It was with great sadness that I read of the death of Wilkie Wilkinson at the great age of 98.
I first saw Wilkie when I was in the army stationed in Edinburgh, when I used to creep away from duty to watch the antics of Wilkie and his crew as they prepared for more feats of derring-do with Ecurie Ecosse.
I bumped into him some years later at a motor dub meeting on Tyneside when he gave a talk on his and the team’s adventures as they took on and beat the best Europe had to offer.
He had arrived in a ridiculously fast Ford Pop (the ‘sit-up-and-beg’ type) which, he said, had run a bearing. They fixed it with a piece of leather from a belt.
Years later I was at the Coys Festival at Silverstone browsing through a copy of Willkie’s biography when a quiet voice said, “I’ll sign it for you if you like”. It was, of course, Wilkie. Immaculate as ever, he was in his 80s then and accompanied by one of his daughters, who explained to me that she despaired of trying to slow him down.
Wilkie duly signed my copy and, for a few moments, we reminisced and laughed about some of our memories and the fun we’d had long ago before shaking hands and parting. It is a memory I treasure.
Wilkie was part of a scene long gone and they simply don’t breed men like him anymore. My condolences to his family.
I am,Yours etc,
B.Wylie, Bicester, Oxfordshire