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W B 'Bummer' Scott


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#1 Brian Bergman-Fiel

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 06:50

Can anyone out there tell me something of the history of W B Scott, at present I have nothing but a watch, which was presented to him in 1928 for setting speed records in his Amilcar.
Many thanks,
Brian

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#2 Steve L

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 07:11

There is a great article by Bill Boddy in the December 1976 edition of Motor Sport magazine called "The Racing Cars of W.B Scott".

Hope this helps :)

#3 Brian Bergman-Fiel

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 16:23

Many thanks, I'll try tracking down that article.
Brian

#4 humphries

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:02

In recent publications I have come across the use of the nickname "Bummer" for the driver W.B.Scott who raced regularly at Brooklands between the wars. Scott was never, ever called Bummer!!!

Scott was a Scot who went to Cambridge University and excelled at Rugby Union. By the standards of the day he was a good player and was selected to play for Scotland. Although he scored a try he only represented his country once. It was during this period that he acquired the nickname "Bomber". For a big, burly sportsmen "Bomber" was a common nickname as they could blast their opposition. Scott had a strong Scottish accent and it can only be assumed that Bill Boddy misheard his nickname in his interview.

I have read various contemporary articles where the name "Bomber" was mentioned. Near at hand I have a copy of the February 16th, 1951 edition of Autosport. In the Corresponence section there is a letter from J.Allan Arnold, a regular Bugatti driver at Brooklands, and he writes about a sprint held at Branches Park in 1930, "But in the interval that all too familiar "Yowl" to the paddock approach premised the arrival of "Bomber" Scott and his 1 1/2 "Deluge" as it was popularly known and, of course, he made FTD..."

Whilst I'm at it. B.S.Marshall a successful Bugatti driver in the early 1920's was never ever called "Bunny". Again it was Bill Boddy who attributed this nickname to Marshall. Boddy was referring to various Aston Martins that all had nicknames and the one that Marshall drove, just once, was known as "Bunny". Boddy then referred to Marshall as "Bunny" Marshall. Marshall's first name was Bertram and he was known to family and friends as "Bertie".



#5 David McKinney

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 14:54

Thanks John - pleased to learn W B Scott's correct nickname after all these years :)

I think I'd worked out for myself what Boddy meant by his reference to Marshall - in the same way as he might have referred to "Razorblade" Davis. Or did we discuss the question here some time ago?

#6 Tim Murray

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 15:33

Or did we discuss the question here some time ago?

Yes indeed - with the same conclusion:

Bertram 'Bunny' Marshall

#7 David McKinney

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 19:40

Thanks Tim. I knew I could rely on you :up:

Bit embarrassing to see who raised the 'Bunny' question, though :lol:

#8 RobertE

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 20:43

There's a lump in the road at Wiscombe called 'Bunny's leap'. Any connection?

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 21:27

More likely connected with a small furry mammal than with a driver, I suspect

#10 fuzzi

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:37

I understood it was named for the owners wife who's nickname was 'Bunny'.

#11 PeteV

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 21:59

Just found this thread and would like to contribute if I may.

In the 1960's I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with 'WB'. He was working at Marshalls-of-Cambridge in the Aircraft Design Office as a Technical Clerk. Apparently he had been a bit 'down on his luck' and Sir Arthur Marshall was a friend of his from Uni. and found a job for him to see him to retirement. 

Now WB was known as 'Bummer'. In fact he used to laugh when people called him 'Bomber'. I was invited to the British GP as his guest in 1969 and when we got there we were in the VIP parking area at the BRDC. He was greeted by his 'chums', including Lord Howe, with expressions like, "Bummer, you old sod, you're still alive then, come and have a drink".

He used to tell some wonderful stories at lunch times in the Plough at Fen Ditton.

I lost touch with him when I left in 1971, but he was a simply wonderful character from a Golden Era of racing.



#12 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 06:16

Pete, many thanks for this info direct from 'the horse's mouth'. Did WB ever give you any indication as to why he was known as 'Bummer'?

#13 john aston

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:31

Only on TNF ....



#14 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 09:01

What an outstanding thread content. Goodness, I think this place needs it at the moment...

 

I do recall Cyril Posthumus talking about 'Bummer' and his potentially - ahem - ambiguous nickname. Cyril had met the man, I am sure, and it was unlike Cyril not to explore the origins of such minutiae.

 

DCN



#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 09:26

I wonder if there's a clue in John's earlier observation that Scott was - ahem - a Scot? The Online Scots Dictionary gives these definitions for 'bummer' - the last of which could also fit his rationalistion of 'bomber':

 

A humming insect, a humming toy or top, a factory siren, a thing, person or animal which is very large or wonderful of its kind.

Derived from: bum [bʌm] v. To drone, to hum, cry, weep, brag, boast.

 

Other compounds and formations from that include:

 

bummler [-lər]: A buzzing insect.
foggie-bummer: The wild or carder bee Bombus muscorum.
heid bummer col. A manager, a prominent or important person.
mire-bummer, moss-bummer: The bittern.

 

None of those definitions - apart from the humming toy, with a solitary citation in the early 19th century (from Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine) - comes even close to appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary.



#16 PeteV

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 21:37

I have to confess that I never liked to ask!

In the late '60's he used to arrive at work driving an old Ford 100E from his home in West Wratting. He lived alone, which must have been a bit odd for someone who had, apparently, been very popular with the ladies as a younger man.

He told a story about driving at le Mans in a 'works' Bentley when a French car in the next pits caught fire. Someone said "That'll teach those bloody frogs to smoke in bed". They used to joke about slowing down on the straights to knock the old tobacco out of one's pipe & refill it with fresh stuff. Apparently W.O. was not amused by their banter - they used to call him 'Headmaster'.

Bummer never said what exactly did during the war, but he did say that he was in Germany when they surrendered and a gorgeous German lady on a hose turned up at their HQ and said he was some kind of aristocracy. Bummer saw her and realised that she was the wife of a German racing driver whom he knew, so he 'rescued' the lady who said that she would rather 'surrender' to Bummer than be raped by the Russians. I think he was in some sort of special operations unit.

He had a friend and fellow racing driver named Roger 'Screw' Williams of whom he always spoke most warmly. Apparently Williams was an SOE agent who was captured and 'murdered' by the Gestapo.

I reckon he led a very full life and enjoyed some good times with wealth and influence, but after the money was gone he took it with good grace and remained a real gentleman to the end.



#17 humphries

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 17:54

Scott was a larger than life character who liked to take centre stage. That he could spin a good yarn is not in doubt.

 

According to my records he never competed in the Le Mans 24 Hour race. His associate Roger O Williams was not a war-time agent executed by the Gestapo, that fate befell Grover-Williams as anyone remotely interested in the history of motor-racing would know.

 

It must have come as a great surprise for Scott to have been greeted by Earl Howe at Silverstone in 1969 as his Lordship had been dead for five years.

 

John


Edited by humphries, 21 February 2015 - 17:58.


#18 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 19:44

Just to kind of play Devil's advocate ...

 

Scott was associated with Bentley, so he could theoretically have been in the pits at Le Mans. Maybe even had a run in practice. But I'd agree he never raced there!

 

There were quite a few other SOE personnel called Williams - although there is no Roger O Williams among the surviving files (some were lost in a fire in 1946). I'd agree that it sounds more like Grover-Williams, though.

 

https://www.academia...OF_SOE_AGENTS_W

 

There is also the slim possibility that it might have been the 6th Earl Howe (1908-84) - although I don't know whether he continued to follow the sport after the late 1930s. I know of one 1936 event where he competed as Viscount Curzon, but he was elected to the London County Council the following year. I believe Scott was only about three or four years older than the 6th Earl - and they were both Cambridge men, so could have known each other via CUAC. Curzon/Howe was certainly still a member in 1936 and at least circumstantially a pal of the Evanses.