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Old 20 May 2019, 09:07 (Ref:3904830)   #1
MartinSmith
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John Smith

It is with the utmost heavy heart.... I am so numb I cannot speak, but its my sad sad duty to inform you all , that one of the great lights in grass roots Motorsport... and indeed international historic motorsport... motorsport in general, has been extinguished.

John Smith, former International Clerk of The Course, former Race Director HSBC and Masters, Co Founder of The 360 Motor Racing Club, and one of the most genuine men in Motorsport, passed away in the early hours of this morning.

I am understandably numb in truth , I will keep you all posted on things such as wake/ memorial.

God Bless all
Claire
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Old 20 May 2019, 09:15 (Ref:3904831)   #2
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So so sorry Claire. RIP John.He was a top bloke.
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Old 20 May 2019, 09:27 (Ref:3904832)   #3
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Huge condolences Claire.
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Old 20 May 2019, 09:31 (Ref:3904833)   #4
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My deepest condolences Claire, I just saw your post on FB and had a horrible feeling, so came on here and my fears were confirmed. RIP John.
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Old 20 May 2019, 10:03 (Ref:3904834)   #5
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Terrible news Claire. Thanks for letting us know. Was hoping to see him at Donington. RIP John, you will be sorely missed.
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Old 20 May 2019, 11:43 (Ref:3904849)   #6
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It was good to know you, John, RIP
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Old 20 May 2019, 13:55 (Ref:3904879)   #7
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RIP John.
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Old 20 May 2019, 14:04 (Ref:3904880)   #8
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Sadly missed. Goodbye John.

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Old 20 May 2019, 17:10 (Ref:3904918)   #9
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So sad to hear that Claire.

Another of the unsung heroes of British Motorsport passes away. RIP and thanks for everything.
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Old 20 May 2019, 17:14 (Ref:3904919)   #10
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I'm very sad to hear the news Claire, my condolences and thoughts are with you.
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Old 20 May 2019, 20:10 (Ref:3904962)   #11
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The first 360MRC 6 hour race at Snetterton. John is C.O.C., and I’m racing my Escort. After a pit stop near the top of the pit lane, the engine bogs down, so I dip the clutch and give it the beans- resulting in a fishtailing burn-out past the exit lights. Quite rightly, the marshal reports the ‘dangerous driving’ incident to John, and at the end of the race I am summoned by him. After a severe faced reprimand regarding said pit exit, John grins, and quietly says ‘looked spectacular though!’

Top bloke, and will be sadly missed. RIP John, it was a pleasure and privilege to have known you.
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Old 20 May 2019, 20:32 (Ref:3904964)   #12
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The first 360MRC 6 hour race at Snetterton. John is C.O.C., and I’m racing my Escort. After a pit stop near the top of the pit lane, the engine bogs down, so I dip the clutch and give it the beans- resulting in a fishtailing burn-out past the exit lights. Quite rightly, the marshal reports the ‘dangerous driving’ incident to John, and at the end of the race I am summoned by him. After a severe faced reprimand regarding said pit exit, John grins, and quietly says ‘looked spectacular though!’

Top bloke, and will be sadly missed. RIP John, it was a pleasure and privilege to have known you.
Thats brought a tear to the eye... I remember it well
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Old 21 May 2019, 02:01 (Ref:3904996)   #13
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6.00 am this Monday morning I received a phone call from St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey saying that John was not good. He had been in there since last Tuesday. I rushed over and the staff there did all they could to revive him but to no avail.

The tragedy is that when I saw him Sunday evening, he was feeling much better and looking forward to going home to his new flat in the next couple of days.

John as some of you may know moved to Whiteley Village in Hersham last month and was looking forward to a long and happy retirement in this wonderful place. When he first came to the village last July, he fell in love with the place and put his name down to come here. It is not easy to get in but they immediately liked him, who wouldn’t, and were looking forward to him taking part in some of the village activities such as the car club and his hobby photography with the camera club. One of the staff here is into drag racing and also knew dear Barry Sidery-Smith well, so John had lots to talk about with all his vast experience. Some of the less able bodied residents go around on mobility scooters and the staff here were thinking of reviving a race for them around the village again and were going to ask John to organise it. He found that highly amusing.

He was already getting to know some of the residents and leaving his old apartment in Lightwater where he was too isolated, made him exceedingly happy and the old John that we all love and respect was back again.

All the staff and residents who got to know him are very sad and shocked.

The sad part is that he only had a month in the village and it’s so cruel that this has happened to one of the sweetest men that I have ever met. I am going to miss John so much and it’s been a huge privilege to have been part of his life.

Rest in Peace sweetie and see you on the other side. 💕💕

Last edited by Paulaweybridge; 21 May 2019 at 02:12.
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Old 21 May 2019, 07:13 (Ref:3905020)   #14
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This morning I received these two emails from my closest friends in the USA and wish to share them with you all.

The first one said, ‘Try and get some rest and not be too sad. Hopefully he is off in some racing afterlife with the great and the good, being his old self. Try to think of him that way, as starting a new career with old friends’.

The second one said, ‘I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Why these things happen and the timing of them is not up to us. We are merely bystanders on our time on earth. Our own character will try to understand, but as the saying goes “Life goes on” for those left behind. You have some beautiful memories over the years you have known John. I can remember you telling me these things in our conversations.

Stay strong and remember the good times.
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Old 21 May 2019, 08:26 (Ref:3905028)   #15
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Very sad news, anytime that I was "hauled up" before the clerk of the course I just hoped that it was John. He would give you a b******ing and then give you a smile and send you on your way as he would always see both sides of an "incident" RIP John.
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Old 21 May 2019, 09:35 (Ref:3905035)   #16
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Very saddened to hear this, RIP John.

Have a beer with Niki Lauda, who sadly passed away today.
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Old 21 May 2019, 14:45 (Ref:3905075)   #17
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Very saddened to hear this, RIP John.

Have a beer with Niki Lauda, who sadly passed away today.
Hi Rikki, I am sure he is having a drink with Niki although John’s preferred tipple is a gin and tonic.

Just been to see him resting in peace and all the strain of illness in his face has gone and he looks years and years younger.

The lady looking after him said, what a good looking man and I bet that he was a kind and gentle soul which we all know he is.

I refuse to speak of John now in the past tense as he is still with us in spirit.

I read out to John all the messages on here as well as videos and music on the Facebook pages. He said I don’t know what all the fuss is about as I am nothing special but we all know what a self effacing man he is.

I said to John that you are a blooming fabulous clerk and steward, so there.

Motorsport is going to miss his cheeky smile and special demeanour at meetings.

Last edited by Paulaweybridge; 21 May 2019 at 14:56.
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Old 21 May 2019, 16:49 (Ref:3905093)   #18
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John as some of you may know moved to Whiteley Village in Hersham last month and was looking forward to a long and happy retirement in this wonderful place. When he first came to the village last July, he fell in love with the place and put his name down to come here.
Paula, that's interesting to read, when I had lunch with him either early last year or late the year before we talked about his struggles with his home in Lightwater. I did suggest to him about moving to a more sheltered type accomodation, his reply, "Tim, I have thought about it but I just don't like old people". You knew where you stood with John. Sadly we didn't repeat the lunch as next time we'd arranged something he was poorly and had to cancel, my sad loss and I should have pushed him for another date.
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Old 21 May 2019, 19:30 (Ref:3905129)   #19
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I

Hi Tim,

John told me about you both having lunch together 😀

I know what John meant and I was dubious coming to live here in November 2017. But this place is very different to the standard old people’s home. I recovered from nearly dying earlier that year in a BUPA Care Home and most of the residents were much older than me in their 80’s which I found hard to deal with.

Here at Whiteley Village, we have a golf course, putting green, bowling green, swimming pool, snooker, table tennis, a village hall where films and shows are held, church, photography club, gym, whist and bridge clubs plus woods you could almost get lost in. We also have an excellent restaurant and bar which are very reasonable. Have I sold it to you yet 😂. John certainly bought it when I brought him here for the first time last July.

The residents here are very fit in mind and body for their ages thanks to all the amenities. Ages span from the 60’s to the 90’s and even some centenarians.

It is incredibly sad that you didn’t get to see him again and I am so glad that I had a wonderful 11 months togetherness since we met up again last June and he loved being here even if it was for only five weeks 😟

John also would not smoke in his new home because we cleaned everything before he left Lightwater. He did have the odd smoke on the outside balcony but he had cut down dramatically. He did say that he had to have one vice 😀

However my life will never be the same again and I miss him so much.

Yes he is alive in spirit but walking along from my flat to his and not being able to have a laugh and chat, I feel robbed because John was a person you could chat to about your concerns, the news, Brexit!! or simply chew the cud, especially the motor racing variety 😉😉

Life is a real b***h at times 😡

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Old 21 May 2019, 21:07 (Ref:3905148)   #20
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Must tell you this Tim.

The flat next door to John’s is occupied by a lady who is not in the best of health and is very deaf.

I find her hard work and a bit gaga.

John reprimanded me and said she is not gaga at all and is lovely to speak to. They even thought about asking for a couple of chairs to be put outside on the balcony so he could relax more when having a cigarette and she could sit there too.

John was accepting now that he was not as active as he used to be and was finding that other residents with similar health problems, walking difficulties etc were good to have a chat with.

The problem with the Lightwater flat was that dangerously steep staircase with only one handrail and I was desperately worried that he would fall down them one day. We even contacted the local council to get them to put another handrail in but as he was moving here, we dropped the request.

Here we have free in house physiotherapists and John was looking forward to joining the exercise classes and getting his legs stronger again. But it’s never going to be now 😟

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Old 22 May 2019, 08:11 (Ref:3905190)   #21
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A wonderful tribute to John in Historic Racing News

Rest in Peace sweetheart 💕💕

https://www.historicracingnews.com/A...ohn-Smith/2488
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Old 22 May 2019, 08:30 (Ref:3905193)   #22
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Rest in peace my dear, dear friend.
In the 30+ years I knew you, travelling and officiating all round the country, we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughter and never once a cross word.
You taught me so much about Clerking & Stewarding and the motor racing world is a much poorer place without you.
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Old 22 May 2019, 16:08 (Ref:3905242)   #23
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Paula, you've posted a lovely tribute to John and as you say, i'm sad we didn't get to repeat our lunch but I suppose I'm to blame due to one thing or another happening last year and me not getting round to it.
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Old 22 May 2019, 21:58 (Ref:3905288)   #24
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Hi Tim,

Thank you, it’s the least that I could have done.

Unfortunately with all of our busy lives, certain important things simply don’t get done and when someone dies suddenly, we all have regrets such as saying to the person that you care for how much you love them and so on.

I wish that I had got back in touch with John earlier than last June but I was still recovering myself from my “Annus Horribilis”, the previous year and I wouldn’t really have been much help to him.

John said that he wished that I had told him how unwell I was when my illness began because he would have been there for me, bless him.

I said that I wouldn’t have done that because of his own health problems but he really touched me.

Fate however brought me to contact John again and I was ready to be a friend to him once more.

Seeing him getting back to the John that we all admired and loved was wonderful to watch and thank God that he had a happy and positive final months.

It’s so sad that he didn’t have many more years on this earth because we were planning a trip next year to the USA, a country we both love. John said we will hire a Mustang which would have been great fun.

Because he passed away unexpectedly, it is possible that an autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death. I have mixed feelings about this but to know what happened is important. John was always going to donate his organs upon death so this invasion of his body would not have bothered him. Typical John thinking of others.

I hope the decision is made quickly so his final wishes are kept without too much delay.

I’ll let everyone know in due course so arrangements can be made and we can all get on and celebrate his wonderful life.

Nitey nite.
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Old 23 May 2019, 00:27 (Ref:3905304)   #25
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A wonderful tribute to John in Historic Racing News

Rest in Peace sweetheart 💕💕

https://www.historicracingnews.com/A...ohn-Smith/2488

I wrote it
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