At the time of creating this web page I am 63 years old. I was born in the east end of London, just a few years after the end of World War 2. I was fortunate, given the fact that the east end was hardly an affluent area, to have a very happy childhood. Although I have a sister, she is 11 years older than I and so effectively I grew up as an only child.
A grammar school education up to the age of 18 led on to a teacher's training course at Alsager College in Cheshire and the beginnings of a career in the classroom.
This was interrupted after less than two years by my cousin Peter Connew, who had been working as a designer with the Surtees F.1 team, inviting me to become involved in the construction of a Grand Prix racing car, the story of which you will find on the pages of my IMAGES website.
When all that came to an end I moved up to Anglesey, North Wales in 1978 and have lived here, the last 26 years with my wife, Heather, ever since. During that time I have worked as a ceramic tiler and also taught Handicrafts etc in a secondary school in Caernarfon, Gwynedd.
I am now retired and if you read further down this section you will see what has happened to me in the last year. Sadly, my dear wife passed away on 23rd September 2011 and I decided to move my furniture, my toys and myself to Malta to live, permanently. I became a resident of that lovely island on December 6th 2011. However, circumstances change and for many reasons that I won't go into now, I made the decision to return to England so since May 2014 have become an Essex boy, living in one of the prettiest towns/cities in England - Chelmsford, and now, I'm 66!
How the years pass..... It's now 2021 and the world, especially the U.K. is reeling from the effects of the deadly Covid virus that announced itself to the world almost a year ago. I, along with millions of others, have had a year of my life taken away - holidays, trips and visits. all cancelled - and although I was fortunate to be able to spend over three months living with my lady friend down in Dorset, we have been unable to get together for almost three months - at the time of writing this update.
I'm now 72 and have lived in four different places since returning from Malta in 2014 but have now lived for over three years in the village of Stock, just a few miles from Chelmsford.
I was about 10 years old when my Dad bought me my first Scalextric set. It was the very first set they made consisting of two metal cars - a Ferrari and a Maserati - four straights and eight curves made from shiny black rubber. I loved it and apart from a few periods in my life when it was not possible to continue the hobby, I have raced Scalextric-type cars ever since. In the website that you can access from the link below you will find the entire history of my hobby from the earliest days racing with school friends right up to the current series of races that I run and the cars that race in those events.
Since 1977 I have been building my own cars, initially using commercially produced bodyshells but then, after constructing my own small vacuum former, I began to produce every car that ran in each season of F.1. That came to an end in 1998 when cars began to get so complex in their body shapes and also their colour schemes that I comprehensively threw my toys out of my elderly pram and decided to build cars from earlier times.
As with the F.1 cars I began by vac. forming most of them. That evolved into resin casting although as time passed I discovered that there are people around who make a much better job of slot car shells than I ever could so my cars are now a mixture of bodies made by various highly talented individuals with just a few other crude affairs that I make myself when I need something that nobody else makes.
You will find my slot racing website here.
They say that everything must pass, eventually and for me and my slot racing hobby, that day arrived towards the end of 2019. I completed a series of races with cars from the 1957 F.1 season and I realised that I no longer had the ability, due to shaky hands and general old age, to begin building another new set of cars for another year's-worth of races. Anyway, I had built and raced cars from immediately after WW.2 through until the late 1990s (with some gaps), so there really wasn't anything else to do.
Fortunately, when I returned from Malta in 2014 I was introduced to a slot racing club near Basildon - the Southend Slot Racing Club - and I have been racing there ever since. So I get my fix of slot cars once a week, which keeps me going nicely. Happily, the club members allowed me to construct a website for the club and it occupies my time updating it and adding the weekly race results. Great fun!
I cannot remember any of the toys I had when I was between the ages of 5 and 10, other than my Dinky, Corgi and Crescent racing cars. I know that the blue and yellow Dinky Ferrari was the first one I ever had and I always say that that's where the trouble started.... Dad took the family to Goodwood on Easter Monday in 1957 and I guess you could say that I have been a racing fanatic ever since that day. As is the wat with most old codgers, I look back at the motor sport that was taking place as I grew up and say "Of course, it was much better then!" Which of course, it probably wasn't. Nowadays it is so much more professional and safer too. Is that better? You make your own mind up about that.
Through the years I have been to literally dozens of motor sport events both in the U.K. and around Europe. I only wish that digital cameras had been around back in the 1960s. What images I could have captured. Alas, the only pictures I have from that decade are from my first visit to the Monaco Grand Prix in 1965 - the F.3 race - and some assorted shots from the much-missed Crystal Palace circuit that I used to travel down to by train from Bow where I grew up.
The late 1970s is the time that I began to take more photos and you will find a selection of my pictures on various pages on the website I call Barry Boor's Racing Images.
The aforemention saga of the Connew Formula 1 car is fully documented on my Images website with the full story and numerous pictures including one of Peter Connew himself. The site also carries images of my 43rd scale model racing and sports car collection.
Not long after I returned from Malta, and because I had moved to the area quite close to where my cousin Peter Connew lives, he and I embarked on a little project to tidy up and make presentable, various bits of the Connew Formula 1 car that had been laying untouched and unloved in various parts of the Connew garden for over forty years.
As often happens, mighty oaks grow from little acorns and cutting a pretty long story short, and with the aid of many generous donations of parts etc, not to mention labour from several wonderful people, by the summer of 2017 the car was restored to such a level that we were able to take it down to the well-known Goodwood Festival of Speed so that the world could once again see the project that occupied so much of our lives in 1971 and 1972.