New ERA FOR NICK FLETCHER

Nick Fletcher, one of the longest standing members of the Midland Group of Motoring Journalists has decided to hang up his crash helmet and put his driving gloves back in the drawer.

He writes to inform MGMW members: “Last Christmas, I decided that this summer I would retire from motoring journalism after 40 years. I have various outlets – lifestyle magazines and newspapers – and have handed them to Mark Slack who as you know I have worked closely with over the years. He takes over on June 1st.

“I don’t look on my retirement as the end of an era, merely the start of a new one. I always feel I have to be moving forward with something – that way I feel I am heading to the future and not living in the past.  So I will not be putting my feet up, pottering in the garden or watching daytime TV. I will still be writing, though on a different subject. Having had several crime fiction novels and short-story collections published, I am now starting work on a series of true-crime books.

“I look back on my 40 years as a motoring writer with great fondness. I have driven several thousand test cars in Europe, the USA and North Africa, seen many amazing places I would probably never have visited , and along the way I’ve met many interesting people, among them of course colleagues in the MGMW.

“Forty years is a long time, but I have of course been driving for longer – 56 years in fact. I calculated recently that in that time, I have actually owned more than 100 cars.

“They have ranged from a Fiat 500 to a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, from a MINI Moke to a 1947 Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane. And in between, oddities such as the Citroen 2CV,  Jensen-Healey, Matra Rancho, Hillman Husky, Peugeot 304 Cabriolet and a seven-seat Daimler Conquest limousine.

“There are memories and incidents linked to many of the cars – for instance while visiting a girlfriend at her parent’s home I misjudged the driveway and crashed my Ford Capri through their French windows and into the living room. And yes, that was a very short relationship!

“I may put some of the stories together in a feature or a blog at some stage but over the next few months I will be working on my new book and also continuing to help run our dog rescue charity.”

Nick ends: “As I say, the start of a new era.”

MGMW chairman Ian Donaldson told Nick: “I hope you greatly enjoy your new writing direction, mixing with the criminal fraternity!

“There might even be a book about your time in the muttering rotters’ trade, especially with the roll call of cars you’ve owned over the years.

“You rightly remember the extraordinary times we’ve had in interesting (and not so interesting) vehicles in so many different parts of the world, all the while being treated like royalty and at someone else’s expense.

“May I thank you for your support of the Midland Group over all these years and wish you and Cassie continuing happiness and good health.”