The Western Province Motor Clubs Reunion for Racers of Yesteryear
was held in the club house at Killarney on the 3 rd February 2016.
With the function being superbly facilitated by Ian Little, as
Julie, Vixen and I walked in Denis Joubert was regaling us with his
lovely hoary old tales of the formation of the club in the 1950’s
and some of his racing stories. We had unfortunately missed Adrian
Pheiffers tales of the past!
One after the other of the more senior racing drivers gave great
little talks about their experiences on and off the track. Some
enlightening, but mostly very amusing, causing ripples of wonderful
laughter drifting through the hall.
Basically anyone who has been involved with the WPMC since the 60’s
and 70’s had been invited. with probably the most famous being
good ol’ Sarel van der Merwe, Scamp Porter, Koos Swanepoel and Piet
van Niekerk amongst many others. Pity they were not invited to
The table decorations were excellent with 2 bottles of wine. On
the table cloth, a large paper overlay sheet printed with many and
various old racing news articles – very clever I thought. Up on a
mute screen was interesting racing pictures rolling along silently.
I was privileged to have been asked to help compile the invite
list and was pleased to see some of the guys I’d proposed had
indeed been invited. Ian had also asked me to do a little talk
from the commentary box view point.
The lunch served was a sumptuous large plate of Spinach and Feta
pie, chicken, roast potatoes and veg. The starter was Butternut
soup with fresh rolls and for pudding Ice-cream and fruit salad.
There was a video being taken and some crowd shots later outside.
These will probably appear on the various WPMC website and facebook
When it became my turn to talk, I talked about the days with my
involvement going back to 1964 when my Dad had taken me to watch a
practice session. That is when the Motor Racing bug really bit!
I told of me helping various drivers like Alistair Cochrane, Rodney
Goldberg, John Haig and many others in the pits right from being a
young teenager to when I had to stop in 1988.
For my 16th birthday, I had also persuaded my father to enrol me
into the BP New Generation Driving School which was held at the
Killarney track. The certificate of which I still have hanging in
my study to this day.
The funnies were the time while being a spectator, a Formula Ford
had spun off in Holes corner. A rookie marshall rushed up and
helped to push him back onto the track when suddenly the engine
caught again, the rear wheels spun in the sand and the poor
marshall was violently ripped up and over the tire. Fortunately he
did not suffer anything more than severe embarrassment!
At an after race meeting many years ago, a certain Don Thompson had
crashed his pretty little Alfa GT exiting Quarry corner and into
the trees on the outside of the kink. Don complained bitterly that
the trees are dangerous and should be removed. Ronny Scullard told
him to shut up. You are the only person to ever crash into those
trees in 20 years!
At a meeting just after a very wet race day, a Formula Forder stood
up to protest about the huge puddle on the outside of Damps Dip.
He had flipped his car upside down into it and almost drowned!
Brian Hoskins told him he should maybe think of getting some SCUBA
gear and the club will think about getting some ducks for the pond!
Then I went back to the time when we had wildlife like snakes and
rabbits with a death wish, skipping between the racing cars and
bikes. This was the time before Quarry corner was extended to what
it is now. I think it was in the Charlie Rowe or Pete Schrieber
era. Exiting Hoals flat out on each lap and hard on the brakes into
Quarry when I noticed the driver was fishtailing and squirrelling
more and more on each lap and then suddenly he spun himself right
out of the race and into the bushes. AS he despondently walked
past me, I asked Him “You were going so nicely, what happened?” He
told me, “I had chosen a rock on the side of the track as a brake
marker only to find out it was a Tortoise going in the same
Then I told of the crash which left me blind. Dave Bailey and
Brian Peek visited me in hospital and invited me to join the
commentary team. “How the hell am I going to commentate?” I asked.
“You must be having me on!” They joked “We’ll put braille numbers
on the race cars!”
My deep love of the sport, the track and club grew even deeper and
thereafter Brian Peek became my guide-dog at the club. He became
known as my Pekinese guide-dog!
A number of years ago we had a bunch of great guys racing called
hammy Good and Peter Twiss. One day one of our commentators, in
his excitement got Peters name all mangled and it came out over the
loud speakers as Tweeter Piss!
My little talk must have gone down rather well as I heard some of
my stories being repeated at the following Saturdays races.
Big thanks to the WPMC for a really fabulous function, but more
importantly for inviting me to this prestigious function.
(To this day Barry Blomkamp is still very involved in the W.P.
Motor Club where he is Deputy Chief commentator. For his
perseverance and determination, was honoured with a merit award in
1993; awarded with the prestigious “Clubman of the Year” trophy in
2001; and in 2004 Barry’s contribution to the W.P. Motor Club was
recognised by conferring him with Honourary membership.)
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Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
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