My chair is comfier (leaf carefully through this biggest-ever issue and all will be revealed), the bombs have stopped tumbling from the sky and the hot-metal presses have gone cold, otherwise the job is basically the same: pack the pages with interesting stuff.
Digging back through 80 volumes was daunting but enlightening, and I couldn't help but feel a connection with Motor Sport's past editors.
WB you know about. His contribution has been, and remains, immense. Can anyone else have made as big a contribution as he for such an extended period of time with a single magazine? I very much doubt it.
His monthly 'forthright conversation' with Denis Jenkinson, his Continental Correspondent, undoubtedly carried the magazine through its Golden Era.
I'm never surprised when a reader calls the office and prefaces the conversation with: "I've been buying the magazine since 1951 and I've kept every one of them..."
That's very gratifying — but unnerving, too. With WB's help, we strive to maintain the voice and standards that turned you on to Motor Sport in the first place. But we are acutely aware that things have changed, that we can never fully recapture the spirit of the times which meant that DSJ's latest missive from Berne, Campofelice or wherever was akin to a message from Outer Space. We've had to carve ourselves a new niche instead.
But that's exactly what Motor Sport had to do 80 years ago: discover a gap in the market and fill it— well. They were not the easiest times and editors came and went before the storm blew out against the unbending figure of WB. But we owe a debt of thanks to Messrs Seyd, Scott-Hall, Twelvetrees (a Frazer Nash man), Hutchings, Keogh (one issue only), Braidwood (another 'Nash man) and TG Moore (ditto), who saw the magazine through its growing pains.
I like to think that they would enjoy the next 260 or so pages. I know that they would recognise the effort that has gone into putting them together, before pointing out that we have overlooked such and such report. Good on 'em!
Editor (and Frazer Nash enthusiast)