My first action on receiving Motor Sport every month is to flick through to see which pictures and articles I am going to enjoy most Imagine my surprise when, on reaching Simon Taylor’s Modern Times in November, my eye saw the name ‘Cowley’.
Alan Cowley was my uncle by marriage, and when I was a child in the 1950s, I was taken by him to several meetings at Brands Hatch and Crystal Palace. I remember getting the autographs of Mike Hawthorn, Harry Schell, Ivor Bueb and others. Unfortunately, these have all been lost mothers have a lot to answer for! It was these formative visits which led me to a lifelong enjoyment of all things motorsport.
I knew my uncle had stopped racing when I was about 11 or 12, but I never knew the reason why: a lifetime ban is not exactly something to be proud of. He was always a somewhat ‘forceful’ driver on the road and, after his racing days, owned a Porsche 356 until it became a write-off!
Mr Taylor wrote that my uncle was never to be heard of again, so you might be interested in the following. Alan’s other major interest was boats, and he converted a German E-boat into a motor yacht. The boat had been used as a nightclub in Swansea. He towed it around Land’s End and along the south coast to Rye behind a Fairmile B inshore minesweeper two of which he had acquired as Navy Surplus from Pounds Yard in Portsmouth for their Rolls-Royce diesel engines, generators and steering gear.
He separated from my aunt and took the E-boat, by then named Ezra Pound, to Spain for fitting out.
The last I heard of him, he was living in a canal barge on the Canal du Midi with a young wife and children. If anyone knows of his whereabouts now I would be interested to hear.
I am, Yours etc,
Nicholas Godkin, Haslemere, Surrey
Letters from readers, February 1974
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