Monday 28 November 2016

Frazer Madder, 1945 - 2016

Sad to report that Frazer Madder passed away in hospital on the 16th of November. A name which will be familiar to many of you, but few of you will know the man.

He was one of the founders of the Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club and was one of the men who crewed the Motorsport Rescue units in the early days of the organisation. On that basis you didn't really want to meet Frazer because if you met him on duty during an event that meant you were in trouble!

Frazer was one of a number of regular motor sports Marshals in the early 1970s that realised that motor sport was dangerous, more so for amateur and club racers and rallyists than the professionals at the sport's top level.

At that time the British Racing & Sports Car Club had a Scottish 'division' and some of the northern stalwarts attended a training day at Silverstone in 1970 and there they saw their first ever dedicated Motorsports Rescue unit.  That sparked a desire to create a more 'professional' approach to the volunteer support back home in Scotland.

Along with David Swinton, Mike Gascoigne, Iain Ralston and others, Frazer helped to found the Scottish Motorsports Marshals Club in 1976 and a previously unheard of activity was introduced to the volunteers - 'training'.

Their first rescue unit was a Ford Transit, donated by Mike Fenwick of Auchentoshan Distillery and it was Frazer who kitted it out - after taking off the Auchentoshan signwriting! In fact he actually kitted out most of the early rescue units himself. He was very much hands-on, designing the interiors, constructing the racking and overseeing the on-board equipment.

He was also part of the team which organised the first ever SMMC motorsports marshals training day at Croft Circuit in 1979. The day's activities have entered into the club's folklore where certain individuals still believe that they hold the lap record at Croft - with a 42 seater coach.  The MSA would have a fit at what went on that day, but everyone left Croft having learned a hell of a lot even with their singed eyebrows from the fire rescue demonstration. Yes, it was fun, but there was a serious purpose to the day, and that continues.

On their return, training became a staple part of the club's activities between events, and a surgeon was initially cajoled into attending events to help train the volunteers.

It has been said that he could be a pain in the *rs* at times, but if you want things done, then someone has to take charge and see it through. Otherwise he was relatively quiet. A financial consultant, auditor and  accountant by trade, he had more of the 'pencil and calculator' approach to figures - computers were an abomination!

He stood down from active duty around 2009 but his contribution to the sport and improvements in safety are incalculable. Motor sport owes him a huge debt, especially those competitors who required their medical assistance in times of extreme need .

Those early pioneers of the SMMC had a vision. More than that, they actually turned their vision into reality at a time when 'safety' was a bad word in the sport.

He'll be sorely missed by friends and colleagues, but his place and achievements amongst those early visioneers is assured.

Note: His funeral will take place on Thursday 1st December at 2pm at West Lothian Crematorium, Cousland Wood, Starlaw Place, Off Starlaw Road, Livingston EH54 7FD. All are welcome to attend.

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