This event was labelled as special, to mark the Club's 21st Anniversary. Ray Darvill, our then very effective PRO, had arranged some sponsorship and some extra contact with the motoring press. Sadly, we did not need any special press contact.
It was one of my early meetings as Chief Marshal, having just taken over from John Felix, who was Deputy Clerk that day. I still remember it as one of the saddest race days ever.
My two children were engaged as runners for Keith Douglas, commentator, founder member and best friend of the Club. My wife's young sister, a staff nurse at the time, was spectating right by the accident and was one of the first on the scene. Afterwards she remarked how impressed she had been with John Huffer and other marshals who dealt with the incident.
Poor old Nigel died at the scene, John Baker was grievously injured and Dave Allen seemed to have a fractured femur. My sister-in-law went in the ambulance to the hospital with Dave and he seemed OK.
When I got a call from the Police when I got home to say someone had died but they were not sure of his identity, it never crossed our minds that it could be Dave. We were on our way to the inaugural Board Meeting of my new company that evening but arrived two hours late, after dealing with the Police enquiries.
We spent the next ten or eleven days trying to rouse poor old John from his coma. His parents came up from Kent and I also got Dave Brodie and Frank Williams to speak to him. Eventually it worked and as soon as he was conscious he was shipped to hospital near his home, where he made what was to me, a remarkable recovery. I had a letter from John only a couple of weeks ago and it is always great to hear that he is still enthusiastic about his marshaling.
John's recovery is one bright spot from what was otherwise a very grim day.