Some time ago we stated that the secretary of the B.R.D.C. had left no address to which communications could be forwarded, but now that a meeting has been held under the chairmanship of Lord Howe, and H. J. Morgan has agreed to be acting secretary, letters can be sent on. However, to avoid unnecessary work, we feel it advisable to remind new readers that B.R.D.C. membership was, before the war, only open to approved racing drivers. According to Morgan, the only persons eligible were those who had competed in an open road race or who had taken a first, second or third place in a B.A.R.C. race, although the committee was willing to consider other claims – actually, Morgan admits that the records in his possession are scanty, and we imagine that track events, such as the 500-Mile Race, were also included in the membership clause. But the main point, is that only experienced racing drivers were eligible. Morgan has promised to raise this matter at the next committee meeting, and remarks that some relaxation may result from present-day circumstances, but for the time being it can be taken that only known racing drivers need apply for membership.
As recently announced, efforts are being made to resume club activities, and Lord Howe is looking forward to the usual support from all members. All ordinary members on the roll at September, 1939, have been re-elected, subject to the receipt of their subscriptions. The inclusive subscription for the war years (to December, 1945) is one guinea, and the normal annual subscription of one guinea falls due on January 1st next.
Apart from their subscriptions, members have been invited to send donations to club funds, and the committee wish to thank the many members who have generously responded to this invitation. The first post-war meeting of the club, a general meeting, was held on September 12th. It was then decided to elect a “Caretaker” Committee, to consist of such members of the pre-war committee as were available, together with three additional members. The following is the “Caretaker” Committee, those marked with an asterisk being members of the pre-war committee : *R. J. W. Appleton, *Dr. J. D. Benjafield, *0. H. J. Bertram, S. C. H. Davis, C. T. Delaney, *A. C. Dobson, *H. N. Edwards, *K. D. Evans, *W. G. Everitt, *G. E. T. Eyston and C. B. Follett.
The following are ex-officio members: Earl Howe (president and chairman), H. W. Cook (hon. treasurer) and Keith Erskine (hon. solicitor).
One of the first acts of the new committee was to record a tribute to the members of the club who have lost their lives during the war, either on active service or from other causes, and with this tribute was coupled an expression of deep sympathy with the relatives concerned. Unfortunately, we are not at all sure that our record of members who have died or been killed during the war is complete, and we shall be glad of any additional information that may be sent to us by members and friends. Meantime, we shall sadly miss such old friends as the following: Cecil Kimber (a vice-president), The Earl of Cottenham, A. V. Ebblewhite, Hugh P. McConnell, T. E. Rose Richards, J. P. Wakefield, E. K. Rayson, C. L. Baker, John Carr, Percy Maclure, A. F. P. Fane, B. P. W. Twist, R. O. Shuttleworth, C. S. Staniland, N. G. Wilson, H. E. Symons, R. P. Hichens, J. A. Driskell and Lionel Martin.
Incidentally, it has been decided that there should be a club memorial to members who fell during the war, but the exact form and location of this memorial will have to be decided at a later date. As a matter of interest, too, it may also be mentioned that the club is to place before the R.A.C. a suggestion that a national memorial to racing drivers should be instituted, in order that the names of all racing drivers who have died or been killed may be commemorated. The committee feels that the names of the early racing drivers should not be allowed to fall into obscurity, and it is hoped that the R.A.C. will see fit to adopt this suggestion. Two important decisions were recently taken regarding honorary members of the club. The first was the decision “to expunge the names of all German drivers from the list of honorary members.” The second concerns the Italian drivers. The question of their re-election as honorary members has been deferred to a later date. Meanwhile, all other honorary members on the1989 membership roll have been re-elected.
Club representatives — S. C. H. Davis and G. E. Abecassis — were at the recent informal R.A.C. Conference of Club Officials. The B.R.D.C. official view is that the conference was a good thing, and the hope was expressed that it would be repeated next year. Lord Howe (who, as is generally known, is now chairman of the R.A.C. Competitions Committee) presided at the meeting.
For the future, the B.R.D.C. Committee intends to press for the adequate representation of British drivers while competing abroad. It has long been the view that, wherever British drivers may be competing, someone ought to be there from the R.A.C. capable of acting as a liaison between the drivers and foreign race-organisers. The prospect of competing overseas may appear a little dim at present, but it is just as well to prepare along the right lines.
Another matter in which the committee is interested is the unauthorised use of the words “Grand Prix” in race titles. There is a definite International Rule governing the employment of these words in a race title, and the proper observance of this rule (in the B.R.D.C.’s opinion, at any rate) should henceforth be enforced.
Still another point of interest is the committee’s agreement that efforts should be made to obtain a greater freedom of choice in dates for British events on the International Calendar. In the past many British events have had to put up with unnecessarily inconvenient dates, and it is hoped to bring about a revision in this arrangement. The attempt will be made anyway.
For the present, however, the committee has decided that there shall be no relaxation in the qualifications hitherto insisted upon for membership.
The possibility of arranging a reunion event is being investigated. Details of any such event will be posted to all members.
Secretary D. C. Scannell, a Squadron Leader in the R.A.F., is at present in India, and hopes to be back early in the new year. Meanwhile, H. J. Morgan is holding the B.R.D.C. fort, and communications may be sent to him at 14, Lime Grove, Ruislip, Middlesex.