by David Tremayne
2020 review by James Loveridge
It is said a picture tells a thousand words; if that be so then this beautifully produced book tells tens of thousands of words.
“Racing Through Europe” by David Tremayne, the well known, prize winning, motor racing journalist is a collection of photographs taken by Brian Joscelyne in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Brian will be well known to many as a stalwart of Aston Martin and the Brooklands Society.
There is an affectionate Foreword by Nick Mason, Pink Floyd drummer, who raced with Brian as part of the Dorset Racing team. There then follows a 40-page summary of Brian’s life, his early interest in sports cars, his obvious enthusiasm for the sport and his deep involvement with the very successful and wholly amateur Dorset Racing. In this way he became an accepted and respected part of the sport. Brian was also a very competent driver, achieving class wins and high placings at the likes of the old, and fearsome, Nürburgring and at Le Mans.
The remaining 400-odd pages contain the outstanding photographs taken at circuits big and small around Europe from 1962 to 1972, which to many is one of the Golden Ages of Motor Sport. The photographs are organised in date order Circuit by Circuit. Brian had catholic tastes so events shown are not just at the famous locations like Le Mans, the Nürburgring, Spa, Monza, Silverstone but also lesser known places such as the Crystal Palace, Chimay, Pau and Montjuic Park. Events shown range also from the formidable Targa Florio through to Hill Climbs like Prescott and Ollon-Villars and even the delightful Wiscombe Park.
Brian was interested in everything so we not only get great action shots, particularly the Targa but also good clear pictures of the variety of cars around at the time, pit scenes where often the pits were any patch of ground where you could get the team van and the car and obviously unposed images of the greats, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill just chatting informally. To say these photographs are atmospheric is probably an understatement but one of the many joys of this book is that, at 13 inches by 13 inches these splendid images, all in full colour, are so well presented that the smallest detail is clear; if you were lucky enough to be there you might even be able to spot yourself.
Each photograph is accompanied by a brief but informative side note explaining the when, the where and the who.
What this book highlights is how different the attitude was to top level motor sport then compared with today. To say it was carefree is clearly wrong; immense care was obviously being taken with the cars and everyone knew of the dangers but the approach seemed much more lighthearted. The object was to enjoy yourself as did so many amateurs who were able to compete alongside the professionals.
We must be grateful to David Wright, David Tremayne and Simon Draper and his team for making available this amazing collection of pictures which might otherwise be unknown to anyone but Brian Joscelyne and his circle of friends.
Admittedly £400 is quite a lot of money but justified by the multitude of marvellous images available to study and enjoy. There is a limited run of 750 standard editions at £400 if you are quick, and then £500 thereafter, although those with deeper pockets could secure of of the 25 leather bound and boxed editions at £1,500.
Published to their usual high standard by Palawan Press Limited, 11 Royal Crescent Mews, London, W11 4SY, no ISBN number. Their web site is Palawan.Co.Uk/product/racing-through-europe-the motor sport photography-of-brian-joscelyne-4/.
Publisher: Palawan Press Limited (2020)
Price: See text
Description: Hardback (standard version; hardback in Solander box (limited edition). in dustjacket (330mm x 3300mm), 444 pages, 475 illustrations (all in colour).
ISBN: No ISBN.