Posts by: National Social Media

A delayed start to September……..sorry about that it was my birthday!

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It is good to see so many of you are upgrading.  Motorsport UK are a little behind with processing due to holidays and being reduced in numbers.  Hopefully we will have a new marshals liaison confirmed soon to help with this process – so be patient!

Don’t forget to make sure you have all the necessary signatures when you book your assessment through the Chief marshal of an event.  The Examining grade assigned to do your assessment will check your photo – so if you don’t have one on your PRC make sure you hand over your Motorsport UK registration card for verification – your 2020 card is still valid this year!

And talking of which a few people have had issues with renewing online for Motorsport UK for 2022 – we have been advised there is a timing issue with the new system for some trainees.  This means that you will need to complete the form by post instead this time. Please send your forms to your Regional Grading Officer for authorisation.

For any brand new members, you will be asked to complete the online training with Motorsport UK before you can register – please don’t forget to share your registration number with our Membership Secretary once completed.

I am delighted to confirm that John Edwards has accepted the role of National Secretary and we didn’t put him off with our National Council meeting on 1 September!  Some good lively discussion – website updates (any new photos?) / National awards (it’s that time again!) / Marshals Pathway (new registrations and the outline for next year’s plan) plus a round up of regional plans and activities and items to take forward to Motorsport UK.   We meet again in three months time via Zoom and plan to have the AGM on Sunday 5th December virtually as well to enable more members to attend.

It has been brought to my attention that a number of marshals have been subjected to both verbal and physical abuse at events.  This is abhorrent and totally intolerable.  Please report such instances to the Chief marshal immediately if you are the victim or witness such events.  If you do not feel they have been dealt with appropriately, please raise to your local committee or direct to me.  I have raised a number of concerns direct to Motorsport UK already and they have been dealt with very swiftly.


I have been interviewed a number of times as Chair by various groups and for different publications – particularly about discrimination.  I have never felt discriminated against for being a woman and have always had a “why can’t I” attitude but I recognise that we are a very male dominated sport and this can appear intimidating.  Even on taster days I get asked if I actually marshal or if I am just showing people around.  So it would be great to spotlight our differences – as far as I am concerned the only barrier to entry is to be minimum 11 years old!

Another year older then – hopefully a little wiser and I have certainly learned a lot in the last 12 months.

John Edwards new National Secretary elect

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Following the recent application process for role of National Secretary we are pleased to announce that John Edwards of NW region has been successfully appointed.

John currently sits on NW Committee as Membership Secretary and is currently graded Incident Officer.  He will bring to the role experience gained within the club and from his day job as a project manager.

As Secretary elect he will join Council and shadow Paul until his ratification of the position at National AGM in December.

May we take this opportunity to thank Paul for his time in the role and look forward to welcoming John to our next Council meeting in September.

John Nicol winner 2020 – Tyler Sweetman

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This annual award, in memory of John Nichol, is given in recognition of a marshal who has completed less than two years at the time of nomination, but has demonstrated a positive attitude and a range of skills to show their outstanding commitment to the sport

Tyler has certainly continued to prove his worth of the award and the bespoke patches, a club fleece and Cadwell winner cap presented by Paul Woodford (circuit manager) and as you can see, he was really surprised and happy at the surprise!

Bernard Richard Cottrell – 30.8.1953-07.8.2021

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It is too easy to remember Bernard as the man who fought Leukaemia for seven years and finally lost just 23 days short of his 68th birthday. But his legacy is about so much more. His achievements were many and he has been called a legend, a great man and an inspiration. Although he was all of those he was also very humble. He spent his life trying to improve the sport, to help the people he worked with to develop and would go out of his way to help anyone. 

He started his working life in the City and then the Money Markets moving onto event management for Haymarket Exhibitions. He was the brains behind the International Autosport Show, amongst other shows. Although he was event director, he was never too proud to get his hands dirty and muck in with setting up the stands of the show, laying the carpet or even going on the roof of the NEC to put up the radio aerial for the show.  Bernard was given BMMC Honorary membership of the SE region in 2014 for his continued support of the club in particular securing an annual free stand at the Autosport show since its inception.

He had been elected as National Chairman of the BRSCC in 2002 and when he finally “retired” from Haymarket he directed all his energy and drive into being full time Chairman. It was through his leadership that the club became one of the premier clubs in the country.

Bernard started in motorsport as a marshal at the beginning of the 1970s, mainly at Brands Hatch but also all over the country. He moved onto driving a fire truck at Brands Hatch, cutting a dashing figure in his white overalls, yellow marshals’ helmet and shiny silver boots. With his drive to improve and his organisational skills it wasn’t long before he became Chief Paddock Marshal, reaching the pinnacle, Chief Paddock Marshal at the British Grand Prix in 1986.

He was approached by John Nicol, the Chairman of the BRSCC at the time, to become a Clerk of the Course and quickly rose “through the ranks” to become an International A Clerk. Throughout his clerking career he was mindful of the need to bring younger people on. He mentored, guided, encouraged and assessed many of our current clerks of the course.

He became senior clerk/race director for series such as Super League Formula, FIA GTs, Lamborghini Trophy, Formula Palmer Audi, British GTs, Blancpain and, his proudest achievement as a clerk, the two British Grand Prix of 2020. These championships took him all over the world and the quality of the man meant that his great reputation went before him. His courtesy and engaging personality meant that he treated drivers called to race control to see him after a transgression with respect. They rarely resented his decisions and often become lifelong friends!

As he became older, he decided to take on yet another role and trained to become a Motorsport UK Steward, a role he should have fulfilled for the Silverstone Classic this year but was prevented from doing so by his last illness. He was also approached to become Race Director of the 750 Motor Club, which he carried out for over two years. He loved this role, boasted about the Club and was delighted to work with all involved.

With his knowledge and understanding of the sport it was only natural for Bernard to serve on Motorsport UK’s Council, Race Committee, Rules Committee and was Chair of the Volunteer Officials Committee. It was through his involvement with Motorsport UK that he continued to work to maintain high standards of race management and contributed to writing the Blue Book. 

When he was invited to become one of the few non-racing members of the British Racing Drivers’ Club he was delighted and so proud. He considered this to be one of his crowning achievements.

There have been many wonderful words used to express how so many feel about his passing. The void left by him is enormous. Motorsport has lost an energy and drive that can never be replaced. He truly was a giant of the sport, a decent human being and yes, a legend, a great man and an inspiration. 

Sad start to August

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It’s been a sad start to August – with the tragedy at Brands Hatch resulting in the death of Rob Foote and the sad passing of Bernard Cottrell a week later.

I was at Silverstone the first weekend in August with awful weather to endure and the dreadful events of Brands Hatch unfolding.  Multiple messages and communications to deal with from afar.  Thanks to our President Ben Edwards for the kind words of support at the start of his Sunday commentary and the minutes’ silence observed.  #RIPRobFoote

I was at Snetterton at the weekend for the British GTs – a series associated with Bernie Cottrell – therefore an emotional tribute held on the Sunday morning before racing started.  A well respected and knowledgeable character – Bernie was a huge supporter and lifetime member of BMMC – he will be hugely missed both personally and professionally #RIPBernieCottrell

Tributes to Rob Foote were also observed over the weekend at many venues and many racers sported an orange heart on their cars.  Thank you to everyone who took part and showed your support for Robs family and all those affected by this incident.

At Snetterton a paddock fire in one of the competitors trucks caused a halt to proceedings – marshals posts rushed to assist but the county fire brigade were required to ensure it was completely controlled.  The team raced again on the Sunday and were supported by competitors and others alike – another recognition of our wonderful motorsport family.  Rivals on the track – friends in the paddock.

It was my first trip to Snetterton (after trips curtailed due to COVID) but be assured we will be back.  A lovely welcome, lots of pre-event information and great updates throughout both days despite all the issues being thrown at us – including the weather.  Well done and thanks!

Motorsport UK have issued their latest COVID19 rules update in line with government regulations.  Remember that clubs, events and venues are subject to their own rules and regulations which may be at a higher level than nationally so please ensure you follow accordingly.  And be mindful that many people are still cautious and need reassurance that measures are being followed and precautions maintained.

This also means that regional regalia sales have also restarted so remember to take your cash and get that hat or snood you still need!

After no renewals necessary in 2020 due to COVID – Motorsport UK will be opening registration renewals later this month.  For trainees they will migrated to the new “Registered Marshal” or “Registered Accredited Marshal” to recognise the online training being completed.  Remember that before being allowed to marshal a rally without a buddy the online training must be undertaken to indicate the “accredited” status.  Further details available in the latest marshals bulletin – if you have not received please check your details via the Motorsport UK website

Further information and updates about the roll out of the new Marshals Pathway next year for all other roles will be shared and communicated accordingly over the coming months.

And finally if you would like to get involved in the running of our club have you considered the role of National Secretary?  This is a Director role for the club and key to ensuring the smooth running of our Council and Club rules.  Please apply direct to myself if you are interested – applications requested by Sunday 15 August.

🧡 RIP Rob Foote

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The BMMC are devastated to confirm that the marshal who tragically lost his life following an accident at Brands Hatch on Saturday 31 July was Robert Foote, a member of our South West Region.  Robert was a regular at Brands Hatch, Gurston Down and Goodwood and was also a scrutineer – he will be missed by all.  We send our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.  We also offer our thanks to all marshals, medical personnel and officials who were involved in the incident on Saturday.

Two other marshals were also directly affected by the incident and are being supported by BMMC, Motorsport UK and the BARC.  We respectfully request that they are given the privacy needed to recover accordingly and we send our thoughts and best wishes to them at this time.

To all marshals who attended Brands Hatch over the weekend in particular and all other events around the country we thank you for your outstanding professionalism in extremely difficult circumstances.  It was humbling to see the outpouring of positive support from across the Motorsport community in response to the incident – irrespective of motorsport discipline and club – we are all marshals.

The minute’s silence was impeccably observed at many events on Sunday morning and many racers sported an orange heart on their vehicles in support.  A number of our club ambassadors and other supporters have all stepped forward with offers of assistance – for which we are grateful and will consider appropriately.

Thankfully these events are rare but still shocking and devastating.  If anyone needs support at any time, please remember that your Regional Committees and National Officers are available as well as our free counselling service for all our members.  www.marshals.co.uk/marshalling/insurance-news

Our orange family are devastated by the loss of one of our own this weekend – our hearts will need time to heal, our bonds will be stronger and we will pull together to support each other and continue our passion for motorsport.

🧡 RIP Rob Foote

VACANCY FOR CLUB SECRETARY

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Paul Wiltshire’s current term in office as Club Secretary terminates after our AGM on 5th December 2021 and Paul has decided not to seek re-election for personal reasons. We therefore have a vacancy for Club Secretary that we would like to fill ASAP so that Paul’s successor can work in tandem with him for the last two National Council meetings on 1st September and 5th December.

Applications for this Directors post are invited from any BMMC member. Candidates are asked to complete the application form and send it to: Club Chairman Catalina 2 The Nursery, Beach Road Hartford CW8 4UH or email to bmmc.chair@marshals.co.uk by 15th August 2021.

Applicants do have to be nominated and seconded by fully paid up members of the club.

Applicants may be required to attend an informal meeting with one or more Directors prior to selection and/or voting.

If there is more than one candidate for the post an election by postal ballot/email will take place between 15th and 22nd August 2021 so that the successful candidate can be invited to attend Council on 1st September 2021 Ballot forms and CVs will be posted on the Club’s website and distributed by e-mail and Royal Mail.

For more details download a role description here and an application form here

Looking forward…..

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Throughout June there were a number of initiatives to recognise #Volunteersweek.  I joined a number of webinars with the FIA Girls On Track UK membership to discuss the different volunteer roles available and how to get involved.

Taster days are back!  Not in their full glory just yet but with a few tweaks the regions are pleased to confirm we are restarting taster days.  So please welcome these newbies when they come out on post and help them to start their journey in to the #orangefamily.

Radio etiquette – I have noticed on a few occasions that radio transmissions need a little practice.  Here’s a few pointers:

  • wait for others to transmit before trying to send your message
  • if someone is already transmitting with a priority call – note your message and time and call in at a more appropriate moment (once the priority is over!)
  • don’t forget there’s a delay to transmit on most systems.  Always start your message with “control from” or “base from” followed by your location.  If the transmission is cut then your location will still transmit.  Too many times Race control ask for messages to be repeated as the first part of the message (contact between) or car numbers (nine – is that 29, 39??) gets lost in the transmission.
  • keep your message short – wait until your incident has finished before transmitting rather than a running commentary of the events as they unfold in front of you………

Also note if you are given a radio you are being asked to be the point of communication only.  If you are not training or graded to be the Post chief please do not state that this is your role.  In the event of a serious incident you could be asked your role and your training level.  You can only be expected to perform at the level of your training and experience – you haven’t suddenly been promoted to Post Chief – just given a radio to aid communication FROM Race Control.

July is definitely one to look forward to with a capacity crowd expected at the British Grand Prix for a test event.  We certainly welcome some kind of normality but please remember COVID has not gone away and will be with us ongoing, despite vaccinations and testing.

Motorsport UK is continuing its review of the Marshals’ pathway, in conjunction with the Marshals’ Advisory Group, of which I am Chair.  We have recently completed a period of consultation with key stakeholders from the marshalling community, including Clubs and Regional Associations.  The feedback was most enlightening, and will inform the steps that will be taken over the next 12 months to ensure the Grading Scheme is replaced with a system that is not only fit for purpose for many years to come, but has been created with input from the people within the community itself.

Upon renewal in August, all disciplines-specific Trainee grades (Accredited Marshal in Rally and Cross Country) will be replaced with a “Registered Marshal” grade which allows them to attend all branches of the sport under the supervision of someone with a higher grade.

This change will help to drive volunteer participation across all disciplines of the sport, leading to a bigger pool of Marshals for the organising clubs to call upon.

Further details will be made available in the July issue of Revolution, and all Trainees, Clubs and Associations will also be contacted directly so please make sure your contact details with us and Motorsport UK are up to date!

DAVE PIERRE – RIP

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Dave Pierre was a major player in the Midlands Region of BMMC, following on as National Training Officer when Chris Hobson’s real job intervened in his work for the Club.  It was in this role that Dave played such a major role in the transfer of our Training and Grading Scheme to the then MSA – to become the National Training and Grading Scheme, for all marshals. 

The first attempt at putting the new scheme on to MSA records was something of an abysmal failure Dave took on the job of putting things right.

He found himself some spare space in his attic, fitted that out with desk and separate telephone number, plus printer etc – and could be found there most nights for more than a year, as he tried to properly transfer our T&G Scheme to MSA records. 

Dave become a well-respected Clerk, never afraid to say-it-as-it-is.

Dave Pierre’s passing robs motorsport of one of our popular characters.  May he rest in peace.

A time to say thanks!

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This year’s #VolunteersWeek runs from 1-7 June – please join us in recognising and thanking all #volunteersand all those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of coronavirus. Thank you one and all!

Assessments have started taking place at events around the country – particularly for those people who were hopeful of upgrading last year this helps recognise their achievements.  For Examining grades performing these assessments please be advised you can complete the assessments report and comments in the individual PRC – using your own pen and maintaining social distance.  If however you feel uncomfortable doing this you can also send an email to Motorsport U.K. detailing the assessment (person / location / date) so that this can be checked with the Chief marshal.

While we see a welcome return to spectators at venues we must remember to still maintain social distance and / or where a mask where not possible.  Remember this virus has not gone away and despite vaccinations we have not all had both jabs and carriers may be unknowingly asymptomatic.

We have also welcomed trainees back to events and hopefully more to join in soon.  We hope that we can restart taster days in June with the next step of easing out of lockdown but we must follow government restrictions and fingers crossed we see that next step stays on track.

A note to trainees – you do NOT need to have a scanner.  As a race trainee in particular you should never be on post on your own.  More importantly spend your money on a decent set of boots, waterproofs and a good bag / box to put your kit in!  A scanner can present a distraction from ‘reading the racing’ which is a skill that comes with experience – take your time to understand what is happening at your location and acting accordingly rather than listening to what else is going on.

A note to everyone with a scanner!  Remember this is an aid but must NOT be acted upon.  I know people are rusty and limited training this year but you should know that Safety car flags and boards follow round the circuit in both directions from the start / finish line.  Putting them out (and bringing them in!) at the wrong time can cause confusion for the drivers and makes penalties for misdemeanours harder to enforce by the clerks.

I have been made aware of some facility issues at certain venues and urge that any concerns you have are directed in the appropriate manner. 

  • Raise concerns on the day to your Chief marshal – they should raise to the organising clubs who should address the venue directly (as they are the paying customer)
  • Raise to your local committee who will raise to the local circuit rep, who will speak with the venue

A number of concerns have been raised directly with Motorsport U.K. and to the Association of Motor Racing Circuit Owners for response and support.

Charlotte named David Leslie Trophy winner 2020

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The David Leslie Trophy for 2020 has been awarded to Charlotte Edwards! Well done Charlotte, a great achievement.

The David Leslie Trophy was established in memory of this multi-talented racing driver tragically killed in a plane crash in 2008. The trophy is one of David Leslie’s racing helmets, donated to the club by his family, and is awarded to a cadet marshal for outstanding performance of duties.

Jayne Poston, BMMC Midlands Chair, said: “We are delighted for Charlotte to be chosen to receive the David Leslie trophy. We look forward to seeing Charlotte progress with her marshalling hobby, and will be there to support her throughout her development.”