... a bit Suffolk
Gerry Marshall had 623 wins, was awarded the BARC Gold Medal in 2002 and the ERA Club Trophy in 1977. He won the British Touring Car Championship in 1976, raced an Alvis at 2004's Goodwood Revival and a Group 2 saloon in 1999, raced at Rockingham, occasionally didn't win, believed competition improves the breed, even tried hot rod racing, and was a legendary Vauxhall driver. Gerry Marshall died Thursday 21 April 2005
Gerry Marshall's Funeral 12 noon Friday 6th May at Garston Crematorium, Herts
Despite being an hour or so early for Gerry's funeral we could only secure a standing position in the lobby of the chapel. Hundreds of friends, family and distinguished members of the BRDC packed the chapel, balcony, stairs, lobby and overflowed outside. As we waited outside, the minister arrived in his shiny BMW and we heard him say "Good grief! What are we going to do with all this lot?" As one might expect the car park was full, and overflowing down the road for hundreds of yards was an impressive array of Astons, Porsches and Maseratis. The Alvis Grey Lady raced at Goodwood last year was in attendance and so was Gerry's own Ford Ten amongst abundant other classics.
The humanist ceremony was touching, respectful and at times, unsurprisingly, amusing. Assembling to the strains of "My Way" and "The Entertainer" one could only suspect that the event had been plotted by Gerry himself with much merriment in the pub! The coffin was decorated with a winner's garland, a chequered flag, Gerry's old racing helmet, and BRDC stickers.
After a touching and well researched address by Simon Allen and a fitting personal tribute by John Llewellyn our suspicions were further confirmed when Willy Barrett stood up and "sang" a boisterous song involving a duck and the sea being made of whiskey. Somewhere in the back of my mind we had heard of Wild Willy Barrett and suspect that this may indeed be the same chap. His violin technique was certainly not for the faint hearted!
It is not appropriate to dwell on the more serious nature of the service here however the whole memorable affair was drawn to a close by Willy Barrett's unique version of "Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye". Sublime. It was an honour to have been there.
There are many tributes to Gerry on the ten-tenths forum
I AM SADDENED TO READ OF GERRY'S DEATH ON YOUR WEBSITE. HE WAS ALWAYS MY HERO. SEEING HIM RACE AT BRANDS AND SILVERSTONE WITH NICK WHITING, AND IN EARLIER DAYS AGAINST REDJAP AND KEN DAWES OF SWANLEY, WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY MIND. HIS SENSE OF HUMOUR AND DRINKING PROWESS, ON THE RARE OCCASIONS I WAS IN HIS COMPANY AT THE KENTAGON, STILL MAKES ME GIGGLE. MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
I don't know if you are aware of a website called Pistonheads - there are a couple of threads on there with tributes to Gerry. Here are the links if you haven't seen them.
Regards - Maureen
Gerry will be rightly remembered as a giant character of British motor sport; my condolences to his family. As a young lad I can remember seeing him drive Baby Bertha at Brands and Silverstone; an awesome sight and sound.
Regards, Paul Farley
My partner Alan Foster and I have known Gerry (and Tony and co) for about forty years, starting when he was running his motor trade business Marshall-Wingfield - sadly his partner died in a motor racing accident. Gerry was always brilliant company and generous to a T. We had many a happy hour (or longer) in the Victoria and also in the White Hart in Edgware (among others). It is probably not a term used these days but it was always said that Gerry had "big balls" - no one was going to push him out of the way - probably the contrary! Sadly we will be away at the time of the funeral. He was a great personality - a great friend and a great racing driver.
STEWART IMBER HERE (MERCEDES TOP HAT). I HEARD ABOUT GERRY ON THURSDAY EVENING AND I WANTED TO SAY IT WAS A PRIVILEGE TO BE DRIVING IN A RACE THAT GERRY WAS IN. IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER AS HE USED TO GO PAST ME! ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO CHAT MOTOR SPORT WITH HIM, ESPECIALLY HISTORIC. WILL SADLY MISS HIM ... PLEASE SEND MY CONDOLENCES TO GERRY`S FAMILY.
WITH KIND REGARDS STEWART
Like many, many others my husband Hugh and I were sad to hear the news of Gerry's passing last week. Hugh had known Gerry since 1975 when he met him in the Victoria pub in London with Tony Lanfranchi. Do you know when Gerry's funeral is taking place and if so is it open to racing friends or just family?
Kind regards - Maureen Marshall
I was greatly saddened by the news last week, Gerry had been a hero of mine for more than 35 years. I first saw Gerry's unique style at Brands when I was a flag marshal in my teenage years and I always made a point of having a quick hello with the man at Goodwood. Seeing Gerry driving the nuts of that Alvis last year was fantastic, he must have been laughing his head off in the car. It was also good to see him out of the buggy and walking a lot better than recent years. Can you please keep my contact details on file and let me know if there are any plans to commemorate Gerry; ie a fund, collection, charity donation, etc, also if there is to be a public service or funeral. A good man and a great racer - RIP.
Thank you and regards - John Norris
Sorry to hear about Gerry. I know you two were mates. He was always very personable with me. I will never forget the first time I met him. I was doing a shoot with Erik Carlsson and his '62 Monte winning Saab. Erik was doing some cornering shots and, out of nowhere, Gerry appears and asks if he can have a go. Watching these two giants (in every sense) caning the shit out of this poor little car in a hotel car park was a real highlight. If it had been a couple of chavs in Burberry they'd have been arrested, instead they got an appreciative crowd.
Hope he's supping up with Tony Lanfranchi in that great big boozer in the sky.
Take care, Richard Heseltine
A very sad loss. Here are some photo's of how I am sure he would want to be remembered.
Good morning Spadge,
I often browse your site due to the interesting cars on there. I was shocked and saddened to read of Gerry's death. During the 70's as Competitions Manager for Kleber Tyres I supplied the tyres for many of Gerry's race winning cars. It was a great privilege to have known him and worked with him. My first memories of motor sport were of Gerry and Nick Whitting racing door to door, bumper to bumper around Brands Hatch. From that time on he was always "my hero".
I would like to attend his funeral if possible and would appreciate any information that you could pass on regarding this.
Best regards - Jim Parker
I thought that you may be interested to know that Baby Bertha will be on show on the Vauxhall (Kerridges) stand at the Heveningham Hall Country Fair in Suffolk (not far from Cottage Classics) on the 10th July 2005. Gerry had helped me organise Baby Bertha's appearance and he had intended to be there himself! Sadly this will not be the case but he would have wanted us to continue with our plans. There will also be a BTCC Vauxhall Astra simulator and hopefully some live action of Baby Bertha with Gerry behind the wheel on a plasma screen. It has been a brilliant event in the past and I'm sure will be this year.
Best wishes Jenny - Gerry's ex wife