Tag Archives: scalextric

August 3rd 1973

“Roger came for me at 10 – said Ward wanted me to work all day – did so. Swapped my Scalextric for Bernard’s organ”

I will now pause whilst the more juvenile amongst you make up your own jokes…………

Done?

Good….. ūüėČ

Right, so having been denied an earlier opportunity to become a Scalextrix racing Car driver of some considerable note, it appears evident that my fascination for this toy had decreased considerably since early 1972.

So much so that I decided to trade it for our newer neighbour’s electric piano….. OK, OK… ‘organ’ (*tee hee*)

Bernard had a young kid – Jonathan I think his name was – making my Scalextric a good fit. I doubtless had dreams of becoming the next Jon Lord or Keith Emerson, so this organ was a good fit too.

Bernard’s *ahem* organ – as it will doubtless continue to be referred to – was something of a toy instrument really. When you turned it on, a huge fan sound ensued – a noise only quelled when you pushed down a key as the wind rushed across (presumably) some kind of reed. You could only play one key at a time.

I can neither confirm nor deny poking a few kitchen knives in between the keys as per Keith Emerson’s stage act, however I bet I mastered Smoke on the Water in double quick time

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February 27th 1973

“Bak2 school” / “Nig came up in evng and we tried to construct up the Scalextric – didn’t work – Dad’s gonna try and make it work on Sat” / “Paid Martin S” / “Cup Sund 3 City 1”

I’ve written about my Scalextric kit before – in fact, over a year ago now.

I guess it was the kind of toy that got dragged out from under the bed only once in a while, so no surprise it got a yearly airing when Nig came around.

However, it would appear its lack of use had contributed to it not working properly. I obviously gave my Dad a project for the weekend as a result.

As City flew out of the cup, I paid Martin S for….. what (album) I wonder?

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March 18th 1972

“scalextric provisional date – CONFIRMED …………… didn’t go”

It would appear that my planned career as a professional Scalextric Car Racer was doomed from the very start.

Not only did the Tory government conspire against me (causing the miner’s strike and the subsequent power cuts that cancelled the initial ‘race off’) but it would seem that my rear-end –¬† with it’s inability to contain noxious noisy gasses (somehow resulting in a bad foot) – had also joined forces to prevent me from fulfilling my destiny.

Fate can be so very cruel.

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February 19th 1972

“Edwin Jones 9:20-10:45 – CANCELLED”

The uppercase was me SHOUTING as far back as 1972.

Yes, it was my big Scalextric “race off” against the big boys at Edwin Jones department store in Southampton, and… and… and…. it was bloomin’ cancelled!¬†

However, when you think about it logically, there was no point in sending little plastic cars – controlled by electricity – round a Scalextric track if there was going to be a power cut in the middle of it!

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February 12th 1972

“Received Scalextric Badge and letter”

Like most ‘kids’ (is 14 still considered ‘kid’?) who receive something in the mail I am guessing that this¬†badge and letter was met with something akin to rapturous teenage glee.

I suspect it confirmed me as a contestant in the upcoming Scalextric challenge, and may have additionally described me as the best Scalextric player in the entire known universe. 

Or not

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January 24th 1972

“Had letter about Scalextric cup”

At last, a random diary entry from 36 years ago that I have some level of conscious recall about!

For those not in the know, Scalextric is/was a slot-car racing ‘toy’, hugely popular with kids (and, I suspect, many Dads) in the 60’s and 70’s.

A couple of Christmases previous to 1972, my dear old Danish grandfather visited us, and was kind enough to gift me a simple figure-of-eight Scalextric set with a couple of cars. In the interim months I had added to the set, spending precious pocket money on a few extra lengths/curves of track and some cars, including, I can remember, a pair of 1:32 scale Jaguars.

It was never as much of an addiction as my silly football notebooks or Soccerama, mainly due to the fact that it took up a LOT of floorspace in the front room, so was not especially popular with Mum and her fastidious cleaning schedule. But every couple of weeks I would construct everything Рincluding replica grandstands and tiny spectators Рand enjoy sending both cars round the track for a few hours or so.

Naturally, being a kid, I would revel as much in the screeching accidents as driving the ‘circuits’, going so far as to set up grisly ‘incidents’ involving, yes, the tiny spectators.

The “Scalextric Cup” of which I speak in my diary was a racing competition due to be held at Southampton’s “Edwin Jones” department store. I had seen the competition mentioned in the newspaper and blindly, naively and somewhat optimistically entered myself, deciding I was ‘good enough’ to take on the ‘big boys’ in racing these little electric bits of plastic round the track. The letter¬†confirmed me as a competitor and that my first race was scheduled for Saturday February 19th, 1972.

¬†If that doesn’t build up throbbing anticipation for readers of this blog, then I don’t know what will?!

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