We were very sad to hear of the death of Ron Footitt, a great VSCC enthusiast who started competing with a flat-twin Jowett, which his daughter also drove, but who in recent years was a very hard trier in speed events with his well tuned AC/GN ‘Cognac’, which combination of driver and car, age no barrier, resulted in a great many FTDs and race victories.
Leonard Potter has died after a long illness. He was a great advocate of the better motorcars, saying that he never felt really fulfilled unless he was in charge of one. Born in 1916, he was educated at Repton and Nottingham and Manchester Universities and also studied in Germany, becoming a biochemist. But his love of motor racing turned him away from his career and he gained race successes at postwar circuits, competed in the 1948 Monte Carlo Rally, took the award for the best British driver in the 1948 Alpine Rally and drove in many other continental events. He is well remembered as a Director of Continental Cars with Rodney Clarke, at Send, before becoming Managing Director of Biology Ltd and then MD of a plating company, in 1950.
Leonard’s other interests were radio and photography and he lived in Surrey. His cars were numerous and included a J2 MG, successor to an Ariel Square-Four motorcycle, a Lea-Francis, a 509 Fiat and a blown Amilcar, and during the war, a Riley Gamecock. After which he saw the light and moved to more exotic things, like Bugattis and Allards. A keen MG CC and VSCC member, Leonard Potter will be long remembered by his many friends, in and out of the Motor Trade.
Mrs Beatrice Naylor
Better known to the pre-war motorcycling fraternity as Miss Shilling, Mrs Naylor raced a Norton at Brooklands, where she had the distinction of gaining her BMCRC Gold Star for a lap at over 100 mph, in 1934, a feat shared with only two other lady riders. During the war Miss Shilling went to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough (where she was affectionately known as ‘Tilly’ Shilling) and turned her considerable mechanical and scientific knowledge to curing Rolls-Royce and other aero-engines of carburettor shortcomings, etc thereby making a material contribution to the Allied victory. While at the RAE she met and married George Naylor; he used to ride to and from work on a racy International Norton with his wife on the pillion. After the war they turned to car racing, modifying a Lagonda Rapier and, I think, running an Austin Healey Sprite at Good wood.