David George (1938–2022)

David George, who was involved with the Castle Combe Circuit in several capacities over the last five decades, sadly passed away last weekend aged 83.

David was widely renowned as a Mini racer back in the 1960s, and indeed held a great fondness for them in the years that followed, with the enthusiasm being relayed in his commentary.

He made his debut in 1973 at Castle Combe and continued to thrill the crowds with his enthusiastic and knowledgeable commentary until he took the decision to retire from that duty at the final race meeting of 2018. His association with hosting at the Racing School and Action Days continued up until 2021.

Everyone at the circuit was saddened to hear of his passing and thoughts and prayers go to Dot and his family at this difficult time.

David’s funeral will take place on 2 March at Bristol South Crematorium. More details below.

David George's best friend since his late teens, David Knowlson, informed circuit staff that David George was a founding member of the White Horse Motor Club and used to compete in rallying and autocross with them before venturing into circuit racing. 

Through this, David started commentating on some WHMC autocross meetings, and somehow the late, great owner and father of Castle Combe Circuit as we know it, Howard Stawford, heard him and invited him to his home to interview him in his lounge.

For the last race meeting in 1973, he joined Richard Davies on the commentary team, only retiring from his ensuing commentating duties at the venue a whopping 45 years later in 2018. 

More recently, David hosted the Castle Combe Racing School and Action Days (especially the Mini Action Day, showcasing his favourite car model). He felt much more comfortable in the Old Paddock commentary box, seeing that commentary location through many changes over the 45 years of commentating, and his excitement and infectious chuckling will ring out from that side of the circuit in the minds of many for years to come.

His long-term co-commentator, Richard Davies, has said:

"When I think back to all the years David and I spent talking to each other at Castle Combe Circuit, I find myself with a smile on my face remembering a great person who could be trusted to deliver information with clarity and humour. 

“His experiences when competing in races with his beloved Mini with considerable success as an amateur were eclectic. He would often re-tell anecdotes from his racing days, only to have the micky taken out of him by his co-commentators, which I think he actually enjoyed.

“I know everybody that knew David will have special memories of him as great person with a passion for life and if it involved cars and racing, so much the better. Many people have got into racing and the Combe Circuit because of his character, be it as marshals, drivers, or sponsors. Thank you, David, for many happy hours in your company."

Current commentator, Chris Dawes, said:

"People talk about the amazing Murray Walker as a commentator, but David George and Richard Davies were the voices that I heard first and were the ones who made me fall in love with motorsports, and Castle Combe Circuit in particular! Everything and everyone else came after and as a result of them,

“Not only was David an indirect inspiration and influencer for me to commentate on motorsports, but he was such a humble and nice person that he directly encouraged me in so many ways when I joined him as part of the commentary team. I still remember how special it felt the first time I got to co-commentate with David and although I embarrassed the naturally humble man by expressing on air just how special it was as a boyhood fan and regular of racing at our favourite circuit, I meant every word of it and knew that the circuit faithful would understand where I was coming from with it.

“I like to think that people can see his influence on me to this day in two key aspects that epitomise him in my opinion. The joy to wander the paddock and chat with everyone, and that to commentate you don't have to DO commentary, but to have a conversation with your fellow motor racing enthusiasts about what is going on and to get mutually excited and enthusiastic about it!"

 

- David’s funeral is open for everyone who wants to attend, and will be at 3pm on Wednesday, 2 March at South Bristol Crematorium and Cemetery, Bridgwater Road, Bedminster Down, Bristol, BS13 7AS. More information can be found at https://david-stuart-george.muchloved.com/