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William 'Bill' Boddy RIP


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#51 MCS

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 20:23

I just remember the quirkiness of WB's editorship. Who else would have put a photo of an Exeter Trial mud plugger on the front cover of an edition that covered the Monte Carlo rally and a South American Grand Prix?


That may well have depended on other forces. Some things weren't that straightforward, apparently.

I've surprised myself today by how much I've thought about WB's passing. I thought P0wderf1nger's remark: "I wonder how many forewords, how many reviews, how many replies to requests for help he wrote?" was very interesting indeed. Goodness knows. He really was quite prodigious and wrote for a number of other publications.

As just one example - and with absolutely no disrespect intended - I can remember an article in Mayfair magazine (sponsors of Tony Lanfranchi amongst others of course) on his favourite track, Brooklands. It was just four pages (with pictures) and I seriously doubt that anybody today could get even remotely close to the accuracy, level of information, conciseness and human and mechanical engineering interest he provided in that short article.

Edited by MCS, 08 July 2011 - 20:57.


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#52 Roger Clark

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 22:30

I first read Motor Sport in 1960 and have not missed one since. Through all the ups and downs there has been one constant presence and now it is gone.

As a teenager, and a racing fan, I looked first for the articles signed DSJ, but I knew where the style and values of the magazine came from. As time went by, I began to appreciate the initials WB. Rereading back issues revealed what I had missed. It still does. He had a style that was instantly recognisable and a set of values that never changed, whether it was a road test of a tin box, a race report, or a historical analysis, 1945 or 2011.

I don't think anyone has mentioned his book reviews. They were as sharp as everything else he wrote, critical when they needed to be and generous in praise when it was deserved. He would often make it clear that he knew more about the subject than the author of the work being reviewed and could have done a better job if he had been so minded. In many cases he was right.

He was famous for reviewing his own books, pointing out, with total lack of bias, the errors he had found. I have a memory that he once wrote a letter the following month criticising one such review. I hope it is true.

Gratitude is the only emotion for such a life.



#53 Mig007

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 22:34

RIP. One of the Greatest Writers I have ever read.

#54 David Birchall

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 23:22

I hope the VSCC won't mind me posting a wonderful Ronnie Barker cartoon and verse:

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us


(Apologies for the bad editing, I am having computer problems)

If somebody feels like enlarging and tidying this up?

Edited by David Birchall, 09 July 2011 - 00:23.


#55 Michael Ferner

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 03:01

Oh no, that's sad news! :cry:

Goodbye, and thanks for being who you were.

#56 Risil

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:50

RIP. A truly foundational figure of British motor sport, and a great writer. 70-odd year old editions of Motor Sport magazine are still entertaining, informative and technically illuminating today: something which testifies to WB's achievement. The sport -- and motoring itself -- was much the better for his having surrounded himself with it.

#57 john medley

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:29

I cant improve on the brilliant , eloquent and touching stuff written above..... but I was hooked from my first view , in 1953.

A small anecdote from us Down Under( when the world was much bigger): Do you realize that the written word of Bill Boddy PROMPTED the foundation of the Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia, SUGGESTED it, REPORTED it, Communicated with it...... and they made him in the mid 40s the first Honorary Life Member

A life well lived? I think so.

#58 Lawton

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 09:31

Yet another link to a by-gone age is broken .

RIP

#59 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 15:56

All of us had read and learned motorsport by WB.
RIP, Maestro!

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#60 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 19:26

From Motor Sport's web site:

A memorial service for Bill Boddy will be held on Friday July 15 at St Andrews Church, Presteigne. The service will take place at 2pm, afterwhich the congregation will gather at the Radnorshire Arms at 3pm to enjoy sandwiches and chocolate cake (WB’s favourites). The family have requested no flowers, preferring the alternative of donations to Great Ormond Street Hospital. All are welcome at the service, particularly owners of veteran and vintage cars.



#61 jj2728

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 23:58

RIP WB. Today I just happened to be reading some of his writings on the 'Special Bugatti Types'.

#62 retriever

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 09:33

So sad to hear of his passing.

An 'obituary' appears in this week's Autosport. It amount's to some 65 words if my counting it correct! That is around 0.75 of a word for every year of his working career. Pathetic!

#63 retrospeed

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 18:13

So sad to hear of his passing.

An 'obituary' appears in this week's Autosport. It amount's to some 65 words if my counting it correct! That is around 0.75 of a word for every year of his working career. Pathetic!


The Memorial Service was well attended by members of the VSCC, Bill Boddy was member number 17, Damien Smith, current Editor of Motor Sport read 'If I Should Die' by Joyce Grenville.

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower or inscribe a stone
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves, that I have known
Weep if you must, parting is hell
But life goes on, so sing as well.

The Eulogy was read by Roger Collings,

Then all retired to the Radnorshire Arms for refreshments among the turnout of suitable cars.

It's the end of an era


#64 bradbury west

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 19:35

"How do I fit 98 years into 3 hours?.............."
Thus, with a sparkle in his eye, Roger Collings, long time pal of WB, began the Eulogy. He regaled us with a variety of tales and reminiscences about the Bod and WB's life as a young motorist, father, husband, journalist, legendary Editor, and author. He spoke with eloquence, humour and great affection. Perhaps many people are not aware of Bill's crucial role in establishing the VSCC and the various marque sections, nor of his involvement in forming The Brooklands Society to prevent the old place being destroyed.

Pertinent to WB's campaign years ago to save old cars from scrap etc, Roger Collings arrived in the celebrated Zust, with Bod's daughter Nondus as passenger, the car which WB urged Roger to rescue and restore decades ago and which he still runs, just as he had with the 1908 GP ITALA rescued and run for decades by the redoubtable Sam Clutton. A further varied selection of VSCC motor cars adorned the various kerbs outside the church and Radnorshire Arms etc, including an early Sunbeam as tribute to Winifred Boddy's stalwart work as Secretary and later Life President of the S-T-D Register - a very thoughtful touch for the family. Indeed, it was almost like a family occasion.

In addition to a large contingent from the VSCC and its various sections, there were representatives from the NMM and other specialist old motor-racing bodies, and Gordon Cruickshank from Motor Sport, who must be celebrating some 30 years at least of working alongside or with WB, was there.

The church was full without being overcrowded, fittingly reflecting Bill's own modesty, with I am sure many or most of the motoring people whose company WB would have enjoyed. For my part I was pleased to attend just as a long time reader of WB's Motor Sport magazine.

So, as the last of the true Brooklands legends finally leaves us, it was, to the end, perhaps very much a case of " The right crowd, and no crowding."

Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 15 July 2011 - 23:55.


#65 Option1

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 20:09

Until I bought my first copy of Motor Sport I'd not shown much interest in reading about motoring or motor sport, after I finished reading that first copy I became addicted to reading about motoring and motor sport. RIP WB. Condolences to his family.

Indeed. May he rest in peace.

Neil

#66 Tim Murray

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 20:11

Thank you Peter and Roger for these reports.

#67 David McKinney

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 21:29

Was there any mention of the possibility of a memorial service in London?

#68 retrospeed

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 08:29

Was there any mention of the possibility of a memorial service in London?


I believe , although cannot confirm, something of the kind is under consideration and of course, Brooklands would be the ideal location. I have included a couple of images at www.retro-speed.co.uk that I took outside the Radnorshire Arms yesterday in our news section. It was nice to meet journalists Steady Barker, Charles Bulmer and Clive Richardson.

#69 Tim Murray

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 10:12

Damien Smith, current Editor of Motor Sport read 'If I Should Die' by Joyce Grenville.

The poem was written by the wonderful Joyce Grenfell.

#70 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 11:38

Today's Times has an authoritative obituary, with a couple of LAT photographs, one of The Bod with his first car, a 1921 ABC, and the other of him in a 1902 Benz on a London-Brighton.

#71 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 13:31

Thanks to those who have reported on the service.

Jack

#72 retrospeed

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 14:00

The poem was written by the wonderful Joyce Grenfell.


Sorry about the spelling thinking of other things!

#73 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 12:00

Obituary from today's Daily Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph...Bill-Boddy.html

#74 Geoff E

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 15:03

His father appeared in the 1911 census as a Printer's Clerk and uncle as a Printer's Warehouseman.

Grandfather had been a driver - of the one horse power variety - a Cab Driver.

#75 JohnH

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:01

I've been a Motosport fan for a long time and a fan of Bill's. Just utterly devastated to hear of his passing while listening to the Motorsport July podcast two days ago. Had no idea he'd been gone for three weeks already. It's the true end of an era. Just imagine keeping a monthly column going and very interesting without fail, to almost age 100. This is to be admired greatly!

#76 bradbury west

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 22:01

Details of the WB Tribute at Brooklands on October 1;
http://www.telegraph...nds-Museum.html
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 09 September 2011 - 22:02.


#77 Tim Murray

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 09:30

Arttidesco and I will be attending the Tribute to Bill Boddy on Saturday. Any other TNFers going?

#78 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 16:21

Arttidesco and I will be attending the Tribute to Bill Boddy on Saturday. Any other TNFers going?

I will if I can scrounge a lift with you two! (Pretty please?) :wave:

#79 Odseybod

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 16:23

Arttidesco and I will be attending the Tribute to Bill Boddy on Saturday. Any other TNFers going?


I'll be there - not quite sure where or when, though.


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#80 arttidesco

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 17:37

I will if I can scrounge a lift with you two! (Pretty please?) :wave:


I've sent you an e-mail V2 :-)

Room for one more, if your somewhere close to Bristol :smoking:

#81 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 18:16

I cannot attend - a minor event known as 40th wedding anniversary taking precedence - but with luck it should be a lovely day at Brooklands, with a fair smattering of significant cars there...not only ex-Brooklands but also some celebrating almost every decade of The Bod's marathon Editorship of 'Motor Sport' magazine. Give him a worthy send-off, boys.

DCN

#82 oliver heal

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 18:28

I've got a spare seat in a decent car. But only going from S.Bucks.
Ol.

#83 arttidesco

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 19:27

Happy anniversary Doug, I'm sure we will do our best in your absence  ;)

#84 RogerFrench

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 03:27

I wish I could, but 5,000 miles is a long way. I hope it's a lovely day.

#85 retrospeed

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 07:51

I wish I could, but 5,000 miles is a long way. I hope it's a lovely day.


If you left now you would just about make it. Seriously, we are going in the Appia a car that makes the Aurelia fat and frumpy!

#86 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 17:48

It was a splendid send-off, in glorious weather.

Jenks' E-type
http://imageshack.us...g...oad&newlp=1


#87 arttidesco

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:50

Despite going past Brooklands a minimum of a dozen times a year on the train from Waterloo to Farnham and back during the 1970's this was my first visit to the site.

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Watching the Berliet cresting The Hill I realised I could not have picked a more glorious day

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to make my first visit, than the one that paid tribute to WB,

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who's writing fired my passion for all things motoring and motor racing.

A magical day during which I am sure he was, in spirit, right there among us.

Great to have Tim Murray and Vitesse2 along and to catch up with David Mckinney and Odesybod :wave:

Edited by arttidesco, 02 October 2011 - 07:36.


#88 Odseybod

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 09:42

Some of my snaps from a wonderful day, with a suitably divers range of vehicles present.

The ex-Earl Howe V12 Lagonda saloon, newly restored and looking splendid in his colours:

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A Cluley 10/20 Tourer, similar to the one WB rescued from a scrapheap and often used to transport dustbins to the end of his drive while it was awaiting restoration (which is now in hand):

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The Clive Lones Morgan, first Light Car to lap the Brooklands Outer Circuit at 100 mph. As a Morgan team car, it was also apparently used for pits-to-car radio experiments but was making too much racket for any effective communications to take place:

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Sadly, Vieux Charles III resisted numerous attempts to persuade him to commence:

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Vitesse2 and Tim Murray absorb some McKinney wisdom on the Test Hill:

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There were some evocative runs along the banking, as part of the re-enactments of Brooklands starts:

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As commentator David Burgess-Wise observed, WB could legitimately adopt the Christopher Wren epitaph: "If you seek his monument, look around you."

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Congratulations to Brooklands and the chaps from Motor Sport for putting together such a memorable event in such a short time. I don't believe WB could have faulted it (praise indeed).








#89 Martyn Hey

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:27

Just to concur it was a fantastic day, and seeing cars at speed on the banking was quite magical.
Jenks' E-Type was a highlight: imagining him peering over the dash as he toured across Europe as Continental Correspondent, to send us all those great reports over the years.
Great seeing Brabham's Championship BT20 too...

Some of my iPhone snaps attached, hope quality is reasonable, more to follow...

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#90 Martyn Hey

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:52

Bugattis, Bentleys, Mother Gun and more veterans...

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Edited by Martyn Hey, 02 October 2011 - 10:55.


#91 Martyn Hey

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:12

Some video stills, incl some retro photoshop to try to take us back...


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Edited by Martyn Hey, 02 October 2011 - 11:13.


#92 retrospeed

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 17:25

Some video stills, incl some retro photoshop to try to take us back...


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It was indeed a fitting tribute. I enjoyed two runs up the test hill in the little Lancia Appia and a run around the Banking in a four and half Bentley. Tony Brooks looks to be in good shape and nice to meet Steve Cropley. Report and images at www.retro-speed.co.uk
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#93 oliver heal

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 18:24

[quote name='arttidesco' date='Oct 2 2011, 02:50' post='5314628']

Glad to know my "WB sat here" notice caught your eye!
I am not sure that as motoring experiences go WB would have rated it very highly. Crawling through the city of London on a cold wet November day cannot have been very exciting even when chauffered by John Wyer. Surely he would have enjoyed yesterday more.


#94 Tony Matthews

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 19:32

Many thanks for all the photographs, it's nice to see what I missed! I went to the Motor Sport/Motoring News/ LAT/Haymarket reunion at the circuit on the Friday evening, but for various reasons had to leave early on Saturday - so, thanks again.

#95 arttidesco

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:31

Glad to know my "WB sat here" notice caught your eye!
I am not sure that as motoring experiences go WB would have rated it very highly. Crawling through the city of London on a cold wet November day cannot have been very exciting even when chauffered by John Wyer. Surely he would have enjoyed yesterday more.


Your welcome Oliver, thanks for bringing your car and that extra snippet of information which I have included in my William Boddy Tribute Day Blog :up:

Edited by arttidesco, 03 October 2011 - 10:59.


#96 Doug Nye

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:19

So glad to see that its was such a great day, evidently in every respect. Mortified to have missed it...
DCN


#97 bradbury west

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 17:19

Having thought it unseemly to post pictures of cars embodying his desire to see significant old cars saved from scrap, which were present at WB’s memorial service, I feel it more appropriate now, after the due tribute at Brooklands.
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Click on image for larger size.
Photos copyright Roger Lund.
Roger Lund


#98 arttidesco

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:56

Thanks for sharing the pix of the cars present at WB's memorial Roger, is the last one a GN ? With belt drive ?

#99 bradbury west

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 21:19

Sorry, I cannot throw any light on it. I forgot to look at the Road Tax disc, perhaps Allan Lupton can enlighten us. The Donnet Six was a delightful newcomer to me, the Sunbeam a delight, and Roger Collings' Zust probably the Bod's first real success story of rescuing-for-restoration of a highly significant car. I resisted posting a shot of an immaculate Alfa 8C
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 03 October 2011 - 21:21.


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#100 bradbury west

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:14

Marking Anniversaries and the like is quite in vogue, so I regret not drawing your attention a couple of weeks ago to the date marking the Centenary of Bill Boddy's arrival in our world. It was 100 years ago on February 22 1913 when WB was born.
Roger Lund