Jenks on...

Jazz at Brands, 1964

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Brands Hatch on July 11, but it was more in keeping with a Bank Holiday meeting than a serious Grande Epreuve, and as for being the Grand Prix of Europe, it seemed even less likely. A number of people have since said that during the grand prix they had to keep pinching themselves and remembering that it was not just a day’s good fun, but an important and serious event. The RAC certainly ran the whole programme very smoothly and efficiently, and after the race Bandini, as one of the few visitors, said how much he had enjoyed the racing, mainly because of the obvious effort everyone in the organisation was putting into the whole affair. For those motor racing enthusiasts who appreciate good jazz music, and there are a great many, including myself, the concert put on by Chris Barber and his band, with Humphrey Lyttelton joining in, rounded off the day in a splendid fashion. To racing enthusiasts, Chris Barber needs no Introduction, for he has raced a Lotus Elite in the past, and earlier in the day Beckwith was driving, and spinning. Barber’s latest Lotus Elan. Lyttelton’s connection with motor racing goes back a long way, to the early years of jazz revival in this country shortly after the war. In those days, when he was in the beginnings of English jazz, his transport was often provided by the late John Cooper, who was then sports editor of The Autocar, and many a road-test car was used for transporting the drums and double-bass of the original Lyttelton band. This interest in jazz, and I am not talking about the Acker Bilk pop-type music, by racing enthusiasts is something that has been in existence for as long as I can remember, and I feel that this experiment to round off the day was so successful that all those involved in organising it will be encouraged to continue the idea. Yours. DSJ

Denis Jenkinson was our famous Continental Correspondent for more than 40 years