 test day at Silverstone on Thursday here is (l to r) Derek Daly, Sid Taylor, "Big D" Derek McMahon and Sid's business associate and close confidante Carl Moore.

Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2011-04-02

Whilst chatting to Carl, it transpired that he knew Harry Marks of old, and I have received this e-mail from Carl this morning that revives this amusing tale!


With regards to Harry Marks, yes it is the same guy I knew.
I was 15/16yrs at the time which would have been July 1973, I had just started an apprenticeship at a large Ford dealership called 'FORD HANGERS' which was located at the junction of Kingsbury Road with Tyburn Road, Birmingham. They were a major Ford dealer in those days. Harry worked in reception but would spend most of his time in the workshops telling us his stories about his motor racing experiences and who he knew. I thought at the time he was an ex driver. He was always off to a race meeting most weekends. His pride and joy was a Mk1 Lotus Cortina in original colours white/Green stripe down side.

Regards

Carl


Edited by Giraffe, 02 April 2011 - 10:40.


#34 f1steveuk

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:36

Brilliant!!

#35 Tony Lethbridge

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 17:53

I went to the funeral of a old friend yesterday. He had been involved with speedway as an official for much of his life ( which was how I knew him) and even more so with football. A representative of the local league club gave the eulogy and went into great detail about how the departed always managed to get himself photographed with any top team or star player that visited their ground. This guy expressed the view that he was totally unique in this respect. Clearly he has never seen TNF. Incidentally my friend was not called Harry!

#36 Giraffe

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 22:47

An e-mail from Sid Taylor's associate, Carl Moore.....

Hi Tony,

Did you know that Sid employed Harry Marks at his garage in Pelsall, thats what he told me today.

Regards

carl

Carl Moore
Director
C.N.A. Risk Management Ltd


I will try to find out more about this fascinating chap from Sid.............

#37 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:02

Here is a link to that Gerry Mallory Supersaloon film, with Harry acting as team manager!


#38 Giraffe

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:25

Wonderful Andrew! :up:

......& here is Harry lurking on the 'Formula 5000 - happy days' thread with Sid Taylor watching over him!

http://forums.autosp...p;#entry4939499

I will ask Sid for his recollections of his old employee Harry later today.

Edited by Giraffe, 08 April 2011 - 07:27.


#39 RCH

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:21

Reminds me of a man we used to get turning up on our trade stand at Goodwood, Coys Silverstone etc. We called him The Stalker. His topics of conversation were to discuss various models in minute detail (yet he never bought one!) and the latest "celeb" whose autograph he had managed to obtain. He apparently went to great lengths to find and follow a "victim" and liked to hang about them long enough to appear as though he was one of their friends.

He used to turn up either at the very end of the event and talk incessantly whilst we were trying to pack up or a minute or so after someone someone reasonably well known came by. Sad.

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#40 Giraffe

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:51

He used to turn up either at the very end of the event and talk incessantly whilst we were trying to pack up or a minute or so after someone reasonably well known came by. Sad.


It's only sad because he never bought anything off you! If I was celebrity or 'star' and didn't have any hangers-on, I'd be looking to my agent and publicist for a reason why?!?! :smoking:

#41 alansart

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:13

It's only sad because he never bought anything off you! If I was celebrity or 'star' and didn't have any hangers-on, I'd be looking to my agent and publicist for a reason why?!?! :smoking:


So that's where I'm going wrong :lol:

#42 RCH

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 15:01

It's only sad because he never bought anything off you! If I was celebrity or 'star' and didn't have any hangers-on, I'd be looking to my agent and publicist for a reason why?!?! :smoking:


I don't think he actually bought anything off anybody! ):

#43 Giraffe

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 19:02



Did you know that Sid employed Harry Marks at his garage in Pelsall, thats what he told me today.



Harry did indeed work as a car salesman for Sid Taylor. "Big Lotus man" says Sid. "Got places the wind didn't blow and 'knew' everyone".
Sid also says Harry's son Phil Marks had a preparation business nextdoor to Brineton Engineering in Walsall; does anyone know what became of Phil?

Edited by Giraffe, 13 April 2011 - 08:32.


#44 Alan Cox

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 22:51

Harry did indeed work as a car salesman for Sid Taylor. "Big Lotus man" says Sid. "Got places the wind didn't blow and 'knew' everyone".
Sid also says Harry's son Phil Marks had a preparation business nextdoor to Briarton Engineering in Walsall; does anyone know what became of Phil?

Sounds like it could be Phil Marks Engine Developments who used to be based in Brineton Street. The company doesn't appear to exist any more, alhough it's still listed in one internet trade directory as Phil Marks Engine Developments Brineton Street WALSALL WS2 9EP Tel: + 44 (0) 1564 824869. I think Denis Welch used to work for him. May be worth contacting Denis.

#45 Giraffe

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:13

Sounds like it could be Phil Marks Engine Developments who used to be based in Brineton Street. The company doesn't appear to exist any more, alhough it's still listed in one internet trade directory as Phil Marks Engine Developments Brineton Street WALSALL WS2 9EP Tel: + 44 (0) 1564 824869. I think Denis Welch used to work for him. May be worth contacting Denis.


Thanks for that Alan. Should see Denis at the Donington Festival at the end of the month, if not sooner at Mallory or the pre-Donington Thursday test day, so I'll try to follow up with him and report back. :up:

#46 john winfield

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 13:34

I've enjoyed this thread! Thanks everyone for the entertaining posts.
Looking through a Mallory Park programme, from Boxing Day 1964, I noticed an 'H. Marks' entered in the larger capacity Molyslip saloon race. First reserve, Stratford Motors (Dvr. H. Marks) Ford Lotus-Cortina 1558cc. Bearing in mind Carl Moore's comments about Harry's 'pride & joy', could this entry be the Harry Marks?

#47 gerryracer

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 07:29

I knew Harry very well, and yes he is Phil's Dad. Phil Marks did all my Engines at his workshop in Walsall, which was an old factory building off the Pleck Road. I am told that Phil is still going strong.

#48 Charles E Taylor

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:44

Harry

Starting the British GP 1969!



Here






Charlie





#49 Giraffe

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:34

I have received an e-mail from Howden Ganley concerning Harry which I am copying here with his permission:


Tony,
I have read the thread ( with considerable amusement ) about Harry Marks.

It used to be said that drivers liked Harry to stand in their pit because Harry was always
in the pit of the winner ! Like a good luck charm. He had that way of gravitating up and
down the pit lane until he zeroed in on the winner's pit.

Of course he was always on the victory float going around the circuit - which as Ian has
said is how Ralph Broad spotted him !

A wonderful old character !


Howden


#50 Giraffe

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 16:28

Silverstone 1969, Brian Redman in the Sid Taylor Lola T70Mk3B and Harry's on the case playing a vital role briefing nobody inparticular at the start.

Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2011-05-23

Photo courtesy of the Sid Taylor collection.