Memories From Maurice Takoor
Maurice is the man responsible for running the BHRA Pioneers Club, and, as you will see when you read the following, he was involved in the very early days of UK Drag Racing
I was involved in fitting out Santa Pod prior to its opening ( at the time I was a regular visitor to John Bennett's house - later working for him for 12 years) and used to travel back and forth with him and others. We would gather in his lounge upstairs ( the downstairs was used as offices for his business) at some ungodly hour, have a quick snack breakfast, & then set off in whatever vehicles were to hand. Later, I would drive the firm's hack, a 105E Anglia van fitted with a 3 litre Vauxhall straight 6 engine, which was FUN.
I can vividly remember driving it back down the M1 in pouring rain alongside Bo Sandberg in his custom Thunderbird with Batmobile-style cockpits with wrap-around screens. He said it was fine as long as he kept moving, but he had to pick his spots to park or stop so that it didn't fill up with water!
In the late 60's I helped produce the club magazine, Drag Racing & Hot Rod Magazine, becoming Photo Editor. One of the perks of this was a prime spot on the start line, snapping cars & trophy presentations (occaisonally) but more usually just watching the racing. When the magazine folded, I joined the Race Control team & when the two clubs merged, helped to form the Tech Crew team, enforcing the class rules.
During the early years, because I did not have a caravan or tent, I & my wife-to-be used to camp on the floor of the commentators' tower, from where we had a birds-eye view of whatever was going on below. I wouldn't like to do this now (getting too old I guess !) & probably wouldn't be allowed to either, eh, Keith.
Eventually, we bought a caravan & used to commute back & forth with it until it got too old & then we sited it permanently up at the Pod & used it as the base for the Tech Crew. It couldn't have been too bad as it , along with a few others, got blown over in a storm one year & only suffered one broken window. Mind you, it was struggle to get it back upright again without doing more damage than the storm caused!
Ah. happy days!!!