Goodwood Marshals Charity Day, 4th December 2015 with reporting by Grant Ford

'I have taken part in track days across Europe but Goodwood Marshals day is just special, such a great atmosphere’; the words of Paul Murray in his XK150 3.8 S just sums up the 4th December gathering in West Sussex writes Grant Ford. A full pit lane and one very special guest were proof (if it was needed) of the esteem the volunteer marshals are held in by both professionals and amateurs alike, at the 2.4 mile circuit. This year two charities that offer 24 hour a day coverage and care locally, The Chestnut Tree House a children’s hospice and the Sussex Search and Rescue teams operating on land and water, would both benefit from the funds raised. Martin Carter attended with his Elite Super 95 from 1962, a rare machine indeed having the Le Mans style quick fill; this car sat on the Lotus stand at Earls Court in 1962. Martin who first raced at Goodwood himself in 1957 came along to support the marshals whilst giving his special car a run out along the coast from Porchester. One visitor travelled even further on the overnight flight from Miami; Derek Bell a very young 74 showed no signs of jetlag as he entertained today’s marshals with tales of his early Goodwood experience. Whether it be with his father in the stands watching Stirling Moss run across the circuit at the start of the TT race in 1961 or viewing just past Madgwick corner as a young marshal himself in later years. As Derek pointed out it was his chance to get onto the circuit with or without a race car; he learnt quickly travelling from post to post. I doubt there is a pair of orange overalls in West Sussex that does not bear his signature in permanent ink and he also signed a very special picture that will hang in the Cancer Treatment Unit at Chichester Hospital. Last year’s charity day raised funds towards a Bladder Scanner and the marshals were asked to show the public what their jobs involve in the form of a collage of images. Finally, Mr Bell donated a signed book as a prize to help boost the funds but I think most there will just agree his support and presence on the day brought great delight to all involved. One group that never seem to miss anything track related are the Alfa Romeo Owners Club and from all three of their southern club sections came some quick machines; as always. Those watching enjoyed some real variety on track with classics and moderns doing battle, always under the watchful eye of the volunteers in orange. It takes around 32 such individuals to cover the posts around the Goodwood circuit and without them in place nothing can happen, from track days and sprints to rallies and the Revival, Goodwood Marshals are in attendance. Always looking to recruit, all interested parties are invited to make contact, full training is provided and the regulars will be pleased to meet you.

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