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Freddie Giles

1972-1975    Freddie Giles

It’s a privilege to serve as Captain of the Nash Section (as it was known for 60 years). Even more so for me as a mere ‘whippersnapper’  in my mid ‘30s and with only 8 hectic nashing years behind me. Lionel Stretton had watched me race in the ’64 Pom and gave me excellent advice – that the way I drove I needed a Frazer Nash and not the 4 ½  Bentley I was then competing in. 3 months later I was the proud owner of MV 1764 and what a wonderful time the car and the Section have given me. Nigel Arnold Foster was Captain when I joined and he was a god – I wanted to emulate him by competing in everything and supporting the Section to the best of my ability.

1973 was a busy year for our 50th anniversary. As a section we ran a 2nd 1000 miles in 24 hours, a raid to the  French Alps, the first of the Devizes mini raids which included the Nash Trial (later taken up by the VSCC as the Wessex Trial),  a hilarious foot rally (petrol rationing), a cricket match complete with female streaker and a race at Castle Combe. We also sailed off to the Isle of Man for a hill climb and entered a team in the Mille Miglia. I joined the VSCC committee to represent the Section and helped persuade the parent club to let us apply for separate affiliation to the RAC (as well as standing up for the retention of section funds). The following year we ran another Devizes mini raid but this time with a Section organised Autocross with our own permit!

On the social side, and against the better judgement of some of the then elder statesmen, we introduced music to the party in ’69 which everyone seemed to enjoy and by the early ‘70s we had graduated from the original disco to the Avon Cities Jazz Band. Hard to imagine the party without a good band now.
There is no one highlight. For 3 years I had a go at everything, enjoyed myself enormously and had fantastic support from a great committee (Mark, Derek, Roger, Dick, Peter et al) and above all from Jan who was equally enthusiastic. I owe thanks to the Chain Gang for all the fun and friendship which they have given us.