F1 legend Jim Clark will never be forgotten by motorsport fans

A celebration of world champion racing driver Jim Clark takes place this weekend, marking the 50th anniversary of his death at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany, on April 7, 1968.

Friday, 6th April 2018, 3:41 pm
Updated Friday, 6th April 2018, 3:44 pm
Race winner Jim Clark (GBR) Lotus. USA Grand Prix, Watkins Glen, USA, October 2, 1966.

Chirnside Common Good Association, the Jim Clark Trust and Club Lotus have joined forces to organise a weekend of events that includes the ground-breaking ceremony at the Jim Clark Rooms in Duns, which marks the start of work on a £1.6million extension to the museum.

A spokesman for Club Lotus said: “This year is the 50th anniversary of Jim’s fatal accident at a cold and damp Hockenheim during a Formula 2 race on April 7, 1968.

“His Lotus 48 left the circuit at high speed and went off into the unprotected trees that lined the circuit. The cause of the accident was never conclusively established, although the view of the majority is that it was caused by a deflating rear tyre.

“One thing for certain is on that part of the track – a gentle right hand curve – a driver error by someone of Jim’s ability was absolutely out of the question.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Over the past few years, our annual Jim Clark Weekend has celebrated many of his remarkable achievements. Although this year sadly marks a tragic occasion, we all want it to be an upbeat weekend to remember and reflect on how special Jimmy was – a modest Borders farmer who was not only a gentleman but who also possessed a sublime ability as a racing driver.”

A spokesman for the Chirnside Common Good Association added: “We are looking forward to welcoming people to the village of Chirnside for the Jim Clark – Chirnside’s World Champion exhibition.

“This special event is taking place in Chirnside Community Centre as part of the Jim Clark 50th anniversary weekend in Chirnside and Duns.

“About a year ago, the Chirnside Common Good Association decided that we should mark the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s tragic death.

“The aim of this special exhibition is to commemorate and celebrate Jim Clark’s life and achievements from local schoolboy and farmer’s son to world champion, with memories from local people, memorabilia from his racing career and the new F1 Hall of Fame award.

“There will be a legacy of speciallycreated information panels and an audio/visual archive of memories.

“This has been planned and organised by an enthusiastic group of local volunteers, with encouragement and support from Jim’s family, the Jim Clark Trust, Live Borders, Club Lotus, Classic Team Lotus, and the wider motor sport world.

“Our local primary school children are also taking part.

“We are grateful to those who have lent items of interest and offered to share their memories for our archive project and all the volunteers who will be assisting us over the three-day event.

“None of this would have been possible without local fundraising, donations, local sponsors and financial support from the Jim Clark Trust, National Lottery Awards for All, Scottish Borders Council and Border Reivers.”

They added: “It is hoped that this event is a fitting tribute to a motor racing legend, recognising ‘the real’ Jim Clark, who is still held in such high regard in the world of motor sport and fondly remembered by all who knew him.

“Through donations to the souvenir programme and the exhibition, the Common Good Association plan to place a commemorative plaque on the Jim Clark Memorial Clock in the centre of the village to mark this anniversary.”

The weekend starts in Chirnside with the official opening of the Jim Clark exhibition in Chirnside Community Centre by Doug Niven and Ian Calder, members of Jim Clark’s family at midday on Friday, April 6. The exhibition will then be open throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s fatal accident, a church service will be held in Chirnside Parish Church at 3pm, plus a ground breaking ceremony at the Jim Clark Room in Duns.

Sunday will see a display of Jim Clark’s cars opposite the community centre, plus privately owned classic cars including Club Lotus.

Bonhams Auctioneers will also be in Chirnside on Sunday for valuations of memorabilia from 12.30pm in the Red Lion Lounge, Crosshill, Chirnside. And Bonhams Automobilia specialist and general valuers will have a marquee in the car park beside Chirnside Community Centre offering confidential valuations with a view to selling at auction. Of particular interest are items of automobilia, including motoring art, motoring literature, mascots and F1 memorabilia.

All valuation fees will be donated to the Jim Clark Trust.

TIMETABLE

FRIDAY APRIL 6

Exhibition in Chirnside Community Centre 10am – 6pm (light refreshments available)

12 noon - Official opening of exhibition in Chirnside Community Centre

Jim Clark Room open all day at Newtown Street, Duns

SATURDAY APRIL 7

Exhibition in Chirnside Community Centre 10am – 6pm (light refreshments available)

11am - Ground breaking ceremony for Jim Clark Room extension, Duns

Display of race and road Cars outside the Jim Clark Room all day at Newtown Street, Duns

3pm - Service of Remembrance at Chirnside Parish Church, Kirkgate

7.30pm - Commemorative dinner at Carfraemill Hotel, near Lauder (pre-booked tickets only from Club Lotus)

SUNDAY APRIL 8

Exhibition in Chirnside Community Centre 10am – 4pm (light refreshments available)

Display of Jim Clark’s cars outside Chirnside Community Centre

Jim Clark Room open all day at Newtown Street, Duns

Bonhams automobila valuation day, Red Lion, Chirnside at 12.30pm

The Bonhams marquee will be in the car park beside five Jim Clark cars at Chirnside Community Centre between 10am-4pm.

New Road and Newtown Street in Duns will be closed to traffic from Langtongate to the junction with Black Bull Street on saturday, April 7, 2018 between 8am and 4pm.