In the photo on the left, you can see Les in the background next to the 962 Porsche that he loved to drive right up until a year before he died. The photo ought to be titled ‘lovely days’.
There is not enough space to recount all the Les stories that I have in the short while that I knew him. Such as the time we were at the Penshurst classic car show and he went up to a proud Model T Ford owner and started showing interest. Just at the moment this bloke was at his most vulnerable, Les pounched asking him “ do you get through a lot of Rentakil with that” implying that this immaculate car was suffering from woodworm in its wooden wheels. Or the time when Stormonts had a promotion giving away free tickets for Brands if you test drove a car. I had already got my set from the branch at Sevenoaks and Les arranged to test drive a Mondeo at Tunbridge Wells. The salesman started making small talk (I was sitting in the back) and asked what he used to do for a living - “I was in gobbling” the salesman looked embarassed “lot of money in Turkeys said Les”.
Les in fact had a carpet shop in Grays which he frequently closed when he used to go out on the circuits and rubbed shoulders with Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert and of course Perry McCarthy. I remember watching a grand prix with him and Sir Frank Williams was interviewed and Les pipes up “snot gobbling bastard he is! Wouldn’t give my Perry a drive”. Other arch enemies included Bernie Eclestone and Sir Jackie Stewart even though there was some fraternisation. Even Mike Smith (he who later married Sarah Green from Blue Peter) came under some abuse being referred to as “Snow Drop”. Les crossed swords with him at some corporate day.
Perry McCarthy was Les’s greatest find although he was the F1 driver who never really was. He started one GP but Les knew him from the ‘Grays’ days. He was a driver who was quick straight away but lacked sponsorship hence never making it into the big time.
There are so many Les stories - one in his last few months when he spent 3 weeks out of hospital having convinced all and sundry he was on the mend. Les being Les sneaked off to Brands despite having strict instructions not to go near the place.A corporate day was happening for some organisation (this was before they were known as ‘Trackdays’. Les got a ride in a Ferrari 308GTB in the passenger seat making out he was a