Stanley Sedgwick

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Stanley Sedgwick, Patron of the Bentley Drivers Club and an exceedingly influential personality in so many fields, especially those concerned with the older cars, died peacefully on October 25 of pneumonia, a complication of cancer. His devoted wife Con was at his side. Sedgwick, a top company accountant, was wealthy enough to enjoy his motoring without any association with the motor trade, the typical amateur enthusiast except that his dedication to his hobby was incredibly complete.

His interests were directed very largely to Bentley and Rolls-Royce motorcars after he had bought his first Bentley, a 3-litre, at the age of 28, during the war. This was followed by a vintage 4 1/2 in 1947, and very soon Stanley was in it up to his neck, as it were. He subsequently became President of the Bentley DC, and was its Patron from 1980. It is impossible to recall all the Bentley and R-R motorcars he owned without referring to his delightful book Motoring My Way, but if he was synonymous with one car, it was OLGA, his beloved R-type Bentley Continental. Sedgwick’s accountant’s mind gave him a methodical approach to everything he did, whether checking a BDC results sheet, planning one of his innumerable long-distance drives to far places, or writing his book. He served the BDC immaculately and painstakingly. He drove for fun on these personal challenges, in all manner of cars, averaging impressive speeds. He could go without food all day and night if this aided the pace, and drive alone if needs must. You have to read that splendid book to appreciate what this was about, and how much Stanley achieved.

Sedgwick’s taste in cars was wide after the Bentley preference — he had a 1910 Mercedes for a time, and helped Gregory with his 1904 Darracq. But it was mainly Bentleys, up to the fastest vintage Ind modern models on those long runs, carefully I med, every expense documented, for which he will be remembered best. He had a fine rapport with Rolls-Royce Motors, and drove every new model as it came out, recording faithfully and in detail his impressions for the BDC Review. Yet he was not averse to owning 1966 and 1974 Lincoln Continentals, Daimler Double-Six, Cadillac Eldorado, etc, also for “personal best” long hauls, at safe but very commendable speeds. That was sufficient, you might think, but Stanley’s business commitments took him all round the world, and on these journeys, carefully logged of course, he would visit as many BDC members as possible The perfect club ambassador…

In this hastily written tribute it is impossible to do full justice to this motorist, who will be a grievous loss to so many organisations and so sadly missed by us all, BDC members in particular. It seems incredible that this tall, immaculately dressed, self-effacing personality, with his dry humour and notable love of justice in club affairs, should have left us. Words are inadequate. To Mrs Sedgwick and family, all that there can be are thoughts and sympathy. It is their wish that all BDC and other friends will attend the Memorial Service, to be announced in the Times and Telegraph. W B