Occasionally, and by great good fortune, an individual enters ones sphere of interest and proves to be transformational, so much so that part of your life is changed forever. For me one such person was George Todd.
I first met George at Sundayshill Cottage, his home in Gloucestershire, during 1969, I well remember as a young lad being a touch anxious and slightly overawed at meeting the “High Priest”of Bantam racing! However George and Mrs Todd were warm, welcoming and put both my brother David and me at ease straight away. We enjoyed a friendship and collaboration that extended for several years and eventually took over the big 186 machine when George moved on to other work that took him abroad. Indeed one letter from him spoke of leaving Germany for Sardinia, returning to Germany then off again to arctic Sweden. Such was the demand for his various talents in rocket development. George`s dissapointing time at BSA was such that he accurately predicted their decline and eventual collapse!
My most enduring memory of George is that of his enthusiasm for all things two-stroke and that even extended to the car he drove at that time, a Wartburg powered by a two stroke engine. Like most accomplished individuals he wore his status within the wider Bantam fraternity with modesty and was a little surprised by all the fuss.
From those early days of solid rear end frames of the 1950s to 2016 George`s influence can without exception, be felt by every single Bantam racer of today. We all of us owe a debt of gratitude to George Todd for it was his pioneering and far sighted endeavours that enabled all of us to enjoy today the sport of Bantam racing.
George was quite unique and I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing, but will raise a glass of a decent red and toast his memory and enduring world wide legacy.
Rest easy George.