Raymond Baxter OBE and Tony Dron have put their heads – and pens – together to manufacture a great read. This was not evidently a difficult task. That a professional racing driver and motoring journalist of some repute (Dron) has collaborated with Baxter in this project is an indication of the breadth and eclectic interests of the latter’s career: Second World War fighter pilot, racing and rally driver, journalist and broadcaster, and doyen of the ‘little-ship’ brigade commemorating the 1940 Dunkirk armada.
Baxter, 83, still owns L’Orage, which took part in the 1940 rescue of British troops and in which he has returned to
Baxter, who was expelled from his school, is proof that, like an old wine, the older he gets, the better he becomes. Still actively commentating today, the book is a wealth of fascinating (and quite readable) vignettes, from commentating on fourteen consecutive Monte Carlo rallies and thirty Farnborough airshows (where he flew the Harrier on two occasions),
Perhaps more importantly, as the Second World War generation slowly fades from view, the book offers a unique insight – a rearward glance – along the thread of a remarkable life, especially as to how the world of journalism has changed, if not altogether matured, over the last fifty years. The pressure of time on reporters has increased in a digital age, though it has also, judging from the focus on reportage by reporters such as Baxter, led to a blurring of the distinction between opinion and news.
Director, The Brenthurst Foundation,