Obituaries

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Bert Hadley

Bert Hadley died in July after a short illness, but a long and happy life. He started work at “The Austin” at Longbridge in 1926 where his interest in motors wangled him into the Experimental and Racing Dept. He was assigned to Murray Jamieson and the A7 racing team, and 50 years later, during the rebuild of the works racing Austins at Donington for Tom Wheatcroft, it was Bert who supplied a lot of the expertise. Well into his retirement, he rebuilt the gearboxes of both Side-valve and TwinCam cars in his garage.

Hadley’s own racing mixed sprints, hillclimbs, racing at Crystal Palace, and attending record attempts at Southport beach. (I well recall his record ascent of Shelsley Walsh and his significant wins at the last Crystal Palace races, aided by his views on how best to utilise twin rear wheels on the ohc Austins — WB.) Post-war racing included four Le Mans with Jaguar and two Mille Miglias. After retiring in 1975 Bert became President of the A7 Clubs Association. He will be missed by his friends, and our sympathy goes out to his son, who had a close relationship with his motoring father.

H T H Clayton

The death of H T H Clayton will distress all those who knew him or watched him race at Brooklands, and all we can do is join them in abject sympathy. He was known as “Over-the-Top” Clayton because of his quite remarkable escape from death in the much-photographed accident in the 1938 Easter Short Handicap, when he went over the Members’ banking at high speed while driving R C Fleming’s ex-Horton MG Midget single-seater, after apparently being shunted by another car. Clayton started racing the ex-Major Gardner Amilcar Six in 1931 and was very successful with this car, which he evolved into the Clayton-Amilcar and drove on the Outer and Mountain circuits at Brooklands, and in long-distance races there. He took some Class-G records in 1933. Harry was a VicePresident of the Brooklands Society, whose recent reunion he attended, and President of the Amilcar Register. His cheerful presence will be sadly missed by a large circle of his motor-racing friends. W B