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#1 Andy35

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 08:41

I had been talking to Lotus53B on the AtlasF1  mIRC channel during F1 testing in Barcelona and I mentioned that although I have lived in Sevenoaks for 15+ years I had never been to see Tom's grave at St  Bartholomews church, Otford, which was a shame as I drive past it most days. 

 

I said I would this Saturday it being the 5th March. It seemed fitting. It was a lovely English late winter morning/early spring today. Sun out, cold and I picked a daffodil to take from the garden. Went in the turbo MX5 as I think that was more fitting than my Yaris. Otford is such a lovely place. Sleepy now. I told my wife that Tom met Nella at a Disco in Otford and she said "Otford had a disco?"  Those were the 70's ...

 

Here are some photo's

 

The duck pond in the middle of the roundabout. Voted best roundabout in UK 2014 I think. Unofficial name, Duckingham Palace

 

Tom1.jpg

 

 

And now the church where Tom rests

 

Tom2.jpg

 

It's very old, amazing history going back to Henry VIII and before

 

 

And Tom's grave.

 

Tom3.jpg

 

 

It was so peaceful, the birds were all doing their dawn chorus and the sun was creeping up.  I have to confess it was sad to see the writing deteriorating so it is hard to read now.  :(   I'd quite happily pay for it to be put right, of course that is not my thing to do. Any thoughts? It seems sad the words are going. The words are the most important part, when the words fade away the person behind the words fades too.

 

I was glad to see some fresh flowers though. I added my daffodil.

 

At this point I got a sense of profound sadness, which is strange as I never knew the person. i just wanted him to come back and come for a pint with me, so I left, my eyes a bit blurry.

 

Here is a picture of the duck pond and my hairdressers car

 

Tom4.jpg

 

 

On the way home I decided to pay a tribute to Tom by doing some oversteer in Sainsbury's car park. Then the roundabout outside it. Then the Sevenoaks railway station car park and  3 roundabouts linking them up. With 0C temps and 240bhp it's not difficult but even so I messed most up to some degree. 

 

If Tom had been there he would have just sadly shaken his head and said, " Let me have a go..."

 

:cool:

 

Andy


Edited by Andy35, 05 March 2016 - 08:54.


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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 08:54

Lovely post Andy - thank you. It would be good if something could be done about the deteriorating gravestone before it becomes completely illegible.

RIP Tom. It's hard to believe that it's now been thirty-nine years.

#3 Andy35

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 09:04

Lovely post Andy - thank you. It would be good if something could be done about the deteriorating gravestone before it becomes completely illegible.

RIP Tom. It's hard to believe that it's now been thirty-nine years.

 

Thanks Tim

 

It would be good before next year and the 40 year anniversary  to sort it out. However not sure how this could be looked into, any comments welcome.

 

Andy


Edited by Andy35, 05 March 2016 - 09:06.


#4 SophieB

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 10:00

Thanks Tim
 
It would be good before next year and the 40 year anniversary  to sort it out. However not sure how this could be looked into, any comments welcome.
 
Andy


I had a quick look on the Internet and the consensus seems to be the living 'owner' of the stone responsible for upkeep. The question seemed most often discussed in terms of the council applying charges to people where the stone had fallen into potentially unsafe repair, but presumably the same applies. It would seem to be down to the estate of Tom Pryce to carry out maintenance or not. The church in which he's buried may have more informed info

This page had a discussion on the subject, as well as links to official guidance:

http://www.memorialp.../headstones.php

Also, thank you for doing this and leaving flowers.

#5 Andy35

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 11:08

I had a quick look on the Internet and the consensus seems to be the living 'owner' of the stone responsible for upkeep. The question seemed most often discussed in terms of the council applying charges to people where the stone had fallen into potentially unsafe repair, but presumably the same applies. It would seem to be down to the estate of Tom Pryce to carry out maintenance or not. The church in which he's buried may have more informed info

This page had a discussion on the subject, as well as links to official guidance:

http://www.memorialp.../headstones.php

Also, thank you for doing this and leaving flowers.

 

Thanks Sophie for that information.

 

I will have a think.

 

Andy



#6 Nick Planas

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 13:34

My parents lived in Otford during their early married life. I was visiting there a f ew years back and found the grave - very sobering, and I had a few quiet moments there. Lovely lovely village



#7 E1pix

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 14:47

What a moving tribute and noble thought, Andy. It's dawn here now, oddly enough in Death Valley, a mourning dove is calling for its missing mate, and a rare Welsh overcast hangs low.

I only saw Tom once, at Watkins Glen in 1976, and knew I was witnessing greatness in development. But it was all soon to end.

RIP, Mr. Pryce. :-(

#8 John Ginger

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 12:11

Andy,

PM sent



#9 Lotus53B

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 12:52

Loved the post Andy - I'll fulfill my half of the deal when I get back from family duties.



#10 LotusElise

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 19:07

There is a separate memorial to Tom somewhere, isn't there?

 

Gravestones mean different things to different families. Neither side of mine does grave-visiting, and it could be that the Pryce family are the same. There are probably lots of other places they can go to feel close to Tom. 

 

Interestingly, I found out not long ago that my aunt knows Nella Pryce. I stood talking to her at a party years ago, not knowing who she was. She lives in France now (or did then) and seemed quite happy and busy.



#11 DN5

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 19:17

There is a separate memorial to Tom somewhere, isn't there?

 

 

Yes, there is in Ruthin. The official opening had both his mother and Nella in attendance.

 

Geoff



#12 paulsenna1

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 20:17

Here's the thread about the memorial.

 

http://forums.autosp...ce-30-years-on/



#13 Andy35

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 06:58

Thanks everyone for the kind words on my visit.  Looking forward to your photo adventure Lotus and thanks John for the PM, have replied.

 

Andy



#14 Eddie Knipe

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 12:36

Andy, hope you've seen that I have sent you a message re. Nella and the Ruthin (Rhuthun!) Town Council. How about also writing to the Otford Historical Society? In fact whilst I am writing this, I can actually do that myself - a member of the society is the librarian at the school where I teach in Sevenoaks.



#15 flowerwaltz68

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 22:08

That's so nice. I keep meaning to find time so my husband and I can go on a Tom Pryce pilgrimage as it were. Visit Ruthin and Igtham... especially his grave to pay my respects and place flowers there.

#16 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 22:19

We have a somewhat similar issue with Mike Hawthorn's grave here in Farnham - but may I counsel caution.  One is dealing with deeply personal and private matters in this area...

 

DCN



#17 Andy35

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 15:49

We have a somewhat similar issue with Mike Hawthorn's grave here in Farnham - but may I counsel caution.  One is dealing with deeply personal and private matters in this area...

 

DCN

 

Completely agree Doug.

 

I've been off air for a while after an operation but that summarises it in a nutshell.  Have PM'd Eddie and hopefully we can all make some gentle progress on the matter over the summer.  

 

Andy


Edited by Andy35, 30 March 2016 - 15:58.


#18 DN5

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 20:58

Has there been any progress made on this?

 

Also, a friend of mine claims that there is a new Tom documentary coming out next month, possible BBC Wales  (says source is social media but no evidence shared). Anyone know anything about this?

 

Geoff



#19 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 11:26

Forty years ago today - I have a very vivid memory of my housemates and I sitting staring at each other in utter shock and disbelief as the news came over the radio.

RIP Tom.

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#20 Andy35

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 12:08

Hello All,

 

Thanks Tim for updating this post one year on.  I never did write to Nella in France to ask for permission to have the headstone refurbished, which another member here, John Ginger, was willing to help with a friend in that line of work. John's friend contacted the vicar and he was happy, but I just didn't have the guts to write to Nella to ask as I felt too uncomfortable.  So near yet so far. :(    I'd like to thank John again for work in the background even though no results, one of the reasons this forum is so special.

Returning to today,  I arranged  a laurel wreath to be  made up with a Sevenoaks florist including daffidils and printed off a couple of photo's of Tom and Tom in action which my wife kindly laminated. I thought that would be fitting for 40 years. It has a nice one of Tom smiling and some oversteer, what else ?   :)

 

I headed off  again today early morning, 6.15am as this is a really quiet time up there apart from the birds singing. Tom's memorial vase always has some fresh daffodils this time of year but I wondered if being the 40th there might be something else. There was, including a very well written eulogy, far better than I could have put to pen. Nice to see that there. 

 

Some photo's and a video

 

Tom171.jpg

 

Tom175.jpg

 

Tom176.jpg

 

 

Video from this morning,

 

 

Sorry for my heavy breathing, I had a bike accident 20 years back so only have 1.5 lungs and I had just got up from doing some photo's near ground kneeling in the mud.  

The staining of the headstone seems more worse than ever, however my wife of 25 years on looking at it thinks that simply  some elbow grease might be in order.   We will pursue this line of reasoning as they say.

 

Finally,  

 

 

Thanks Tom for being a big  part of this sport we love so much. 

 

Andy


Edited by Andy35, 05 March 2017 - 18:45.


#21 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 12:31

Andy, thank you so much for all you are doing.

#22 JacnGille

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 16:15

:up:



#23 E1pix

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 16:42

No kidding, Andy you surely have my respect, Sir!!!

#24 LotusElise

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 17:57

I think what you've done is a suitable tribute enough. The daffodils are appropriate on different levels, and in keeping with the surroundings.

 

I don't know whether Nella ever reads this forum, but if were her, I would be touched. You never do get over something like what happened to her, but I know that she has found some peace and joy in her life.



#25 cpbell

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 18:16

That's a wonderful gesture, Andy, and it's nice to see that the date of those awful events that day are commemorated by others at Tom's final resting place. 



#26 PCC

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 22:11

Forty years ago today - I have a very vivid memory of my housemates and I sitting staring at each other in utter shock and disbelief as the news came over the radio.

RIP Tom.

I hope no one will mind if I spare a moment to remember Jansen van Vuuren as well on this sad anniversary. He was clearly too young and too inexperienced for the responsibility with which he was entrusted, but he died trying to serve the sport he presumably loved.



#27 E1pix

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 15:12

Well done, Peter.

#28 Andy35

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 22:51

Thanks everyone for their comments

 

John Surtees died today of course, so a sad week.  He is connected to Edenbridge of course which is just a lovely B road away from Tom.

 

Maybe there are up there together tonight :)

 

 

Andy



#29 bill moffat

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:08

Good to see that Llantwit Major's Karl Jones is running a replica of Tom's helmet on his historic motor sport comeback this year.  I think one of the GP3 drivers did the same a few years back as a similar tribute, so not the first time that the Stripes have returned to the circuit. 

 

Forty years on, now "The Star and his Stripes" - wouldn't be a bad name for his biography would it ?



#30 GMiranda

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:35

Certainly so.



#31 eibyyz

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 14:22

I hope no one will mind if I spare a moment to remember Jansen van Vuuren as well on this sad anniversary. He was clearly too young and too inexperienced for the responsibility with which he was entrusted, but he died trying to serve the sport he presumably loved.

 

Seconded.   :cry:



#32 Thundersports

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 22:46

Andy if you need a hand or some moral support if/when you get permission to renovate the headstone mail me as i'm 15 mins away from Otford. Sadly the Crown Pub on the roundabout has closed down where I believe Tom met Nella at a Disco.



#33 dwh43scale

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 20:18

BBC Radio Wales documentary about Tom on now (21.00 to 22.00 21 July)

 

Just finished and excellent. Well worth looking out.


Edited by dwh43scale, 21 July 2017 - 21:01.


#34 DN5

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 21:32

Just to say available on i-player and on podcast

 

Geoff



#35 dwh43scale

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 06:55

iPlayer Link

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b0909hpg



#36 SophieB

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:13

Remembering Thomas Maldwyn Pryce of Ruthin, Denbighshire, Wales’ only top-class #F1 driver, killed #OnThisDay in ’77 at Kyalami. We should also remember Frederik Jansen van Vuuren, the marshal who fatally ran into the path of Pryce’s car that day. Pic: Shadow DN5, Anderstorp ’75.

 

DXg5NCLW0AALb44.jpg



#37 The Chasm

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:47

I still remember seeing the vision on the Black & White TV news of the collision between marshal and car - absolutely shocked me as a 19 year old !.

 

I have never watched it again - no need, you never forget some images.

 

RIP Tom & Jansen



#38 DN5

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 18:26

RIP Tom and Jansen

 

I noticed that Sky F1 showing The Lost Generation - Tom Pryce an expanded version today :clap:


Edited by DN5, 05 March 2018 - 18:30.


#39 Rob Ryder

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 08:49

As a follow up SkyF1 are showing the Tony Brise : Lost Generation documentary on Monday at 4.30pm.
 
Also on SkyF1, Cevert - The Most Exciting Frenchman on Wednesday at 12.30pm

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#40 SophieB

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 10:26

Tom Pryce - Wales' most successful Formula 1 driver - will be celebrated with a new historic race meeting at Anglesey in July:

https://t.co/cn3HZNNwU7



#41 DN5

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 14:23

Same weekend as British GP but I know which will have my attention and attendance...



#42 SophieB

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 07:59

Also remembering Frederick Jansen Van Vuuren on this very sad anniversary.

 

Remembering Tom Pryce, killed at Kyalami #OnThisDay in '77. It's difficult to find a pic of Pryce without a dab of oppo dialled in, sometimes more than a dab, but here at Nürburgring in '76 we see a different approach: all four wheels of his Shadow DN5B off the ground.

D04QETmW0AE7NyF.jpg

 

Pryce started only 42 GPs, his best results a brace of 3rd places (Austria '75 & Brazil '76), but he was feverishly gifted &, had he lived longer (he was 27 when he died), he would have achieved so much more. He won the non-championship #F1 Race of Champions in '75 (pic). #RIP

D04QE3aXQAA3GU_.jpg



#43 moffspeed

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 14:14

March 5th 1977, April 7th 1968, dates etched in the memory. Half a lifetime passes by and it still feels like yesterday. I was with college mates at the Arms Park in Cardiff that day watching Wales beating England at rugby (nothing changes). Gareth Edwards and JPR had gone over for the all-important tries and all was well with the world. We were now celebrating with a few pints of Brains best at the Old Arcade and a dodgy catalogue of rugby songs. Come midnight we would, no doubt, have finished the drunken night with Chicken curry and chips in Caroline Street ...and then the news from Kyalami filtered through and I baled out and took a sad bus journey home.

 

I enthusiastically followed Tom in the lower formulae and was there when he won the R.o.C. at Brands, latterly with frozen toes I watched his brief but memorable encounter with the Epynt ranges in the Chequered Flag Stratos. It might not have measured up to Jimmy Clark's RAC adventure in a Lotus Cortina but he made an impact, literally. Even more sideways than in the DN5 until he tried to find the 5th way at Fourways Bridge. Next time you meet Dave Richards ask him to show you the scar on his knee...

 

The happiest of memories. Tom would have been 70 this June, what we could have seen....


Edited by moffspeed, 05 March 2019 - 19:05.


#44 E1pix

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 16:42

Trepidatious thumbs up.

RIP to both Heroes.

#45 Henri Greuter

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 08:16

You know, sometimes things are `just` a coincidence and nothing more to be looked for....

But as for Shadow F1, It still strucks me as spooky that:

A) Both fatal accidents for Shadow drivers took place at the very same track; Kyalami.
B) A fatally injured driver loosing his life due to an string of events that all started with a mishap for his team mate....
C) The lone GP victory for Shadow taking place in one of the years that was also one of their two most tragical years ever.
D) A, B) & C)combined being the case for a single team!

I was not that much int F1 yet due to limited access to both race reports in print and TV reports. And if anything, more busy with Ferrari vs Mclaren.
But I always liked the Shadows thanks to the colored bands like in the 2nd picture in post #42 by SophieB but also because of the name uop and the used font of letter type. Mysterious but looking so, yeah what is the word?

I didn't know enough about Tom Pryce back then. But that it was a great loss for racing when he died, in such a bizarre manner.....
Sad day.

Rest in peace Tom.

#46 Sterzo

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 14:00

It was a dangerous period, when the accident rate meant coincidences were more likely. There's nothing more significant about two Shadow drivers dying at Kyalami than two Lotus drivers dying at Monza, for example.



#47 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 14:01

I visited Tom's grave in the St.Bartholemew Churchyard, in Otford. It was a lovely sunny spring day and Tom's grave was nicely cared for with fresh daffodils. However the headstone does require some attention. I needs a good clean and the lettering needs cutting deeper and black applied. I only mention this as I have been reading older posts here on the same subject.



#48 MCS

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 14:50

Thank you, Paul.  I am certain that I am not alone in being thankful for your post.  I remain convinced he could have become World Champion, given the right circumstances. 

 

In the lower Formulae he beat so many drivers in better cars and bigger teams who subsequently won several Grands Prix and even the World Championship.

 

Sad time of the year.



#49 E1pix

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 05:58

All my respects too, Paul.

#50 DN5

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 10:18

Off to Anglesey circuit tomorrow for the memorial meeting

 

I had hoped to do the full meeting but circumstances mean I will have to do an early start tomorrow as first race is scheduled 9:00 am