How to assess your fellow road users, a bygone system revisited
Looking for some information among WB’s writings, I was tickled to come across his explanation of the Birkett Dicing Analysis, invented by his friend and co-car enthusiast Holly Birkett, a central figure in Boddy and Jenks’s motoring coterie. I believe it was Jenks who codified the ‘tenths’ system of racing driver effort, but Holly’s is more entertaining. It reads as follows:
1/10th: Elderly dodderer taking it easy.
2/10ths: Elderly dodderer going somewhere.
3/10ths: Commercial traveller concerned mainly with mileage between overhauls.
4/10ths: Most leisurely progression practised by One of Us.
5/10ths: Slowest form of rally driving, when right on time.
6/10ths: Everyday motoring when a trifle late or getting time-in-hand on a rally.
7/10ths: No risks taken and could maintain all day, but glad Elderly Dodderer is not on back seat.
8/10ths: Keen type taking editor of motoring journal for demonstration run. (This constitutes the main risk in this profession)
9/10ths: Racing driver doing his desperate best under a ‘faster’ signal from his pit.
10/10ths: Dangerous motor-bandit hotly pursued by entire CID in Ferraris. Inevitably results in an accident.