In celebration of the orange suit


Without an orange army of volunteer marshals, the trackside of British motor racing would be unrecognisable. They are the unsung heroes of the sport, without whom motor racing would simply not take place.

This year the British Motorsports Marshals Club turns 60, and it would be remiss of us to ignore such a milestone.

From haphazard early days, when ex-drivers and spectators would often be roped in to fill shortfalls in numbers, the BMMC has evolved into a well-oiled machine with more than 2,200 members attending a remarkable 40,000 marshalling days a year. It’s come a very long way since its inauguration, which Bill Boddy marked back in 1957:

Motor Racing Marshals Club

July 1957

A Committee of representatives of some of the leading sporting motor clubs in the country has met many times to discuss Motor Racing Marshals Club business. The Committee at present consists of twelve members.

Club Secretaries may be interested to know that the above organisation is now “open for business,” and in this connection one of its aims is to assist upon request any club responsible for running an R.A.C. or A.C.U. permitted event.

The Register of Members records each member’s classification according to his or her experience in vatious duties at each class of event, and lists include ambulance drivers, commentators, course marshals, doctors, observers, paddock marshals, fire marshals, flag marshals, interpreters (French, Belgian and German), lap scorers, photographers, pit marshals, radio operators, runners, scoreboard operators, scrutineers, sector marshals, start area marshals, telephonists, timekeepers, etc., all with race experience which varies from Grand Prix to Closed Club events.

In addition the club has a limited number of “novice volunteers” of the right types, who are prepared to carry out any suitable duty allocated to them, but who will not be placed on “trackside” duties until suitably trained and qualified.

Membership is open to all those who perform official duties at motor sporting events in the United Kingdom and a limited number of novice volunteers can be accepted. These latter must be prepared, for a season or two, to accept any duty allocated to them – as are all our members – and to work in company with one of our senior officials.

Club Secretaries, Chief Marshals and intending members should apply for full information to J. D. Bannister, Hon. Organising Secretary, The British Motor Racing Marshals Club, ” Beechwood,” Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent.

Want to get involved in marshalling?

There are reasons for any fan of the sport to get involved in marshalling. As well as unprecedented access to the sport – second only to competition itself – marshals are also rewarded with the best trackside views and have the opportunity to learn new skills, as well as meet likeminded people.

Want to see the sport from a new angle? Try a marshalling taster day and take your first step to becoming a marshal.

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